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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

Jul 27, 2022

President Joe Biden's recent trip has received acclaim, scorn, and indifference from across the foreign policy establishment. Why did Biden go to the Middle East, and what did he seek to gain? In this much-anticipated episode, host Alistair Taylor and four expert guests reflect on this question from a variety of perspectives, diving deep into the motivations and repercussions of President Biden's trip. Esteemed guests include Paul Salem, President of MEI; Bilal Saab, Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Defense and Security Program at MEI; Mirette Mabrouk, Senior Fellow and Founding Director of the Egypt Program at MEI; and Alex Vatanka, Director of the Iran Program and Senior Fellow at the Frontier Europe Initiative at MEI.