About Us

April 21, 2016 0 Comments

What is Diwaniyya?
Diwaniyya was the podcast of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies at Tel Aviv University — the Middle East research hub. Each month we brought you thought-provoking conversations on Middle East culture, history and politics.

Why Diwaniyya?
Diwaniyya is the Arabic word for "informal council." It connotes open discussion, a meeting of the minds. Diwaniyya isn’t another news program or political commentary podcast; it offers a wider view of a multifaceted Middle East. Through thought-provoking conversations on different issues in the region, Diwaniyya contextualizes current events and trends.

And the blog?
Diwanyya features reading lists, videos, music, photos, guests' bios, and our own musings. The blog is also a forum. We'd love to know what you think about the issues we discuss — so please leave your comments at the end of each blog post.

Current Diwaniyya Staff:
Gil Melili
Gil is a third year student majoring Middle Eastern Studies at Tel-Aviv University's International BA in Liberal Arts Program. Entering his second year of interning at the Moshe Dayan Center (MDC), Gil has had the opportunity to work on several interesting projects ranging from research into networking activities in the Middle East to restarting older projects such as the Diwaniyya Blog.  Other than interning at the MDC, he also partakes in Model United Nations and serves as spokesperson for the Tel-Aviv University Model United Nations Society.

Marie-Sophie Roeder
Marie-Sophie Roeder is currently pursuing her B.A. in Middle Eastern Studies and Politics at Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg with a focus on Radical Islamic Movements and International Relations.  This semester, she is on exchange at TAU and conducting a research internship at the MDC with a primary focus on the Syrian Civil War and its conflicting parties as well as on Women in the Syrian secular Opposition.

Natasha Spreadborough
Natasha recently graduated with a Master’s degree in Middle Eastern Politics from SOAS, University of London, where she focused on Middle Eastern political economy, international law and the Israel-Palestine conflict. Previously, she studied Palestinian Arabic for five months at Givat Haviva, and interned at One Voice Europe. She is interested in furthering her research on political economy, as well as foreign policies and power and resistance across the region.

Timur Akhmetov
Timur is an independent analyst on the Middle East with special interest in the Russian and Turkish foreign policies. He is currently interning at the MDC and blogs for the Russian International Affairs Council.

Former Contributors:
Bruce Maddy-Weitzman
The Marcia Israel Senior Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center.

Heidi Basch-Harod 
U.S. Outreach Coordinator and research assistant at the Moshe Dayan Center.

Linda Dayan

Former Steinhardt-Israel Institute research assistant to the Moshe Dayan Center. 

Samantha Sementilli


Ben Silsbee 

Shoshi Shmuluvitz 


Alona Ferber


Ariel Brickman


Ann Mangold


Evan Lanoil


Ben Decker


Valerie Strassman

Larissa Shulman

Adam Moss


Lucy Oleinik


Andreas Schneitter


Charlotte Payen


Andrew Vitelli


Special Thanks

The Diwaniyya theme music is composed and performed by Zohar Lioz Aviv.
The Diwaniyya logo was created by Rebecca Shmuluvitz and Elena Kuznetsov.