Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Francis Ghilès, a leading European expert on the Maghreb and a senior associate research fellow at the Barcelona Centre for International Affairs. Their conversation explores the missteps of France in North Africa and the persistent failure to arrive at coherent policy approaches towards countries that are crucial to Europe’s security.
Arab Digest Weekly Podcasts
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with Lina al-Hathloul about the fight for freedom for her sister Loujain whose crime was to lead the struggle for women’s rights in Saudi Arabia, including the right to drive. Loujain was seized in the UAE and turned over to Saudi authorities. She was imprisoned and tortured before being released last year but with severe restrictions, including a travel ban.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the Baker Institute’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen for a conversation about how the UAE and Saudi Arabia are on the sidelines but acutely watching how talks to revive the nuclear deal with Iran are faring in Vienna. Also on the table: Yemen, Syria, the Biden White House and the growing competition between the two GCC neighbours on the economic front.
Arab Digest editor William Law kicks off the Digest’s first podcast of 2022 with the Egyptian analyst and writer Maged Mandour who argues that President Sisi has tethered Egypt’s foreign policy to the domestic imperative of strengthening his harsh authoritarian grip. Through massive borrowing and weapons purchases Sisi has lured Europe and America into turning a blind eye to human rights abuses and to an economic model that is destined to fail with profound consequences for Egypt, MENA and the wider world.
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with the Conservative MP Crispin Blunt about his efforts to find justice for Palestinians through the Israeli and international justice systems. He is he says “done with false hope” and the way forward now is to use the courts to right historic wrongs commmited against the Palestinian people.
Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Cinzia Bianco. Cinzia takes an insightful look at the year just past in the Middle East and North Africa, from coups, to Covid, to MbS and MbZ, to alliances abandoned and new ones forged. And she offers her predictions for 2022.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the geopolitical analyst and commentator Samuel Ramani to discuss how, in the past decade, Russia has consistently played a strong hand in the Middle East, buttressing relations with MENA states and presenting itself as an honest disputes mediator while exploiting anxieties and uncertainties to advantage as America continues to pull away from its longstanding role as the region’s guarantor of security.
Arab Digest editor William Law in conversation with the Newlines Institute’s Caroline Rose on the consequences of the accelerating US withdrawal from MENA as the Biden administration continues its pivot away from a region where America had served as security guarantor for decades. In a power vacuum created by a US retreat, new players are emerging to stake a claim and new alliances are forming.
Just a little over a year after they were signed, Arab Digest editor William Law talks with Gulf State Anaytics CEO Giorgio Cafiero about the impact and implications of the Abraham Accords, the Trump-engineered deal that saw Israel triple the number of Arab states with whom it has diplomatic relations at no cost to itself but at a very great cost to the cause of Palestinian statehood.
Arab Digest editor William Law is in conversation with Dr Ali Bakir, a MENA region geopolitical and security analyst at Qatar University’s Ibn Khaldoon Center for Humanities and Social Sciences. On the table is a discussion about the UAE’s diplomatic initiative in Syria as ‘Little Sparta’ curbs its military adventures in favour of soft power approaches aimed at relationship building with, amongst others, Iran.