Daily: The “BLACK WAVE” that engulfed the Middle East

From the Iranian Revolution to the invasion of Afghanistan, events in 1979 turned the tides on decades of liberalisation across the Middle East. Kim Ghattas, journalist and author of Black Wave: Saudi Arabia, Iran, and the Forty-Year Rivalry That Unraveled Culture, Religion, and Collective Memory in the Middle East tells Alex Andreou about our misconceptions of the Middle East and her journey as a reporter. Have Iran and Saudi Arabia, and Sunnis and Shias, always been at each others’ throats? Was Bin Laden a “naïve revolutionary”? And what Biden can take from Trump’s policies on Iran… 

  • “I couldn’t believe that no-one had written a book that brings the story of the whole region together before – but no-one had” 
  • “My parents were more concerned about my safety and gun crime in the US than in Lebanon.”
  • “Not every Iranian woman wore a miniskirt, but before 1979, they had the freedom to choose.”
  • “The book’s for a Western audience – but it’s also for us in the region, to understand what happened to us, where we went wrong. And how we can undo some of it.”
  • “Today, we only talk about religion at the extremes. But Iran’s progressive, liberal, pluralistic core were often devout Muslims.” 
  • “Trump’s renewed pressure on Iran has actually been welcomed by many Iranians”

Presented and produced by Andrew Harrison. Assistant producers Jelena Sofronijevic and Jacob Archbold. Music by Kenny Dickinson. Audio production by Alex Rees. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production


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