The Arabist

The Arabist Podcast

1: Max Rodenbeck on Iran

As part of a plan to return to more prolific blogging and revamp the site over the next few months, we are starting a series of regular podcasts about the Middle East. The aim will be to carry out interviews with informed commentators on various regional issues, and hopefully eventually carry out some interesting discussions about the issues we regularly cover on this blog.

This is partly due to the fact that I recently left a job which severely constrained my ability to blog, and made me remove my name from the blog. Long-time readers perfectly know who I am, but if you're newer to this site my name is Issandr El Amrani. I've lived in Cairo for nine years, am Moroccan-American, and my professional background is mostly in journalism and political analysis. This is my first attempt at podcasting, so be patient as we iron out the kinks (and I try to improve my radio voice).

The first podcast in this series is basically a long interview with my friend Max Rodenbeck, the Middle East correspondent for The Economist and a frequent contributor to the New York Review of Books on regional issues. Max, whose book Cairo: The City Victorious is one of the best works on our great city, has made several trips to Iran in the last year and recently returned from covering the elections and following protests. Our conversation covers the elections themselves, the politics behind the protests, Max's impressions of the popular mood in Iran, and more.

Some recent pieces on Iran Max wrote:

Demanding to be counted (The Economist, 18 June 2009)
Is the dream already over? (The Economist, 25 June 2009)
Why the turbans are at odds (The Economist, 25 June 2009)
The Iran Mystery Case (NYRB, 15 January 2009)
An American in Iran (NYRB, 17 January 2008)