New Lines Podcasts
Latest from New Lines Podcasts
War on a Warming Planet — with Mike Martin
“I think many people are going to get quite desperate over the next 30 years.” Author and former army officer Mike Martin joins New Lines magazine’s Lydia Wilson to talk about what the wars of the future might look like when climate change threatens the future of the planet itself.
Sudan’s Democracy Deferred — with Nisrin Elamin and Khalid Medani
“This war is essentially about them trying to preserve their vast illicit wealth.” Nisrin Elamin and Khalid Mustafa Medani join New Lines magazine’s Kwangu Liwewe and Danny Postel for a deep dive into the origins of Sudan’s nascent civil war.
Rock, Rai and Royalty — with Tarik O’Regan
“You want to write a piece that then lives on.” Tarik O’Regan joins New Lines magazine’s Lydia Wilson to talk about composing for Charles III’s coronation, the influence of rai and rock on his work and the close connection between music and memory.
Beirut’s Scarred Heritage — with Nadine Panayot
“As long as justice hasn't been done, I think these scars should be here and remain here to remind us of this horrific tragedy.”After the 2020 Beirut blast, a massive volunteer effort took place to save the city’s ancient heritage. Three years later, New Lines magazine's Lydia Wilson goes back to see the results of that task firsthand and to talk to museum curator Nadine Panayot about what it means for Lebanon’s uncertain future.
Telling Stories of a Distant Homeland — with Heather Raffo
“They're uniquely positioned to tell complex stories of both sides.” Iraq-American actress, playwright and filmmaker Heather Raffo joins New Lines magazine’s Rasha Al Aqeedi to discuss her film Nine Parts, and how diaspora artists have shaped American attitudes to the Middle East over the past twenty years.
Sudan’s House Divided — with Dallia Abdelmoniem and Sharath Srinivasan
“We all knew it was going to happen.” Dallia Abdelmoniem and Sharath Srinivasan join New Lines magazine’s Kwangu Liwewe to talk about how a rivalry between two generals brought Sudan to the brink of civil war.
Russia’s Ultranationalist Youth Army — with Ian Garner
“It is re-creating children from the ground up. It is preparing them for war.” Ian Garner joins New Lines Magazine’s Amie Ferris-Rotman to talk about how the Russian state built the “Z generation” of ultranationalist youth.
Borders, Romance and Freedom — with Anna Lekas Miller
“We were very much living in limbo; we did not know where we were going to go.” Journalist and author Anna Lekas Miller joins New Lines magazine’s Joshua Martin to talk about what it means to live and love in a world divided by borders.
Heidegger and the Far Right — with Richard Wolin
Martin Heidegger was one of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers. He was also a Nazi. Intellectual historian Richard Wolin joins New Lines magazine’s Danny Postel to break down his influence on the post-war New Right, whose ideas are inspiring far-right populists from Russia to Tunisia.
Silence and Memory in Eastern Europe — with Linda Kinstler
Discovering that her paternal grandfather had been a member of an SS-led death squad in Nazi-occupied Latvia led writer Linda Kinstler on a personal journey into the tangled and painful politics of remembrance in Eastern Europe. She joins New Lines’ Amie Ferris-Rotman to talk about justice and memory in a part of the world where the crimes of World War II are still very much present — even as, increasingly, those who witnessed them are not.
How America Fell Out of Love With War — with Samuel Moyn and Faisal Al Yafai
“American presidents, to gain power, have to run against war,” Samuel Moyn tells New Lines magazine’s Faisal Al Yafai. Between Joe Biden’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and the rise of the isolationist “America First” Republicans, public support for military intervention abroad might be on the brink of collapse. But is America ready to end its love affair with the use of force?
Life and Loss in Occupied Iraq — with Noor Ghazi
Twenty years after the war began, Noor Ghazi and New Lines magazine’s Rasha Al Aqeedi reflect on their experiences of life in Iraq during the American invasion and what they lost in its aftermath.
Hyperconnectivity’s Unsettling Changes — with Rogers Brubaker
"I call hyperconnectivity a total social fact, meaning that it leaves no domain of life untouched,” says Rogers Brubaker, a sociologist and author of “Hyperconnectivity and Its Discontents.” He discusses digital life’s transformations of the self, social interactions, culture, economics and politics on the Wider Angle podcast.
How Cyberpunk Lost its Edge — with JD Harlock and Joey Ayoub
For decades, cyberpunk shaped our vision of the future. But more recently, writers and artists have begun to look beyond this dystopian lens and reimagine a radically optimistic future. Joey Ayoub and J.D. Harlock join New Lines magazine’s Lydia Wilson on a journey into the utopian world of solarpunk.
‘Spin Dictators’ — with Daniel Treisman
While traditional autocrats and their “fear dictatorship” model, prevalent in the 20th century, have not disappeared, some scholars argue that a new type of tyrant arose toward the end of the last millennium. Daniel Treisman joined Riada Asimovic Akyol to talk about the new kind of “spin dictators.”
The Age of Conspiracy Theories — with Gabriel Gatehouse
“The fire is now raging, and it is going to keep on burning until something quite fundamental changes.” Gabriel Gatehouse joins New Lines magazine’s Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how online conspiracy theories like QAnon are tearing society apart.
A Pilot’s Explorations of the World’s Cities — with Mark Vanhoenacker
In this conversation, Mark Vanhoenacker, a commercial airline pilot, writer and author, talks about his unique experiences in different cities, the nuances of traveling as an ordinary traveler or as a job and the effect his career has had on his perception of home.
Turkey After a Cataclysmic Earthquake — with Soli Ozel
Grim news continues pouring in after the cataclysmic earthquakes in Turkey and Syria. Turkish academic Soli Ozel joined Riada Asimovic Akyol in a conversation about grief, accumulated traumas, and multitude of future challenges in a republic marking its centennial in 2023.
Ukraine’s Long War — with Olesya Khromeychuk
“It was just a matter of time.” Olesya Khromeychuk joins New Lines magazine’s Amie Ferris-Rotman to look back at the year since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and the long, painful history that led to it.
Reflections on Contemporary Hong Kong — with Karen Cheung
Karen Cheung, a writer and journalist from Hong Kong, is the author of “The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir.” She joined Riada Asimovic Akyol in a conversation about politics, culture and belonging in contemporary Hong Kong.
The Many Worlds of Indian Cinema — with Anupama Chopra
Journalist and film critic Anupama Chopra joins New Lines magazine’s Surbhi Gupta for a wide-ranging conversation about the trends, the stars and the politics of India’s many film industries.
‘Hysterical’ Women — with Elissa Bassist
Elissa Bassist is an American essayist, author of the memoir “Hysterical,” in which she blends personal and scholarly research in a powerful social commentary on a culture that dismissively labels women as such. She joined Riada Asimovic Akyol on the Wider Angle podcast to unpack the label of "hysterical" women.
The Fight for the Right — with David French
Ten years ago, David French was a committed Republican. But when Donald Trump won the 2016 election, a new faction of the conservative movement rose to power within the party — one with a very different set of values from French’s own. He joins New Lines magazine’s Faisal Al Yafai to unpack the differences between the two competing factions and talk about how such intra-party divisions have reshaped the entire national landscape.
Africa’s Complexities Beyond Stereotypes — with Dipo Faloyin
“They treat Africans and African countries as if they are sort of these strange species, unnoble people, unnoble communities that exist in a way that is so different and so far away from, you know … the rest of the world. And that obviously isn’t true.”
Behind the Hamline University Incident — with Erika López Prater and Christiane Gruber
Erika López Prater, a former adjunct professor at Hamline University, showed students medieval depictions of the Prophet Muhammad for an art history class. Her contract was not renewed and the incident became the center of a nationwide controversy. Alongside Islamic art historian Christiane Gruber, she joins New Lines magazine’s Rasha Elass to discuss the rich variety of artistic traditions within Islam and unpack the complicated web of factors behind the current controversy.
The Threat of Proud Boys — with Andy Campbell
Far-right groups like the Proud Boys have already caused irreparable damage in normalizing violence in U.S. politics. Andy Campbell joined Riada Asimovic Akyol on Wider Angle podcast to talk about the threats of the "extremist playbook" they created.
A Tunisia Without Ennahda? — with Monica Marks
As Tunisia's economy falters, its autocratic president, Kais Saied, is struggling to hold onto the powers he seized in 2021. Yet suspicion of the Islamist Ennahda party — the country’s largest and best organized political force — still divides the opposition, Monica Marks tells New Lines magazine's Erin Clare Brown. Can Tunisians restore their hard-won democracy without them?
Hair, Skin and Black Women Political Elites — with Nadia E. Brown
How do phenotypic factors like hair texture and skin tone affect Black women politicians in the U.S.? How do voters (re)act? Nadia E. Brown studies the politics of Black women’s appearance, and she joined Riada Asimovic Akyol in the Wider Angle podcast to discuss the subject
The Nomad State — with Marie Favereau
“History is not a simple lesson. You cannot just take the 13th century and say, ‘Okay, we should do that now.’ It was a different world, but it's important to know that it was not always like this. And I think the nomadic experience in life and culture and politics and all gives us so many different views of how we can organize ourselves as human societies.”
The Manufacture and Weaponization of Shame — with Cathy O’Neil
American data scientist and author Cathy O’Neil joined Riada Asimovic Akyol on the “Wider Angle” podcast to talk about shame. Listen to the conversation to hear the wider angle of becoming aware of “giant shame machines” and “powerful shame industries” in the U.S. as well as the way they profit from exploiting human vulnerabilities.
How 2022 Changed the World (and What to Expect From 2023)
The war in Ukraine begins. The war in Ethiopia lingers. Queen Elizabeth II dies. Authoritarian strongmen rise and fall, and the ghosts of the past haunt the present. In this special episode, The Lede looks back at some of the key events of 2022 and how we tried to make sense of it all as the world looks ahead to 2023.
The Deep Roots of Levantine Communities in the Midwest — with Edward E. Curtis IV
Edward E. Curtis IV joined Riada Asimovic Akyol to talk about his book “Muslims of the Heartland: How Syrian Immigrants Made a Home in the American Midwest.” Hear one immigrant community’s story and its effect on the Midwest as a message of a long-standing diversity in that region.
“What Reality TV Says About Us” — with Danielle J. Lindemann
Sociologist Danielle J. Lindemann joined Riada Asimovic Akyol and explained how “nearly every aspect of life is touched on in reality TV in this kind of magnified form.” So, it can teach us about different inequalities that exist in our culture or social norms about gender, race, class and sexuality.
How Christmas Conquered the World
"Growing up, we had an ugly Christmas sweater day at school, and every year I'd force my mom — my little Muslim mom — to take me to Walmart or something and buy one. And she was like, ‘This is such a waste of money’ because I don't celebrate it and it's ugly — but I'd have to; I'd have to do it every year."
Exposing Corruption in Putin’s Russia — with Bill Browder
“There's two ways you can fight the Russians: You can fight them with tanks, which I have no expertise in, and you can fight them in the banks. And I'm one of the people who knows more about this than just about anybody.”
Emotions Across Cultures — with Batja Mesquita
In Episode 5 of New Lines’ “Wider Angle” podcast, the guest was social psychologist Batja Mesquita. One of the world’s top experts on the subject, Mesquita joined Riada Asimovic Akyol for a conversation about emotions across different cultures, urging us to reconsider roles of social conditions and relationships between people.
Zimbabwe’s Not-So-Secret Dictatorship — with Tsitsi Dangarembga
“The government manipulated the coup, getting people out into the streets to celebrate it. They were able to pretend it was not a coup. And I think that this ability to deny facts is something that works to Africa's detriment. I think it was up to the regional and continental bodies to do the right thing. Not to say that if you get people out into the streets, because the soldiers are gone, it is no longer a coup.”
Hollywood, China and Competition for Cultural Dominance— with Erich Schwartzel
Erich Schwartzel, the guest in Episode 4 of New Lines’ Wider Angle podcast, is a journalist and author of “Red Carpet: Hollywood, China, and the Global Battle for Cultural Supremacy.” He joined Riada Asimovic Akyol to discuss China’s challenge to Western liberal democracy through the country’s dissemination of its movies.
The Cold War Afterlife of Nazi Spies — with Danny Orbach
“The nature of war is hatred and fury, but it’s mitigated very quickly when a new enemy comes to the scene. The idea that we should chase all of these Nazis and punish all of them, was wrong. Because it meant that while there was still rage, while the war was still remembered, the Allies wasted their time hunting all sorts of small fry. If you really want to punish war criminals, choose the people who were the worst and focus on them. The people who operated the gas chambers, the concentration camp guards — if those people were executed, I would have been happy to pardon all other Germans.”
Young Indian Women’s Aspirations and Shah Rukh Khan’s Fandom — with Shrayana Bhattacharya
In this episode of New Lines’ Wider Angle podcast, guest Shrayana Bhattacharya, an economist and author, discusses the dynamics of gender relations in today’s India told through profiles of diverse women often divided by caste or class but united in their fandom of global movie star Shah Rukh Khan.
Truth, Lies and Democracy — with Sophia Rosenfeld
“When we have a technology that can spread lies so quickly and so far, and when we have a legal system that has basically let media companies operate with minimal regulation, there is an open door to falsehood.”
Christian Nationalism in the United States — with Andrew Whitehead
Riada Asimovic Akyol speaks with Andrew Whitehead, one of the foremost scholars of Christian nationalism in the United States. They discuss the perceptions of Christianity’s relationship to American identity and civic life as well as the findings of Whitehead’s research about “Christian nationalists” among different ideological adherents and traditions.
A Tourist’s Guide to the Middle Ages — with Amira Bennison
“There are tales of a statue in Cadiz which speaks, or cities of bronze in the desert. I don't think that people in the past were necessarily naive or necessarily taken in by these kinds of stories, but the world was much more mysterious. There were lots of places where most people had never been and would never go and really weren't quite sure whether these things existed or not.”
Deadly Migration Routes – with Sally Hayden
Award-winning journalist Sally Hayden joins Riada Asimovic Akyol to discuss findings of Hayden’s investigation about migrants inside Libyan detention centers. These refugees from different parts of Africa are seeking safety and are trying to get protection in Europe by crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
The Meaning of the Midterms — with Robert Evans
“The thing that we couldn't have known was the degree to which voters were going to react against the power grabs that the right has made. And I'm happy to say that it does look like that's one of the stories from last night.”
Deciphering the Deep State — with Josef Burton
“I think we are in this moment, though, where things are kind of breaking loose; they're becoming unmoored. There's this sort of terror that everyone's living inside their own universe, in their own reality, and their own kind of construction. There's not a lot of analytical frameworks out there that are shared or even systematic.”
How Strongmen Crush Democracies — with Ruth Ben-Ghiat
“They're ruthless. They have no moral code. They are opportunistic. They will be whatever the public needs them to be at that moment.”
Breaking News, Breaking Taboos — with Karl Sharro
“The collapse of the country has been very rewarding for me personally, in whatever comedic capacity I have.”
History’s Long Afterlife — with Priyamvada Gopal
“I tend to use the word ‘afterlife’ rather than ‘the past’, because I think that things that have happened in history have a life in the present. It’s ongoing.”
Moscow in Exile — with Julia Ioffe
“It was easy for Russians to push the war off to the edge of their minds, but now it has come home to them.” Russian-American journalist and author Julia Ioffe talks to New Lines’ Amie Ferris-Rotman about Putin’s mobilization and the future of Russia.
How Nomads Changed the World — with Anthony Sattin
“I’ve never met a nomad who wanted to have more, in terms of possessions. But I’ve met an awful lot of people who live in cities who wish they lived more lightly.” Historian and travel writer Anthony Sattin joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how nomads changed history — and why their contribution has yet to be fully recognized.
Can Africa Solve Ethiopia’s War?
Three weeks after the end of Ethiopia's fragile ceasefire, the warring factions have finally agreed to let the African Union mediate. New Lines' Kwangu Liwewe talks to analysts Chris Maroleng, Adeoye Akinola and activist Tedla Asfaw about whether it can really bring about a lasting peace after two years of brutal civil war.
Moon Knight Rises — with Hayat Aljowaily
Producer and screenwriter Hayat Aljowaily joins New Lines’ Ola Salem and Anthony Elghossain to talk about cinema, identity and the making of “Moon Knight.”
After Queen Elizabeth II
Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai speaks to Lydia Wilson, Amie Ferris-Rotman, and Kwangu Liwewe about what the passing of such a consequential figure may mean for the world.
A Deadly Showdown in Iraq — with Rasha Al Aqeedi
After fighting broke out in Baghdad, New Lines’ Rasha Al Aqeedi joins Faisal Al Yafai to talk about Iraq’s ongoing political crisis and what this latest escalation may mean for the country’s future.
The Rumor That Toppled Egypt’s King — with Chloe Bordewich
When Egypt entered the war with Israel in 1948, the government claimed that victory was assured. But when Egypt’s army instead suffered a defeat, the public demanded answers. Historian Chloe Bordewich joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to talk about how officials lost control of the narrative, how a rumor helped topple a king and the dynamics of disinformation before the digital age.
Tunisia’s New Autocrat — with Mohamed-Dhia Hammami
A month after Tunisia passed its controversial new constitution, analyst Mohamed-Dhia Hammami joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson in The Lede to talk about the alarming power it grants president Kais Saied — and what that means for Tunisia’s hard-won democracy.
One Year After the Fall of Kabul – with Fazelminallah Qazizai
One year after the fall of Kabul, this special anniversary episode of The Lede looks back on the momentous events of Aug. 15, 2021, and explores how Afghanistan has fared in their aftermath. Featuring Fazelminallah Qazizai, Nazila Jamshidi and Chris Sands, alongside hosts Rasha Elass and Faisal Al Yafai.
When Reality Is a Lie — with Lea Ypi
What if you discovered that everything you knew about the world was wrong? As a teenager in Albania, that’s exactly what happened to political philosopher Lea Ypi when the communist regime collapsed in the ‘90s. On The Lede, she joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how to see the gap between ideology and reality, where people look for certainty in uncertain times and what it actually means to be free.
Love, Lust and Literature — with Selma Dabbagh
“There seemed to be something so modern and pithy and frank about their voices.” Writer and editor Selma Dabbagh joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to talk about sex, love and intimacy in the writing of Arab women, from the pre-Islamic era to the modern day.
The Rise of the House of Osman — with Marc David Baer
For this third installment in our series on the fall of the Ottomans, historian Marc David Baer joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to look back at the 600 years of history that preceded their ultimate collapse.
License to Laugh – with Maz Jobrani
Comedian Maz Jobrani joins New Lines’ Anthony Elghossain to talk about doing funny accents, playing a terrorist on TV and why he doesn’t worry about cancel culture.
A Poet’s Take on Language, the Sea and Abortion — with Zeina Hashem Beck
Lebanese poet Zeina Hashem Beck joins New Lines’ Rasha Elass to talk about what inspires her bilingual verses and how they intertwine over themes of language, country and womanhood.
Turning Russian Oligarchs into London Aristocrats — with Oliver Bullough
Oliver Bullough, an investigative journalist covering corruption and financial crime and author of “Butler to the World: How Britain Became the Servant of Tycoons, Tax Dodgers, Kleptocrats and Criminals,” joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how British banking made London a sanctuary for Russian oligarchs, Ukrainian billionaires and other kleptocrats from across the world.
Retranslating the Poetry of Ibn Arabi – with Yasmine Seale and Robin Moger
Translators Yasmin Seale and Robin Moger join New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to discuss their unique approach to translating the poetry of the 12th-century philosopher Ibn Arabi.
Imperial Folly After the Ottomans — with James Barr
Historian James Barr joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about the post-Ottoman colonization of the Middle East — and how the last century of the region’s history was set in motion with the stroke of a crayon.
Arab History Through Medieval Spanish Eyes — with Aymenn Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Al-Tamimi joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to discuss the 13th century Latin text “Historia Arabum” — one of the oldest works of Islamic history by a Western author — and why he decided to translate it into Arabic.
America’s Great Experiment — with Yascha Mounk
Political scientist Yascha Mounk joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to discuss diversity, democracy and patching up America’s polarized politics.
Catfishing a Killer — with Uğur Ümit Üngör and Annsar Shahhoud
Genocide researchers Annsar Shahhoud and Uğur Ümit Üngör tell New Lines’ Rasha Elass about their years-long undercover mission to expose the man behind the Tadamon masscre, how dark humor kept them sane and how they tricked him into into confessing — over Facebook.
Bedouin Poetry and Culture Through the Ages — with Marcel Kurpershoek
Scholar and translator Marcel Kurpershoek talks to New Lines’ Kevin Blankinship about the Nabati poetry of the Arabian peninsula and its thousand-year history from pre-Islamic oral traditions to the UAE’s smash-hit reality show “Million’s Poet.”
The Last Days of the Ottomans – with Eugene Rogan
Pre-eminent historian Eugene Rogan talks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about the Ottoman Empire’s final years, its still-controversial legacy and how its defeat in World War I created the Middle East of today.
A Life in Translation — with William Hutchins
Award-winning translator of Arabic literature, William Hutchins talks to New Lines’ Kevin Blankinship about how he began his career, why he continues to work in his retirement, and what it was like to translate the beloved Egyptian novelist Naguib Mahfouz.
An Arab Renaissance in the Age of Print — with Ahmed El Shamsy
In the first of a series of podcasts delving into the big questions of history, Ahmed El Shamsy joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to discuss how the printing press became the engine that powered the Arab Renaissance.
One Man’s Quest for Quiet — with Gordon Hempton
Acoustic ecologist Gordon Hempton speaks to New Lines’ Rasha Elass about the importance of silence to both human health and the health of the planet.
Orientalism, Salafism and Sci-Fi in the World of ‘Dune’ — with Haris Durrani
Author and historian Haris Durrani speaks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about representation and religion in the classic sci-fi…
The Politics of Storytelling — with Fatima Bhutto
Acclaimed Pakistani novelist Fatima Bhutto joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai for a wide-ranging conversation about the relationship between politics and fiction. They discuss why she decided to be a writer rather than a politician like her aunt Benazir Bhutto, why the CIA has a department for script writers and why people increasingly identify more with stories from outside the West like “Squid Game” than with “Friends.”
The Middle East in the Midst of the Ukraine War — with Suha Ma’ayeh and Amer Al Sabaileh
Journalist Suha Ma’ayeh and international relations expert Amer Al Sabaileh join New Lines’ Lydia Wilson in Amman to discuss how people and governments in the Middle East have responded to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — and what it means for a region already struggling with inflation, rising food prices and COVID-19. Faisal Al Yafai presents.
Arabic Literature in Translation — with Reem Bassiouney and M Lynx Qualey
Award-winning novelist Reem Bassiouney and ArabLit.org editor M Lynx Qualey join New Lines’ Lydia Wilson and Faisal Al Yafai for a wide-ranging conversation about the challenges of translating Arabic literature, why a translation is never finished and what it means to be a “victim” of translation.
Putin’s Military Adventures, From Syria to Ukraine — with Anand Gopal
Award-winning journalist Anand Gopal joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai to talk about how the invasion of Ukraine compares with Vladimir Putin’s war in Syria and ask why Syrians never received the same support in the face of Russian atrocities.
Writing a Revolution: Ukraine’s Maidan Uprising — with Kalani Pickhart
Kalani Pickhart, author of the novel “I Will Die in a Foreign Land,” joins New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to talk about Ukraine’s Maidan revolution and the long history of Russian aggression toward the country.
The Ukraine Invasion in an Age of ‘New Wars’ — with Mary Kaldor
As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine enters its second week, New Lines’ Lydia Wilson is joined by Mary Kaldor, a professor at LSE and the author of “New and Old Wars,” to talk about what makes the war different from other contemporary conflicts and whether she thinks Putin has miscalculated.
Six Months After the Fall of Kabul — with Fazelminallah Qazizai, Pashtana Durrani and Emran Feroz
The war in Afghanistan may be over, but a humanitarian crisis threatens to be even deadlier than the 20 years of fighting. Six months after the fall of Kabul, New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai is joined by Fazelminallah Qazizai, Pashtana Durrani and Emran Feroz to explore how the country has changed under Taliban rule.
Food Fights and Hummus Wars — with Suna Çağaptay, Riada Asimovic Akyol and Kareem Shaheen
Few topics evoke as much passion as food. New Lines' Kareem Shaheen is joined by Suna Çağaptay and Riada Asimovic Akyol to talk about how our identities are connected to what we eat, why Kareem is so passionate about authentic hummus and why recipes have become such a political battleground.
The Strange Amnesia of Lebanon’s Wars — with Joey Ayoub
In a crossover episode with the podcast “The Fire These Times,” its host, Joey Ayoub, joins New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai and Lydia Wilson to explore the hold the Lebanese civil war still has on the national psyche — and what Syria can learn from its warning.
Can Ethiopia End Its ‘Very Dirty War’? — with Zecharias Zelalem and Julia Steers
Over a year into Ethiopia’s civil war, New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai talks to three guests — freelance journalist Zecharias Zelalem, VICE News’ Julia Steers and Biniam, a Tigray civilian who lost several close friends to a notorious massacre — and asks what it will take to end the bloodshed.
Urban Futures in the Middle East — with Yasser Elsheshtawy and Mona Fawaz
Urban planning scholars Mona Fawaz and Yasser Elsheshtawy join New Lines’ Lydia Wilson to discuss how Beirutis are reclaiming public spaces, why Egypt is building a new capital from scratch and why city planners can learn more from Riyadh than from Dubai.
Reporting the Vanishing – with Janine di Giovanni and Lydia Wilson
Janine di Giovanni speaks to New Lines’ Lydia Wilson about her career reporting conflict, her book The Vanishing, and why she fears for the future of the Middle East’s ancient Christian communities.
Chasing the Shadow State
Luke Harding, author of the book “Shadow State,” speaks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about the increasingly bold activities of Russia’s ruthless intelligence services. They discuss the challenges of reporting on such a secretive world — and the heroism of the Russian citizens working to expose it.
The Islamists You’ve Never Heard Of
Foreign policy specialist Kamran Bokhari talks with New Lines Magazine’s Rasha Elass about Deobandism, the “Wahhabism of South Asia” — and why it remains mostly unknown in the West.
Inside Nigeria’s Banditry Crisis
Fulbright scholar James Barnett joins New Lines’ Rasha Elass to discuss how he made contact with Nigeria’s bandits, who they are — and what they want.
Podcast: Why I Stopped Writing About Syria
Syrian journalist Asser Khattab’s viral essay in New Lines last week explained why he stopped writing about Syria, sparking a much-needed conversation online about how foreign media outlets treat local reporters. In this latest podcast, he and New Lines’ Kareem Shaheen continue that vital conversation.
The Urgency of Now
Amidst rising authoritarianism, social atomization and looming climate change, award-winning journalist and novelist Ece Temelkuran speaks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about how it got this bad — and why we cannot face it alone. They discuss watching democracy die in Turkey, why she’s not an “exile” — and why she refuses to lose her faith in humankind.
The Allure of the Afghan Jihad
Award-winning investigative journalist Tam Hussein speaks to New Lines’ Lydia Wilson about his latest article for New Lines on the mythologization of Afghanistan by Western Islamists, how jihadist propaganda spread before the internet, and why the far-right admires the Taliban.
When Art and Archaeology Turn Political
New Lines contributor Olivia Snaije and contributing editor Lydia Wilson speak to Faisal Al Yafai about recent articles they wrote exploring how the Middle East’s ancient heritage continues to shape modern politics — and how the story of a nation depends on who’s telling it.
The Wars Over the Horizon
Military tech journalist Kelsey Atherton speaks to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about how drones changed modern warfare, how emerging technologies will affect future conflicts — and why the real threat from killer robots is not what you might think.
Sudan at a Crossroads
Isma’il Kushkush and Dallia Abdelmoniem talk to New Lines’ Faisal Al Yafai about the military takeover in Sudan. They explain why the coup took place, how it feels to be back out on the streets — and why the generals may have overplayed their hand.
Talking to Terrorists
Jonathan Powell is CEO of the conflict resolution charity Inter Mediate and has made a career talking to some of…
How to Survive the Disinformation Wars
Nina Jankowicz is a fellow at the Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. and the author of “How to Lose the…
Afghanistan: After the Taliban Takeover
In this podcast, Farkhondeh Akbari and Andrew Watkins join New Lines for a conversation on Afghanistan. They share their sentiments about the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, assessments on decades of American intervention and recent withdrawal, and reflect on the past, present and future.
Justice and Punishment in the Middle East
In a wide-ranging podcast with Newlines’ Kareem Shaheen, David Kaye, who served as the U.N. special rapporteur for freedom of opinion and expression discusses justice and accountability for crimes in the Middle East.
After the Fall of Kabul
In a special podcast on the fall of Kabul and its aftermath, Emran Feroz, Fazelminallah Qazizai and Shelly Kittleson tell Newlines’ Faisal Al Yafai what it was like on the ground in Afghanistan before, during and after the takeover by the Taliban. They discuss that fateful Sunday in Kabul, where the long war against the Taliban fits into the wider war on terror, and what the Taliban might do next.
Satire, Censorship and Fake News
In this podcast, Isam Uraiqat of AlHudood picks his favorite satirical headlines, and talks censorship, the serious side of satire, why authoritarian governments hate being laughed at, how the US media handled Trump - and tells Newlines' Faisal Al Yafai what topics he would not joke about.
After the Beirut Blast
In this podcast, a discussion of what it felt like a year ago before and after the blast; the challenges of reporting on a city that is both a global story and also home – and why living in Beirut sometimes feels like waiting for life to restart.
Syria: The Bashar Years
In this wide-ranging podcast, the writer and political analyst Rime Allaf recalls the death of Hafez al-Assad in Syria and traces the years of his son’s rule, from the Lebanon occupation to the Syrian revolution.
Who is Iran’s new president?
Arash Azizi, author of “Shadow Commander”, and Cameron Khansarinia, policy director at the National Union for Democracy in Iran, sit down for a podcast with Newlines’ Rasha Elass to discuss what the election of the “hanging judge” means for Iran.
Memory Wars and the Battle Against Reality
Peter Pomerantsev is the author of This Is Not Propaganda: Adventures in the War Against Reality. In this podcast, he explores modern memory wars, and how they are attempting to remake reality, from Ukraine to America.
The Psychology of Political Violence
Nafees Hamid is a cognitive scientist of political violence who wrote “The Neuroscience of ‘Devoted Actors’ Within Extremist Groups”, on why people join violent groups. In this podcast, he explores similarities between jihadists who joined ISIS and the insurrectionists who stormed the US Capitol.
Telling a Syrian Fighter’s Story
Nick Foretek is the author of “The Philosopher’s Wine”, a long-read for Newlines that tells the story of several years in the life of one Syrian fighter. In this podcast, he discusses how he first met the fighter in Cairo, what prompted him to tell the story, why he made certain literary decisions – and whether he thinks the fighter is a sympathetic character.
Islam, Liberalism and Power
In a wide-ranging conversation with Newlines, Mustafa Akyol discusses what happened when he was arrested by the religious police in Malaysia; early Muslim reformers and the making of the first Muslim state; the coercive power of modern Islamic states and why he believes it is holding back the full flourishing of the Muslim world.