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The Deep Map

Oct 17, 2022

Sudan is the largest, yet least talked about, Arab state to join the Abraham Accords, and certainly the least expected, having been on America's state sponsor of terrorism list until the night before. Part of the reason for the silence is the coup that rocked the country in late 2021, throwing its political future into question. Another is the general ignorance that surrounds this ancient seat of culture on the Nile, which bridges the Arab world and black Africa. What role does this country of 45 million people, half of which are under the age of 20, play in the Islamic world? What role does it play in the Abrahamic conversation? How has the coup changed all that, and what's it really about? Robert brings his questions to Ambassador Alberto Fernandez, a career Cuban-American foreign service officer and fluent Arabic speaker who spent years on the ground in Sudan, including in some of the country's toughest conflicts in the 21st century. 

Alberto Fernandez

Alberto M. Fernandez (@AlbertoMiguelF5) is Vice President of the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), a position he held from 2015 to 2017. He previously served as President of Middle East Broadcasting Networks (MBN), a U.S.-funded Arabic-language news organization, from 2017 to 2020.  Prior to joining MEMRI, Ambassador Fernandez was a Foreign Service Officer from 1983 to 2015 and served as the State Department’s Coordinator for the Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications from 2012 to 2015. He also served as U.S. Ambassador to Equatorial Guinea and U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Sudan. He held senior public diplomacy positions at the U.S. embassies in Afghanistan, Jordan, Syria, Guatemala, Kuwait, and in the Department’s Near East Affairs (NEA) Bureau. He speaks fluent Spanish and Arabic in addition to English.