This episode welcomes Iyad el-Baghdadi and Belabbes Benkredda to discuss the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Today’s show is the first of 2 parts. We explore the use of Twitter and social media in the Middle East, the Arab Spring uprisings, the influence of the Obama administration during the Arab Spring, and the role of Putin and China in the Middle East and world affairs. Part 2 will air next week and cover additional topics.

Iyad el-Baghdadi is among the most influential human rights activists who rose to prominence during the Arab Spring protests. He is one of the top voices in the online Arab world, and has been published at The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Foreign Policy. He also runs a podcast called The Arab Tyrant Manual, and is a fellow at the Norwegian think tank Civita. Iyad is a stateless Palestinian who was born in Kuwait and raised in the United Arab Emirates, he is now a political refugee in Norway.

Belabbes Benkredda is an Algerian-German social innovator, and the founder of The Munathara Initiative, an Arab online and television debate forum that promotes the voices of youth, women and marginalized communities in the Arab public. He was a recipient of the 2013 Democracy Award of the National Democratic Institute, and in 2016 became a World Fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. Belabbes is currently a senior research scholar at Yale Law School.

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