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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring talk and analysis on U.S. foreign policy, contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East, and the arts and culture of region. It is produced by the Middle East Institute, a non-partisan think tank in Washington, D.C. For more information visit

Oct 23, 2020

Charles Lister and Jomana Qaddour join host Alistair Taylor in a discussion about the current situation in Syria, US policy under the Trump administration, and what lies ahead following the presidential election.

Oct 15, 2020

Robert Ford, Hafsa Halawa, and Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the political and economic challenges facing Iraq, the state of US-Iraqi relations, and the potential impact of upcoming U.S. elections in November.

Oct 6, 2020

Marvin Weinbaum and Omar Samad join host Alistair Taylor to discuss what to expect from the intra-Afghan talks underway in Doha, the ongoing violence on the ground in Afghanistan, and the challenges facing Afghan security forces as the US continues its troop drawdown.

Sep 23, 2020

Patrick Baz, Kristine Khouri, and Emilie Madi join guest host Lyne Sneige to discuss the impact of the August 4 Beirut Port explosion on Lebanon’s artistic community; how museums and galleries are working to preserve cultural heritage; and how photojournalists recorded this tragic moment in Lebanon’s history. They...

Sep 17, 2020

Cyber security researcher Chris Kubecka shares the story of how the Iranian government attempted for over two years to recruit her to come to Iran and teach the skills needed to hack critical infrastructure targets--until the FBI stepped in. Steph Shample of MEI’s Cyber program guest hosts this week’s special episode.