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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

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.

Aug 27, 2020

Mehmet Öğütçü and Gonul Tol join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recent announcement of Turkey’s biggest-ever natural gas discovery—the Sakarya field in the Black Sea—and what it might mean for Turkey’s economy, domestic politics, and foreign policy.

Aug 26, 2020

MEI’s Gerald Feierstein and Mick Mulroy join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the country faces crises on multiple fronts, from the unchecked spread of COVID-19 and widespread hunger to renewed fighting and a lack of international funding.

[Update: After this episode was recorded,...

Aug 21, 2020

Tom de Waal, Nicole Grajewski, and Theodore Karasik join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the recent border hostilities between Azerbaijan and Armenia and the role that Russia, Turkey, and Iran are playing in the geostrategically important South Caucasus.