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 earthquakes: “a gift to Assad”

Arab Digest Editor Willliam Law is joined by Dr Lina Khatib. Her research focuses on the international relations of the Middle East, Islamist groups and security, political transitions and foreign policy, with special attention to the Syrian conflict. Their conversation examines how last week’s devastating earthquakes are playing into the hands of the Syrian dictator.

Elias Jahshan: “my ancestors are within my hands”

Arab Digest editor William Law’s guest this week is the journalist and author Elias Jahshan. Elias, who edited This Arab is Queer, an anthology of LGBTQ+ Arab writers, talks about the power of language and of music and food to hold truth to power, to challenge intolerance and repression and to push forward the struggle for liberation in the Arab world.

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