The Baker Institute’s Kristian Coates Ulrichsen joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a conversation about the extremist regime Benjamin Netanyahu has assembled and how far-right ministers like Itamar Ben-Gvir in provoking provocations against Palestinians are creating a dangerous new environment, a tinderbox which needs only a single spark to set off a major regional conflagration.
Kurdish-American journalist Sirwan Kajjo joins Arab Digest editor William Law in this week’s podcast. Sirwan is just back from the Kurdish Region of Iraq (KRI) and he brings to the table his analysis of the current situation, including tensions between Erbil and Baghdad over oil revenues and the ongoing struggle for supremacy between the two families who control the KRI, the Barzanis and the Talibanis.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes the Palestinian journalist and commentator Nour Odeh to the podcast. A recent UN General Assembly decision to seek an opinion about Israel’s occupation has wide-reaching implications, ones that Israel is clearly rattled by. Against the backdrop of the most extreme government in Israeli history, Nour explains the importance of the decision for the cause of Palestinian justice.
Annelle Sheline from the Washington-based Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a conversation about US foreign policy in the Middle East. Two years into the Biden presidency perceptions about America and its role have shifted dramatically in the region but the president and his advisors seem locked in a belief that little has changed.
Author and blogger Amal Ghandour joins editor William Law as his guest on the Arab Digest podcast. Their conversation about Lebanon, Jordan and the wider Arab world takes as its point of departure Amal’s latest book This Arab Life which is both an intensely personal memoir and a ruthlessly honest assessment of the past, the present and the near future of a region riven by social, political and economic crises.
On 21 January, 2022 we podcast Lina al-Hathloul’s powerful Testament of Courage. She spoke about her sister Loujain, the Saudi women’s rights activist and for all prisoners of conscience and their families. Lina is Head of Monitoring & Comms @ALQST_ORG and co-author of the children’s book Loujain Dreams of Sunflowers. In honouring the courage and resilience of human rights defenders and their families, we are proud to select her podcast for the Arab Digest Editor’s Choice 2022.
Sami Hamdi, the CEO of The International Interest, joins Arab Digest editor William Law for a wide-ranging, fast-paced and thought-provoking review of a tumultuous year for the MENA region as alliances shifted and fissures emerged with new tensions flaring up even as old ones eased. The podcast wraps up with Sami’s take on what to look for in 2023.
Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is Gulf State Analytics CEO Giorgio Cafiero. With relations between the US and key GCC players fraying, China has upped its game seizing both economic and diplomatic advantage. But with Washington remaining the Gulf’s security guarantor, the GCC will need to tread a balanced line.
Arab Digest editor William Law asks Libya expert Tarek Megerisi to give his assessment of the current situation. His diagnosis is that yes the country remains in a downward spiral but with a new UN special representative in place there is some reason to believe that this seemingly intractable conflict may, possibly, be heading into a more positive space.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Helen Lackner, a leading expert on Yemen to talk about her latest book Yemen: Poverty and Conflict, published by Routledge. The book builds on her profound experience in the country over several decades and is an invaluable primer on its extraordinary history and on current issues that threaten Yemen including the ongoing war, climate change and foreign interference.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Egyptian analyst Maged Mandour. Their conversation this weeks looks at how international finance has enabled President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to continue his mega-projects spending binge as the military tightens its iron grip on the economy and ordinary Egyptians are plunged ever deeper into poverty.
Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back Jim Krane to the podcast. Jim is an energy research fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute in Houston. Their conversation focusses on the remarkable partnership that has grown up between Saudi Arabia and Russia and how the Saudis are very effectively using oil and the rediscovered clout of OPEC+ to leverage geopolitical advantages.