Program for Strategic Research and Studies

PMBF Podcast Series

Our podcast series presents discussions about Middle Eastern current events, history, and politics with experts and professors from UCF.

Ep. 20 – Ambassador Karim Haggag and Director David Dumke

Ambassador Karim Haggag is a career Egyptian diplomat with over 25 years of service in Egypt’s diplomatic corps. Interviewing him is David Dumke, Director of Middle East & South Asia Initiatives at the University of Central Florida. During this podcast, the two discuss the long and ongoing relationship between Egypt and the United States, as well as current political developments within the region.

Ep. 19 – Dr. Hakan Özoğlu September 2018 

As a professor of history, Dr. Özoğlu carries an extensive research background regarding Turkey, ranging from topics such as Kurdish Nationalism, which he covered in his book Kurdish Notables and the Ottoman State, to Islamist-Kemalist power struggles, which was the focus of his book From Caliphate to Secular State. In addition, He is the current Director of the Middle Eastern Studies Minor at the University of Central Florida as well as a 2017-2018 recipient of the Fulbright Core Fellowship. In this podcast episode, he discusses Turkey’s international and domestic politics, including changing relations with the US and Europe, the impact of AKP rule domestically, and how the Kurds factor into everything. Additionally, Dr. Özoğlu followed up on previously mentioned research on Admiral Bristol.

Ep. 18 – Lori Murray

Lori Esposito Murray is an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.  Prior to joining CFR, she held the distinguished national security chair at the U.S. Naval Academy sponsored by the Class of 1960. She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut and president emeritus of the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA), the largest nonpartisan, nonprofit grassroots organization dedicated to educating and engaging the American public on global issues. In this podcast episode, Dr. Murray discusses chemical weapons and the geopolitics of weapons of mass destruction.

Ep. 17 – John Gilbert

John Gilbert is a Senior Science Fellow with the Center and was a senior arms control analyst with a large professional and technical services company where he has supported a variety of national and international chemical, biological, and nuclear material control, non-proliferation, and counter-terrorism initiatives. In this podcast episode, Mr. Gilbert discusses chemical weapons and their proliferation, as well as the geopolitics of chemical warfare.

Ep. 16 – Perry Cammack

Perry Cammack is a fellow in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, where he focuses on long-term regional trends and their implications for American foreign policy. Prior to joining Carnegie in August 2015, he worked on issues related to the Middle East as part of the policy planning staff of Secretary of State John Kerry from 2013 to 2015 and as a senior professional staff member for then senator Kerry on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee from 2009 to 2012. In this podcast episode, Mr. Cammack discusses the Carnegie Endowment’s work, the Islamic State, and historical regional trends in the Middle East region.

Ep. 15 – Owen Kirby

Owen Kirby is an international political consultant with two decades of experience, specializing in political party development, public opinion polling and elections. In this podcast episode, Mr. Kirby discusses US policy in the region, the impact of foreign aid regionally, and the current situation in Palestine.

Ep. 14 – Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani oversees Crisis Group’s North Africa Project. Prior to joining Crisis Group, he was a writer and consultant on Middle Eastern affairs based in Cairo. He is the founder of The Arabist, one of the longest-running and most-read blogs on Arab politics culture, and the co-founder of Cairo magazine. In this podcast episode, Mr. El Amrani discusses the present situation in Libya, from the factional politics to the migrant crisis affecting Europe.

Ep. 13 – Hakan Özoğlu 3/20/18

Dr. Hakan Özoğlu is currently the Director of Middle Eastern Studies Minor at the University of Central Florida. Currently he is working on a book manuscript on “Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol’s Tenure in Turkey.” His interviews and essays have appeared in many international media outlets including, New York Times, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, and WTTW PBS Chicago. In this podcast episode, Dr. Özoğlu discusses the Kurds in Turkey, Turkey’s vision for the future, and the future of the AKP.

Ep. 12 – Dr. Thomas Crisman 3/8/18

A professor in the Department of Integrative Biology,  Dr. Thomas Crisman is a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State. He has spent his career working on multidisciplinary approaches dealing with ecology, management and conservation of fresh water ecosystems, and watershed management of water resources. In this podcast episode, Dr. Crisman discusses water management in the Middle East, ranging from its importance regionally to the exportation of solutions internationally.

Ep. 11 – Michael Carroll 3/8/18

Michael Carroll has served as the Executive Director of the Istanbul-based Hollings Center, which facilities dialog on a range of issues between the United States and Islamic world, since 2013. In this podcast episode, Mr. Carroll discusses the Hollings Center’s goals and operations, including dialogues on present issues facing Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen.

Ep. 10 – Dr. Roger Handberg 12/05/2017

Dr.  Roger Handberg, chair of the Political Science Department, specializes in space policy, defense policy, the U.S. Supreme Court and judicial politics. He also focuses on global energy politics, the mass media and politics, government policies in science and technology and American security policy, particularly military space policy and ballistic missile defense. In this podcast episode, Dr. Handberg discusses space policy and its relation to the Middle East, including the development of local space programs and private space-faring companies’ interests in the region.

Ep. 9 – Dr. Gunes Murat Tezcür 11/14/2017

Güneş Murat Tezcür, the Jalal Talabani Chair of Kurdish Political Studies, is a social scientist studying political violence, identity, and movements. He teaches a wide range of courses on political violence and nonviolence, the Middle East, democratization, social movements, and politics of energy. He conducts his research in Kurdish, Persian, and Turkish. In this podcast episode, Dr. Tezcür discusses the Kurdish independence referendum and what would be required in order to form a Kurdish state.

Ep. 8 – Interview – Students Organize for Syria at UCF 11/07/2017

Students Organize for Syria at UCF is a chapter of the national organization Students Organize for Syria (SOS). Their mission is to stand in solidarity with the Syrian people in their struggle for freedom and human rights, to assist Syrians in their effort to build a self-determined and pluralistic society, and to raise awareness of and help alleviate the humanitarian crisis currently taking place in Syria. In this podcast episode, Liv Sunna, the president of the UCF chapter of SOS, discusses the intricacies of operating on a college campus as well as the in-depth goals of the organization.

Ep. 7 – Dr. Teddy Reynolds 10/24/2017

Ted Reynolds is the Global Connections Senior Research Fellow in Terrorism Studies for the Office of the Special Assistant to the President for Global Perspectives at the University of Central Florida. His work focuses on using both qualitative and quantitative methods of research to understand terrorist/extremist radicalization and participation, particularly within social media and other computer mediated communication (CMC) environments. In this podcast episode, Dr. Reynolds discusses the line between security and freedom in the US and US intelligence in the Middle East region.   

Ep. 6 – Ambassador Elam – Thomas 10/17/2017

Ambassador Elam-Thomas Diplomacy Program Director at UCF Global Perspectives. Ambassador Elam-Thomas has spent 42 years as a diplomat with foreign assignments in Greece, France, Turkey, Belgium, Senegal, and Côte d’Ivoire.    

Ep. 5 – Dr. Peter Jacques – 10/13/2017

Dr. Peter Jacques, Professor and Internship Coordinator in the UCF Political Science Department.  Dr. Jacques interests include sustainability, global environmental politics, ocean policy, and American Indian environmental politics.  Dr. Jacques, discussed food security in the Middle East and the scarcity of water resources is one of the most alarming issues within the MENA region.

Ep. 4 – Dr. Powell and Dr. Bell 09/19/2017

Dr. Powell Assistant Professor in the UCF Political Science Department & Dr. Curtis Bell sat down to discuss their research as it pertains to food and security in the Middle East.  Food security in the Middle East and North Africa is quickly deteriorating because of conflict in several countries in the region. In those hardest hit by crises — Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Libya and Sudan — an average of more than a quarter of the population was undernourished.

Ep. 3 – Dr. Konstantin Ash 8/29/2017

Dr. Ash, an assistant professor in the UCF Political Science department, sat down to discuss his research as it pertains to one of the most well-known conflicts in the world right now: the Syrian Civil War.  Some of his research focuses on explaining allegiance patterns among identity groups at the outset of civil conflicts, explaining demands for regime change in the Arab World, elucidating the relationship between drought and the onset of the Syrian Civil War and explaining the use of terrorism by insurgent groups. 

Ep. 2 – Dr. Manar Elkhaldi 8/3/2017

Dr. Elkhaldi, a recent UCF graduate with a PhD. in Security Studies, discusses her research regarding the influence of religion in the Middle East. In her dissertation titled, “Rivalry-Prone Dyads? Interstate Religious Differences and Military Conflict,” Elkhaldi focused on how religious differences between states affect the various types of interstate conflicts. Her plans post-graduation involve working in the field of security issue research, varying from institutional to international security.

Ep. 1 – David Dumke 7/20/2017 

Director of the PMBF Program, David Dumke an experienced Middle East specialist, Dumke writes regular columns for both Al Ahram Weekly and Saudi Gazette. He has worked on regional projects in a number of fields, including politics, business and academia. Dumke discusses President Trump’s trip to the Middle East in the first installment of our PMBF Podcast Series.