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Iyad El-Baghdadi and Ahmed Gatnash discuss all things related to authoritarianism and liberty in the Arab Tyrant Manual podcast.

Join the discussion on Twitter #ArabTyrantManual or tweet us @iyad_elbaghdadi, @gatnash.

Episode 013 – Can Debate Save the Arab World?

A discussion between Belabbes Benkredda, Founding Director of the Munathara Initiative, and Iyad El-Baghdadi, Nasser Weddady and Ahmed Gatnash, on the public sphere, what teaching young people to debate can do for the world, and how to normalise civilised exchange of ideas and evaluation of them on their merits.

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Episode 012 – The Absentee Landlord of Cambodia’s Internet?

Part 2 of the conversation with Buzzfeed News’ Megha Rajagopalan, continuing the discussion on China but also touching on the effects of Facebook on various South Asian countries like Cambodia, Myanmar and Sri Lanka, including amplifying communal violence, and inadvertently empowering autocrats.

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Episode 011 – China: The Police State of the Future

Part 1 of a meandering conversation between Ahmed and Megha Rajagopalan, BuzzFeed News’ China bureau chief and Asia correspondent, about surveillance and censorship in China – the high-tech police state they’ve built, WeChat and other tech companies, Chinese memes, the effect it’s having on other south Asian countries, as well as comparisons and contrasts to Arab states.

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Episode 010: Dictators and Development Statistics

We attended the Oslo Freedom Forum last month. Ahmed (@Gatnash) sat down with Alex Gladstein (@Gladstein) to get an introduction to the forum, and speak about their goals and some of their achievements, as well as some of Alex’s research on dictatorships use of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and other development statistics.

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Episode 009 – The Catch-22 of Arab Economic Reform

In this conversation, Ahmed and Nasser discuss the Catch-22 of economic reform in the Arab World – the conflicting pressures on regional governments from established business interests and burgeoning youth populations create a true ‘rock and a hard place’ and allow us to understand much better the situation in Jordan, as well as the economic reforms in Saudi Arabia and possibly even predict what’s going to happen in other countries.

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Episode 006 – The Arab World Won’t Fix Itself

A wide-ranging conversation in which Ahmed and Nasser, touching on American air strikes on Syria, coup-proofing, Syrian regime relations with Nazis, emergent models of digital surveillance in China and the gulf, the Arab league, the perks of allying with authoritarian regimes and the long-term prospects of the Arab world.

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Episode 005 – Nonviolence

Iyad and Ahmed discuss nonviolent resistance to oppression – realistic mechanism of change or idealistic and ineffective? What is it, and how does it apply to different struggles today?

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Episode 002 – Saudi Reforms (Part2)

In episode 2, Ahmed and Iyad continue the discussion on Saudi Arabia. Obama’s legacy, what’s behind it’s regional rivalry with Iran, and how can their historical differences tell us more about their wordviews. How can we fix the crises we’re in at the moment?

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