On the Middle East with Andrew Parasiliti and Amberin Zaman, an Al-Monitor Podcast | Nile Dam talks may be ‘in a lot of trouble,’ says Samuel Ramani
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On the Middle East with Andrew Parasiliti and Amberin Zaman, an Al-Monitor Podcast
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Each week Andrew Parasiliti, president of the award-winning news site Al-Monitor, and Amberin Zaman, Al-Monitor’s Senior Correspondent, interview newsmakers, journalists and thought leaders from the US and Middle East about the latest news and trends in the region.
Andrew has been writing about, and traveling in, the Middle East for over three decades, meeting and interviewing the region’s top political and civil society leaders. Since obtaining his PH.D from Johns Hopkins University, he has held appointments at Harvard University, the RAND Corporation, the International Institute for Strategic Studies, and as foreign policy adviser to US Senator Chuck Hagel. Andrew writes Al-Monitor’s must read Takeaway and Week in Review columns, and is an adjunct political scientist at RAND and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Amberin travels the region for Al-Monitor, specializing in breaking news and analysis in Turkey, Iraq and Syria and writes the daily Briefly Turkey newsletter. Prior to Al-Monitor, she covered Turkey, the Kurds and conflicts in the region for The Washington Post, The Daily Telegraph, The Los Angeles Times and the Voice of America, and was The Economist's Turkey correspondent between 1999 and 2016.
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Nile Dam talks may be ‘in a lot of trouble,’ says Samuel Ramani
Samuel Ramani, a tutor at the University of Oxford and expert on Russia and Africa, explains why international mediation on the Nile Dam talks may continue to flounder; why the UAE has been an ‘exceptional actor’ in the GERD negotiations; the linkages between the Persian Gulf and Red Sea security; the relative interests and influence of the US, Russia and China in Africa; and more. 
07/19/2021
Ali Hashem on what to expect from Ebrahim Raisi and the rise of the Hezbollahis in Iran
Al-Monitor columnist Ali Hashem discusses why incoming Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi may not give priority to closing the nuclear deal; why Iran sees an opportunity in Afghanistan; the complex relationships among Iraqi militias and the Iranian government; whether Iran’s policies toward Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinians are likely to change; and more!
07/13/2021
South Asia security expert Ayesha Siddiqa says Turkey is a natural fit for Afghanistan
As Turkey negotiates the terms of retaining its forces at Kabul airport with Washington many air concerns that Turkish troops will be imperilled in the wake of the US withdrawal. The Taliban is wresting back control of much of the country as Afghan government troops flee their positions with some seeking refuge in neighboring Tajikistan. The Taliban has said it wants no foreign troops left behind once the Americans go so what does this spell for Turkey? Contrary to the prevailing view Ayesha Siddiqa believes Turkey is taking a well calculated risk. Editor's note: This podcast was recorded to the Taliban's statement saying it opposed the continued presence of Turkish troops on Afghan soil and identifying Turkey by name. https://www.al-monitor.com/originals/2021/07/taliban-renew-demand-turkey-leave-afghanistan
07/05/2021
The Gulf moment in the Middle East is here to stay, says Abdulkhaleq Abdulla
Dr. Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, UAE Professor of Political Science, discusses why UAE momentum and influence is on the rise in the Middle East; how the Gulf states’ management of the COVID-19 pandemic compares with the West; why the region can be cautiously optimistic on Libya; why the UAE will not back down from either its normalization with Israel or its support for Palestinians; how the region will manage a new Iran nuclear deal, if it happens, and Iran’s new hardline president; the four tracks of Gulf reconciliation; the UAE’s role as peacemaker in the Horn of Africa; the US-China competition is in the Gulf; and more!
06/30/2021
Turkish academic Tugba Tanyeri: Erdogan’s conversion of Haghia Sophia part of drive to put a Sunni Muslim stamp on Turkey’s urban landscape
Amberin Zaman speaks this week to Tugba Tanyeri Erdemir, a Turkish academic, about the current status of the Haghia Sophia, the 6th century Byzantine cathedral that was converted from a museum to a full service mosque close to a year ago provoking harsh reactions worldwide. Has the structure been damaged? What further “conquests” does Erdogan have in mind as he pushes ahead with his ambitious campaign to supplant modern Turkey’s father Kemal Ataturk as the “greatest” and most consequential leader since the founding of the Republic in 1923?
06/18/2021
Biden-Putin summit exceeded expectations, says Fyodor Lukyanov, but US-Russia antagonistic relationship remains
Fyodor Lukyanov, Chairman of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy in Moscow, discusses why Russia wants an agreement with the US on cyber security; why Russia does not expect the US to lift sanctions on Russia; how Russian and Iranian policies differ in Syria; why Syria and Iran are minor issues in US-Russia relations; how to understand Russian President Vladimir Putin’s relationships with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and much more. 
06/14/2021
Were the Divas of Egypt’s Roaring 20’s also pioneers of Egyptian Feminism? A conversation with Raphael Cormack
Raphael Cormack, visiting researcher at Columbia University, discusses his book, Midnight in Cairo; profiles the amazing women who shaped and dominated Egypt’s music, theater, film, and cabaret scene in the early 20th century against the backdrop of dramatic political and social change; describes the rivalry between Mounira al-Mahdiyya and Oum Kalthoum, the two most popular entertainers of their times; and more.
06/10/2021
Children in Gaza most affected by war, says Hana Salah
Hana Salah, Al-Monitor columnist reporting from Gaza, discusses the impact of Israeli restrictions on Gaza’s reconstruction; the lack of clarity on the mechanism for international assistance; why people are flocking to Gaza’s polluted beaches; and how she managed her family life and professional responsibilities while reporting during the bombing.
06/02/2021
US-Turkish relations difficult, but manageable, says ECFR senior fellow Asli Aydintasbas
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Joe Biden are scheduled to hold their first meeting since Biden took office on the sidelines of next week's NATO summit in Brussels. Turkey's growing ties with Russia, symbolized by its acquisition of S-400 missiles, has driven a wedge between Ankara and Washington that is threatening to grow ever wider. Can the two leaders reverse this downward spiral? Veteran journalist Asli Aydintasbas, who is a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, believes both leaders are aiming for damage control.
05/24/2021
Despite Gaza devastation, Hamas may have gained politically from war, says Shibley Telhami
Dr. Shibley Telhami, Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development, Director of the University of Maryland Critical Issues Poll, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, explains what to expect, and not expect, from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s trip to the region this week; why another eruption of political violence is likely, unless Israeli occupation policies are addressed; what’s next for US-Egypt relations; the limits of the Abraham Accords in helping facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace process; shifting opinions among Democrats on the US-Israel relationship; how support for Palestinians may be linked in part to social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter; and how the US-Israel relationship keeps the US engaged in the region.
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