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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

Apr 30, 2020

Vish Sakthivel, Hafsa Halawa, and Nour El-Achi join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on protest movements in Algeria, Iraq, and Lebanon. While each case is unique, all three movements are pushing for sweeping reforms of the corrupt political system, a change in the ruling elite, and...

Apr 24, 2020

Basma El Husseiny (Action for Hope) and Samar El Yassir (Anera) join guest host Lyne Sneige to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on refugee communities and the NGOs that work with them.

Apr 22, 2020

MEI Distinguished Senior Fellow Joseph Votel, a retired four-star general in the Army and former commander of U.S. Central Command, joins host Alistair Taylor to discuss the challenges facing American forces in the Middle East today, from COVID-19 and ISIS to the turbulent situations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Apr 17, 2020

MEI senior fellows Mick Mulroy and Eric Oehlerich join host Alistair Taylor to discuss child soldiering, a growing global problem that has a disproportionate impact on the Middle East and Africa. You can read their new report, “Begin with the children: Child soldier numbers doubled in the Middle East in 2019,” at

Apr 10, 2020

MEI’s Michael Sexton and Eliza Campbell join host Alistair Taylor to discuss the variety of new surveillance technologies deployed by governments in the region to track the spread of COVID-19, and the tension they are setting up between public health and privacy concerns in the long term.