Revolution for Dummies: The Egyptian heart surgeon exiled for making jokes

Bassem Youssef, a heart surgeon living with his wife and baby daughter in Cairo, was one of millions of Egyptians whose lives were changed forever by the Arab Spring. His story, however, is unique. Nicknamed ‘the Jon Stewart of Egypt’, Bassem shot to fame for uploading political satire videos to YouTube from his laundry room, … Continue reading Revolution for Dummies: The Egyptian heart surgeon exiled for making jokes

Caliphate: The addictive ISIS podcast that’s causing controversy

As avid podcast listeners will know, the New York Times recently wrapped up its binge-worthy 10-part podcast series, Caliphate, which delves into the inner workings of the billion dollar operation that is/was the Islamic State. With thousands of 5-star reviews on iTunes, this dramatic podcast has hooked people by sharing unique, first-hand insights into what … Continue reading Caliphate: The addictive ISIS podcast that’s causing controversy

Essential podcasts to help you understand the Middle East

Trying to understand the Middle East is complicated at best and impossible at worst. News stories give conflicting views of developments on the ground and much of the mainstream media coverage is steeped in stereotypes and lacking in nuance. The following list of podcasts are essential listening if you're interested in the region - they deconstruct Middle Eastern history, politics, culture and the economy to give you a clearer picture of what’s going on in this fascinating and often misunderstood part of the world.