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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

Mar 27, 2020

MEI’s Paul Salem, Khaled Elgindy, and Fatima Abo Alasrar join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the Middle East as nations scramble to contain the spread of COVID-19 and the massive humanitarian and economic toll it could take on already vulnerable populations.

Mar 26, 2020

Adila Laïdi-Hanieh (The Palestinian Museum), Saleh Barakat (Agial Gallery and Saleh Barakat Gallery), and Khaled Barakeh (Co-Culture) join guest host Lyne Sneige for a discussion of how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the arts and culture sector across the Middle East, and how artists, galleries and museums...

Mar 20, 2020

Vanda Felbab-Brown, Michael Kugelman, and Marvin Weinbaum join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recent US-Taliban agreement in Afghanistan, the political power struggle over the presidency, the challenges facing the intra-Afghan dialogue, and the effects of coronavirus.

Mar 15, 2020

Yasmine Farouk and Jean-Francois Seznec join guest host Gerald Feierstein to discuss the past week’s political and economic drama in Saudi Arabia following the detainment of several members of the Saudi royal family and the nation’s launch of an oil price war with Russia, which triggered a massive drop in global...

Mar 3, 2020

An airstrike last Thursday, which killed 33 Turkish soldiers and wounded 60 more, was a game-changing development in the Syrian conflict. In the days since, Turkey has unleashed a major military response, carrying out scores of drone attacks on Syrian Army units and facilities. All of this is taking place against the...