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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

Aug 7, 2019

Iraq’s state-sponsored, majority-Shiite militias — called al-Hashd al-Shaabi, or the Popular Mobilization Forces — were central to the fight against ISIS, but there are major questions over their ongoing political and economic role. Enabling Peace in Iraq Center program manager Omar Al-Nidawi, American University in Iraq Sulaimani professor Akeel Abbas, and MEI’s Randa Slim join host Alistair Taylor to discuss what might happen to the force now that the threat ISIS poses has diminished.