1. Conferences and debates

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Hunger and conflicts in the Arab world today Play

Hunger and conflicts in the Arab world today

Published at 22 17,,, 19 2019
On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid, we got the chance to hear an analysis of this topic by Nicolas Oberlin, the assistant regional director of the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe of the UN World Food Program. Presented by Yolanda Álvarez Maza, a former correspondent in the Middle East and the president of TVE’s News Programming Board. The conflicts causing upheaval in the Arab world are leaving millions of people without access to food. From Syria to Palestine, and in the refugee camps of Tindouf and Yemen, a country suffering the greatest humanitarian emergency of our times, the UN’s World Food Program provides essential services to the most vulnerable population. Based on his experience in the region, Nicolas Oberlin discussed the relationship between conflicts and hunger, as phenomena which feed back into each other, and the keys to breaking the vicious circle which threatens the future of the youngest generations. Nicolas Oberlin Nicolas Oberlin is an experienced humanitarian and development professional with more than two decades of service behind him at the United Nations and NGOs at the international level. He is currently the assistant regional director for the region of the Middle East, North Africa, Central Asia and Eastern Europe of the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), in charge of supervising the agency’s activities in responding to large-scale humanitarian emergencies and prolonged crises. Since he joined the WFP 20 years ago, Oberlin has held various positions at the entity’s headquarters in Rome and in the field, as well as working at humanitarian aid sites in Afghanistan, Iraq and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Before taking on his current position at the WFP’s regional office for the Middle East, Oberlin was an assistant representative of the WFP in Nepal and WFP’s representative in Tajikistan. Oberlin has degrees from the ESSEC Business School in France and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). He currently lives in Cairo, Egypt. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/hunger-and-conflicts-in-the-arab-world-today


  • Islam and the Universally Shared: Co-existing identities and religions (ARABIC)Show video

    Islam and the Universally Shared: Co-existing identities and religions (ARABIC)

    02.12.2018. Abdallah Boussouf, Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) and author of this work, presented this book at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid. The event was presented by Elena González, Casa Árabe. In the book, Abdallah Boussouf uses a series of essays with a historical perspective to recover the essential values of Islam from its very origins, placing the emphasis on ideological and religious pluralism, and intercultural co-existence, typical of societies where Islam predominates. The principles of co-existence and tolerance of diversity comprise an Islamic legacy which is especially important to highlight in our day, as a counterpoint to the widespread portrayal of Islam associated with violence and the prejudices which have led to commonplace Islamophobia. In “El islam y el común universal” (“Islam and the Universally Shared,” published by Ediciones Panteón, 2017 in France, and by Diwan 2018 in Spain), Boussouf defends moderate Islam, tolerance and peaceful religious co-existence. The book’s author is also the Secretary General of the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) and a historian whose doctoral thesis focused on relations in the Mediterranean Basin in the thirteenth century. He was a European Commission expert in the program “A Soul for Europe” (1997-2003). He presided over the commission to form the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM) and was elected Vice-President of that council in 2005. He was a founder of the Euro-Islamic Center for Culture and Dialogue, with headquarters in Charleroi, Belgium. The Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad (CCME) is an institution for consultation and prospecting with administrative and financial independence that is responsible for drafting reports and studies on migration in general and Moroccan immigration around the world in particular. It is also responsible for tracking and evaluating the Kingdom’s policies to adapt them better to the needs of the Moroccan diaspora, thereby ensuring their rights while making it possible for them to take part in the country’s political, economic, cultural and social development. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/islam-and-the-universally-shared-co-existing-identities-and-religions
    Published at 12 23,,, 18 2018
  • Transnational imaginaries in contemporary literature (FRENCH)Show video

    Transnational imaginaries in contemporary literature (FRENCH)

    02.08.2018. This round table discussion was held as part of the international colloquium “Transnational communities in contemporary Spain: Sephardic Jews and’Pieds-Noirs.’ Identities and their portrayals.” The event was presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe; Miguel Lucas, the director of the Centro Sefarad-Israel, and Michel Bertrand, the director of Casa Velázquez. It was moderated by Abraham Bengio, the professor who chairs the department of Classical Letters and a member of the Maison d’Izieu Board of Trustees, as well as included presentations by writer Muhsin Al-Ramli; writer and journalist Pierre Assouline, and writer Antonio Muñoz Molina. Transnationalism as a concept and focus proposes studying migratory phenomena on the basis of cross-border exchanges and relations between communities that go beyond just the national framework. These phenomena have a powerful impact on the societies of both origin and destination in every aspect, and on the construction of identity. This meeting held at Casa Árabe is precisely an attempt to clarify the role held by literature in constructing the identity of exiled communities, as is the case with the “pieds-noirs” and Sephardic Jews, whose paths in contemporary Spain have been marked by movement and the loss of territorial references. To study this, the organizers have invited the most important representatives from the world of contemporary literature whose works highlight the way in which existential questions about exile and nostalgia are dealt with. This round table discussion forms part of the international colloquium “Transnational communities in contemporary Spain: Sephardic Jews and ‘Pieds-Noirs.’ Identities and their portrayals” (Centro Sefarad-Israel, February 8-9, 2018), organized jointly by Casa de Velázquez and Centro Sefarad-Israel. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/transnational-imaginaries-in-contemporary-literature
    Published at 07 16,,, 18 2018
  • Strengthening Tourism’s Recovery in the MENA Region and Supporting Its GrowthShow video

    Strengthening Tourism’s Recovery in the MENA Region and Supporting Its Growth

    01.18.2018. For yet another year, as part of the annual holding of the FITUR Tourism Trade Fair, Casa Árabe and the UNWTO organized a round table discussion on this topic. Within the framework of FITUR 2018, Casa Árabe and the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) organized this sixth edition of their ministerial meeting for debate over policies and strategies for tourism development in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), with the title: Strengthening Tourism’s Recovery in the MENA Region and Supporting Its Growth. The goal of the debate was to analyze current trends and short-term prospects for tourism in the region within the context of today’s geopolitical environment. There was a review of strategies and measures that can be implemented in order to consolidate the sector’s recovery and promote tourism’s contribution to inclusive, sustainable socio-economic development. As in other years, the Ministers of Tourism from the main countries in the region were expected to take part in the debate. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/strengthening-tourism’s-recovery-in-the-mena-region-and-supporting-its-growth
    Published at 15 01,,, 18 2018
  • Through Forts and Frontiers: A conversation with Safaa Fathy (ARABIC)Show video

    Through Forts and Frontiers: A conversation with Safaa Fathy (ARABIC)

    01.24.2018. During this event at Casa Árabe, Arabist Francisco Manuel Rodríguez Sierra held a conversation with Safaa Fathy about her art work, marked by her reality as an expatriate living in Europe, and how it can be framed with the current Arab cultural scene. Appearing with Fathy, a writer, artist and philosopher, and Rodríguez Sierra, a professor of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, was Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe, who introduced and moderated the event. We took advantage of the presence of this well-known intellectual to speak about the transformations which have taken place in the Arab world in recent years. Safaa Fathy (Menia, 1958) is one of the best-known Egyptian writers and creators in the cultural scene on the Nile. With a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, she has resided in Paris since 1981, where she earned a PhD at the Sorbonne (1993) with a study on Bertolt Brecht. Since then, Safaa Fathy has developed a multifaceted artistic production, in Arabic, French and English, which ranges from writing poetry and plays to directing theater and cinema works, as well as being a literary critic and producing philosophical writings. A notable feature of her work is her close relationship with French philosopher Jacques Derrida, with whom she wrote a book (Tourner les mots: au bord d’un film, 2000) and to whom she dedicated some of her documentaries. She has been the director of programs at the International College of Philosophy in Paris. Francisco Rodríguez Sierra has a PhD in Arabic Philology from the University of Cadiz (2003) He has been a professor at the University of Granada’s Translation School (2006-2007) and a coordinator and Arabic language radio announcer for Spain’s Foreign Radio Service, Radio Exterior de España (2007-2011). Since 2011, he has been a professor with the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. His focal points of research include mainly modern Arab novels and translation studies. He has had articles published about the translations of Don Quixote into Arabic and the view of this work by Cervantes in the Arab world. He is also a literary translator. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/through-forts-and-frontiers-a-conversation-with-safaa-fathy
    Published at 10 01,,, 18 2018
  • Arab and African Migration Towards the EU: Seeking a social focus. Panel 3 + Closure (FRENCH)Show video

    Arab and African Migration Towards the EU: Seeking a social focus. Panel 3 + Closure (FRENCH)

    2017.07.11. Casa Árabe and the Friedrich Ebert Foundation of Tunisia and Madrid, in coordination with the Labor Union Network of Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan Migrations (RSMMS), organized this seminar, which analyzed the social facet of Arab and African migration towards the EU. With the participation of the main social role-players and institutions involved in fighting for labor dignity and dealing with migrations, the seminar seeks to provide a balanced, constructive, realistic analysis of this topic. Panel 3: Migrations in the EU: Current state of affairs With the cooperation of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) + European and African labor union organizations. Closure: Ebert Foundation in Tunisia More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/arab-and-african-migration-towards-the-eu-seeking-a-social-focus
    Published at 58 25,,, 18 2018