Back in 2009, I recorded a couple of long interviews with some friends who are old Middle East hands, and thus began an attempt to get a podcast going for this website. I wasn't satisfied with the format, though, or the sound quality. A couple of years and a revolution later, I have a better mike and (after listening to a lot of podcasts) a better idea of what a good podcast sounds like. And, most importantly, co-hosts.
Ursula Lindsey, Ashraf Khalil and I will be doing a weekly podcast about (hopefully) the kind of stuff that you'd like to hear about: some well-informed people for whom Middle Eastern politics and culture is not just a job (we're all journalists) but a passion. You all know Ursula from her contributions the blog, so let me introduce Ashraf: he's a long-time friend (we worked together on the late, lamented Cairo Times) with experience covering the region for all sorts of prestigious publications, from the LA Times to the Wall Street Journal. We hope to get a bio page up for him soon. The idea of the podcast is that it's a casual discussion of the week's news between us three (with occasional guests). Like this blog, a lot of it might be on Egypt because we live here, but we will try to follow the region more generally.
This podcast will be a work in progress till we hit our stride. We're hoping to get feed back from you at podcast[at]arabist.net on the topics you discuss, feature requests and more.
So give it a listen — this week we talk about Mohamed ElBaradei and Amr Khaled, ask whether reforming Egyptian media is possible, discuss the Israeli spy scandal and Saudi women's campaign for the right to drive, and preview a great book called "Messages from Tahrir." See the links below for references to the topics we discuss and more.
[20MB - or download to low-bandwith .ogg version, 10MB]
You'll also be able to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes soon (the latest episode will be there shortly).
Links for this week's episode:
- On Ilan Grapel, the alleged Israeli spy: Egypt spy allegations a throwback to another time
- Issandr's blog post on the case: Column: the plot against Egypt
- Facebook group making fun of the case: الجاسوس الاسرائيلي الغبي (70)
- From the Daily News: Political powers welcome ElBaradei's rights charter, call for debate
- Political leaders split on ElBaradei's rights bill | Al-Masry Al-Youm
- ElBaradei's proposed text: نص وثيقة البرادعى لحقوق الإنسان:17 مادة تستهدف أن تكون جزءا أساسيا من الدستور | الدستور
- Issandr's article on ElBaradei from February 2012: The unpolitician
- Video of Saudi woman driving illegally: YouTube - أول سائقة في الرياض يوم ١٧ يونيو ٢٠١١
- Twitpic of ticket issued to woman driver: image.jpg 320×320 pixels
- Women driven to confusion in Saudi Arabia | Eman Al Nafjan | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk
- Get the Messages from Tahrir book from Amazon — proceeds go to charity.