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Dardasha: A Middle East Podcast
17 minutes | Nov 2, 2017
Promises and Deciet: The Balfour Declaration
On November 2nd 1917, Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary declared Britain's support for the formation of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. The Balfour Declaration in many ways was the first formal international recognition of the Zionist movement and its goals. In this episode Danny discusses the history of Balfour Declaration and its legacy today.
29 minutes | Sep 12, 2017
Libya, Iran, and the Missing Imam
In late August 1978 Imam Musa al-Sadr arrived in Libya for talks with government officials. Sadr, a charismatic Shi'a Imam who had rose to prominence in southern Lebanon in 1960's, was in Libya to possible means of bringing peace to Lebanon. While away in Libya, Musa al-Sadr dissapeared and has not been seen since. In this episode, Danny discusses the circumstances surrounding Sadr's disappearance and Musa al-Sadr's legacy in Lebanon today.
28 minutes | Apr 8, 2017
Syria, Trump, and the Chemical Attack
Last week, Syrian airstrikes targeted the town of Khan Shaykhoun with what appeared to be Sarin gas sparking international outrage. Russia, Iran, and Syria denied the attacks while President Trump ordered counter-strikes on a Syrian air base near Hama. In this weeks episode, Mike and Danny discuss the situation the attacks in Syria and the possible ramifications.
36 minutes | Nov 28, 2016
Inflation Nation: Egypt's struggling economy
Since 2011 revolution, the Egyptian economy has struggled to find its footing. During the past year, the Egyptian pound has steadily lost value as foreign cash reserves have steadily fallen. The cash crunch in Egypt has hurt the popularity of Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi and led some activists to call for protests against the regime. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss the economic situation in Egypt.
29 minutes | Oct 22, 2016
Hillary Clinton's Middle East
With the US presidential election around the corner, Mike and Danny discuss how Hillary Clinton's foreign policy toward the Middle East may differ from Barak Obama.
36 minutes | Sep 2, 2016
Can Syria be Put Back Together?
The Syrian civil war has been exacerbated by the weakness of the competing parties involved. The Syrian opposition is divided, the regime relies on the foreign support of Hizballah, Iran, and Russia. The country continues to fragment and appears to be losing any sense of national cohesion. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss whether or not Syria can be re-united.
38 minutes | Aug 14, 2016
Fethullah Gülen and Turkey's Failed Coup
On July 15th 2016, a faction of the Turkish military attempted to overthrow the Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government. Erdogan's loyalists quickly rallied and squashed the attempted coup. In the aftermath, Erdogan blamed the reclusive U.S. based cleric Fethullah Gülen for the coup and demanded his extradition to Turkey. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss Gülen and his followers as well as the probability of him being behind the failed coup.
39 minutes | Aug 6, 2016
The Alawites and the Politics of Religious Legitimacy
The Asad family that has ruled Syrian since the 1970s belong to a small offshoot of Shi'ism commonly referred to as the Alawites. During the 1970s, Hafiz al-Asad sought political legitimacy on religious grounds. In this weeks episode Mike and Danny discuss the intersection of religion and politics in regards to the history behind Alawite rule in Syria.
35 minutes | Jun 18, 2016
The Challenges Facing Iraq
In recent months Iraq has witnessed a series of protests challenging government corruption while the Iraqi army and Iran backed Shi'a militias were waging war on the Islamic State. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss the state of affairs in Iraq and prospects for the country's future.
42 minutes | Jun 4, 2016
Balfour vs. Sykes-Picot
May 2016 marked the 100 year anniversary of the Sykes-Picot agreement. During World War I, the British government under the representation of Sir Mark Sykes entered negotiations with the French government under Georges Picot over the issue of how the territories of the Ottoman Empire should be divided after the war. A year later the British government pledged its commitment to the creation of a national homeland for the Jewish people in Palestine in the Balfour Declaration. In this week's discussion Mike and Danny debate which of the two WWI agreements has greater historical weight today.
31 minutes | May 11, 2016
Tiran, Sanafir, and Egypt's Growing Civil Unrest
Last month, Egyptian President Abd a-Fattah al-Sisi announced that he was returning the two Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudia Arabia. The announcement sparked unprecedented public opposition to Egypt's president in both the press and on the streets. The Egyptian public's reaction shows signs that Egyptian's patience is wearing thin. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss the history and significance of Tiran and Sanafir as well as the state of affairs in Egypt.
39 minutes | Apr 28, 2016
Hama: Understanding the Present Through the Past
In February 1982, the Asad regime in Syria unleashed a brutal campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood in city of Hama. After staving off an initial potent assault from the Brotherhood, Asad's forces unleashed his vengeance on the city and the group demolishing homes and butchering survivors. When the dust settled thousands were dead and Sunni Islamist militancy in Syria subsided. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss the massacre at Hama and what insight it gives into the current conflict in Syria.
27 minutes | Apr 11, 2016
The Saudi-Iran Divide and Regional Stability
From Yemen to Iraq to Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iran are competing for regional influence and control. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss what divides Saudi and Iran and how that rivalry is fueling conflicts throughout the region.
29 minutes | Mar 31, 2016
Is Bouteflika still Running Algeria?
Abdul Aziz Bouteflika has been seen as a pillar of stability in Algeria and the Middle East, but the aging dictator's health has been in question in recent years. Bouteflika rarely makes public appearances and even government officials claim that they do not have access to president. In recent months rumors have surfaced that Bouteflika is no longer ruling Algeria. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss the political situation in Algeria and the possible candidates to succeed Bouteflika.
32 minutes | Feb 21, 2016
Is Lebanon on the Brink of Collapse?
Thirty years after a brutal civil war erupted in Lebanon, the country is faces a number of challenges. From struggling to fill a vacuum in the presidency to addressing the Syrian refugee issue Lebanon appears to be walking toward a cliff. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss the challenges confronting one of the Arab world's smallest nations.
35 minutes | Feb 13, 2016
What Should the International Community do about ISIS in Libya?
In recent months ISIS has been consolidating its control of the coastal city of Sirte in Libya. This has included increasing the number of foreign soldiers ans leaders in Libya. In this week's episode discuss how the international community should respond to the ISIS threat in Libya.
30 minutes | Jan 15, 2016
Islam, Free Speech, and Egypt
Over the past year, embattled Egyptian television host Islam Buhayri has faced legal prosecution for comments he made about the collectors of the Hadith. Recently an Egyptian court sentenced Buhayri to a year in prison for contempt of religion calling into question the limits of free speech in Egypt. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss Buhayri and how religion shape's views of free speech in Egypt.
26 minutes | Dec 16, 2015
Are the Kurds a Reliable US Ally?
With the rise of ISIS, many in the West have looked to the Kurds in Iraq and Syria as the key to defeating the world's most notorious terrorist organization. In this week's episode, Mike and Danny discuss whether or not the Kurds are reliable US ally and what are the Kurds limits in combating ISIS.
30 minutes | Nov 17, 2015
Should the US Resettle Syrian Refugees?
Earlier this year the Obama administration pledged to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees on US soil. Following ISIS attacks in Paris, several politicians and pundits have called for the Obama administration to restrict refugee resettlement or refused to allow refugees in their states. In this week's episode Mike and Danny discuss why the US should resettle Syrian refugees on US soil.
38 minutes | Nov 6, 2015
How to Spot Media Bias in the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict?
When it comes to media coverage of the Middle East in the Western press, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict garners more print than any other story. Palestinians, Israelis, and sympathizers on both sides of the conflict often accuse the media of one-sided reporting. In this episode, Mike and Danny respond to the question, how does one spot media bias in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? In doing so they discuss the causes of biased reporting, recommendations for more balanced study of the issue, and whether or not biased reporting is as bad as it is often portrayed.
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