Tag Archives: Middle East

Scholars’ Circle – Israel’s democratic challenge – April 23, 2023

Benjamin Netanyahu’s efforts to give Israel’s Parliament the ability to overturn high court decisions has been met with widespread protests. What are the stakes of these protests? What’s the democratic and political future for Israel? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Women protest in Iran, a persistent struggle – April 2, 2023

After the murder of Mahsa Amini by morality police Iran has seen protests, demonstrations, and an ongoing resistance movement against its regime. What best explains the origins and persistence of this movement? What has influenced Iran’s resistant movement? We will explore the status of women and the history of women’s rights movement in Iran. [ dur: 58mins. ]

Also, Iran has a substantial number of diaspora around the world. They help frame the issues that are occurring inside its borders. What is the interaction between Iranians abroad and Iranians in Iran and the resistance movement going on right now in the nation?

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Humanitarian crisis in Nagorno-Karabakh from blockade at Lachin Corridor – March 12, 2023

The deteriorating humanitarian condition in the Armenian-majority breakaway region of Nagorno-Karabakh. The Lachin corridor, the only road that connects the region to the outside world, has been blocked by a military campaign limiting food and other essential supplies and trapping 120,000 people.

We explore the legal, political and military implications of this campaign.How are international actors responding to this campaign? What role is Turkey, Russia, and the United States playing in the blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh? [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Richard Giragosian is the Founding Director of the Regional Studies Center (RSC), an independent “think tank” located in Yerevan, Armenia. He is Visiting Professor at the College of Europe’s Natolin Campus and Senior Expert at Yerevan State University’s Center for European Studies (CES). He is the author of the book chapter Small States and Large Costs of Regional Fracture: The Case of Armenia
  • Steve Swerdlow, esq. is Associate Professor of the Practice of Human Rights in the Department of Political and International Relations at the University of Southern California. A human rights lawyer and expert on the former Soviet region, Swerdlow was Senior Central Asia researcher at Human Rights Watch, heading the organization’s work on Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, and founding its Kyrgyzstan field office. He is the author of Uzbekistan’s Religious and Political Prisoners and Uzbekistan’s Ethnic Minorities: Out of Sight, But Not Out of Mind.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Turkey earthquake, disaster relief politics and humanitarian laws – Feb. 19, 2023

A massive earthquakes has rocked Turkey and Syria and killed thousands of people. The disaster response to this earthquake has faced challenges, including governance of the relief efforts and legal requirements under international law. We explore the relief efforts in light of scholarship on best practices and legal obligations. Who is responsible for security in the disaster zone? How much are local actors prioritized versus those who have come to the region to provide relief? And what happens when the security capacity of the affected state is so devastated by the disaster itself? [ dur: 58mins. ]

       Earthquake Relief Organizations:

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Libyan civil war continues after Gaddafi’s Rule ; Methods for Peace Building – September 18, 2022

We explore the civil war in Libya. Why did it break out and why does it persist? What are possible solutions?  Host: Doug Becker. [ dur: 30mins. ]

Beyond ending war what does it take to make a lasting quality peace?  Host: Maria Armoudian. [ dur: 28mins. ]

Recorded November 22, 2015.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Conflict hot spots: Ukraine and Yemen – January 30, 2022

Conflict hot spots are popping up all around the world. We discuss two of them.

Is Russia acting out of aggression or self-defense in its threats against Ukraine? [ dur: 28mins. ]

  • Robert English is Associate Professor of International Relations and Co-Director of the Central European Studies Program at the University of Southern California (USC). He is the author of Russia and the Idea of the West.

The Houthis in Yemen launched drone strikes against the United Arab Emirates this week. Is this a new round of escalation in that ongoing and devastating war?

We will explore the new escalations in the civil war in Yemen. [ dur: 30mins. ]

  • Hamoud Salhi is Professor of Political Science and Associate Dean of International Education at California State University, Dominguez Hills. He is commentator for Arabic media.
  • Charles Schmitz is Professor of Geography at Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is an Affiliated Scholar with the Middle East Institute in Washington DC. He is the author of the publications Historical Dictionary of Yemen, “Huthi Visions of the State: A Huthi Republic with an Unofficial Imam,” in Hamidaddin, Abdullah (ed). The Huthi Movement in Yemen: Ideology, Ambition and Security in the Arab Gulf and “A Parasitic Political Economy,” in Amat Alsoswa and Noel Brehony (eds.), Building a New Yemen: Transition and International Community.

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Impact of American Lawyers on International Human Right Cases ; One Year after Armenia and Azerbaijan war – October 3, 2021

We interview Maria Armoudian who has published a book on international human rights and the role that lawyers have played at advancing cases against human rights abusers. Maria Armoudian is the author of Lawyers Beyond Borders : Advancing International Human Rights Through Local Laws and Courts. [ dur: 30 mins. ]

Then, we explore the conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan a year after the war over the disputed region of Ngoro-Karabagh. What is the current status of the region following the cease-fire? Is there possibility of lasting peace? [ dur: 26 mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Israel’s occupation policies challenges its commitment to democracy and human rights – May 30, 2021

What does the continued occupation and discrimination against its Palestinian population mean for Israeli identity as a democratic nation? What exactly is Israel’s relationship with the world’s Jewish population? And what precisely is the ideology of Zionism? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur:58mins. ]

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Yemini War and humanitarian crisis; Secret Heroes Who Shaped the World – March 28, 2021

The Yemeni War has created the world’s largest humanitarian disaster. Over 80% of the population is at risk, with particular vulnerabilities to children. And the Covid pandemic has worsened conditions. What are the causes of the war? Why is it not ending? And how can it be resolved? Hosted by Doug Becker.  [ dur: 43mins. ]

Then, secret heroes. We know the role of presidents and other leaders in shaping history, however we hear little about the unsung heroes; many who have risked their lives to liberate and rescue others. Who might some of those secret heroes be?  Hosted by Maria Armoudian.[ dur: 14mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Insight into the Abraham Accord between Israel and some Arab States – January 31, 2021

Several Arab states have signed normalization agreements with Israel. What do these “Abraham Accords” mean for security in the region and for the future of Palestinian people? What are the solutions to the Palestinian conflict? What are the alternatives to a two state solution and should the focus for Palestinians be on their civil rights? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.