Skip navigation
Degree Programs

Center for Middle East Studies

CMES Conversations

Welcome to CMES Conversations! Here, you can find recorded interviews our staff conduct with our guest speakers. Unlike our event videos, these Conversations distill the essence of our speakers' lectures and allow for a more free flowing back-and-forth with their interlocutors. We hope you enjoy!

cmes conversations: spring 2014

Gilbert Achcar on Syria & the Arab Uprisings - 5/12/14

Gilbert Achcar, celebrated political theorist at the University of London's School of Oriental & African Studies (SOAS) and author of The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising, sits down with CMES Associate Professor Danny Postel for an extended interview on the Syrian civil war within the context of the Arab Uprisings. 

Qusai Zakarya on Assad's Chemical Weapons Use - 5/1/14

Qusai Zakarya, the Syrian activist who staged a hunger strike to expose the crimes of the Syrian regime and survived Assad's infamous August 21, 2013 chemical weapons attack, sits down with CMES Director Nader Hashemi, to discuss Assad's chemical weapons use and what the West can do to support the Syrian rebels.

Shadi Hamid on Eliminationist Policies in Egypt - 4/28/14

CMES Director Nader Hashemi sits down with Shadi Hamid, Fellow at the Brookings Institution's Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, to discuss the current political climate in Egypt and the revived persecution of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Norman Finkelstein on Teaching John Stuart Mill in Iran - 04/24/14

Renowned political scientist and activist Norman Finkelstein chats with CMES Associate Director Danny Postel about his time spent teaching John Stuart Mill's On Liberty at Imam Sadiq University in Tehran and his thoughts on the current state of Iranian intellectual life.

CMES Conversations: Winter 2014

Benjamin Barber on Democratic Development in the Middle East - 03/04/14

Esteemed political theorist and author Benjamin Barber sits down with CMES Associate Director Danny Postel to discuss the "Arab Spring," Libya, and the prospects for successful transitions to democracy in post-authoritarian states.


Larry Diamond on the Resurgence of Authoritarianism and the Prospects for Democracy after the Arab Spring - 03/04/14

CMES Director Nader Hashemi discusses the authoritarian turn in the aftermath of the "Arab Spring" uprisings with renowned democracy scholar, policy advocate, and Stanford political science professor Larry Diamond. 

CMES Conversations: fall 2013

Max Blumenthal on the Syrian Civil War and the Anti-Imperialist Peace Movement - 11/21/13

Associate Director Danny Postel chats with Max Blumenthal, noted international journalist and chronicler of the Arab-Israeli conflict, to discuss the current contours of the conflict in Syria, the plight of its refugees, and its relationship to the international anti-imperialist peace movement. 


Mustafa Akyol on the Future of Democracy and the Justice & Development Party in Turkey - 11/13/13

Associate Director Danny Postel sits down with Mustafa Akyol, prominent Turkish public intellectual and writer, to assess the future of democratic development and the Justice & Development Party (AKP) in light of Turkey's recent domestic and foreign policy challenges.


Stephen Kinzer on U.S. Foreign Policy Opportunities in the Middle East - 11/7/13

Associate Director Danny Postel talks to Stephen Kinzer, renowned international correspondent and historian, about the foreign policy challenges and opportunities left to the United States in the wake of the Arab uprisings.


Rashid Khalidi on the America's Attempt to Rekindle the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process - 10/25/13

Director Nader Hashemi sits down for a conversation with Columbia University Professor Rashid Khalidi, to discuss his reading of the current state of the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Process and the United States' role in shaping it. We hope you enjoy!


Rami Khouri on the Future of the Arab Spring and Democratic Development - 10/17/13

Associate Director Danny Postel sits down with Rami Khouri, internationally syndicated columnist and Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy & International Affairs at the American University of Beirut, to discuss the current contours of democratic development in the Middle East's post-Arab Spring societies. Enjoy!


Mohammad Fadel on the Future of Islamist Politics in Egypt After the July Coup - 9/20/13

Associate Director Danny Postel interviews Mohammad Fadel, Professor the University of Toronto Law School, about the future he sees for Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and other like-minded political actors in the wake of Egypt's July 3rd military coup d'etat.