Sports Diplomacy in the Middle East

On May 19, 2020, the National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations in cooperation with the King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies convened a roundtable discussion exploring “Sports Diplomacy in the Middle East.”



Joining the program were:

Featured Specialists:

  • HRH Prince Faisal bin Bandar bin Sultan, President of the Saudi Arabian Federation for Electronics and Intellectual Sports and the Arab eSports Federation.
  • Ms. Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, Managing Director of the Saudi Sports for All Federation.
  • Mr. Mark Clark, CEO of Generations for Peace, a Jordon-based NGO promoting sustainable conflict transformation.
  • Mr. Kemp Gouldin, Founder of Because Baseball, a non-profit dedicated to bringing baseball to schools in the Arab world.
  • Mr. Ryan Murphy, Middle East specialist in the U.S. State Department’s Office of Sports Diplomacy.
  • Mr. Hozaifa Al-Maleh, Former member of the Syrian national basketball team and international professional basketball player.

Opening Remarks:

  • Dr. John Duke Anthony, National Council on U.S.-Arab Relations Founding President and CEO.

Concluding Remarks:

  • Dr. Heidi A. Alaskary, CEO of the Special Olympics Saudi Arabian Federation.


  • Mr. Joshua Yaphe, Arabian Peninsula Analyst at the U.S. State Department.

Audio and video recordings of the program are available above and below, and on YouTube, Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and elsewhere.



“Sports Diplomacy in the Middle East” podcast (.mp3)