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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
 
Michael Kofman, director of the CNA Russia research program, explains how Russia approaches the Iran nuclear talks; why Moscow considers Syria a remarkable and cheap success; whether Turkey and Russia can manage differences in Ukraine and elsewhere; and why Belarus and Ukraine remain key flashpoints in US-Russia relations. See Privacy Policy at htt…
 
Amberin Zaman, senior correspondent for Al-Monitor, discusses her reporting from northeastern Syria, including the devastating effect of the worst drought in seven decades; why SDF leader Mazloum Kobane doesn’t expect a Turkish attack, but is disappointed by US policy on Syria; how increasing tensions between Turkey and Russia over Ukraine could im…
 
Jim Jeffrey former US ambassador to Turkey and Iraq and the Trump Administration’s top Syria envoy has been sharply criticized for his alleged role in greenlighting Turkey’s 2019 invasion of northeast Syria which displaced hundreds of thousands of people and led to horrific rights abuses by Turkish backed opposition rebels. Jeffrey has unique insig…
 
Noor Sweid, General Partner at Global Ventures, discusses how the Middle East and North Africa region has become a global tech and innovation hub; why a young MENA population will continue to drive and demand change, including for clean energy technologies; how MENA benefits and learns from trends in the Global South, Asia and the West ; and more! …
 
Al-Monitor columnist Ben Caspit explains why the Israeli budget vote this week; whether Netanyahu still has a chance at a comeback; why another Gaza war is a matter of when, not if; and why Israeli leaders are worried and disappointed by the US approach to Iran. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https:…
 
Al-Monitor columnist Daoud Kuttab says that Jerusalem and settlements remain the big issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; why Hamas is gaining in popularity; how Palestinian President Mahmoud is managed the consequences of the Abraham Accords and thinking about his legacy and succession; and why we may see more Palestinian protests in the co…
 
US Turkish relations remain on life support with Turkey's refusal to relinquish Russian made S 400 missiles. Turkey could face further US sanctions if Turkish president Erdogan acts on his talk about buying more Russian equipment. Turkey analyst Alan Makovsky believes this could lead to final rupture between Turkey and the NATO alliance. See Privac…
 
Kenneth Pollack, Senior Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, discusses Iraq’s elections, the prospects for an agreement on an Iranian nuclear deal, and why cyber may be part of Israel’s ‘Plan B’ for Iran. See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.…
 
Ali Vaez, Iran Project Director at the International Crisis Group, discusses why the Iran nuclear talks could remain in ‘suspended animation;’ why some Iranian leaders may prefer to stick with the ‘resistance economy’ rather than pursue sanctions relief under a new nuclear deal; why the window for goodwill gestures to shake up the nuclear talks may…
 
As the Biden administration vows to put an end to America's "endless wars," the United States' military campaign against the Islamic State in Syria stands out as a rare success. Several hundred US Special Operations Forces remain in northeast Syria where they are partnered with the Syria Kurds who played a critical role in defeating the jihadis. Bu…
 
Wall Street Journal National Security Reporter Vivian Salama discusses what to expect at the UN this week, including the impact of the US-France diplomatic dispute on the Middle East; why an Iran nuclear deal remains elusive; the state of UN diplomacy in Yemen, Syria and Libya; and more! See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and Californi…
 
Professor Gilles Kepel of Université Paris Sciences et Lettres, discusses his latest book, The Prophet and the Pandemic; why Saudi Arabia is shifting its center of gravity to the Red Sea; the symbolism and consequences of Erdogan’s re-Islamization of the Hagia Sophia; and how and why trends in North Africa reach the banileues of Europe. See Privacy…
 
The debacle unfolding in Afghanistan starting with the chaotic exit of US troops has reverberated across Iraq with many Iraqis wondering whether a similar future awaits them too. Will the United States pull out of Iraq under pressure from Iran and Iranian backed militias? Will parliamentary elections that are due to be held next month help fix the …
 
Turkey helped its Turkic Muslim ally Azerbaijan defeat Armenia in a short and bloody war over the mainly Armenian enclave of Nagorno Karabakh last fall. A Russian brokered peace remains in place and now Turkey says it is ready to reopen its sealed borders and establish diplomatic relations with Armenia . Armenia says it too is ready to normalize ti…
 
Stephanie Williams, the former acting UN Envoy to Libya, explains the background and prospects for the UN-mediated political transition in Libya; the roles of the US, Turkey, and Russia in the diplomatic process; whether Gen Khalifa Hiftar is strengthened by the unity agreement; and the prospects for elections in December 2021. See Privacy Policy a…
 
Al-Monitor columnist Shelly Kittleson shares observations from her reporting in Afghanistan and Iraq, including the Taliban’s relations with Iran and ISIS; what the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan might mean for ISIS in Iraq; her experiences as a woman journalist covering conflict; and her advice for journalists starting a career in international r…
 
Tunisia has long been touted as the sole success story to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings. However last month the country’s president sacked the prime minister and suspended the parliament in a move that’s been largely welcomed by a public fed up with a decade of unresolved corruption and poor management. So what lies next? See Privacy Policy…
 
Stephen Kalin, Wall Street Journal correspondent based in Riyadh, describes the scope of social, economic, and political change in Saudi Arabia; the prospects for diplomacy with Iran and an end to the Yemen war; the impact of COVID-19 on the Saudi economy; the outlook for Saudi energy policy; US-Saudi relations; and more. See Privacy Policy at http…
 
Samuel Ramani, a tutor at the University of Oxford and expert on Russia and Africa, explains why international mediation on the Nile Dam talks may continue to flounder; why the UAE has been an ‘exceptional actor’ in the GERD negotiations; the linkages between the Persian Gulf and Red Sea security; the relative interests and influence of the US, Rus…
 
Al-Monitor columnist Ali Hashem discusses why incoming Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi may not give priority to closing the nuclear deal; why Iran sees an opportunity in Afghanistan; the complex relationships among Iraqi militias and the Iranian government; whether Iran’s policies toward Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians are likely to change; an…
 
As Turkey negotiates the terms of retaining its forces at Kabul airport with Washington many air concerns that Turkish troops will be imperilled in the wake of the US withdrawal. The Taliban is wresting back control of much of the country as Afghan government troops flee their positions with some seeking refuge in neighboring Tajikistan. The Taliba…
 
Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, UAE Professor of Political Science, discusses why UAE momentum and influence is on the rise in the Middle East; how the Gulf states’ management of the COVID-19 pandemic compares with the West; why the region can be cautiously optimistic on Libya; why the UAE will not back down from either its normalization with Israel or it…
 
Amberin Zaman speaks this week to Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir, a Turkish academic, about the current status of the Haghia Sophia, the 6th century Byzantine cathedral that was converted from a museum to a full service mosque close to a year ago provoking harsh reactions worldwide. Has the structure been damaged? What further “conquests” does Erdogan have …
 
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…
 
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