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Armenia, Kurdistan & Palestine + Inside the Middle East

Program #KHAR003-ARIA001.

2 Programs

First Program: Rashid Khalidi - Armenia, Kurdistan & Palestine: Unhealed Wounds

World War I, 1914-1918, was called the war to end all wars. Alas, that was hardly the case. The Versailles Treaty turned the peace into pieces. It led directly to an even more destructive world war in 1939. The imperial cartographers of Britain and France drew lines in the sand and created new states and borders in the Middle East. In the backroom deals, betrayals and secret arrangements, people were sliced and diced and their aspirations snuffed. Seeds of distrust and enmity were planted. In particular, Armenia, Kurdistan and Palestine were victims of European and later U.S. machinations. The legacy of what happened a century ago is with us today. Many of the region’s current tensions and conflicts are rooted in the past and are likely to continue unless there is a just resolution of unresolved issues.

Second Program: Abdullah Al-Arian – Inside the Middle East

Antonio Gramsci, the great Italian Marxist said, “The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear.” That certainly seems to describe the Middle East today. Lots of morbid symptoms. After a series of uprisings, the so-called Arab Spring, the region has spun into a deadly spiral. Just sample these headlines, all from the same day: Libya: Islamist Militia Fighters Clash with Troops; Egypt: Bomb Kills 2 in Army Vehicle; Turkey: Boy Accused of Insulting President is Arrested; West Bank: Firebomb Seriously Wounds an Israeli Girl; Jordan: Threatens ISIS with Grave Consequences. And the horror that is Syria and the decade-long catastrophe that is Iraq continue unabated. The scope and scale of instability and violence has no recent precedent. Why is it happening?

 

 

Speaker(s):

Rashid Khalidi

Rashid Khalidi is the Edward Said Chair of Arab Studies at Columbia University, where he directs the Middle East Institute. The Los Angeles Times calls him “arguably the foremost U.S. historian of the modern Middle East.” He is the author of many books including Resurrecting Empire, The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for Statehood and Brokers of Deceit.

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