Arab Digest Weekly Podcasts

Leaving State

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is Annelle Sheline. She quit the US State Department in protest at the Biden adminstration’s unqualified support for the Israeli government’s ongoing war of genocide in Gaza and she tells Arab Digest that the road on which America is embarked could spark a wider catastrophic war in the Middle East.

The Maghreb at a moment of opportunity

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the North Africa energy and political analyst Francis Ghilès. Their conversation looks at the Maghreb states of Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria and Libya and explores how each one is delivering on the economic opportunities the current global geopolitical landscape is offering up. Morocco is proving both adept and resilient in seizing those opportunities while the other Maghreb countries lag far behind.

Erdoğan plays a long game

Arab Digest editor William Law is joined from Washington by the Middle East analyst and writer Aslı Aydıntaşbaş. The focus is on Türkiye’s President Erdoğan and how he has positioned himself in the Gaza war and in his relations with Middle East states. In a US election year when the signs are growing of a Trump return to the White House Aslı Aydıntaşbaş reflects on what that will mean for the Middle East and for President Erdoğan.

“Israel has already lost the war”

Defence and security analyst Andreas Krieg is Arab Digest editor Willliam Law’s guest this week. The Gaza war has laid bare a regional security and stability crisis, one that impacts Middle East states as much as it does Israel. It is a crisis that the Biden administration has allowed to burgeon as state and non-state actors vie for ascendancy in the vacuum caused by a collapsing US hegemon and Israel’s blind pursuit of a war it has already lost.

King Captagon

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the New Lines Institute’s Caroline Rose. The trade in the illicit synthetic drug Captagon continues to boom and much of it is run by Syria’s Assad family. The Assads have built up a manufacturing and distribution network that brings them more than $2 billion a year. Despite Bashar al-Assad’s promise to curtail the trade in return for being allowed back into the fold of the Arab states, captagon remains king as the Middle East’s drug of choice.

Egypt bows to Israel

Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by the Egyptian journalist and blogger Hossam el-Hamalawy. Their conversation traverses the relationship between Egypt and Israel from the point of the signing of the 1979 peace deal to the present Gaza war. With each passing decade Egypt’s influence has waned to the point that, as the Gaza genocide continues, Cairo is forced to bow to Israel while playing second fiddle to tiny Qatar in peace talk negotiations.

Football and fear in Saudi Arabia

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes Gulf analyst and author Kristian Coates Ulrichsen back to the podcast. Their conversation is a preview of Kristian’s latest, soon to be released book The Kingdom of Football. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has used the purchase of Newcastle United FC and the stocking of the Saudi premier league with expensive foreign talent to refurbish an image badly tarnished by systematic human rights abuse and the murder of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

An African History of Africa

The broadcaster, journalist and filmmaker Zeinab Badawi joins Arab Digest editor William Law to talk about her new book An African History of Africa which charts the history of Africa from the very beginnings of human life on earth to the present. In a wide-ranging conversation with a focus on North Africa and Sudan Zeinab Badawi explores the history of the continent from an African perspective embued with her own deep knowledge.

The Gaza war Joe Biden is losing

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is Giorgio Cafiero, CEO of Gulf State Analytics. The Washington-based geopolitical analyst considers how America’s enemies are strengthening their presence in the Middle East even as President Biden weakens his bid for re-election by continuing to back Israel as voters who would otherwise support him turn away angered that he is allowing and arming a genocide in Palestine.

The Kurds of Syria, Iraq and Iran

Arab Digest editor Wiliam Law’s guest this week is the Kurdish American journalist Sirwan Kajjo. Their conversation focusses on the Kurds in three countries – Syria, Iraq and Iran – as they explore the impact of the Gaza war and the ongoing pressures Kurdish people are experiencing from both outside forces and in the case of Iraq and Iran the governments that rule over them controlling so many aspects of their lives while delivering so little to them.

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Access provided by the Bodleian Libraries of the University of Oxford