Podcasts about Persian Gulf

Arm of the Indian Ocean in western Asia

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Digging Up Ancient Aliens
Aliens and lost worlds

Digging Up Ancient Aliens

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 6, 2022 55:10


In Digging up Ancient Aliens, our host Fredrik uses his background in archaeology to discover what is genuine, fake, and somewhere in between on the TV show Ancient Aliens. This time we're going to find what once was lost. We're looking into what Ancient Aliens believe to be lost worlds and trying to find out if that's the case or if there could be another explanation. This time we will visit the city of Copán located in Honduras, according to some theories, there's evidence in some statutes of alien visitation. We continue to Nemrud Dagi, where we look into astronomy and explain the origin of the three wise men of the New Testament. We continue to Rappa Nui where we look into the creation and movement of the Moai statues and a strange cult dedicated to the manutara. Lastly, we will see if the origin of humans might have been in the Persian Gulf. With the latest research, skepticism, and critical thinking, we will find the true origin of our past. This episode is based on the claims in Ancient Aliens episode four of season three called "Aliens and Lost Worlds" (S03E08).Check the website for a complete transcript and all the sources used in this episode!Chapter 1: Copán (2:20)Maya CivilizationArcheology of CopánMayan CalendarChapter 2: Nemrud Dagi (18:57)AstroarcheologyZoroastrianism The Magi The three wise menCapter 3: The Nazca Lines (31:55)How to create a Nazca lineThe Nazca Baloon Chapter 4: Rappa Nui (Easter Island) (38:57)The MoaiTuki stone toolsRongorongo scriptManutaraChapter 5: The Garden of Eden (49:25)Sea Level riseZacharia Sitchin's translations of Sumerian textsMusic“Folie hatt” by Trallskruv Lily of the woods by Sandra Marteleur

The Brain Love Podcast
ZANZIBAR - a Story of Motivation

The Brain Love Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 26:43


Hey guys! Join me on my couch but this time we are in Zanzibar. ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE COUCH? I have a guest tonight. His name is Nabil, owner of Karafuu Coffee House. He lives in Zanzibar but was born in Oman, an Arabian country located in southwestern Asia. It is situated on the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula, and spans the mouth of the Persian Gulf. FROM WIKIPEDIA: Zanzibar was famous worldwide for its spices and its slaves. During the 19th century, Zanzibar was known all over the world in the words of Petterson as: "A fabled land of spices, a vile center of slavery, a place of origins of expeditions into the vast, mysterious continent, the island was all these things during its heyday in the last half of the 19th century.[10] It was the main slave-trading port of the African Great Lakes region, and in the 19th century as many as 50,000 slaves were passed through the slave markets of Zanzibar each year.[11] (David Livingstone estimated that 80,000 new slaves died each year before ever reaching the island.) Tippu Tip was the most notorious slaver, under several sultans, and also a trader, plantation owner, and governor. Zanzibar's spices attracted ships from as far away as the United States, which established a consulate in 1837. The United Kingdom's early interest in Zanzibar was motivated by both commerce and the determination to end the slave trade.[12] In 1822, the British signed the first of a series of treaties with Sultan Said to curb this trade. Under strong British pressure, the slave trade was officially abolished in 1876, but slavery itself remained legal in Zanzibar until 1897.[7] --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/brainlove/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/brainlove/support

The Scuttlebutt: Understanding Military Culture
S 7 Ep. 10: DoD Overseas Shows

The Scuttlebutt: Understanding Military Culture

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 5, 2022 46:06


DoD Overseas Shows – RG Smith We've all heard of USO shows, but there's another far-more intrepid group of entertainers that produces over 1,200 shows around the world each year, reaching over 500,000 personnel at 355 military installations. It's called Armed Forces Entertainment, and it's the Department of Defense's agency for reaching US servicemembers at the most remote, isolated, and dangerous  locations, from ships at sea to landlocked battlezones. Join The Scuttlebutt this week to hear PART 1 of RG's story. His service as a Navy combat photographer and public affairs officer for riverine units in Vietnam then his tours with the Nancy Wiles Band in the Persian Gulf, Panama, Bosnia, and Somalia. Then join us on VBC Happy Hour tonight (December 5th, 2022) for PART 2 to hear about RG's “Final Act!” – What caused him to ask the DoD to “Never call me again.”?   Learn more about Armed Forces Entertainment: https://armedforcesentertainment.com/   USO: https://www.uso.org/entertainment   USOs Across the Country are Shutting Down: http://bit.ly/3VxrMUH To watch this episode, please visit our website at www.veteransbreakfastclub.org/scuttlebutt   For more about AER, check out our previous episode with former Spouse Ambassador of AER and Gold Star Wife, Krista Anderson - https://bit.ly/3AekNIB   Thank you to our sponsors: D and D Auto Salvage and Tobacco Free Adagio Health!   https://danddautosalvage.com/   https://tobaccofree.adagiohealth.org/   http://www.veteransbreakfastclub.org/   #podcast #zoom #scuttlebutt #thescuttlebutt #humor #storytelling #headlines #news #oralhistory #militaryhistory #roundtable #navy #army #airforce #marinecorps #marines #military #coastguard #veteran #veterans #veteransbreakfastclub #vbc #nonprofit #501c3

The Times of Israel Daily Briefing
There's a new sheriff in the West Bank -- MK Bezalel Smotrich

The Times of Israel Daily Briefing

Play Episode Listen Later Dec 4, 2022 17:58


Welcome to The Times of Israel's Daily Briefing, your 15-minute audio update on what's happening in Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish world, from Sunday through Thursday. Settlements reporter Jeremy Sharon and news editor Amy Spiro join host Amanda Borschel-Dan in today's episode. Just before he stepped on a plane to Bahrain, diplomatic correspondent Lazar Berman briefs listeners on what we should expect from President Isaac Herzog's two-day visit to Israel's allies in the Persian Gulf region. On Thursday, details of the final terms of the coalition agreements with the Religious Zionism bloc were released. What do we know about what each party got? Head of the Religious Zionism party MK Bezalel Smotrich is often called a "zealot" or an "ideologue." How is that expected to affect his performance as head of the Civil Administration and COGAT? Sharon explains what kind of reactions we are hearing from settler leaders and well as opposition lawmakers and former high-ranking IDF officers. Spiro recently watched season 2 of “My Unorthodox Life” and spoke with its lead, Julia Haart. Buckle up. Discussed articles include: ‘Message of peace': Herzog lands in Bahrain for 1st state visit by Israeli president New Smotrich powers likely to see settlements flourish, Palestinian building limited Netanyahu gives Smotrich broad powers over settlements, Palestinian construction How Bezalel Smotrich rode unfiltered radicalism and unforgiving politics to power Former lawmakers, top soldiers blast deal giving Smotrich authority over West Bank Messy divorce, religious battles headline season 2 of Netflix's ‘My Unorthodox Life' Subscribe to The Times of Israel Daily Briefing on iTunes, Spotify, PlayerFM, Google Play, or wherever you get your podcasts. ILLUSTRATIVE IMAGE: MK Bezalel Smotrich, center, waves an Israeli flag during the annual 'Flags March' next to Damascus gate, outside Jerusalem's Old City, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

AJC Passport
Celebrating Mizrahi Heritage Month with The Forgotten Exodus: Iran

AJC Passport

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 30, 2022 37:56


Too few people know that parts of the Arab world and Iran were once home to large Jewish communities. This Mizrahi Heritage Month, let's change the story, with the final episode of the first season of The Forgotten Exodus, the first-ever narrative podcast series devoted exclusively to the rich, fascinating, and often-overlooked history of Mizrahi and Sephardic Jewry. Thank you for lifting up these stories to celebrate Mizrahi Heritage Month. If you enjoy this episode, be sure to listen to the rest of The Forgotten Exodus, wherever you get your podcasts.   __ Home to one of the world's oldest Jewish communities, the story of Jews in Iran has been one of prosperity and suffering through the millennia. During the mid-20th century, when Jews were being driven from their homes in Arab lands, Iran assisted Jewish refugees in providing safe passage to Israel. Under the Shah, Israel was an important economic and political ally. Yet that all swiftly changed in the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which ushered in Islamic rule, while chants of “Death to Israel” and “Death to America” rang out from the streets of Tehran.   Author, journalist, and poet Roya Hakakian shares her personal story of growing up Jewish in Iran during the reign of the Shah and then Ayatollah Khomeini, which she wrote about in her memoir Journey From the Land of No. Joining Hakakian is Dr. Saba Soomekh, a professor of world religions and Middle Eastern history who wrote From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture. She also serves as associate director of AJC Los Angeles, home to America's largest concentration of Persian Jewish immigrants.  In this sixth and final episode of the season, the Hakakian family's saga captures the common thread that has run throughout this series – when the history of an uprooted community is left untold, it can become vulnerable to others' narratives and assumptions, or become lost forever and forgotten. How do you leave behind a beloved homeland, safeguard its Jewish legacy, and figure out where you belong? __ Show notes: Listen to The Forgotten Exodus and sign up to receive updates about future episodes.  Song credits:  Chag Purim · The Jewish Guitar Project Hevenu Shalom · Violin Heart Pond5:  “Desert Caravans”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI), Composer: Tiemur Zarobov (BMI), IPI#1098108837 “Oud Nation”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI); Composer: Haygaz Yossoulkanian (BMI), IPI#1001905418 “Persian”: Publisher: STUDEO88; Composer: Siddhartha Sharma “Meditative Middle Eastern Flute”: Publisher: N/; Composer: DANIELYAN ASHOT MAKICHEVICH (IPI NAME #00855552512), UNITED STATES BMI Zarobov (BMI), IPI#1098108837 “Sentimental Oud Middle Eastern”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI), Composer: Sotirios Bakas (BMI), IPI#797324989. “Frontiers”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI); Composer: Pete Checkley (BMI), IPI#380407375 “Persian Investigative Mystery”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI); Composer: Peter Cole (BMI), IPI#679735384 “Persian Wind”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Sigma (SESAC); Composer: Abbas Premjee (SESAC), IPI#572363837 “Modern Middle Eastern Underscore”: Publisher: All Pro Audio LLC (611803484); Composer: Alan T Fagan (347654928) “Persian Fantasy Tavern”: Publisher: N/A; Composer: John Hoge “Adventures in the East”: Publisher: Pond5 Publishing Beta (BMI) Composer: Petar Milinkovic (BMI), IPI#00738313833. ___ Episode Transcript: ROYA HAKAKIAN: In 1984, when my mother and I left and my father was left alone in Iran, that was yet another major dramatic and traumatic separation. When I look back at the events of 1979, I think, people constantly think about the revolution having, in some ways, blown up Tehran, but it also blew up families. And my own family was among them.  MANYA BRACHEAR PASHMAN: The world has overlooked an important episode in modern history: the 800,000 Jews who left or were driven from their homes in Arab nations and Iran in the mid-20th century. This series, brought to you by American Jewish Committee, explores that pivotal moment in Jewish history and the rich Jewish heritage of Iran and Arab nations as some begin to build relations with Israel. I'm your host, Manya Brachear Pashman. Join us as we explore family histories and personal stories of courage, perseverance, and resilience. This is The Forgotten Exodus.  Today's episode: Leaving Iran MANYA: Outside Israel, Iran has the largest Jewish population in the Middle East. Yes, the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2022. Though there is no official census, experts estimate about 10,000 Jews now live in the region previously known as Persia.  But since the 1979 Iranian Revolution, Jews in Iran don't advertise their Jewish identity. They adhere to Iran's morality code: women stay veiled from head to toe and men and women who aren't married or related stay apart in public. They don't express support for Israel, they don't ask questions, and they don't disagree with the regime. One might ask, with all these don'ts, is this a way of living a Jewish life? Or a way to live – period?  For author, journalist, and poet Roya Hakakian and her family, the answer was ultimately no. Roya has devoted her life to being a fact-finder and truth-teller. A former associate producer at the CBS news show 60 Minutes and a Guggenheim Fellow, Roya has written two volumes of poetry in Persian and three books of nonfiction in English, the first of which was published in 2004 – Journey From the Land of No, a memoir about her charmed childhood and accursed adolescence growing up Jewish in Iran under two different regimes.  ROYA: It was hugely important for me to create an account that could be relied on as a historic document. And I did my best through being very, very careful about gathering, interviewing, talking to, observing facts, evidence, documents from everyone, including my most immediate members of my family, to do what we, both as reporters, but also as Jews, are called to do, which is to bear witness. No seemed to be the backdrop of life for women, especially of religious minorities, and, in my own case, Jewish background, and so I thought, what better way to name the book than to call it as what my experience had been, which was the constant nos that I heard. So, Land of No was Iran. MANYA: As a journalist, as a Jew, as a daughter of Iran, Roya will not accept no for an answer. After publishing her memoir, she went on to write Assassins of the Turquoise Palace, a meticulously reported book about a widely underreported incident. In 1992 at a Berlin restaurant, a terrorist attack by the Iranian proxy Hezbollah targeted and killed four Iranian-Kurdish exiles. The book highlighted Iran's enormous global footprint made possible by its terror proxies who don't let international borders get in the way of silencing Iran's critics.   Roya also co-founded the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center, an independent non-profit that reports on Iran's human rights abuses.  Her work has not prompted Ayatollah Khameini to publicly issue a fatwa against her  – like the murder order against Salman Rushdie issued by his predecessor. But in 2019, one of her teenage sons answered a knock at the door. It was the FBI, warning her that she was in the crosshairs of the Iranian regime's operatives in America. Most recently, Roya wrote A Beginner's Guide to America: For the Immigrant and the Curious about the emotional roller coaster of arriving in America while still missing a beloved homeland, especially one where their community has endured for thousands of years. ROYA: I felt very strongly that one stays in one's homeland, that you don't just simply take off when things go wrong, that you stick around and try to figure a way through a bad situation. We came to the point where staying didn't seem like it would lead to any sort of real life and leaving was the only option. MANYA: The story of Jews in Iran, often referred to as Persia until 1935, is a millennia-long tale. A saga of suffering, repression, and persecution, peppered with brief moments of relief or at least relative peace – as long as everyone plays by the rules of the regime. SABA SOOMEKH: The history of Jews in Iran goes back to around 2,700 years ago. And a lot of people assume that Jews came to Iran, well at that time, it was called the Persian Empire, in 586 BCE, with the Babylonian exile. But Jews actually came a lot earlier, we're thinking 721-722 BCE with the Assyrian exile which makes us one of the oldest Jewish communities.  MANYA: That's Dr. Saba Soomekh, a professor of world religions and Middle Eastern history and the author of From the Shahs to Los Angeles: Three Generations of Iranian Jewish Women between Religion and Culture. She also serves as associate director of American Jewish Committee in Los Angeles, home to America's largest concentration of Persian Jewish immigrants. Saba's parents fled Iran in 1978, shortly before the revolution, when Saba and her sister were toddlers. She has devoted her career to preserving Iranian Jewish history.   Saba said Zoroastrian rulers until the 7th Century Common Era vacillated between tolerance and persecution of Jews. For example, according to the biblical account in the Book of Ezra, Cyrus the Great freed the Jews from Babylonian rule, granted all of them citizenship, and permitted them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple.  The Book of Esther goes on to tell the story of another Persian king, believed to be Xerxes I, whose closest adviser called Haman conspires to murder all the Jews – a plot that is foiled by his wife Queen Esther who is Jewish herself. Esther heroically pleads for mercy on behalf of her people – a valor that is celebrated on the Jewish holiday of Purim.  But by the time of the Islamic conquest in the middle of the 7th Century Common Era, the persecution had become so intense that Jews were hopeful about the new Arab Muslim regime, even if that meant being tolerated and treated as second-class citizens, or dhimmi status. But that status had a different interpretation for the Safavids. SABA: Really things didn't get bad for the Jews of the Persian Empire until the 16th century with the Safavid dynasty, because within Shia Islam in the Persian Empire, what they brought with them is this understanding of purity and impurity. And Jews were placed in the same category as dogs, pigs, and feces. They were seen as being religiously impure, what's referred to as najes. MANYA: Jews were placed in ghettos called mahaleh, where they wore yellow stars and special shoes to distinguish them from the rest of the population. They could not leave the mahaleh when it rained for fear that if water rolled off their bodies into the water system, it would render a Shia Muslim impure. For the same reason, they could not go to the bazaars for fear they might contaminate the food. They could not look Muslims in the eye. They were relegated to certain artisanal professions such as silversmithing and block printing – crafts that dirtied one's hands.  MANYA: By the 19th century, some European Jews did make their way to Persia to help. The Alliance Israélite Universelle, a Paris-based network of schools founded by French Jewish intellectuals, opened schools for Jewish children throughout the Middle East and North Africa, including within the mahalehs in Persia.  SABA: They saw themselves as being incredibly sophisticated because they were getting this, in a sense, secular European education, they were speaking French. The idea behind the Allianz schools was exactly that. These poor Middle Eastern Jews, one day the world is going to open up to them, their countries are going to become secular, and we need to prepare them for this, not only within the context of hygiene, but education, language.  And the Allianz schools were right when it came to the Persian Empire because who came into power was Reza Pahlavi, who was a Francophile. And he turned around and said, ‘Wow! Look at the population that speaks French, that knows European philosophy, etc. are the Jews.' He brought them out of the mahaleh, the Jewish ghettos, and said ‘I don't care about religion. Assimilate and acculturate. As long as you show, in a sense, devotion, and nationalism to the Pahlavi regime, which the Jews did—not all Jews—but a majority of them did. MANYA: Reza Pahlavi took control in 1925 and 16 years later, abdicated his throne to his son Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. In 1935, Persia adopted a new name: Iran. As king or the Shah, both father and son set Iran on a course of secularization and rapid modernization under which Jewish life and success seemed to flourish. The only condition was that religious observance was kept behind closed doors. SABA: The idea was that in public, you were secular and in private, you were a Jew. You had Shabbat, you only married a Jew, it was considered blasphemous if you married outside of the Jewish community. And it was happening because people were becoming a part of everyday schools, universities.  But that's why the Jewish day schools became so important. They weren't learning Judaism. What it did was ensure that in a secular Muslim society, that the Jewish kids were marrying within each other and within the community. It was, in a sense, the Golden Age. And that will explain to you why, unlike the early 1950s, where you had this exodus of Mizrahi Jews, Arab Jews from the Arab world and North Africa, you didn't really have that in Iran.  MANYA: In fact, Iran provided a safe passage to Israel for Jewish refugees during that exodus, specifically those fleeing Iraq. The Pahlavi regime considered Israel a critical ally in the face of pan-Arab fervor and hostility in the region. Because of the Arab economic boycott, Israel needed energy sources and Iran needed customers for its oil exports.  A number of Israelis even moved to Tehran, including farmers from kibbutzim who had come to teach agriculture, and doctors and nurses from Hadassah Hospital who had come to teach medicine.  El Al flew in and out of Tehran airport, albeit from a separate terminal. Taking advantage of these warm relations between the two countries, Roya recalls visiting aunts, uncles, and cousins in Israel.  ROYA: We arrived, and my mom and dad did what all visiting Jews from elsewhere do. They dropped to their knees, and they started kissing the ground. I did the same, and it was so moving. Israel was the promised land, we thought about Israel, we dreamed about Israel. But, at the same time, we were Iranians and, and we were living in Iran, and things were good.  This seems to non-Iranian Jews an impossibility. But I think for most of us, it was the way things were. We lived in the country where we had lived for, God knows how many years, and there was this other place that we somehow, in the back of our minds thought we would be going to, without knowing exactly when, but that it would be the destination. MANYA: Relations between the Shah and America flourished as well. In 1951, a hugely popular politician by the name of Mohammad Mosaddegh became prime minister and tried to institute reforms. His attempts to nationalize the oil industry and reduce the monarchy's authority didn't go over well. American and British intelligence backed a coup that restored the Shah's power. Many Iranians resented America's meddling, which became a rallying cry for the revolution. U.S. officials have since expressed regret for the CIA's involvement.  In November 1977, President Jimmy Carter welcomed the Shah and his wife to Washington, D.C., to discuss peace between Egypt and Israel, nuclear nonproliferation, and the energy crisis.  As an extension of these warm relations, the Shah sent many young Iranians to America to enhance their university studies, exposing them to Western ideals and values.  Meanwhile, a savvy fundamentalist cleric was biding his time in a Paris basement. It wouldn't be long before relations crumbled between Iran and Israel, Iran and the U.S,. and Iran and its Jews.  Roya recalls the Hakakian house at the corner of Alley of the Distinguished in Tehran as a lush oasis surrounded by fragrant flowers, full of her father's poetry, and brimming with family memories. Located in the heart of a trendy neighborhood, across the street from the Shah's charity organization, the tall juniper trees, fragrant honeysuckle, and gold mezuzah mounted on the door frame set it apart from the rest of the homes.  Roya's father, Haghnazar, was a poet and a respected headmaster at a Hebrew school. Roya, which means dream in Persian, was a budding poet herself with the typical hopes and dreams of a Jewish teenage girl.  ROYA: Prior to the revolution, life in an average Tehran Hebrew Day School looked very much like life in a Hebrew Day School anywhere else. In the afternoons we had all Hebrew and Jewish studies. We used to put on a Purim show every year. I wanted to be Esther. I never got to be Esther. We had emissaries, I think a couple of years, from Israel, who came to teach us how to do Israeli folk dance. MANYA: There were moments when Roya recalls feeling self-conscious about her Jewishness, particularly at Passover. That's when the family spent two weeks cleaning, demonstrating they weren't najes, or dirty Jews. The work was rewarded when the house filled with the fragrance of cumin and saffron and Persian dishes flowed from the kitchen, including apple and plum beef stew, tarragon veal balls stuffed with raisins, and rice garnished with currants and slivers of almonds.  When her oldest brother Alberto left to study in America, a little fact-finding work on Roya's part revealed that his departure wasn't simply the pursuit of a promising opportunity. As a talented cartoonist whose work had been showcased during an exhibition in Tehran, his family feared Alberto's pen might have gone too far, offending the Pahlavi regime and drawing the attention of the Shah's secret police.  Reports of repression, rapid modernization, the wide gap between Tehran's rich and the rest of the country's poor, and a feeling that Iranians weren't in control of their own destiny all became ingredients for a revolution, stoked by an exiled cleric named Ruhollah Khomeini who was recording cassette tapes in a Paris basement and circulating them back home.  SABA: He would just sit there and go on and on for hours, going against the Shah and West toxification. And then the recordings ended up in Iran. He wasn't even in Iran until the Shah left. MANYA: Promises of democracy and equality galvanized Iranians of all ages to overthrow the Shah in February 1979. Even the CIA was surprised.  SABA: I think a lot of people didn't believe it. Because number one, the Shah, the son, was getting the most amount of military equipment from the United States than anyone in the Middle East and in the Persian Gulf. And the idea was: you protect us in the Gulf, and we will give you whatever you need. So they never thought that a man with a beard down to his knee was able to overthrow this regime that was being propped up and supported by America, and also the Europeans. Khomeini comes in and represents himself as a person for everyone. And he was brilliant in the way he spoke about it. And the reason why this revolution was also successful was that it wasn't just religious people who supported Khomeini, there was this concept you had, the men with the turbans, meaning the religious people, and the you know, the bow ties or the ties, meaning the secular man, a lot of them who were sent by the Shah abroad to Europe and America to get an education, who came back, saw democracy there, and wanted it for their country.  MANYA: Very few of the revolutionaries could predict that Tehran was headed in the opposite direction and was about to revert to 16th Century Shia Islamic rule. For almost a year, Tehran and the rest of the nation were swept up in revolutionary euphoria.  Roya recalls how the flag remained green, white, and red, but an Allah insignia replaced its old sword-bearing lion. New currency was printed, with portraits bearing beards and turbans. An ode to Khomeini became the new national anthem. While the Shah had escaped on an Air France flight, corpses of his henchmen graced the front pages of newspapers alongside smiling executioners. All celebrated, until the day one of the corpses was Habib Elghanian, the Jewish philanthropist who supported all of Iran's Hebrew schools. Charged and convicted as a Zionist spy.  Elders in the community remembered the insurmountable accusations of blood libel during darker times for Iran's Jews. But younger generations like Roya's, who had not lived through the eras of more ruthless antisemitism and persecution, continued to root for the revolution, regardless of its victims. Meanwhile, Roya's Jewish day school was taken over by a new veiled headmistress who replaced Hebrew lessons with other kinds of religious instruction, and required robes and headscarves for all the students.  ROYA: In the afternoons, from then on, we used to have lessons in a series of what she called: ‘Is religion something that you inherit, or is it something that you choose?' And so I think the intention, clearly, was to convince us that we didn't need to inherit our religions from our parents and ancestors, that we ought to consider better choices. MANYA: But when the headmistress cut short the eight-day Passover break, that was the last straw for Roya and her classmates. Their revolt got her expelled from school.  Though Jews did not universally support Khomeini, some saw themselves as members of the Iranian Communist, or Tudeh Party. They opposed the Shah and the human rights abuses of his monarchy and cautiously considered Khomeini the better option, or at least the lesser of two evils. Alarmed by the developments such as Elghanian's execution and changes like the ones at Roya's school, Jewish community leaders traveled to the Shia holy city of Qom to assure the Supreme Leader of their loyalty to Iran.  SABA: They did this because they wanted to make sure that they protected the Jewish community that was left in Iran. Khomeini made that distinction: ‘I am not against Jews, I'm against Zionists. You could be Jewish in this country. You cannot be a Zionist in this country.'  MANYA: But that wasn't the only change. Right away, the Family Protection Law was reversed, lifting a law against polygamy, giving men full rights in divorce and custody, and lowering the marriage age for girls to nine. Women were banned from serving as judges, and beaches and sports events were segregated by gender.  But it took longer to shut down universities, albeit for only two years, segregate public schools by gender, and stone to death women who were found to have committed adultery. Though Khomeini was certainly proving that he was not the man he promised to be, he backed away from those promises gradually – one brutal crackdown at a time. As a result, the trickle of Jews out of Iran was slow.  ROYA: My father thought, let's wait a few years and see what happens. In retrospect, I think the overwhelming reason was probably that nobody believed that things had changed, and so drastically. It seemed so unbelievable. I mean, a country that had been under monarchy for 2,500 years, couldn't simply see it all go and have a whole new system put in place, especially when it was such a radical shift from what had been there before. So I think, in many ways, we were among the unbelievers, or at least my father was, we thought it could never be, it would not happen. My father proved to be wrong, nothing changed for the better, and the conditions continued to deteriorate. So, so much catastrophe happened in those few years that Iran just simply was steeped into a very dark, intense, and period of political radicalism and also, all sorts of economic shortages and pressures. And so the five years that we were left behind, that we stayed back, changed our perspective on so many things. MANYA: In November 1979, a group of radical university students who supported the Iranian Revolution, took over the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, seized hostages, and held them for 444 days until President Ronald Reagan's inauguration on January 20, 1981. During the hostages' captivity, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein invaded Iran. The conflict that ensued for eight years created shortages on everything from dairy products to sanitary napkins. Mosques became distribution centers for rations. ROYA: We stood in line for hours and hours for eggs, and just the very basic things of daily life. And then it became also clear that religious minorities, including Jews, would no longer be enjoying the same privileges as everyone else. There were bombings that kept coming closer and closer to Tehran, which is where we lived. It was very clear that half of my family that was in the United States could not and would not return, because they were boys who would have been conscripted to go to war. Everything had just come apart in a way that was inconceivable to think that they would change for the better again. MANYA: By 1983, new laws had been passed instituting Islamic dress for all women – violations of which earned a penalty of 74 lashes. Other laws imposed an Islamic morality code that barred co-ed gatherings. Roya and her friends found refuge in the sterile office building that housed the Jewish Iranian Students Association. But she soon figured out that the regime hadn't allowed it to remain for the benefit of the Jewish community. It functioned more like a ghetto to keep Jews off the streets and out of their way. Even the activities that previously gave her comfort were marred by the regime. Poetry books were redacted. Mountain hiking trails were arbitrarily closed to mourn the deaths of countless clerics.  SABA: Slowly what they realize, when Khomeini gained power, was that he was not the person that he claimed to be. He was not this feminist, if anything, all this misogynistic rule came in, and a lot of people realize they, in a sense, got duped and he stole the revolution from them. MANYA: By 1984, the war with Iraq had entered its fourth year. But it was no longer about protecting Iran from Saddam Hussein. Now the Ayatollah wanted to conquer Baghdad, then Jerusalem where he aspired to deliver a sermon from the Temple Mount. Meanwhile, Muslim soldiers wounded in the war chose to bleed rather than receive treatment from Jewish doctors. Boys as young as 12 – regardless of faith – were drafted and sent on suicide missions to open the way for Iranian troops to do battle.  SABA: They were basically used as an army of children that the bombs would detonate, their parents would get a plastic key that was the key to heaven. And the bombs would detonate, and then the army would come in Iranian army would come in. And so that's when a lot of the Persian parents, the Jewish parents freaked out. And that's when they were like: we're getting out of here.  MANYA: By this time, the Hakakian family had moved into a rented apartment building and Roya was attending the neighborhood school. Non-Muslim students were required to take Koran classes and could only use designated water fountains and bathrooms.  As a precaution, Roya's father submitted their passports for renewal. Her mother's application was denied; Roya's passport was held for further consideration; her father's was confiscated.  One night, Roya returned home to find her father burning her books and journals on the balcony of their building. The bonfire of words was for the best, he told her. And at long last, so was leaving. With the help of the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, Roya and her mother, Helen, fled to Geneva, and after wandering in Europe for several months, eventually reunited with her brothers in the United States. Roya did not see her father again for five years. Still unable to acquire a passport, he was smuggled out of Iran into Pakistan, on foot.  ROYA: My eldest brother left to come to America in the mid-70s. There was a crack in the body of the family then. But then came 1979, and my two other brothers followed. And so we were apart for all those very, very formative years. And then, in 1984, when my mother and I left and my father was left alone in Iran, that was yet another major dramatic and traumatic separation. So, you know, it's interesting that when I look back at the events of 1979, I think, people constantly think about the revolution having, in some ways, blown up Tehran, but it also blew up families. And my own family was among them.  MANYA: While her father's arrival in America was delayed, Roya describes her arrival in stages. She first arrived as a Jewish refugee in 1985 and found her place doing what she had always done – writing in Persian – rebuilding a body of work that had been reduced to ashes.  ROYA: As a teen I had become a writer, people were encouraging me. So, I continued to do it. It was the thing I knew how to do. And it gave me a sense of grounding and identity. So, I kept on doing it, and it kind of worked its magic, as I suppose good writing does for all writers. It connected me to a new community of people who read Persian and who appreciated what I was trying to do. And I found that with each book that I write, I find a new tribe for myself.  MANYA: She arrived again once she learned English. In her first year at Brooklyn College, she tape-recorded her professors to listen again later. She eventually took a course with renowned poet Allen Ginsberg, whose poetry was best known for its condemnation of persecution and imperial politics and whose 1950s poem “Howl” tested the boundaries of America's freedom of speech.  ROYA: When I mastered the language enough to feel comfortable to be a writer once more, then I found a footing and through Allen and a community of literary people that I met here began to kind of foresee a possibility of writing in English. MANYA: There was also her arrival to an American Jewish community that was largely unaware of the role Jews played in shaping Iran long before the advent of Islam. Likewise, they were just as unaware of the role Iran played in shaping ancient Jewish life. They were oblivious to the community's traditions, and the indignities and abuses Iranian Jews had suffered, continue to suffer, with other religious minorities to keep those traditions alive in their homeland.   ROYA: People would say, ‘Oh, you have an accent, where are you from?' I would say, ‘Iran,' and the Jews at the synagogue would say, ‘Are there Jews in Iran?' MANYA: In Roya's most recent book A Beginner's Guide to America, a sequel of sorts to her memoir, she reflects on the lessons learned and the observations made once she arrived in the U.S. She counsels newcomers to take their time answering what might at first seem like an ominous or loaded question. Here's an excerpt: ROYA: “In the early days after your arrival, “Where are you from?” is above all a reminder of your unpreparedness to speak of the past. You have yet to shape your story – what you saw, why you left, how you left, and what it took to get here. This narrative is your personal Book of Genesis: the American Volume, the one you will sooner or later pen, in the mind, if not on the page. You must take your time to do it well and do it justice.” MANYA: No two immigrants' experiences are the same, she writes. The only thing they all have in common is that they have been uprooted and the stories of their displacement have been hijacked by others' assumptions and agendas. ROYA: I witnessed, as so many other Iranian Jews witness, that the story of how we came, why we came, who we had been, was being narrated by those who had a certain partisan perspective about what the history of what Jewish people should be, or how this history needs to be cast, for whatever purposes they had. And I would see that our own recollections of what had happened were being shaded by, or filtered through views other than our own, or facts other than our own. MANYA: As we wrap up this sixth and final episode of the first season of The Forgotten Exodus, it is clear that the same can be said about the stories of the Jewish people. No two tales are the same. Jews have lived everywhere, and there are reasons why they don't anymore. Some fled as refugees. Some embarked as dreamers. Some forged ahead without looking back. Others counted the days until they could return home. What ties them together is their courage, perseverance, and resilience–whether they hailed from Eastern Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, or parts beyond. These six episodes offer only a handful of those stories–shaped by memories and experiences. ROYA: That became sort of an additional incentive, if not burden for me to, to be a witness for several communities, to tell the story of what happened in Iran for American audiences, to Jews, to non-Iranian Jews who didn't realize that there were Jews in Iran, but also to record the history, according to how I had witnessed it, for ourselves, to make sure that it goes down, as I knew it. MANYA: Iranian Jews are just one of the many Jewish communities who in the last century left their homes in the Middle East to forge new lives for themselves and future generations.  Many thanks to Roya for sharing her family's story and for helping us wrap up this season of The Forgotten Exodus. If you're listening for the first time, check out our previous episodes on Jews from Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Libya, and Sudan. Go to ajc.org/theforgottenexodus where you'll also find transcripts, show notes, and family photos. There are still so many stories to tell. Stay tuned in coming months. Does your family have roots in North Africa or the Middle East? One of the goals of this series is to make sure we gather these stories before they are lost. Too many times during my reporting, I encountered children and grandchildren who didn't have the answers to my questions because they never asked. That's why one of the goals of this project is to encourage you to find more of these stories.  Call The Forgotten Exodus hotline. Tell us where your family is from and something you'd like for our listeners to know such as how you've tried to keep the traditions and memories alive. Call 212.891.1336 and leave a message of 2 minutes or less. Be sure to leave your name and where you live now. You can also send an email to theforgottenexodus@ajc.org and we'll be in touch. Tune in every Friday for AJC's weekly podcast about global affairs through a Jewish lens, People of the Pod, brought to you by the same team behind The Forgotten Exodus.  Atara Lakritz is our producer, CucHuong Do is our production manager. T.K. Broderick is our sound engineer. Special thanks to Jon Schweitzer, Sean Savage, Ian Kaplan, and so many of our colleagues, too many to name, for making this series possible. And extra special thanks to David Harris, who has been a constant champion for making sure these stories do not remain untold. You can follow The Forgotten Exodus on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts, and you can sign up to receive updates at AJC.org/forgottenexodussignup. The views and opinions of our guests don't necessarily reflect the positions of AJC.  You can reach us at theforgottenexodus@ajc.org. If you've enjoyed the episode, please be sure to spread the word, and hop onto Apple Podcasts to rate us and write a review to help more listeners find us.

TNT Radio
Dr. Harlan Ullman on The Reckoning with Timothy Shea - 29 November 2022

TNT Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 29, 2022 55:54


GUEST OVERVIEW: Dr. Harlan Ullman is a globally recognized thought leader and strategic thinker, is a Senior Adviser to the Atlantic Council, and he is also UPI's Arnaud de Borchgrave distinguished columnist. Among his better-known innovative concepts are: “shock and awe; “A Brains Based Approach to Strategic Thinking”; and “Massive Attacks of Disruption.” Harlan is a former naval person and Swift Boat skipper in Vietnam who carried out over 150 combat missions, and later, commanded a destroyer in the Persian Gulf, he has advised heads of government and industry. He has also chaired several companies.

Kan English
Iran's footballers defy the regime

Kan English

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 8:23


Iran's players  declined to sing their national anthem before their World Cup match  with England in an apparent expression of support for anti-government protests in their home country. Iran state TV cut its coverage of the anthem and switched to a previously shown wide shot of the stadium. Mass protests have been met with a fierce crackdown in recent months. They have been sparked by the death in custody in September of Masha Amini,  a 22-year-old woman who was detained by morality police for allegedly breaking the strict rules around head coverings. Human rights activists have said more than 400 protesters have been killed and 16,800 others arrested in a crackdown by Iran's security forces. KAN's Mark Weiss spoke with Dr Thamar Gindin from Haifa university's Ezri Center for Iran and Persian Gulf states and   the author of the Enriched Iranium podcast, and  asked her if she was surprised by the players' protest. (Photo:AP)See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

The Cyberlaw Podcast
The Empire Strikes Back, at Twitter

The Cyberlaw Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 39:06


The Cyberlaw Podcast leads with the legal cost of Elon Musk's anti-authoritarian takeover of Twitter. Turns out that authority figures have a lot of weapons, many grounded in law, and Twitter is at risk of being on the receiving end of those weapons. Brian Fleming explores the apparently unkillable notion that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS) should review Musk's Twitter deal because of a relatively small share that went to investors with Chinese and Persian Gulf ties. It appears that CFIUS may still be seeking information on what Twitter data those investors will have access to, but I am skeptical that CFIUS will be moved to act on what it learns. More dangerous for Twitter and Musk, says Charles-Albert Helleputte, is the possibility that the company will lose its one-stop-shop privacy regulator for failure to meet the elaborate compliance machinery set up by European privacy bureaucrats. At a quick calculation, that could expose Twitter to fines up to 120% of annual turnover. Finally, I reprise my skeptical take on all the people leaving Twitter for Mastodon as a protest against Musk allowing the Babylon Bee and President Trump back on the platform. If the protestors really think Mastodon's system is better, I recommend that Twitter adopt it, or at least the version that Francis Fukuyama and Roberta Katz have described. If you are looking for the far edge of the Establishment's Overton Window on China policy, you will not do better than the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, a consistently China-skeptical but mainstream body. Brian reprises the Commission's latest report. The headline, we conclude, is about Chinese hacking, but the recommendations does not offer much hope of a solution to that problem, other than more decoupling.  Chalk up one more victory for Trump-Biden continuity, and one more loss for the State Department. Michael Ellis reminds us that the Trump administration took much of Cyber Command's cyber offense decision making out of the National Security Council and put it back in the Pentagon. This made it much harder for the State Department to stall cyber offense operations. When it turned out that this made Cyber Command more effective and no more irresponsible, the Biden Administration prepared to ratify Trump's order, with tweaks. I unpack Google's expensive (nearly $400 million) settlement with 40 States over location history. Google's promise to stop storing location history if the feature was turned off was poorly and misleadingly drafted, but I doubt there is anyone who actually wanted to keep Google from using location for most of the apps where it remained operative, so the settlement is a good deal for the states, and a reminder of how unpopular Silicon Valley has become in red and blue states. Michael tells the doubly embarrassing story of an Iranian hack of the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. It is embarrassing to be hacked with a log4j exploit that should have been patched. But it is worse when an Iranian government hacker gets access to a U.S. government network—and decided that the access is only good for mining cryptocurrency.  Brian tells us that the U.S. goal of reshoring chip production is making progress, with Apple planning to use TSMC chips from a new fab in Arizona.  In a few updates and quick hits: I remind listeners that a lot of tech companies are laying employees off, but that overall Silicon Valley employment is still way up over the past couple of years. I give a lick and a promise to the mess at cryptocurrency exchange FTX, which just keeps getting worse. Charles updates us on the next U.S.-E.U. adequacy negotiations, and the prospects for Schrems 3 (and 4, and 5) litigation. And I sound a note of both admiration and caution about Australia's plan to “unleash the hounds” – in the form of its own Cyber Command equivalent – on ransomware gangs. As U.S. experience reveals, it makes for a great speech, but actual impact can be hard to achieve.

The Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove
Episode 364 - Tracking the decline and exposing the hypocrisy

The Iron Fist and the Velvet Glove

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 22, 2022 96:38 Transcription Available


In this episode we discuss:(00:33) Introduction(03:06) God Forbid(05:17) Historical Knowledge(09:30) Victorian Election(16:35) Evangelicals Blame Abortion Demons(19:02) Greg Smith and MAGA(21:25) Zuckerberg Ignored the Script(23:44) USA in the Persian Gulf(24:26) Old fashioned CIA propaganda(28:07) Chinese Diplomacy(33:05) QANDA(43:24) Chinese Suppression of Journalists(47:22) Venezuela(49:38) Turkey Starts Partial Payment In Rubles(50:34) German Deflation(51:49) New Zealand Voting Age(53:23) History of Money(59:55) How Japan Korea and Taiwan SucceededHow to support the PodcastMake a per episode donation via PatreonorDonate through Paypalandtell your friends.Chapters, images & show notes powered by vizzy.fm.Mentioned in this episode:Website

SBS Hindi - SBS हिंदी
2022 FIFA World Cup finally kicks off in Qatar

SBS Hindi - SBS हिंदी

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 21, 2022 6:05


This year's FIFA Football World Cup has finally arrived, and a spectacular opening ceremony greeted fans with some surprises. After the grand ceremony, Ecuador team played the first game against the host nation Qatar and defeated them with a score of 2-0. The first World Cup in the Middle East is a chance for Qatar, a tiny Arab country jutting out into the Persian Gulf, to showcase itself to the wider world.

Discovered Wordsmiths
Episode 130A – Matt Hughes – The Emir’s Falcon

Discovered Wordsmiths

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2022 55:44


Overview The Emir's Falcon, an exciting new young adult tale of outdoor adventure by award-winning Canadian author Matt (Matthew) Hughes, is now available in print, ebook, and audiobook editions from Saskatchewan publisher Shadowpaw Press Premiere.“The novella evolved out of a real event that happened when I was an aide to Canada's Minister of the Environment,” Matt Hughes explains. “The government decided to give a peregrine falcon to a Persian Gulf emir. I wondered how the teenage volunteers who worked with the birds at the breeding facility would react. Almost forty years later, I stopped wondering and made a story out of it.” Matt (Matthew) Hughes writes fantasy, space opera, and crime fiction. He has sold twenty-four novels to publishers large and small in the UK, US, and Canada, as well as nearly 100 works of short fiction to professional markets. His latest novels are A God in Chains (Dying Earth fantasy) from Edge Publishing and What the Wind Brings (magical realism/historical novel) from Pulp Literature Press. He has won the Endeavour and Arthur Ellis Awards and has been shortlisted for the Aurora, Nebula, Philip K. Dick, Endeavour (twice), A.E. Van Vogt, Neffy, and Derringer Awards. He has been inducted into the Canadian Science Fiction and Fantasy Association's Hall of Fame. His Book https://www.amazon.com/Emirs-Falcon-Matt-Hughes-ebook/dp/B0BC4MPGD6?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1668717297&sr=8-1&linkCode=li2&tag=discoveredwordsmiths-20&linkId=41bf8e6aabddb0e0a1defec9fe4e8eeb&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_il Website https://matthewhughes.org Favorites https://www.amazon.com/Jack-Vance-Treasury-ebook/dp/B00H52RRZW?crid=20SPEOLCMN8UN&keywords=jack+vance&qid=1669395899&sprefix=jack+vance%2Caps%2C106&sr=8-4&linkCode=li2&tag=discoveredwordsmiths-20&linkId=5238dd4d700e0b404937fee58966f85b&language=en_US&ref_=as_li_ss_il YouTube https://youtu.be/EdjbaI5V4FI Transcript I'm recording, so we're all good. Matt: Okay. All right. What would you like to know? Matt, what would I like to know? Welcome to Discovered Wordsmith. First thing I'd really like to know is a little bit about you and where you live. Some of the things you like to do besides writing. Okay. I have been a professional writer all my life. I think I got my first paycheck in 1971. Okay. As a reporter covering municipal councils for a daily in, in Vancouver, and I went into weekly papers, was an editor of a couple of small weeklies, and then a guy who just won election as a member of parliament in Canada. Said, would you like to come to Ottawa and Ghost write my column for the local press in the writing? And I eventually said, yes. I tossed the coin after a week of not being able to make up my mind and off I went to Ottawa and I became the MP assistant. And I was writing his column and helping people with their pension problems and immigration problems, all of that stuff that MP's assistants do. Been there about six weeks and he came into the office and said I'm seconding the speech from the throne debate, which is a big deal. It's where at the beginning of a new par. The government sets out its whole agenda and then there's a debate and they always have a couple of maiden mps do the the seconding and the moving and seconding. And they picked him. So I had to write a speech. He said, write me a speech. So I wrote a speech, one draft. He loved it. He went out and gave it, it killed. And next thing I know cause of that speech, he's getting all these request. For come and speak to this group and that group cuz he's a great speaker cuz he is got a great speech writer. And next thing I know I'm being headhunted by minister's offices and I end up a speech writer to the Minister of Justice. Nice. And later on I went to the Minister of Environment and I did four years in Ottawa as a speech writer. And then I came back to Vancouver and I freelanced for corporate speech writing for almost 30 years.

Tell Me Your Story
Joseph Sassoon - The Sassoons

Tell Me Your Story

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 18, 2022 64:34


The Sassoons: The Great Global Merchants and the Making of an Empire By: Joseph Sassoon A spectacular generational saga of the making (and undoing) of a family dynasty: the riveting untold story of the gilded Jewish Bagdadi Sassoons, who built a vast empire through global finance and trade—cotton, opium, shipping, banking—that reached across three continents and ultimately changed the destinies of nations. With full access to rare family photographs and archives. They were one of the richest families in the world for two hundred years, from the 19th century to the 20th, and were known as ‘the Rothschilds of the East.' Mesopotamian in origin, and for more than forty years the chief treasurers to the pashas of Baghdad and Basra, they were forced to flee to Bushehr on the Persian Gulf; David Sassoon and his sons started over with nothing and beginning to trade in India in cotton and opium. The Sassoons soon were building textile mills and factories, setting up branches in shipping in China, and expanding beyond, to Japan, and further west, to Paris and London. They became members of British parliament; were knighted; and owned and edited Britain's leading newspapers, including The Sunday Times and The Observer. And in 1887, the exalted dynasty of Sassoon joined forces with the banking empire of Rothschild and was soon joined by marriage, fusing together two of the biggest Jewish commerce and banking families in the world. Against the monumental canvas of two centuries of the Ottoman Empire and the changing face of the Far East, across Europe and Great Britain during the time of its farthest reach, Joseph Sassoon gives us a riveting generational saga of the making of this magnificent family dynasty. In an interview with you, Joseph Sassoon will speak about: His passion for discovery that led to an untapped trove of archival material about his family The incredible contributions of this family to Western Globalization and cos The Allure of wealth and the social ladder climbing that ultimately cause the dynasty's downfall Sir Victor Sassoon, His Brilliance, and where he ultimately failed The comparisons of the Sassoon to the Rothschild dynasties The letter from a distant relative that was the inspiration for this book His family's escape from Baghdad in the 1970's to avoid Saddam Hussein's regime and much more! Publisher‏: ‎ Pantheon (October 25, 2022) Language‏: ‎ English Hardcover‏: ‎ 432 pages ISBN-10‏: ‎ 0593316592 ISBN-13‏: ‎ 978-0593316597 About the Author JOSEPH SASSOON is a Professor of History and Political Economy at Georgetown's Center for Contemporary Arab Studies and holds the al-Sabah Chair in Politics and Political Economy of the Arab World. He is also a Senior Associate Member at St Antony's College, Oxford. His research interests include political economy, economic history, Iraq, Iraqi refugees, and authoritarianism. Sassoon's second book, The Iraqi Refugees: The New Crisis in the Middle East, about Iraqi Refugees, (London, I.B. Tauris, 2009) is a comprehensive study of the Iraqi refugees and the impact of their displacement on their home and host countries after the 2003 invasion. In 2013, his book Saddam Hussein's Ba‘th Party: Inside an Authoritarian Regime (Cambridge University Press, 2012) won the prestigious British-Kuwait Prize for the best book on the Middle East. His most recent book is Anatomy of Authoritarianism in the Arab Republics (New York: Cambridge University, 2016). Sassoon completed his Ph.D. at St Antony's College, Oxford. and has published extensively on Iraq and its economy and on the Middle East.

New Books Network
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books Network

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/new-books-network

New Books in Economic and Business History
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in Economic and Business History

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Princeton UP Ideas Podcast
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Princeton UP Ideas Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon.

New Books in East Asian Studies
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in East Asian Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/east-asian-studies

New Books in Southeast Asian Studies
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in Southeast Asian Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/southeast-asian-studies

New Books in South Asian Studies
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in South Asian Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/south-asian-studies

New Books in History
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in History

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/history

New Books in Middle Eastern Studies
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

New Books in Middle Eastern Studies

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/middle-eastern-studies

Asian Review of Books
Eric Tagliocozzo, "In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama" (Princeton UP, 2022)

Asian Review of Books

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 17, 2022 35:15


In the nineteenth century, one group of American merchants reported an odd request from the Vietnamese emperor. An envoy asked if the traders could help procure a commodity brought by a previous delegation: a precious good that turned out to be a bottle of Best Durham bottled mustard. That's one small anecdote in Eric Tagliocozzo's latest book, In Asian Waters: Oceanic Worlds from Yemen to Yokohama (Princeton University Press: 2022), which charts hundreds of years of history across Asia's waters, from the South China Sea through the Persian Gulf. Eric weaves together historical research and on-the-ground fieldwork to show how Asia's oceans can be a better way to understand the region than its land borders. In this interview, Eric and I talk about these Asian waters, stretching from the Middle East to East Asia, and the history and fieldwork that went into Eric's book. Eric Tagliacozzo is the John Stambaugh Professor of History at Cornell University. His many books include Secret Trades, Porous Borders: Smuggling and States along a Southeast Asian Frontier, 1865–1915 (Yale University Press: 2009) and The Longest Journey: Southeast Asians and the Pilgrimage to Mecca (Oxford University Press: 2013). You can find more reviews, excerpts, interviews, and essays at The Asian Review of Books, including its review of In Asian Waters. Follow on Twitter at @BookReviewsAsia. Nicholas Gordon is an associate editor for a global magazine, and a reviewer for the Asian Review of Books. He can be found on Twitter at @nickrigordon. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/asian-review

In The News
Qatar 2022: the rocky road to Doha

In The News

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 16, 2022 26:05


After a 12 year lead-in time dogged by corruption scandal, human rights abuses and subversion of the football calendar, World Cup 2022 is finally about to get underway in Qatar. But can the Persian Gulf state overcome its critics and pull off a controversy-free tournament? How will authorities in the conservative muslim country react to boozy football fans and LGBTQ+ supporters? And the big question; who should Ireland support in the absence of cheering on the boys in green? Conor Pope is joined by football writer and broadcaster Ken Early, who is covering the World Cup for The Irish Times. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Nepal Now
Spousal abuse of Nepali women migrant workers

Nepal Now

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 15, 2022 30:32


Thank you for joining me today. I think it's fair to say that the discussion you're going to hear raises at least as many questions as it answers. We're talking about domestic abuse and women who leave Nepal to work abroad. Labour migration is a huge part of the country's economy and, as I think this episode reveals, it has a major impact on many other aspects of life here. Earlier this century the money that migrant workers sent home accounted for close to 1/3 of Nepal's entire economy; today it is closer to a quarter – still a major chunk of what keeps this country going. Today I'm speaking with Dr Arjun Kharel, assistant professor of sociology at Tribhuvan University and a research fellow at the Centre for the Study of Labour and Mobility. He and co-author Amrita Gurung recently published a paper that looks at spousal abuse experienced by 148 Nepali women who worked in various countries overseas. Much has been reported about women migrant workers who are abused in their working countries but this research focuses on domestic abuse faced by women in Nepal before and after they worked overseas, mostly in Persian Gulf countries or Malaysia. These are – aside from Nepal's neighbour India – the main destination countries for Nepali workers, women and men. One of the main findings of the research, which surprised the academics, is that women migrant workers did not face higher levels of abuse after they returned home. Researchers expected that because there is such a stigma about women who go abroad alone, specifically that they will hook up with other men that female migrants would be ‘punished' after returning home. Another surprising finding was that the women surveyed believed that it was OK for men to beat women in certain circumstances, for example if they were not caring for children properly. In that sense, their opinions matched those of Nepali women in general, whereas researchers thought that exposure to another culture might affect the migrants' thinking about abuse. Other questions that I think the research raises include: how many Nepali women who leave for overseas work are abused and how big a factor is that abuse in their decision to leave? Arjun does have answers based on his research, as you'll hear, but I think this needs to be examined further. Also, why isn't more being done to prevent domestic abuse in general, which in turn might reduce the number of women who feel they have to leave the country? I could go on, but instead please listen now to my chat with Dr Arjun Kharel to learn more. ResourcesResearch paper — Women's Participation in Foreign Labour Migration and Spousal Violence: A Study on Returnee Women Migrant Workers in NepalOur earlier episode – The Labour Migration TrapNepal Now social linksFacebookInstagramTwitterLinkedInThanks as always to Nikunja Nepal for advice and inspiration.Music: amaretto needs ice ... by urmymuse (c) copyright 2018 Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial  (3.0) license. http://dig.ccmixter.org/files/urmymuse/57996 Ft: ApoxodeStay in touch on:Instagram Twitter LinkedIn

MOAA's Never Stop Serving Podcast
Oil Terminal Attack: Coast Guardsman Earns Valor During the Iraq War

MOAA's Never Stop Serving Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 14, 2022 34:29


In April 2004, Joe Ruggiero was a petty officer serving with a Coast Guard Law Enforcement Detachment aboard the Navy's USS Firebolt in the Persian Gulf. Ruggiero and a team of Coast Guardsmen and sailors were conducting a boarding operation near an oil terminal when the boat they were intercepting detonated in an apparent suicide bombing, killing two sailors and one Coast Guardsman. For his actions that day, Ruggiero, now a Chief Warrant Officer 2, became the first Coast Guardsman since the Vietnam War to earn a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star with V.  

Borrowed
Stories of Service

Borrowed

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 11, 2022 17:21


In honor of Veterans Day, we are bringing you four stories of service, from veterans who served in World War II, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and Iraq. Three voices come to us from interviews collected at BPL for the Veterans History Project at the Library of Congress. Check out our book list and transcript here: https://www.bklynlibrary.org/podcasts/stories-service  

Film Forum Presents
THE RUNNER - Amir Naderi & Madjid Niroumand

Film Forum Presents

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 36:42


In today's episode, we bring you a conversation with Amir Naderi, writer and director of THE RUNNER, one of the most revered figures of the Iranian New Wave, and Madjid Niroumand, who was 11 when he played the film's central role nearly 40 years ago. The two joined Film Forum's repertory artistic director Bruce Goldstein for a discussion following our opening night screening of a new restoration of THE RUNNER on October 28. Released in Iran in 1984, THE RUNNER wasn't seen in New York until 1991,  when it premiered at Film Forum – and then virtually disappeared. The film, based on Naderi's own childhood, centers on a resourceful orphan making ends meet in Abadan, a southern city on the Persian Gulf.  Considered the first masterpiece of post-revolutionary Iran, THE RUNNER has been compared to the great works of Italian neo-realism, like SHOESHINE and THE BICYCLE THIEF, and Truffaut's THE 400 BLOWS. The new restoration is now playing at Film Forum through Thursday, November 17. Special thanks to Amir Naderi, Madjid Niroumand, and Rialto Pictures for making this event possible. Photo by Dora Nano.

Catholic Family News's Podcast
Weekly News Roundup November 10, 2022

Catholic Family News's Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 10, 2022 66:30


Our stories this week include: (1) an overview of U.S. midterm election results, particularly their impact on the pro-life cause; (2) Pope Francis' recent trip to the Muslim-majority Kingdom of Bahrain (located in the Persian Gulf) and his promotion of the heterodox "Document on Human Fraterity" he signed with a prominent Muslim leader nearly three years ago (Feb. 2019); (3) the claim made by a Vatican Cardinal and head of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre that episcopal conferences are "always better" than "a single bishop"; and (4)the latest from Abp. Carlo Maria Viganò (a detailed critique of Benedict XVI's October 7 letter to the President of Franciscan University of Steubenville).

The Nazi Lies Podcast
The Nazi Lies Podcast Ep. 21: Just Like the Fall of Rome

The Nazi Lies Podcast

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 8, 2022 36:37


Mike Isaacson: Rome gets sacked ONE TIME, and that's all these people can talk about! [Theme song] Nazi SS UFOsLizards wearing human clothesHinduism's secret codesThese are nazi lies Race and IQ are in genesWarfare keeps the nation cleanWhiteness is an AIDS vaccineThese are nazi lies Hollow earth, white genocideMuslim's rampant femicideShooting suspects named Sam HydeHiter lived and no Jews died Army, navy, and the copsSecret service, special opsThey protect us, not sweatshopsThese are nazi lies Mike: Welcome to another episode of The Nazi Lies Podcast. Today we're talking with Edward Watts, professor of history and Alkaviadis Vassiliadis Endowed Chair in Byzantine Greek History at the University of California San Diego. He's here to talk to us about his book, The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome: The History of a Dangerous Idea. The book is an extraordinary scholarly endeavor that managed to give a detailed and engaging history of 1700 years of Roman history in under 300 pages. Welcome to the podcast, Dr. Watts. Edward Watts: Thanks so much for having me. It's exciting to be here. Mike: All right. Now, you are one of the rare guests on our show whose book was actually directed at debunking Nazi lies. Tell us what you had in mind when you were writing this book. Edward: So the thing that prompted me to write this book was a recognition that the history of Rome, and in particular the legacy of Rome as it relates to the end of Roman history, was something that was being repeatedly misused across thousands of years to justify doing all sorts of violence and horrible things to people who really in the Roman context had very little to do with the decline of Rome, and in a post-Roman context, had nothing really to do with the challenges that people using the legacy of Rome wanted to try to address. And in particular, what prompted this was the recognition after 2016 of how stories about the classical past and the Roman past were being used on the far right and the sort of fascist fringe as a way of pointing to where they saw to be challenging dynamics and changes, critical changes, in the way that society was functioning. What was happening was people were doing things like using the story of the Gothic migrations in the 4th century AD to talk about the need to do radical things in our society related to immigration. And the discussions were just misusing the Roman past in really aggressive ways as kind of proof for radical ideas that didn't really relate to anything that happened in the past and I think are generally not things that people would be willing to accept in the present. And Rome provides a kind of argument when it's misunderstood,when Roman history is misunderstood, it provides a kind of argument that people are not familiar enough with to be able to refute, that might get people who think that a certain policy is aggressive or inhumane or unnecessary to think twice about whether that policy is something that is a response to a problem that people need to consider. And that's just wrong. It's a wrong way to use Roman history. It's a wrong way to use history altogether. And it's a rhetoric that really needs to be highlighted and pointed to so that people can see how insidious these kinds of comparisons can be. Mike: Okay, so your book discusses the idea of the decline and fall of the Roman Empire, which you say started before any such decline or fall in the late Republic. What was politics like in the Roman Empire before the myth of Rome's decline popped up? Edward: So this is an interesting question because the story of Roman decline actually shows up in some of the very earliest Roman literature that we have. So the very first sort of intact Latin texts that we have from the Roman period are things like the plays of Plautus. In one of the earlier plays of Plautus, he is already making fun of people for saying that Rome is in decline. And he's saying this at a time right after the Roman victory over Hannibal when there is no evidence that Rome is in decline at all. And yet we know that there are politicians who are pushing this idea that the victory over Hannibal has unleashed a kind of moral decline in Rome that is leading to the degeneration of Roman morals and Roman behaviors and Roman social structures in such a fashion that will disrupt the ability of Rome to continue. This is just not something that most people recognized to be true, but what we see when politicians in the third century and second century BC are saying things like this, they aren't particularly interested in describing an objective reality. What they're looking to do is insert ideas into popular discourse, so that people in the context of their society begin to think it might be possible that decline exists. So I think that when we look at Roman history before Roman literature, or before these pieces of Roman literature exist, we really are looking at much later reconstructions. But I think that it's fair to say that even in those reconstructions of stories about things like say, the sixth king of Rome, those stories too focus on how that particular regime was inducing a decline from the proper behaviors of Romans. So I think we could say that there is no before decline. Rome seems always to have been talking about these ideas of decline and worrying about the fact that their society was in decline, even when objectively you would look around and say there is no reason whatsoever that you should be thinking this. Mike: Okay. Now your book argues that this political framing helped politicians shape the politics of the Roman Empire in particular ways. So how did those who pushed this declensionist narrative change the Roman republic? Edward: So in the Roman republic, there are a few things that this narrative is used to do. In the second century, early second century BC, this narrative is used to attack opponents of a politician named Cato. What Cato tried to do was single out people who had been getting particularly wealthy because of the aftermath of Rome's victory in the Second Punic War over Hannibal and then its victories in the eastern Mediterranean against the Greek King, Philip V. And what Cato saw was that this wealth was something that profoundly destabilized society because now there were winners who were doing well economically in a way that the old money establishment couldn't match. And so what he's looking to do is to say that when you look around and you see prosperity of that level in the Roman state, this is a sign that things are actually bad. It's not a sign of things are good. It's a sign that things are deteriorating, and we need to take radical steps to prevent this. And the radical steps that Cato takes, and that he initially gets support for, involves very onerous taxes directed specifically against groups of people that he opposed. He also serves as the person who decides who gets to be in the Roman Senate, and he uses that position to kick out a lot of people on the basis simply of him deciding that they embody some kind of negative trajectory of the Roman State. And there's a reaction to this and Cato eventually is forced to kind of back away from this. As you move later in the second century, the narrative of decline becomes something that first is used to again justify financial policies, and then later, actual violence against officials who are seen as pushing too radical an agenda. And so this becomes a narrative that you can use to destabilize things. It doesn't matter if you're coming from what we would say is the right or the left, the kind of equal opportunity narrative that can be used to get people to question whether the structures in their society are legitimately in keeping with the way the society is supposed to function. Mike: Okay. So a lot of people have this misconception that Rome kind of snapped from being a republic to being governed by an emperor, but that's not really so. What was the imperial administration like and how did it change? Edward: The Roman republic was in many ways a very strong constitutional system that had a lot of things built into it to prevent one individual from taking over. Not only did it have a structure that was based on a kind of balance of power–and the description of that structure was something that influenced the Founding Fathers in the US to create the balances of power that we have–but in Rome, the administrative office that correlated to the presidency actually was a paired magistracy. So there were two consuls who governed together and could in theory check one another. What the decline narrative happened or allows to happen is that these structures begin to be questioned as illegitimate. And you get, starting in the later part of the second century and going all the way through the murder of Julius Caesar in 44 BC, a long set of discussions about how the Constitution is not functioning as it's supposed to, how the interests of everybody are not being represented by the representatives in the Senate and by the sorts of laws that are being put forward in assemblies. And you have a greater sense that there's an emergency, and an emergency that requires people to assent to an individual exercising more power than the structure really permits. And so this idea of decline heightens this sense of emergency and you have cycles every generation or so, where the sense of emergency gets greater and another constitutional structure snaps. Until eventually what you have is an individual in Julius Caesar, who is able to exercise complete and effective control over the direction of politics in the state. Mike: Okay. So for whatever reason, the assassination of Julius Caesar sticks strong in our cultural psyche, but reading your book it seems like assassinating emperors was kind of commonplace? Edward: It depends on the period. Yeah, there are definitely periods where the violent overthrow of emperors are somewhat common. I think with Caesar, what we have is the assassination. We're still when Caesar was assassinated in the final death throes of the Roman republic. And so it takes a while and a really brutal nearly 15-year-long sprawling Civil War for Rome to finally just accept that the republic as a governing structure is not really going to function in the way it had before. And the first emperor is Augustus. The first assassination actually occurs about 75 years after Augustus takes over. The first emperor that's assassinated is Caligula. Then you have moments of really profound peace and stability that are punctuated by these upheavals where, you know, in the year 68 the Emperor Nero commits suicide and this leads to a sprawling civil war in which four emperors take power in the course of a single year. Then things kind of calmed down. There's an assassination in 96, and no more assassinations for almost 100 years. And so you have these moments where the structures of the empire are very stable, but when they break, it breaks very seriously. It's very rare when an emperor is assassinated, that there's only one assassination and things kind of work out after that. And so generally, I think what this suggests is, if you have faith that the Imperial structure is working predictably, it's very, very hard to disrupt that. But if you have a sense that an emperor is not legitimate or is not in power or has taken power violently, there's a very serious risk that that emperor will in turn be overthrown violently, and something very serious could happen, even going so far as resulting in a civil war. Mike: Okay so one of the biggest myths surrounding the Roman Empire is that it fell in 476 AD, and that plunged Europe into the Dark Ages, but this isn't really so. What happened in 476 AD, and how did it become the legendary fall of Rome? Edward: Yes, so 476 AD is one of the greatest non-events in history. Because when we look at our history and our timeline for the fall of Rome, this is the date that stands out to us. But actually in 476, there's not a single person who seems to think that Rome fell on that day. What happens is in the middle part of the fifth century, the eastern empire and the western empire separated in 395. And in the middle part of the fifth century, the western empire has a very serious loss of territory and then a loss of stability within Italy. So that there are, in a sense, kingmakers who run the army and decide whether an emperor should be in power or not. And so you have a number of figurehead emperors, starting really in the 450s and going through 476, who are there, in a couple of cases at certain moments they do exercise real power, but much of the time they're subordinate to military commanders who don't want to be emperor, or in many cases are of barbarian descent and don't think they can make imperial power actually stick, and in 476, Odoacer who was one of these barbarian commanders overthrows an emperor in Italy and says, "We are not going to have an emperor in Italy anymore. Instead, I'm just going to serve as the agent of the eastern emperor in Italy." And for the next 50 years, there are barbarian agents–first Odoacer and then Theodoric–who serve in this constitutional way where they acknowledge the superiority and the authority of the emperor in Constantinople over Italy. And in practice, they're running Italy. But in principle, they are still affirming that they're part of the Roman Empire, the Roman senate is still meeting, Roman law is still used. It's a situation where only when the eastern empire decides that it wants to take Italy back, do you start getting these stories about well, Rome fell in 476 when these barbarians got rid of the last emperor and now it's our obligation to liberate Italians from this occupation by these barbarians. In 476, though, this is not what anyone in Constantinople or in Italy actually thought was going on. Mike: Okay. So both the east and the west of the Roman Empire eventually became Christian. How did this alter the myth of the declining Rome? Edward: So for much of Roman history, there is very much this idea that any problem that you have is a potential sign of the decline of Rome, and if you are particularly motivated, you can say that the problem requires radical solutions to prevent Rome from falling into crisis. But with Christianity, when the Roman Empire becomes Christian, there is no past that you can look back to say, "Well, we were better as a Christian empire in this time." When Constantine converts to Christianity, he's the first Christian emperor. And so it's very natural for opponents to be able to say, "Look, he made everything Christian and now things are going to hell ,and so Christianity is the problem." So what Christians instead say is what actually is going on here is we are creating a new and better Rome, a Rome where the approach to the divine is more sophisticated, it's more likely to work. And so for about 100 years, you have instead of a narrative decline, a narrative of progress where Christians are pushing a notion that by becoming Christian, the Empire is embarking on a new path that is better than it has ever been before. Not everybody accepts this. At the time of Constantine's conversion, probably 90% of the Emperor's still pagan so this would be a very strange argument to them. And by the time you get into the fifth century, you probably are in a majority Christian empire, but like a 50% majority, not like 90% majority. So there is a significant pushback against this. And in moments of crisis, and in particular after the Sack of Rome in 410, there is a very strong pagan reaction to this idea of Christian Roman progress. And Christians have to come up with evermore elaborate explanations for how what looks like decline in any kind of tangible sense that you would look at in the western empire is actually a form of progress. And the most notable production of that line of argument is Augustine's City of God, which says effectively, “Don't worry about this world. There's a better world, a Christian world that really you should be focusing on, and you're getting closer there. So the effect of what's going on in the Roman world doesn't really matter too much for you.” Mike: Okay. Now at one point, there were actually three different polities across Europe and Asia Minor all claiming the inheritance of the Roman Empire. How did this happen? Edward: There are different moments where you see different groups claiming the inheritance of Rome. In the Middle Ages, you have the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, which is a construction of Charlemagne and the papacy around the year 800. And the claim that they make is simply that there is the first empress of the Roman state who takes power all by herself in 797–this is the Empress Irene–and the claim Charlemagne makes as well that eliminates the legitimacy of the Roman Empire and Constantinople because there's no emperor. Therefore because there's no emperor, there's no empire and therefore we can just claim it. Another moment where you see this really become a source of significant conflict is during the Fourth Crusade when the Crusaders attack Constantinople and destroy the central administration of the eastern Roman Empire. After that point, you have the crusaders in Constantinople who claim that they are a Roman state. You have the remains of the Roman state that had been in Constantinople sort of re-consolidating around the city of Nicaea. You have a couple of other people who claim the inheritance of the Roman state inEpirus and Trebizond, and they all kind of fight with each other. And so ultimately, what you see is that the Roman Empire has this tremendous resonance across all of the space that was once Roman. So their empire at its greatest extent went from the Persian Gulf all the way to Scotland. And it went from Spain and the Atlantic coast of Morocco all the way down to the Red Sea. It's massive. And in a lot of those territories after Rome recedes, the legacy of Rome remains. So a lot of people who felt that they could claim the Roman legacy tried to do that, because it gave a kind of added seriousness and a more, a greater echo to these little places that are far away from the center of the world now, places like Britain or places like France or places like Northern Germany. And so you, in a sense, look like you're more important than you are if you can make a claim on the Roman imperial legacy. Mike: Okay. And so how do these would-be empires finally end up collapsing? Edward: So, each in their own way. In the case of the Holy Roman Empire, it actually lasts for very long time. It's created under Charlemagne in 800, and it lasts really until the time of Napoleon. And it collapses because it's sort of dissolved because in Germany there was a fear that Napoleon might actually use the hulk of the Holy Roman Empire and the title of Holy Roman Emperor to claim a kind of ecumenical authority that would go beyond just what he had as emperor of France. The crusader regime in Constantinople is actually reconquered by the Nicene regime in 1261. So the Crusaders take Constantinople in 1204, and then these Roman exiles who set up a kind of Roman Empire in exile in Nicaea reconquer in 1261. And they hold Constantinople for another 200 years until the Ottomans take it in 1453. The other sort of small Roman states are absorbed either by the state in Constantinople or by the Ottomans, but ultimately by the end of the 1460s, everything that had once been part of the Eastern Empire in the Middle Ages is under Ottoman control. Mike: Okay. And so despite all of the polities that could have contended for the inheritance of Rome collapsing, Rome's decline still played a large part in political considerations across what was formerly the Roman Empire but now as an instructive metaphor. How was the decline of the Roman Empire leveraged to influence politics leading into the modern era, and who were the big myth makers? Edward: Yeah, there's a couple of really important thinkers in this light. One is Montesquieu, the French thinker who uses a discussion of Roman history to launch into a much more wide and expansive and influential discussion of political philosophy that centers really on notions of representation and sets some of the groundwork for what actors in the American Revolution and French Revolution believed they were doing. Montesquieu is really, really important in understanding 18th-century political developments. And I think it's impossible really to understand what the American Revolution and the French Revolution thought they were doing without also looking at Montesquieu. But now I think the more influential figure in terms of shaping our ideas about what Roman history looked like and what Roman decline meant is Edward Gibbon. Gibbon is also an 18th-century thinker. When he started writing a history of Rome, he started writing in the 1770s when he believed that there was a firm and stable European political structure of monarchies that could work together and kind of peacefully move the continent forward. And while Gibbon is working on this, of course, you know, the American Revolution happens, and the French Revolution happens, and his whole structure that he was looking to defend and celebrate with his Roman history disappears. And so his Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire becomes a book that is extracted from its historical context. And it seems like it is an objective narrative of what happens. It's not objective at all. What Gibbon is trying to do is compare the failings of one large single imperial structure and the advantages of this kind of multipolar world where everyone is balanced and cooperative. But everybody forgets that that multipolar world even existed because the book comes out after it's gone. So what you have with Gibbon is a narrative that seems to be just an account of Roman history, and a very, very evocative one. I think most of the people now who have Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on their shelf don't read it. But they know the title. They know the concept. This means that you have a ready-made metaphor for anything that's bothering you. You know, you can talk about the decline and fall of Rome. Just about everybody in the entire world knows that Rome declined and fell. And very few of them know much about why it happened or how it happened or how long it took. And so evoking the decline and fall of Rome allows you to kind of plug in anything, as my friend Hal Drake says, anything that's bothering you at a particular moment, you can plug in and say Rome fell because of X. And if you look at the last 50 years you can see lots and lots and lots of examples of X, lots of different things that bothered people that got plugged into the story of Rome fell because of whatever's bothering me that day. Mike: I am certainly guilty of having a copy of Gibbon on my bookshelf and not having read it. [laughs] So in talking about the modern appropriation of the memory of Rome, you of course talk about Fascist Italy. You reference Claudio Fogu, whom I absolutely love, check out his book The Historic Imaginary. How did Fascists wield the memory of the Roman Empire to justify their regime? Edward: Yeah, it's so, so seductive what is done in the city of Rome in particular. And there's a sense that I think is a very real sense that creating and uncovering and memorializing the imperial center of the Roman Empire makes real the experience of walking through it, and with the right kind of curation can make it feel like you're in a contemporary environment that's linked to that ancient past. And what Mussolini and his architects tried very very hard to do was create this, in a sense, almost Roman imperial Disneyland in the area between the Colosseum and the Capital line. So when we walk there, we see a kind of disembodied and excavated giant park with a large street down the middle running from the Colosseum along the length of the Roman Forum. But that was actually neighborhoods.  Before Mussolini, there were actual houses and shops and restaurants and people living there, and very, very long-standing communities that he removed with this idea that you were in a sense restoring the past and creating a future by removing the present. And I think that's a very good metaphor for what they were up to. What they were trying to do was create an affinity for the fascist present by uncovering this Roman past and getting rid of what they saw as disorder. And the disorder, of course, was real people living their lives in their houses. But the other thing that people, you know, when tourists visit this now, they don't know that history. They don't know that when they walk on the street alongside the Forum, they're actually walking on a street that is a 20th-century street created for Fascist military parades on the ruins of modern, early modern, and medieval houses. They just see this as a way to kind of commune with this Roman past. And the Fascists very much understood that aesthetic and how seductive that aesthetic was. Mike: Okay, so let's circle back to where we started with your motivation for the book. How are people invoking the fall of Rome now, and what are they getting wrong? Edward: I think that we see, again, this temptation to take what's bothering you and attaching it to Rome. And I think even if you just look over the last 50 years, you can almost trace the sorts of things people are anxious about in a modern context based on the things that are advanced for what possibly made Rome fall. So in the 70s and early 80s, there's lots of concern about environmental contamination and the effect that this is going to have on people's lives. And we get the story of Rome fell because of lead poisoning. I mean, it didn't. It's just ridiculous that you would think Rome fell because of lead poisoning when there is no moment that it fell, the place was active and survived for well over 1500 years when it was using lead pipes. There's no evidence whatsoever that this is true. In the 70s, Phyllis Schlafly would go around and say that Rome fell because of liberated women. I think that would be a very big surprise to a lot of Roman women that they were actually liberated, definitely in the 1970's way. In the 80s, and even into the 2010s, you have people like Ben Carson talking about Rome declining because of homosexuality or gay marriage. Again, that has nothing to do with the reality of Rome. There are other places where I think people come a little bit closer to at least talking about things that Romans might acknowledge existed in their society. So when you have Colin Murphy and others in the lead up to the Iraq War talking about the overextension of military power as a factor that can lead to the decline of Rome, yeah, I mean, Rome did have at various moments problems because it was overextended militarily. But most of the time it didn't. To say that the Romans were overextended militarily because they had a large empire ignores the fact that they had that large empire for almost 400 years without losing significant amounts of territory. So comparing Roman military overextension and US military overextension could be a useful exercise, but you have to adjust the comparison for scale. And you have to adjust the comparison to understand that there are political dynamics that mean that places that in the first century BC required military garrisons, in the third century did not. And so you're not overextended because you're in the same place for 400 years. At the beginning, you might need to have an extensive military presence in a place that later you won't. So I think that what we need to do when we think about the use of the legacy of Rome, is think very critically about the kinds of things that Rome can and can't teach us, and think very clearly about the difference between history repeating itself–which I think it doesn't–and history providing us with ideas that can help us understand the present. I think that's where history is particularly useful, and Roman history in particular is useful. Because it's so long, there are so many things that that society deals with, and there are so many things that it deals with successfully as well as fails to deal with capably. All of those things offer us lessons to think with, even if they don't offer us exact parallels. Mike: Okay, so we've talked a bunch about the fabricated history of Rome and the popular memory of Rome. What does the actual history of Rome and fears of Roman decline have to teach us about the present? Edward: I think the biggest thing that we can see is if somebody is claiming that a society is in profound decline and the normal structures of that society need to be suspended so the decline can be fixed, that is a big caution flag. What that means is somebody wants to do something that you otherwise would not agree to let them do. And the justification that they provide should be looked at quite critically, but it also should be considered that, even if they identify something that might or might not be true, the solution they're proposing is not something that you absolutely need to accept. Systems are very robust. Political systems and social systems are very robust and they can deal with crises and they can deal with changes. If someone is saying that our system needs to be suspended or ignored or cast to the side because of a crisis, the first step should be considering whether the crisis is real, and then considering whether it is in fact possible to deal with that crisis and not suspend the constitutional order, and not trample on people's rights, and not take away people's property, and not imprison people. Because in all of these cases that we see Roman politicians introduced this idea of decline to justify something radical, there are other ways to deal with the problem. And sometimes they incite such panic that Romans refuse or forget or just don't consider any alternative. That has really profound and dangerous consequences because the society that suspends normal orders and rights very likely is going to lose those rights and those normal procedures. Mike: All right. Well, Dr. Watts, thank you so much for coming on The Nazi Lies Podcast to talk about the myth of the Roman Empire. The book, again, is The Eternal Decline and Fall of Rome out from Oxford University Press. Thanks again, Dr. Watts. Edward: Thanks a lot. This was great. Mike: If you enjoyed what you heard and want to help pay our guests and transcriptionist, consider subscribing to our Patreon at patreon.com/nazilies or donating to our PayPal at paypal.me/nazilies or CashApp at $nazilies [Theme song]

Catholic News
November 4, 2022

Catholic News

Play Episode Listen Later Nov 4, 2022 3:01


A daily news briefing from Catholic News Agency, powered by artificial intelligence. Ask your smart speaker to play “Catholic News,” or listen every morning wherever you get podcasts. www.catholicnewsagency.com - Pope Francis landed in the Kingdom of Bahrain on Thursday, becoming the first pope to visit the Muslim island nation located in the Persian Gulf. On the flight from Rome November 3, the pope told journalists aboard the papal plane it is “an interesting trip [that will] make us think about sharing good news.” Francis, who usually walks around the plane to greet media members, said he was in a lot of pain, and asked journalists to approach him where he was seated instead. Pope Francis is visiting Bahrain November 3-6. Located to the east of Saudi Arabia and west of Qatar, the country has a total population of 1.5 million. There are around 161,000 Catholics in Bahrain, many of whom are migrants from Asia, particularly the Philippines and India, according to 2020 Vatican statistics. There are two Catholic churches and 20 Catholic priests. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252716/pope-francis-becomes-first-pope-to-visit-bahrain Synagogues in New Jersey should stay alert in light of a possible threat, the FBI said Thursday. “The FBI has received credible information of a broad threat to synagogues in NJ,” the Newark office of the FBI said on Twitter Thursday afternoon. “We ask at this time that you take all security precautions to protect your community and facility.” “Stay alert. In case of emergency call police,” the agency added. “We are taking a proactive measure with this warning while investigative processes are carried out.” In a report released earlier this year, the Anti-Defamation League said there were at least 2,717 known anti-Semitic incidents across the US in 2021, a 34% rise over the previous year. In May 2021, leading US bishops decried a rise in anti-Semitic incidents. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252729/fbi-new-jersey-synagogues-face-credible-broad-threat In recent days, residents of at least four U.S. states have received newspapers in the mail bearing variations of the name “Catholic Tribune” and featuring mostly pro-Republican articles along with quotes from U.S. bishops, among other Catholic-oriented content. Bishops in Arizona, Iowa, and Michigan have come out with statements in recent days denying any connection to the publications. The bishops have stressed that the papers are not affiliated with the Church and have reiterated that Catholics should vote based on their own well-formed consciences, and not necessarily for or against any particular person or political party. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/252727/bishops-disavow-link-politically-oriented-catholic-tribune-newspapers Today, the Church celebrates Saint Charles Borromeo, a cardinal and a prominent teacher and reformer of the Catholic faith. He gave of his considerable wealth generously to charity, and later gave of his own wealth and health to help plague victims at a time when many other authorities fled. https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/saint/st-charles-borromeo-645

Middle East Forum Radio
Israel and the Persian Gulf: Dawn of a New Era with Joshua Teitelbaum

Middle East Forum Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 31, 2022 31:35


Since the signing of the Abraham Accords in September, 2020, rapid and significant progress has been made in relations between Israel and its Gulf neighbors. More than 150 memoranda have been signed, and trade has increased over 65 percent. What is the historical context of these current developments? What are the possibilities for increased cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia?

Middle East Forum Radio
Is the Middle East Being 'Qatar-ized'? with Danielle Pletka

Middle East Forum Radio

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 31:56


Qatar manages to walk the balance beam between powerful actors, maintaining friendly relationships with both the United States and Iran, and efforts to punish the small emirate for its double game have failed repeatedly. This success has made it a model for its neighbors, with the Persian Gulf currently in a process of what might be called 'Qatar-ization.' What are the forces that have combined to accelerate this shift? How does Tehran take advantage of this new political development?

The History of Computing
The Silk Roads: Then And Now...

The History of Computing

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 28, 2022 10:07


The Silk Road, or roads more appropriately, has been in use for thousands of years. Horses, jade, gold, and of course silk flowed across the trade routes. As did spices - and knowledge. The term Silk Road was coined by a German geographer named Ferdinand van Richthofen in 1870 to describe a network of routes that was somewhat formalized in the second century that some theorize date back 3000 years, given that silk has been found on Egyptian mummies from that time - or further. The use of silk itself in China in fact dates back perhaps 8,500 years. Chinese silk has been found in Scythian graves, ancient Germanic graves, and along mountain ranges and waterways around modern India gold and silk flowed between east and west. These gave way to empires along the Carpathian Mountains or Kansu Corridor. There were Assyrian outposts in modern Iran and the Sogdia built cities around modern Samarkand in Uzbekistan, an area that has been inhabited since the 4th millennium BCE. The Sogdians developed trading networks that spanned over 1,500 miles - into ancient China. The road expanded with he Persian Royal Road from the 5th century BCE across Turkey and with the conquests of Alexander the Great in the 300s BCE, the Macedonian Empire pushed into Central Asia into modern Uzbekistan. The satrap Diodotus I claimed independence of one of those areas between the Hindu Kush, Pamirs, and Tengri Tagh mountains, which became known as the Hellenized name Bactria and called the Greco-Bactrian and then Into-Greek Kingdoms by history. Their culture also dates back thousands of years further.  The Bactrians became powerful enough to push into the Indus Valley, west along the Caspian Sea, and north to the Syr Darya river, known as the Jaxartes at the time and to the Aral Sea. They also pushed south into modern Pakistan and Afghanistan, and east to modern Kyrgyzstan. To cross the Silk Road was to cross through Bactria, and they were considered a Greek empire in the east. The Han Chinese called them Daxia in the third century BCE. They grew so wealthy from the trade that they became the target of conquest by neighboring peoples once the thirst for silk could not be unquenched in the Roman Empire. The Romans consumed so much silk that silver reserves were worn thin and they regulated how silk could be used - something some of the Muslim's would do over the next generations.  Meanwhile, the Chinese hadn't known where their silk was destined, but had been astute enough to limit who knew how silk was produced. The Chinese general Pan Chao in the first century AD and attempted to make contact with the Roman's only to be thwarted by Parthians, who acted as the middlemen on many a trade route. It wasn't until the Romans pushed East enough to control the Persian Gulf that an envoy was sent by Marcus Aurelius that made direct contact with China in 166 AD and from there, spread throughout the kingdom. Justinian even sent monks to bring home silkworm eggs but they were never able to reproduce silk, in part because they didn't have mulberry trees. Yet, the west had perpetrated industrial espionage on the east, a practice that would be repeated in 1712 when a Jesuit priest found how the Chinese created porcelain.  The Silk Road was a place where great fortunes could be found or lost. The Dread Pirate Roberts was a character from a movie called the Princess Bride, who had left home to make his fortune, so he could spend his life with his love, Buttercup. The Silk Road had made many a fortune, so Ross Ulbricht used that name on a site he created called the Silk Road, along with Frosty and Attoid. He'd gotten his Bachelors at the University of Texas and Masters at Penn State University before he got the idea to start a website he called the Silk Road in 2011. Most people connected to the site via ToR and paid for items in bitcoins. After he graduated from Penn State, he'd started a couple of companies that didn't do that well. Given the success of Amazon, he and a friend started a site to sell used books, but Ulbricht realized it was more profitable to be the middle man, as the Parthians had thousands of years earlier. The new site would be Underground Brokers and later changed to The Silk Road. Cryptocurrencies allowed for anonymous transactions. He got some help from others, including two that went by the pseudonyms Smedley (later suspected to be Mike Wattier) and Variety Jones (later suspected to be Thomas Clark). They started to facilitate transactions in 2011. Business was good almost from the beginning. Then Gawker published an article about the site and more and more attention was paid to what was sold through this new darknet portal. The United States Department of Justice and other law enforcement agencies got involved. When bitcoins traded at less than $80 each, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) seized 11 bitcoins, but couldn't take the site down for good. It was actually an IRS investigator named Gary Alford who broke the case when he found the link between the Dread Pirate Roberts and Attoid and then a post that included Ulbricht's name and phone number. Ulbricht was picked up in San Francisco and 26,000 bitcoins were seized, along with another 144,000 from Ulbricht's personal wallets. Two federal agents were arrested when it was found they traded information about the investigation to Ulbricht. Ulbricht was also accused of murder for hire, but those charges never led to much. Ulbricht now servers a life sentence. The Silk Road of the darknet didn't sell silk. 70% of the 10,000 things sold were drugs. There were also fake identities, child pornography, and through a second site, firearms. There were scammers. Tens of millions of dollars flowed over this new Silk Road. But the secrets weren't guarded well enough and a Silk Road 2 was created in 2013, which only lasted a year. Others come and go. It's kinda' like playing whack-a-mole. The world is a big place and the reach of law enforcement agencies limited, thus the harsh sentence for Ulbricht.

The Slavic Connexion
Shifting Sands: The Middle East and North Africa in Russia's War in Ukraine

The Slavic Connexion

Play Episode Listen Later Oct 25, 2022 40:27


On this episode, Misha speaks with Middle East expert Nicole Robinson who expounds on how MENA countries have responded to Russia's War in Ukraine and the reasons why. Ms. Robinson sheds some light on the future of the region as the conflict evolves and Russia's capacity to arm and feed its regional allies dwindles. Furthermore, she suggests that Russia's declining influence may allow for other actors to increase their influence in the Middle East region -- actors such as China, for example, which is one of the biggest recipients of oil and natural gas from the Persian Gulf. Ms. Robinson says it's unwise for the US to take a step back in the Middle East when it is geographically and strategically the region that is situated in between giants. This war is not only shifting great power competition, but also changing "how each of these countries think about their bilateral relationships." For more on Russia's War in Syria, listen to Ret. Col. Robert E. Hamilton's episode here: https://www.slavxradio.com/hamilton ABOUT THE GUEST https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQaNutVpZT13oUm_Eu8AovNN5d727uuySIXzA&usqp=CAU Nicole Robinson is a senior research associate in the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy at The Heritage Foundation, focusing on Middle East Policy. She researches and writes on economic, security, and political challenges facing the Middle East and North Africa, with a particular focus on the Levant region. Among other topics, she has written on women's empowerment and domestic developments in Iran, Lebanon, and Yemen. Before joining Heritage, Nicole lived in Jordan for a year and half, studying at the University of Jordan and working at the Stabilisation Network and Near East Foundation.She is fluent in Arabic and is continuing to expand her knowledge about the Middle East. Nicole received her Master's Degree in Arab Studies from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Middle East Studies from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. She was born and raised in Woodbury, Minnesota, and currently resides in Alexandria, Virginia. PRODUCER'S NOTE: This episode was recorded on October 21st, 2022 via Zoom. If you have questions, comments, or would like to be a guest on the show, please email slavxradio@utexas.edu and we will be in touch! CREDITS Assistant Producer/Host: Misha Simanovskyy (@MSimanovskyy) Associate Producer: Lera Toropin (@earlportion) Associate Producer: Cullan Bendig (@cullanwithana) Assistant Producer: Sergio Glajar Assistant Producer: Taylor Ham Social Media Manager: Eliza Fisher Supervising Producer: Katherine Birch Recording, Editing, and Sound Design: Michelle Daniel Music Producer: Charlie Harper (@charlieharpermusic) www.charlieharpermusic.com (Main Theme by Charlie Harper and additional background music by Broke For Free, Shaolin Dub, "Karma" by Kazka) Executive Producer & Creator: Michelle Daniel (@MSDaniel) www.msdaniel.com DISCLAIMER: Texas Podcast Network is brought to you by The University of Texas at Austin. Podcasts are produced by faculty members and staffers at UT Austin who work with University Communications to craft content that adheres to journalistic best practices. The University of Texas at Austin offers these podcasts at no charge. Podcasts appearing on the network and this webpage represent the views of the hosts, not of The University of Texas at Austin. https://files.fireside.fm/file/fireside-uploads/images/9/9a59b135-7876-4254-b600-3839b3aa3ab1/P1EKcswq.png Special Guest: Nicole Robinson.