Podcasts

With an exceptional line up of expert guests, our popular weekly Arab Digest podcasts offer insightful conversation with editor William Law on the hot topics of the week. Available on Apple podcasts, Spotify, Soundcloud and all quality podcast platforms.

Getting it wrong in the Middle East

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes back the Middle East and North Africa analyst Francis Ghilès. Their conversation focusses on how persistent misreadings of the Middle East over decades have lead both America and Europe down a road that has repeatedly led to disasters culminating in the current war in Gaza where, unless rational thinking prevails, an unimaginable bloodbath will follow with the potential to engulf the region in an all-out war with enormous consequences for the world.

Gulf energy in an uneasy time

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the energy analyst and author Jim Krane. In a wide ranging conversation they discuss how shifts in global energy patterns are altering relations between the US and Saudi Arabia, how Gulf hydrocarbon producing states’ move towards transition is proceeding and how the Gaza war is impacting the Gulf energy sector.

The Gulf states and the search for security

Middle East security, foreign affairs and defence analyst Tobias Borck joins Arab Digest editor William Law to talk about his new book Seeking Stability Amidst Disorder, an examination of how Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar have used foreign policy sometimes to good effect, sometimes not, to attempt to secure stability in a volatile neighbourhood that with the war in Gaza has become ever more unstable.

Assad and the strategy of negative neutrality

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the Syrian analyst Malik al-Abdeh. As with the earthquake that devastated northwest Syria one year ago Bashar al-Assad is once again using disaster to strengthen his grip on the roughly two-thirds of the country he controls. Carefully steering his regime clear of any support for Hamas or for the Palestinians trapped and being massacred in the Gaza Strip, Assad is securing growing acceptance of his regime in Europe.

Sleepwalking to WW III?

Arab Digest Editor William Law is joined by Middle East analyst Sami Hamdi to talk about the growing threat to the region and the world as Israel continues its brutal prosecution of the Gaza war.Their conversation looks at outside players and how they are responding to the scorched earth policy the IDF is carrying out. Will diplomatic pressure and the world’s outrage be enough to stop the Israeli onslaught or will this war continue down an apocalyptic road?

Temperature Rising in Gaza War

Arab Digest editor William Law welcomes Sanam Vakil director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House.Their conversation focusses on the role of Iran and the Axis of Resistance in the Gaza war. As Israel continues its brutal assault there is a growing risk that tit for tat responses in other theatres of action will blend into a full-blown regional war. The podcast was recorded 22 January before the UK, for the second time, joined the US in strikes on Yemen’s Huthis.

Red Sea reckoning

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest is the author and Gulf states analyst Kristian Coates Ulrichsen. Their conversation focusses on the cycle of violence that has hit Red Sea shipping lanes as the region slips into a wider arena of conflict with the Gaza war as a catalyst. They interrogate the assumptions in Washington, London and other Western capitals that bombing the Huthis will end the threat rather than escalate it.

Sudan’s forgotten war

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the Sudanese political analyst and broadcaster Kholood Khair. Sudan’s civil war has been ongoing since April as two generals battle to see who will prevail in a brutal struggle that has shown no regard for the people of Sudan. Their peaceful revolution of 2018-19 that threw a dictator out has been usurped by two men driven by greed and a lust for power contesting between them to see who will become the country’s next dictator.

Editor’s choice 2023: Remember Yemen!

On 27 September we podcast Helen’s Lackner’s insightful analysis of Yemen as the now almost nine year conflict continues to ravage the Yemeni people. Helen, a regular AD newsletter contributor is one of the world’s foremost Yemen experts and the author of several books on a country she has worked in over several decades. Her most recent book published by Routledge is Yemen: Poverty and Conflict. We are proud to select her podcast for the Arab Digest Editor’s Choice 2023.

Sleepwalking to WW III?

Arab Digest Editor William Law is joined by Middle East analyst Sami Hamdi to talk about the growing threat to the region and the world as Israel continues its brutal prosecution of the Gaza war.Their conversation looks at outside players and how they are responding to the scorched earth policy the IDF is carrying out. Will diplomatic pressure and the world’s outrage be enough to stop the Israeli onslaught or will this war continue down an apocalyptic road?

Arab Digest’s 2023 year end review

Arab Digest editor William Law is joined by the Brooking Institute’s Aslı Aydıntaşbaş for a look back at a tumultuous and violent 2023. It was a year that has seen the Middle East and North Africa riven by multiple wars that challenge not only the region but the world’s security. Aydıntaşbaş concludes our year-ender with her predictions for 2024.

Joe Biden’s war

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the Washington-based CEO of Gulf State Analytics, Giorgio Cafiero. When Joe Biden arrived in Tel Aviv on 12 July this year he said “you don’t need to be a Jew to be a Zionist.” The podcast examines the president’s unwavering support for Israel in the face of the IDF’s continuing onslaught on the people of Gaza and considers other critical US policy failures in the Middle East and North Africa in 2023.

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