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World Cup 2022: What does football mean to the Middle East?

Football with Doha skyline.
[Sorin Furcoi/Al Jazeera]

For the first time in World Cup history, the tournament is being held in the Middle East. Viewed as more than just a sport in the region, football has sometimes been used to stand up against colonisation or has been a tool to legitimise a government. It has also played a role in fostering national identity. In the Middle East, the beautiful game has always been intertwined with culture, politics and history.

In this episode: 

  • Abdullah Al-Arian (@anhistorian), author and associate professor at Georgetown University in Qatar.

Episode credits:

This episode was produced by Khaled Soltan and our intern Nada Shakir.  Our sound designer is George Alwer. The lead engagement producer is Aya Elmileik and the assistant engagement producer is Munera Al Dosari. Our executive producer is Omar Al Saleh. Ney Alvarez is the head of audio. The show is hosted by Sami Zeidan. 

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Source: Al Jazeera