Joshua Landis

Contributor, World Views

Joshua Landis is the Director of the Center for Middle East Studies and an Associate Professor in the University of Oklahoma’s College of International Studies.

His daily newsletter and blog Syria Comment attracts some 50,000 readers a month. It is widely read by officials in Washington, Europe and Syria. Dr. Landis travels frequently to Washington, D.C. to consult with government agencies and speak at think tanks.

Beyond KGOU, he is a frequent analyst on the PBS Newshour, The Charlie Rose Show, al-Jazeera, Frontline, NPR, Public Radio International, WBUR's Here and Now, and the BBC.

He is a frequently published contributor to Foreign Policy, Middle East Policy, and TIME Magazine.

Ways to Connect

Joshua Landis compares what he calls the “Great Sorting Out” in the Middle East to historical conflicts in Eastern Europe that also stretched across ethnic and religious lines.

Then Joshua and Rebecca Cruise talk with Matthew Barber. He was one of the first bloggers to write about the capture of thousands of Yazidi  women and girls as the minority community of northern Iraq was wiped out this summer.

An Iraqi Yazidi girl with her family at the Newroz refugee camp in Syria, on August 15th.
Rachel Unkovic / DFID - UK Department for International Development

In the Iraqi province of Kurdistan, women of the Yazidi ethnic minority are disappearing. At the most recent count, between 6,000 and 7,000 women and girls have been kidnapped, and many of those have been enslaved.

When Matthew Barber visited northern Iraq earlier this year, his goals were to conduct research and learn Kurdish. When he arrived he was faced with an enslavement crisis unfolding all around him and he knew that being an American academic gave him resources he could use to help.

Rebecca Cruise explains how a proposed internet tax drew tens of thousands of Hungarians to the streets of Budapest in protest, and Joshua Landis provides an update on a victory by secularists in Tunisia’s elections.

Later, a discussion with Oklahoma City imam Imad Enchassi. As a child in Lebanon’s refugee camps, he witnessed the massacre of thousands of his fellow Palestinians. Suzette Grillot talks about humanitarian work in the Middle East with Enchassi and Oklahoma City University political scientist Mohamed Daadoui.

Joshua Landis provides an update on the attacks by self-proclaimed Islamic State militants near the Turkish border, and the Syrian government’s ability to focus on battling rebels because the United States is devoting its energy to combating ISIS.

Later, a conversation with Ron Burton. He’s a Norman resident who just finished a year-long term as the president of Rotary International.

Joshua Landis provides an update on airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, and U.S. strategy to combat the Islamic State.

Later, a conversation with Akash Patel, the founder and executive director of the Aspiring Americans Initiative. His Oklahoma City-based non-profit works to connect undocumented students with educational opportunities.

Joshua Landis explains President Obama's strategy to confront ISIS without pursuing the kind of nation building projects that past administrations have attempted. 

Rebecca Cruise reports on the pros and cons of a possible Scottish independence including questions of currency, EU membership, industry and nationalism.

Later in the program, an interview with Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago exploring her ties to her native country and her relationship with art and activism.

Suzette Grillot and Joshua Landis discuss the turmoil in Iraq caused by ISIS. Rebecca Cruise reports on state of Ukraine and its possible cease fire with Russia.

Later in the program, an interview with Boston College Near East Historian and political scientist Franck Salameh about the many dialects of Arabic and the future of teaching it.

Arabic Keyboard
Francesco_G / Flickr Creative Commons

The beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff by the radical group the Islamic State, and continued tensions in Gaza reignite long-standing questions about why there’s so much tumult in the region.

Joshua Landis updates Suzette Grillot on the situation in Syria, and they talk about the rise of the Islamic State and this week’s murder of journalist James Foley.

Later, a conversation about the 100th anniversary of the Panama Canal with Noel Maurer, Raisa Banfield, and Julie Greene.

Suzette Grillot talks with Italian citizen and lawyer Katia Girotto about the outcome of European parliamentary elections, and how Italians feel about the elections' impact on the future of EU politics and economics.

Rebecca Cruise and Joshua Landis discuss television and social media in Lebanon with University of Balamand journalism department head Ramez Maluf. He says Beirut's position as a major entertainment production hub is controversial among conservatives and Arab intellectuals.