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Each week Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, and Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor’s Senior Correspondent, interview newsmakers, journalists and thought leaders from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region. Andrew has been writing about, and traveling in, the Middle East for over three decades, meeting and interviewing the region’s top political and civil society leaders. Since obtaining his PH.D from Johns Hopkins University, he has ...
 
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show series
 
Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow, discusses why Russia wants an agreement with the US on cyber security; why Russia does not expect the US to lift sanctions on Russia; how Russian and Iranian policies differ in Syria; why Syria and Iran are minor issues in US-Russia relations; how to understand Russia…
 
Raphael Cormack, visiting researcher at Columbia University, discusses his book, Midnight in Cairo; profiles the amazing women who shaped and dominated Egypt’s music, theater, film, and cabaret scene in the early 20th century against the backdrop of dramatic political and social change; describes the rivalry between Mounira al-Mahdiyya and Oum Kalt…
 
Hana Salah, Al-Monitor columnist reporting from Gaza, discusses the impact of Israeli restrictions on Gaza’s reconstruction; the lack of clarity on the mechanism for international assistance; why people are flocking to Gaza’s polluted beaches; and how she managed her family life and professional responsibilities while reporting during the bombing.…
 
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden are scheduled to hold their first meeting since Biden took office on the sidelines of next week's NATO summit in Brussels. Turkey's growing ties with Russia, symbolized by its acquisition of S-400 missiles, has driven a wedge between Ankara and Washington that is threatening to grow …
 
Dr. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, Director of the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains what to expect, and not expect, from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the region this week; why another eruption of political violence…
 
Jon Alterman, senior vice president, Zbigniew Brzezinski Chair in Global Security and Geostrategy and director of the Middle East Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, discusses the escalation in violence in Israel and Gaza and its impact on Israeli and Palestinian politics; the prospects for US mediation to stop the fighti…
 
Dr. Ebtesam Al-Ketbi, president of the Emirates Policy Center, discusses how the Abraham Accords could help provide context for tough concessions on the most controversial issues facing Israelis and Palestinians; UAE interests and expectations in dealing with regional security and Iran; why the UAE is well-placed to help mediate in the Horn of Afri…
 
Hana Salah, Al-Monitor columnist based in Gaza, discusses the uptick in violence after the cancellation of Palestinian elections and skirmishes in Jerusalem; why Gaza youth feel hopeless about politics; the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and people’s lives; disappointment among Gazans over the Abraham accords; perceptions of Iran; and expectatio…
 
Middle East scholar Arzu Yilmaz argues that Iran has made irreversible gains in Iraq allowing it to more or less dictate the limits of Turkish intervention in Iraq. Turkey is free to operate against the Kurdistan Workers Party in Iraqi Kurdistan but territories such as Sinjar that are disputed between Baghdad and the Iraqi Kurds are a red line.…
 
Murat Mercan, Turkey’s Ambassador to the United States, discusses the prospects for enhanced US-Turkish cooperation during the Biden Administration; his country’s purchase of the Russian S-400 missile defense system; Turkey’s position on Syria, the Kurds, Ukraine, Greece, Libya and the Eastern Mediterranean; and more.…
 
Nureldin Satti, Sudan’s Ambassador to the United States, says that the ‘stumbling block’ in the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) negotiations so far has been Ethiopia’s unwillingness to engage in talks leading to a binding agreement; that, with an agreement, the GERD can be a symbol of integration rather than a cause of conflict; that Sudan d…
 
Raziye Akkoc, a British-Turkish journalist based in Ankara who reports for Agence France Presse and co-edits a highly regarded weekly newsletter Turkey Recap, speaks to Amberin Zaman about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's unchallenged grip on politics. For all his recent setbacks — most notably a weakening economy — he is, she says, "still …
 
Afshin Molavi, senior fellow at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Foreign Policy Institute and founder of Emerging World newsletter, discusses why we shouldn’t oversell the Iran-China agreement; the prospects for employment and growth in the MENA region following the coronavirus pandemic; the post-covid prospects for Dubai and Egypt; China’s role i…
 
Renad Mansour, senior research fellow and project director of the Iraq Initiative at Chatham House, discusses the origins, impacts and trends in Iraq’s protest movements; the influence and role of the US and Iran in Iraqi politics and security; the normalization of Iraq’s foreign policy; how network analysis informs our understanding of Iraq’s Popu…
 
Sherri Kraham Talabany, the president and executive director of the Iraqi Kurdistan-based SEED Foundation NGO, speaks to Amberin Zaman this week about the enormous challenges facing Iraq as the country grapples with the human toll of the havoc and brutality wreaked by the Islamic State. Few have suffered as much as the country's Yazidi community, w…
 
Dr. Denise Natali, former Assistant Secretary of State for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and Director of the Center for Strategic Research at the National Defense University’s Institute for National Strategic Studies, discusses the impact of the bipartisan Global Fragility Act on US policy; the challenges of re-integration of non-state arme…
 
Dalia Dassa Kaye, RAND senior political scientist and Wilson Center Fellow; Linda Robinson, Director of the RAND Center for Middle East Public Policy; and Jeffrey Martini, RAND Senior Middle East researcher, discuss their recent RAND report, ‘Reimaging US strategy in the Middle East, including a new approach to assess US partnerships in the region;…
 
Sam Blatteis, CEO of The MENA Catalysts, explains the continued potential and vitality of the digital economy and high tech sectors in the Gulf, post-COVID; the Gulf’s commitment to the knowledge economy, and how it has become a differentiator in a fragmenting Arab world; why the US is still the partner of choice for Gulf governments, but why and h…
 
Mohsen Milani, professor of politics at the University of South Florida and a leading scholar of Iranian politics, discusses why Iran is ready to talk with the US, and reenter the Iran nuclear deal, but only from a position of strength; why Iran is in a stronger regional position today than it was 30 years ago; what to expect in Iranian politics an…
 
Motaz Zahran, Egypt’s ambassador to the United States, discusses why US and international mediation is required to break the stalemate in Renaissance Dam talks; why the US-Egyptian relationship ‘transcends local politics’; Turkey’s ‘destructive role’ in Libya; the Egyptian economy’s resilience during the COVID-19 pandemic; Egypt’s role in Libya and…
 
Hebah Fisher, Co-Founder and CEO of Kerning Cultures Network, discusses trends in media consumption in the Middle East, the power of sound and storytelling, and why young people in the region are turning to podcasts instead of radio. Also: Andrew’s take on why the Biden Administration is well-placed to help the break the deadlock in the Nile Dam ta…
 
Elizabeth Tsurkov, an Israeli-Russian scholar and a fellow at the Center for Global Policy who has followed the Syrian conflict from the ground since the beginning, talks with Amberin about how over the past decade a peaceful civilian uprising against the government of Bashar al-Assad degenerated into a seemingly endless series of conflicts within …
 
Al-Monitor Senior Correspondent Amberin Zaman discusses why US-Turkey relations are unlikely to get better; the Kurdish question in Turkey, Iraq, and Syria; why an Israel-Turkey rapprochement is not imminent; and her new role as the other host of ‘on the Middle East….also Andrew’s take on Hamas and Egypt’s vital role in regional peace efforts.…
 
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