Russia’s MENA finesse

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.

The weaponisation of moderate Islam

Arab Digest editor William Law in conversation with Annelle Sheline, a Research Fellow in the Middle East program at the Quincy Institute in Washington DC. The podcast focusses on the marketing of ‘moderate Islam’ as a propaganda weapon designed to convince the West and most importantly America that the authoritarian regimes that espouse it are bastions of tolerance and promulgators of shared values.

The trouble with normal (is it always gets worse)

Arab Digest Editor William Law in conversation with Sami Hamdi, editor in chief of The International Interest ( on the normalisation deal between Israel and the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu have made bold and sweeping claims but the Arab world does not share their enthusiasm.

Ramadan Kareem!

A season for piety and charity as well as abstinence: some men grow beards, some adopt traditional clothing, some will make a special effort to give food to the poor and many Sunnis pray additional night-time prayers called taraweeh.

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