43 episodes

The Middle East North Africa region is complex - hardly breaking news. There are complex religious, political and socio-economic realities with global players pushing into the ring from every corner - intervening and retreating like a boxer stalking the target of his vested interest. Our 'Middle East Analysis' podcasts feature the analysis of Dr Harry Hagopian, an international lawyer and commentator on the Middle East North Africa region and the Gulf States.

Middle East Analysis Middle East North Africa: An Analysis

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    • 5.0 • 5 Ratings

The Middle East North Africa region is complex - hardly breaking news. There are complex religious, political and socio-economic realities with global players pushing into the ring from every corner - intervening and retreating like a boxer stalking the target of his vested interest. Our 'Middle East Analysis' podcasts feature the analysis of Dr Harry Hagopian, an international lawyer and commentator on the Middle East North Africa region and the Gulf States.

    UN-workable demands for the MENA and Gulf regions?

    UN-workable demands for the MENA and Gulf regions?

    Dr Harry Hagopian, the voice of 'Middle East Analysis', came up with the novel idea of looking behind the interventions made by the Heads of State and political leaders from the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf regions at the recent 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

    Treat this as a fly-on-the-wall side event, a briefing, that steps away from the carefully crafted podium speeches - somewhat predictable in terms of content and agenda - to get to the nub of neighbourly agitation or cooperation.

    Iran, Qatar, Lebanon and, to a lesser degree, Israel/Palestine, Iraq and Jordan get the unique Hagopian treatment on this 'Middle East Analysis'.

    • 52 min
    Human Rights or Wrongs?

    Human Rights or Wrongs?

    August's 'Middle East Analysis' podcast sees Dr Harry Hagopian rewind 34 years to look at the publication of Salman Rushdie's controversial fourth novel 'The Satanic Verses', the author's use of magical realism and the religious edict that left a bounty on his head the repercussions of which may have been felt three decades later.

    We then discuss the closure of seven Palestinian NGOs after Israeli raids in the West Bank. But what do these human rights organisations stand accused of and when Israel is criticised for acting with impunity, what does that actually mean?

    Dr Hagopian concludes with a few thoughts on November's World Cup football extravaganza in Qatar - the first Arab country to host the tournament - and a congratulatory word or two aimed in the direction of the Royal Hashemite Court as Jordan celebrates its Crown Prince's engagement.

    Image of Sir Salman Rushdie: © Chris Kockelmann (CC BY-SA 4.0)

    • 48 min
    Fist Bumps and Formalities - President Biden in the Middle East

    Fist Bumps and Formalities - President Biden in the Middle East

    It's more of a hot rather than warm welcome to this 'Middle East Analysis' podcast. We've 'enjoyed' record temperatures of over 40°C in recent times here in the UK - far more in keeping with the Middle East, Gulf States and North Africa.

    Here to cool us down with his usual stylish, sharp analysis is the voice of MEA, Dr Harry Hagopian. The topic? Well it can only be the four-day visit of US President Joe Biden to Jerusalem, Bethlehem and Jeddah.

    A trip pilloried in certain quarters as high on photo ops, low on substance, was it a charm offensive to bolster US relations with Israel? Motivated, with an eye on Saudi Arabia, by the energy crisis and energy security? Or, as President Biden stressed to Arab leaders, to affirm that the US will not walk away from the region leaving a void to be filled by China, Russia or Iran?

    Dr Harry Hagopian takes a deeper look and gives us his opinion on whether there were any takeaways other than a rather uncomforable fist bump with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Jeddah.

    • 46 min
    Holy Land, Unholy Problems

    Holy Land, Unholy Problems

    A sharp, thirty-minute podcast for June's 'Middle East Analysis' that takes a slightly different format. Having returned from a six-day visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank, host James Abbott discusses Holy Land realities with regular studio guest Dr Harry Hagopian.

    To use an English translation of a French phrase that Harry has used more than once, it's a serious case of "the more it changes, the more it stays the same”.

    Relating regional experiences - limited on the part of the host, extensive on the part of the guest - we focus on the people behind the politics of Israel/Palestine.

    • 28 min
    Only justice can open the door to peace

    Only justice can open the door to peace

    Middle East Analysis takes a sombre tone this month as, just before recording, we learned of the killing of long-term Al Jazeera Arabic journalist Shireen Abu Akleh in Jenin in the West Bank. We're left asking, as often we do, where is the justice that will open the door to peace in the Israel-Palestine conflict? Dr Harry Hagopian looks at the disturbing upturn in violence as the world, seemingly, looks the other way.

    Our next stop is Lebanon and a look at the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections slated for Sunday, 15 May. Will the process be 'fair' and democratic? Will it lead to change?

    Harry then picks up on a rare visit to Tehran by Syrian president Bashar al-Assad and looks at Syria's rehabilitation and potential readmission into the wider Arab fold. He then answers an interesting question: Was Russia's intervention in Syria a dress rehearsal for its conflict with Ukraine?

    Our final topic looks at frosty relations between the US and some of the Gulf Cooperation Council countries - specifically Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

    We conclude with four cap-doffing after thoughts.

    • 42 min
    Violence, Instability, Uncertainty - What's New?

    Violence, Instability, Uncertainty - What's New?

    Just over two years ago we started recording our 'Middle East Analysis' podcasts remotely. The pandemic rendered face-to-face interaction impossible. Now, joyously, we have returned to the studio for this month's offering. Dr Harry Hagopian, in the flesh, turns his legal and political mind to the Middle East, North Africa and Gulf States.

    April has been a month of regional summit meetings - most involving Israel and its diplomatic relations with Arab neighbours. Negotiations have covered food and energy security, not to mention Iran's nuclear programme. It's questionable whether these meetings are little more than photo opportunities - uncomfortable ones at that.

    A question that is being asked once again is:

    Where does this leave the place and status of Palestine - both regionally and globally?

    Has it been further demoted down the world's justice and peace list? A list that has Ukraine at the front of the queue marked "problems to be solved".

    There was once a time, not so long ago, when the Arab world united in its desire to see a fair resolution to the Israel/Palestine conflict. But priorites are changing.

    Dr Hagopian gives us his take on the shifting MENA and Gulf sands.

    • 49 min

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