ProvCast Episode 5: Protecting Middle East Minorities, Part 1

& Mark Melton | January 19, 2017

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Foreign Policy ProvCast Episode 5: The Middle East has a Minority Problem, Part 1

Here at Providence, we hope that our Foreign Policy ProvCast listeners had a wonderful and relaxing Christmas and Holiday Season. Now that we are at the beginning of a new presidential administration, we hope that our first episode of 2017 will offer a fresh perspective on issues in the Middle East.

Shortly before Christmas, Providence co-publisher Robert Nicholson came into the office to talk about issues concerning minorities in Middle Eastern countries. Previously, he has written for Providence about Palestinian Christians, Israel, the need for safe havens in northern Iraq to protect minorities there, and other topics concerning this tumultuous neighborhood. In our inaugural issue of the print edition, he detailed his vision for how this region can organize itself to better accommodate various ethnic and religious communities.

In this episode, Nicholson will speak about an article he wrote for The Philos Project that lays out five keys for how Donald Trump can reset US relations in the Middle East. Because we did not want to cut out too much from this conversation, we will split this talk into a two-part series. Next week we will release the second half.

Again, I’d like to give special thanks to Joseph Rossell for producing this episode.

Robert Nicholson is the executive director of The Philos Project, a nonprofit organization that seeks to promote positive Christian engagement in the Middle East. He holds a BA in Hebrew Studies from Binghamton University, and a JD and MA (Middle Eastern History) from Syracuse University. A formerly enlisted Marine and a 2012- 2013 Tikvah Fellow, Robert lives in New York City with his wife and two children.

Mark Melton is the Deputy Editor for Providence. He earned his Master’s degree in International Relations from the University of St. Andrews and focuses on Europe.

Photo Credit: At a refugee camp in the Şırnak province, south-eastern Turkey. Saeed was just 23 years-old and had been the sole breadwinner in his family. He was a Yazidi Kurd—a religious minority group. He was killed trying to return to his village in Iraq’s north-west region to help others who weren’t able to flee soon after it had come under attack by ISIS. Pictured in this photo, his widow, Khalil, is struggling to look after her three young children, the youngest just four months old, and shares one room with 16 members from her extended family in a bare, unheated building that once served as a military barracks. Photo by Caroline Gluck for European Commission DG ECHO, via Flickr.