Dollar shortages, debts and (in)formal capital controls in MENA

Summary: roughly a quarter of countries in the Arab League, including currently suspended member Syria, are suffering from currency depreciation, a US dollar shortage and rising debt levels. Issues are being compounded by surging inflation, while in some countries (in)formal capital controls and sanctions are impacting trade and debt repayments.

The Iraq war twenty years on

Chatham House Iraq expert Renad Mansour joins Arab Digest editor William Law to discuss the impact of America and the UK’s 2003 decision to invade Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein. Faulty assumptions, false claims and the decision to dismantle the armed forces and the civil service coupled with the imposition of a sectarian governance structure led to chaos, corruption and violence that scars Iraq to this day.

Reclaiming Iraq’s history

Summary: Iraq has a deep and enormously rich history that was heavily damaged by the 2003 war and occupation, the insurgency that followed and by the brutal predations of ISIS; a new minister of culture is working to try and set things right but he faces daunting challenges.

Iraqi Kurdistan: a troubled region with an uncertain future

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.

The 2022 Middle East and North Africa review

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.

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