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10 Podcasts To Listen To if You Want To Learn More About the Middle East

posted on: Nov 23, 2020

By: Dani Meyer/Arab America Contributing Writer

If you’re looking for a new podcast to try, we have you covered. The Middle East is a great place to learn more about through podcasts. But, with so many to choose from, how can you pick the right one to listen to for accurate news and good stories? Luckily, the choices are plentiful, allowing you to go through the ones that meet your needs when it comes to the Middle East, business, culture, history, and so much more. Here, we list 10 great podcasts to get you started.

1. Middle East Focus

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Middle East Focus is a weekly podcast featuring discussion and analysis on U.S. foreign policy and contemporary political and social issues in the Middle East. It covers both current events and wider regional themes. You can find it on Apple Podcasts and TuneIn.

2. Caliphate

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With the war on terror, you may be asking yourself, “who is it that we’re really fighting?” “Caliphate” is a compelling podcast that follows Rukmini Callimachi, who covers terrorism for The New York Times, on her quest to understand ISIS. It is on Apple Podcasts, RadioPublic, Stitcher, and Spotify.

3. Conflicted

An ex-Al Qaeda jihadi turned MI6 spy and a former monk turned filmmaker has been embedded at the heart of conflicts in the Middle East. Together in Conflicted, Aimen Dean and Thomas Small unpack the realities of war, fundamentalism, and their global implications through the first-hand experience. It’s on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

4. Off the Hookah

We get it – the Middle East can be a complicated place, and sometimes it’s difficult to wrap your head around all the regional conflicts and political drama. That’s where Off the Hookah comes in. They break down the major headlines, talk with experts and journalists, and give you a clearer picture of what’s happening in the region. Off the Hookah offers an up to date and sometimes amusing look at the headlines in the region. You can find it on Apple Podcasts.

5. The Islamic History Podcast

We often overlook Islamic history as a learning tool. The history of Islam is not only important for Muslims but important for everyone in the world. Islam and the people who call themselves Muslims have made an enormous impact on our world. The Islamic History Podcast is about discovering that history in a fun and interesting way. It is on Apple Podcasts.

6. feMENA

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feMENA is a fortnightly feminist podcast about women’s rights in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). It includes discussions on female entrepreneurship, political participation, and child marriage. It is hosted by journalist Venetia Rainey. It’s on Sticher

7. Kerning Cultures

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Kerning Cultures seeks to dissect the traditional media narratives of the Middle East, telling stories that reflect the depth and richness of the region. You can find it on Sticher.

8. KPFA – Voices of the Middle East and Africa

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The richly diverse and fascinating world of culture and politics of the Middle East and North Africa, KPFA, explores the complex web of class, gender, ethnic, religious and regional differences which separate and distinguish the ways of life and political and ideological perspectives of people in that part of the world. You can open it in iTunes or download it to listen to later.

9. Dirhams and Dollars

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Dirhams and Dollars is a weekly business podcast from Gulf News, featuring news, analysis, and deeper discussions on the stories shaping the Middle East and the world. Produced by the Gulf News Business team, Dirhams and Dollars gives a weekly insight into business in the Middle East, focusing on how current events in the region and worldwide are shaping the economy and business environment in the Gulf and beyond. You can listen to it on Apple Podcasts.

10. POMEPS Podcast

Marc Lynch, an academic at George Washington University in the US, produces the Project on Middle East Political Science (POMEPS) podcast, interviewing a different academic every week to discuss their work. It explores a variety of topics from jihadist poetry to blogging in Egypt. You can find the podcast on their website

Have another podcast you love? Let us know in the comments!

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