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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

Feb 26, 2020

Amel Boubekeur, Robert S. Ford, and Dalia Ghanem join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the huge national protest movement, known in Arabic as “Hirak,” that has brought millions of Algerians to the streets over the past year. The movement has pushed for sweeping reforms of the political system and a change in the...

Feb 20, 2020

MEI scholar Przemysław Osiewicz joins host Alistair Taylor to discuss EU-Middle East relations and key policy issues, from Iran and Israel-Palestine to Libya and Syria.

Feb 13, 2020

This week’s episode features an interview and Q&A with Lukman Ahmad, a Syrian-Kurdish musician and artist. Last week, Lukman performed Kurdish instrumental music on the saz during an open house at the MEI Art Gallery, and we are pleased to be able to share a recording of a couple of the songs that he performed.


Feb 7, 2020

MEI’s Jonathan Winer and Ross Harrison join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the conflict in Libya and how it fits into the broader context of civil wars in the Middle East.

Harrison and Winer are contributors to the new MEI book, Escaping the Conflict Trap: Toward Ending Civil Wars in the Middle East, which lays out...