Biography

Joseph Braude is an Author, broadcaster, and Middle East specialist. He studied Near Eastern Languages at Yale and Arabic and Islamic history at Princeton, and is fluent in Arabic, Hebrew, and Persian, and has lived, studied, and worked in most Middle Eastern capitals.

In the United States, his articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times Sunday Magazine, The AtlanticForeign PolicyGlamour, Tablet, and BookForum, among other publications. In the Arab world, his articles have appeared in Al-IttihadAl-MajallaAsharq Alawsat, Al-Arabiya, and Al-Ahdath al-Maghrebiya, among other publications.

On the airwaves, Joseph Braude is a regular contributor to Public Radio International’s America Abroad, a periodic commentator on NPR and PRI news programs, and the host of Eye on Arabia, a weekly podcast in English. Since July 2010, his weekly commentary in Arabic, “Risalat New York” (“Letter from New York”), has aired nationally in Morocco on Radio MED. It is now available as a podcast. He makes guest appearances on leading pan-Arab TV networks, including Al-Arabiya and Rusya al-Yawm.

As nonresident fellow at the Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center in Dubai, Braude contributes research papers to its Arabic-language monthly book, and is responsible for outreach on behalf of the Center to the United States. He is a visiting research fellow at the National Strategy Information Center in Washington. He is Senior Fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a contributing editor at Tablet magazine.

He has served as a consulting advisor to non-profit organizations, government, and the private sector in the realms of Arab civil society engagement, strategic communications, and counterterrorism.

Braude is currently at work on a book about Arabic media.

In his spare time, Joseph Braude enjoys working out, cooking, and playing piano and oud. He lives in New York.

 

Author

Joseph Braude is the author of two books on North Africa and the Middle East, currently at work on a third, and a frequent contributor to English and Arabic newspapers and magazines.

His first book, The New Iraq (Basic Books, 2003), tours Iraqi history and politics prior to the American-led invasion of Iraq, and explains how the country’s people can draw inspiration from their resplendent past to set a new course for the country’s future. Ten years after its release in English, The New Iraq continues to enjoy a wide readership in Iraq itself, Jordan, and the Gulf states through its Arabic translation. Braude’s second book, The Honored Dead (Random House – Spiegel & Grau, 2011), is a nonfiction true crime narrative based on his experience as a journalist embedded with the Moroccan police in Casablanca. It is also a street-level view of the evolving relationship between an Arab security service and the population it patrols.

In his current book project, Joseph Braude turns to Arabic media, an area he knows both as a longtime consumer and as a professional participant. Little coverage of the shifting landscape of Arabic broadcasting and publishing is available in English, and most discussions of the subject are limited to the problems of anti-Semitism and incitement to violence. The larger story of Arabic media matters too: On the one hand, it’s the story of journalists plying their trade under crushing pressure and death threats, and creative talent spoofing militants and provoking introspection through comedy, soap operas, and music. On the other hand, it’s a case study in strategic communications of utmost importance to Western policymakers: Arabic media is the main platform by which local and foreign political elements influence the public to advance their agendas — and though the US has invested billions in media projects to reach Arab populations, the result has been negligible.

In an engaging style, the book will spotlight the kind of programming that has moved millions and explain its success. It will profile industry players and reveal the often-counterintuitive results of audience focus group findings across the region. And for American policymakers and others who aspire to communicate with an Arab audience, it will offer a uniquely informed strategy to do so more effectively than ever. Joseph plans to share some of what he learns along the way—via his podcast, Eye on Arabia; in new published pieces, and on his blog.

The project is supported by the National Strategy Information Center, where he is a visiting fellow.

Joseph Braude’s ongoing research into the realm of Arabic media can be followed via his blog and published articles, and by subscribing to his English and Arabic podcasts. His writing about Arabic literature and music have appeared in the pages of BookForum as well as The New Republic. For more information, visit Joseph Braude’s Amazon author profile.

 

Broadcaster

In addition to writing books and publishing articles, Joseph Braude broadcasts his work internationally — both in English, on radio and television in the United States; and in Arabic, via networks in North Africa and the Middle East. Click here to subscribe to Joseph’s English-language podcast, Eye on Arabia, an entertaining weekly roundup of reporting and opinion.

In the US, Braude is frequently heard on Public Radio International’s America Abroad, for which he writes, narrates, and co-produces mini-documentaries on current affairs in the Arab world as well as the region’s history. In recent segments, he told the story of the rise of Islamist movements, spoke with senior White House advisors from three presidential administrations about the Iranian nuclear standoff, and profiled the most popular rock band in North Africa. He has also co-produced a series of programs for PRI’s Afropop Worldwide about the musical heritage of North Africa, African musical influence in the broader Arab region, and Islam’s complex relationship with music. As political crises unfold, Braude provides guest commentary on radio news magazines such as PRI’s Here and Now and the BBC World Service. He has also appeared on American television, including CNN, MSNBC, and FOX.

Meanwhile, Joseph Braude’s weekly radio segment in Arabic, “Risalat New York” (“Letter from New York”), has aired nationally on Morocco’s MED Radio network since July 2010. The program combines commentary and analysis with research and reporting from Arab countries and Western capitals.  The broadcast has a weekly audience of 1.75 million inside Morocco and thousands via social media in Egypt, Algeria, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf. On television, Braude provides guests commentary in Arabic on the region’s most popular networks, including Al-Arabiya and Rusya al-Yawm.

His Arabic radio program, “Risalat New York,” is also available as a podcast; click here to subscribe. To view television appearances, check out Joseph’s YouTube channel.

 

Middle East Specialist

Underlying Joseph’s work is a lifelong commitment to the professional study of Arab societies, and to applying his expertise to projects that foster civil peace, security, and reform.

His career as a Middle East specialist began as a student of Near Eastern languages at Yale and Arabic and Islamic history and literature at Princeton. He held fellowships at the Center for Arabic Study Abroad at the American University in Cairo, the Deh Khoda Center for Persian Studies at the University of Tehran, and the Jum’a ‘l-Majid Center for Culture and Heritage in Dubai.

Over the past ten years, he has served as a consulting advisor to non-profit organizations, government, and the private sector, in the realms of civil society engagement, strategic communications, and counterterrorism. Among his clients: the United States Agency for International Development, the US State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty, the National Strategy Information Center, and Pyramid Research.

Joseph Braude is currently a non-resident fellow at the Al-Mesbar Studies and Research Center in Dubai. In that capacity, he contributes research papers to its Arabic-language “Monthly Book,” and is responsible for outreach on behalf of the Center in the United States.

As a Middle East specialist, Braude chooses work which he believes can serve to advance the causes of Arab civil society, the advancement and protection of women and minorities, security sector reform, the rule of law, free expression, and a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In his view, democratic elections in the Arab world do not on their own guarantee the advancement of these goals, but transitioning democracies can and must build the institutions that do. Meanwhile, the region’s autocratic governments can also be a force for good, as guarantors of security for their people as well as facilitators of civil society and incremental constitutional reform.

Joseph’s commitment to the Middle East is deeply personal. An Iraqi Jewish American, he has been in love with the Arabic language since he first heard it spoken as a child, identifies fervently with the Iraqi motherland, believes that the State of Israel has a right to endure in peace and security, and derives bliss from playing and singing Arabic music and cooking Middle Eastern cuisine. He feels that Jews and Muslims are natural allies and partners, and welcomes those who share this view into his circle of friends.

You can follow Joseph Braude on Twitter here and via Google Plus here. Friend him on Facebook here, or connect professionally via Linkedin here. To learn more about his recent and forthcoming books, visit the profile of Joseph Braude on the online book retailer Amazon.com.