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Cascades of breaking news stories flood front pages and social media feeds, cataclysmic events happen every day, entire industries have been formed around dissecting and understanding the news. With The Gateway, we'll go in-depth on developments submerged under the ocean of breaking news developments and explore issues poorly or under-reported on. From our offices in Amman, Jordan, we at Al Bawaba are breaking through the news.
 
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show series
 
In this episode, we hear from Chris Armstrong, Professor of Political Theory at the University of Southampton and author of A Blue New Deal: Why We Need a New Politics for the Ocean.Chris reveals how existing governing institutions are failing to respond to the most pressing problems of our time, arguing that we must do better. He examines these cr…
 
In this episode, we hear from Chrstoph N. Vogel, the author of Conflict Minerals, Inc.: War, Profit and White Saviourism in Eastern Congo. Known as ‘digital minerals’ for their use in high-end technology, their exploitation and trade has been singled out in numerous media and United Nations reports as a key driver of violence, provoking an unpreced…
 
In this episode, we are joined by Pete Pattisson, a freelance journalist who writes for the Guardian. Pete has covered the exploitation of workers around the world, including in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Malaysia. Over the last several years, he has covered the exploitation of workers in Qatar. In a recent article he reported that the Qa…
 
This week we hear from Julian Stallabrass, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Courtauld Institute of Art, University of London. Julian has written a new book, Killing for Show: Photography, War, and the Media in Vietnam and Iraq, published by Rowman & Littlefield Publishers in 2020. We discuss the role of photography in war reporting, …
 
This week we hear from Çağatay Edgücan Şahin and Mehmet Erman Erol. They are the editors of The Condition of the Working Class in Turkey: Labour under Neoliberal Authoritarianism, published by Pluto Press in 2021. They discuss the current state of the Turkish economy, which is seeing colossal inflation, neoliberalism's effects, and pay and conditio…
 
This week we hear from Shyamika Jayasundara-Smits, the author of An Uneasy Hegemony: Politics of State-Building and Struggles for Justice in Sri Lanka, forthcoming from Cambridge University Press. Shyamika discusses the recent protests in Sri Lanka, how social divisions served the country’s elite, and what Sri Lanka can teach other movements worldw…
 
This week we hear from Louis Yako, an independent anthropologist and writer. Louis is the author of a new book, Bullets in Envelopes: Iraqi Academics in Exile, published by Pluto Press in 2021. Louis discusses education in Iraq before the Gulf war, the effects of the U.S.-led sanctions, and the neoliberalization of the education system following th…
 
This week we’re joined by Christine Leuenberger and Izhak Schnell, the authors of The Politics of Maps: Cartographic Constructions of Israel/Palestine, published by Oxford University Press in 2020. They discuss the birth of mapping and the nation-state, early maps of the State of Israel, and how maps are used to form public perceptions of nationhoo…
 
This week we are joined by Ahmed Al-Rawi who has written a book called Cyberwars in the Middle East, published by Rutgers University Press in 2021.The book looks at how different actors in the Middle East, from states to activists, use hacking as a form of political disruption. Ahmed is an Assistant Professor of News, Social Media, and Public Commu…
 
This week Yafa Shanneik discusses her book The Art of Resistance in Islam: The Performance of Politics Among Shi'i Women in the Middle East and Beyond, published by Cambridge University Press in January.In the book, Yafa, a Visiting Professor at Lund University, uses first-hand ethnographic insights to ask how Shi'i religious women in the Middle Ea…
 
This week we hear from Tariq Ali, a leading figure on the left, a prolific author, an activist, and a member of the editorial board of the New Left Review. Tariq discusses his new book, Winston Churchill: His Times, His Crimes, published by Verso in May 2022. In the book, Tariq tackles the cult of Churchill that has had a pervasive impact on imperi…
 
This week we hear from Dipesh Chakrabarty, the Lawrence A. Kimpton Distinguished Service Professor in History at the University of Chicago. Dipesh is one of the most important historians of the past few decades. In the last few years, he has turned his attention to the Anthropocene: the idea that human actions have caused such a disruption to plane…
 
In this episode, we hear from Sally Hayden, the author of My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route, published by Penguin in March 2022. The book portrays the horrors of Libyan detention centers and the complicity of European powers who knowingly send people to places where they will face horrendous abuse. …
 
This week we hear from Caroline Elkins, a Pulitzer-prize-winning historian, and Professor of History and African and African American Studies at Harvard University. Caroline is the author of a new book, Legacy of Violence: A History of the British Empire, published by Penguin in March 2022.The book demonstrates how and why violence was the most sal…
 
This week we hear from Asef Bayat, Professor of Sociology, and the Catherine and Bruce Bastian Professor of Global and Transnational Studies at the Department of Sociology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. He’s a renowned scholar whose work on the contemporary Middle East has had an enormous impact on how revolutions and social movements a…
 
In this episode, we hear from Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, a writer, poet, and educator. She’s well known for her spoken word poetry which often focuses on the experience of being a Muslim in contemporary Britain.Suhaiymah is the author of a poetry collection, Postcolonial Banter, and a new book, Tangled in Terror: Uprooting Islamophobia, which was publ…
 
In this episode, we focus on a very slippery material: palm oil. It can be found in a huge amount of food, health products, medicine, clothing, and technology. Despite its ubiquity, the history and centrality of palm oil in globalized capitalism have tended to be overlooked. In this episode, we speak to Max Haiven, Canada Research Chair in Culture,…
 
In this episode, we discuss the history of Russian and Ukrainian relations, and how that history has been abused by Vladimir Putin to justify the invasion of Ukraine. We also discuss how the modern Ukrainian state has been constructed through its literature, notably literature that celebrates a diversity of languages and cultures. Shortly after the…
 
In this episode, we hear from Leïla Vignal, professor of geography at the École normale supérieure (ENS) in Paris, and author of War-Torn: The Unmaking of Syria, 2011 - 2021, published by Hurst in 2021. In the book, Leïla focuses on the destruction of cities, social ties, and the economy in Syria during the decade when Syria’s President Bashar al-A…
 
In this episode, we hear from Diana Darke, author and broadcaster on culture in the Middle East. She has written a number of books on Syria and you can find her articles in the Guardian, the Financial Times, and many other places. We discuss her most recent book, Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture Shaped Europe, published by Hurst…
 
This week, we hear from Liam Campling and Alejandro Colás, authors of Capitalism and the Sea: The Maritime Factor in the Making of the Modern World, published by Verso in 2021. The book explores the geopolitics, ecology, and political economy of the world’s seas and oceans. They argue that the various ways in which the oceans have been used by capi…
 
In this episode, we speak to Peter Mitchell who has just written a fascinating new book, Imperial Nostalgia: How the British Conquered Themselves, published by Manchester University Press. Peter argues that the British are haunted by their imperial past, unable to imagine themselves or their place in the world without it. This nostalgia shapes main…
 
In this episode, we hear from Karen J. Greenberg, Director of the Centre on National Security at Fordham University. Greenberg is the author of a new book, Subtle Tools: The Dismantling of American Democracy from the War on Terror to Donald Trump, published by Princeton University Press. The book argues that policies and practices implemented after…
 
We’ve looked back at our year in podcasting and picked out some favourite moments for a highlight episode.This episode swerves between climate catastrophe and labour rights in the Gulf, the war in Yemen and the Palestine-Israel conflict, and history and literature.Featuring Shireen al-Adeimi, Timothy Brennan, Andrew Cockburn, Hamid Dabashi, A. Scot…
 
In this episode, we speak to Timothy Brennan, Professor of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies, and English at the University of Minnesota.Timothy is the author of a new very highly acclaimed biography of the late writer and public figure Edward Said. Said was born in Jerusalem in 1935 but spent the majority of his formative years in Cairo, be…
 
In this episode, we speak to Priya Satia, Raymond A. Spruance Professor of International History and Professor of History at Stanford University, and author of ‘Time’s Monster: History, Conscience, and Britain’s Empire’. Professor Satia argues that history not only shapes the way the past is interpreted, but also shapes the future. Focusing on Brit…
 
In this episode, we hear from Ibrahim Ba, French former professional footballer who played as a right midfielder. Starting off his career with Le Havre in France in the early 1990s, he went on to represent clubs in Italy, England, Turkey, and Sweden before retiring at A.C. Milan in 2008.Ba talks to Sports Writer Husam Binni about his life as a foot…
 
In this episode of The Gateway, we speak to Andrew Cockburn, Washington editor of Harper’s and long-time follower of American foreign policy and American wars. Andrew is the author of a new book, The Spoils of War: Power, Profit, and the American War Machine. In the book, he argues that the American war machine can only be understood in terms of th…
 
In this episode, we hear from Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian Professor of Iranian Studies and Comparative Literature at Columbia, and the author of a new book Reversing the Colonial Gaze: Persian Travelers Abroad, published by Cambridge University Press in 2020. Hamid follows the journeys of travelers from Iran and India as they go to Asia, Africa,…
 
In this episode of The Gateway, we speak to Matthew Fuller, Professor of Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths, University of London, and Eyal Weizman, Professor of Spatial and Visual Cultures, also at Goldsmiths. Eyal founded the research agency Forensic Architecture in 2010. Their investigations focus on a range of vital topics, including political viol…
 
In this episode of The Gateway, I speak to Samuel Moyn, Henry R. Luce Professor of Jurisprudence at Yale Law School and Professor of History at Yale University, and the author of a new book, Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War. Samuel argues that a new focus on waging wars with greater technological and tactical complex…
 
It’s been a year since Donald Trump sat on the South Lawn of the White House with Benjamin Netanyahu and the foreign ministers of the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. They all gathered in the September sun to sign what’s been dubbed the ‘Abraham Accords’, an agreement between Israel, the UAE, and Bahrain to normalize relations, establish embassies…
 
This week’s episode of The Gateway focuses on Palestinian stonework. An intrinsic part of Palestine’s economy and history, stone workers have helped to build every state in the Middle East, except their own. Our first guest is Andrew Ross, Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis at New York University and author of Stone Men: The Palestinians Who…
 
In this episode of The Gateway, we discuss the science behind the forest fires that have been plaguing the Middle East, North Africa, and other regions around the world this summer. Imma Olivera, Lecturer in Ecosystems Science and Deputy Programme Leader on Ecosystems at the University of Oxford, talks us through the conditions necessary for forest…
 
On 19 July, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that Abdul Latif Nasir had been released from Guantanamo Bay back to his family in Morocco. Mr. Nasir was a detainee at Guantanamo for 19 years, during which time he was known as prisoner 244. He was never charged. In 2016, during Barack Obama’s push to close Guantanamo, Abdul Latif Nasir was cle…
 
This is a special episode of The Gateway podcast, I’m your host Ty Joplin. We’re going to skip the typical introduction format here to just get to our guest, Dr. Khamis El-Essi.Dr. El-Essi is one of Gaza’s top doctors at Al-Shifa Hospital, who lives with his family under the constant threat of bombardment by Israeli drones, jets, and artillery. At …
 
Packed into rubber dinghies and old fishing boats, refugees from all over North Africa and the Middle East try to reach the safety of Europe every day. Because many of them have been tortured by smugglers or police, they carry open wounds which can get infected by the noxious combination of fluids in the boat. Leaking gas from engines mixes with sa…
 
If there’s one well-known thing about the war in Yemen, it’s that it’s a humanitarian catastrophe. Its people are blockaded from the world and are suffering from famine, cholera, COVID-19, malnutrition, and a war that seems like it has no end. But so far little is said about the reasons the war has gone on so long, or about what motivated it to beg…
 
The cities of the Gulf region in the Middle East are often depicted as cutting-edge metropolises. Dubai in the UAE is home to the tallest building in the world, and it also has an indoor ski resort despite being in the desert. Abu Dhabi has its very own Louvre art museum. Doha in Qatar’s impressive skyline looks a mirage of steel sculptures reachin…
 
Israelis are beginning to enter post-COVID life thanks to their widespread vaccination, while Palestinians in the West Bank are facing renewed lockdown measures with no meaningful mass vaccination effort underway.To get an overview of the current situation in Palestine and how its deprivation is representative of the global power divide, I’ll be sp…
 
The formal diplomatic ties between Israel and Arab governments around the region are deepening. And even though Israeli-Arab diplomacy has existed through back channels for decades, the recent formalization of these connections has enabled a slew of political shifts to occur.Rabbi Marc Schneier has on the forefront of these moves, advising some of …
 
The year 2021 looks to be a big one for the status of Palestine and of Palestinians.We have the end of Trump and his Middle East envoys that cut Palestinians out of talks, and a new Biden foreign policy doctrine that so far seems more malleable to Palestinian concerns, if only on paper. To help get a grip of how all these changes will affect Palest…
 
To be called a terrorist by one group is to be signaled as a kind of ultimate Other, a dark and essentially unknowable force that can only be crushed into oblivion. Deployments of the term has justified extralegal killings, torture, collective punishment, besiegements, and decimation of entire populations around the world while curtailing civil lib…
 
In May 2018, Al Bawaba launched The Gateway podcast to tell those ignored stories, demystify trends, and reveal the way power works in media. We’ve highlighted the virtually unknown immigration of Ethiopians to Yemen, talked at-length about how mercenaries and private arms manufacturers are changing warfare, and spoken about the growing power of su…
 
Barring the success of a fantastically ill-conceived attempt by Trump to stay in the White House, Joe Biden will be the 46th President of the United States. And with that position comes nearly unfettered power to shape American foreign policy. And with a lot happening in the Middle East, it’s important to get a general grasp of where Biden’s govern…
 
One of the biggest unfolding events in our time is climate change. With such an overwhelming global scale and with such existential stakes, climate change and the broader health of our world is perhaps the most important issue of the 21st century while also being one of the hardest to personally respond to. If you want, you can spend your entire wa…
 
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