1. Conferences and debates

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Libya: What are its prospects after seven years of conflict? Play

Libya: What are its prospects after seven years of conflict?

Published at 38 05,,, 18 2018
2018.14.11. Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the consultancy firm Stractegia Consulting, brought together two experts to discuss the current situation before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya. The event included the participation of Otman El Gajiji, former president of the High National Electoral Commission of Libya, and Barah Mikaïl, the director of Stractegia Consulting. It will be presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe. Since the uprising in Libya in February of 2011, the country has been plunged into a series of conflicts. The many attempts to drive the country towards reconciliation and democracy have been unsuccessful, and Libya remains deeply polarized. In the midst of this political division, in which militias play an important role, Libyans are attempting to hold presidential and parliamentary elections, a risky endeavor that may lead to a greater escalation in violence if carried out in an improper manner. What are the factors that threaten the upcoming elections in Libya? Who are the main role-players, what are their interests and what demands are at stake? What opportunities have arisen to prevent violence and lead towards new scenarios? Can women play any role in the reconciliation process? Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the consultancy Stractegia Consulting, brought together two experts to discuss the topic. Otman El Gajiji is a former president of the High National Electoral Commission and the Central Committee for Elections of the Municipal Councils. He is the president of Ishara Consultancy Services, a consulting firm whose headquarters is located in Tripoli. It gives advice on technology, education and policy, as well as electoral procedures. His expertise in the field of elections and local governance. He has a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Barah Mikaïl is the director of Stractegia Consulting and an associate professor at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus. Prior to this, he worked as a main researcher in geopolitics and security at the Foundation for International Relations and External Dialogue (FRIDE), as well as a head researcher on the Middle East and North Africa, and water-related topics at the International and Strategic Relations Institute (IRIS, 2002-2010), with headquarters in Paris. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/libya-what-are-its-prospects-after-seven-years-of-conflict

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  • Libya: What are its prospects after seven years of conflict?Show video

    Libya: What are its prospects after seven years of conflict?

    2018.14.11. Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the consultancy firm Stractegia Consulting, brought together two experts to discuss the current situation before the presidential and parliamentary elections in Libya. The event included the participation of Otman El Gajiji, former president of the High National Electoral Commission of Libya, and Barah Mikaïl, the director of Stractegia Consulting. It will be presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe. Since the uprising in Libya in February of 2011, the country has been plunged into a series of conflicts. The many attempts to drive the country towards reconciliation and democracy have been unsuccessful, and Libya remains deeply polarized. In the midst of this political division, in which militias play an important role, Libyans are attempting to hold presidential and parliamentary elections, a risky endeavor that may lead to a greater escalation in violence if carried out in an improper manner. What are the factors that threaten the upcoming elections in Libya? Who are the main role-players, what are their interests and what demands are at stake? What opportunities have arisen to prevent violence and lead towards new scenarios? Can women play any role in the reconciliation process? Casa Árabe, with the cooperation of the consultancy Stractegia Consulting, brought together two experts to discuss the topic. Otman El Gajiji is a former president of the High National Electoral Commission and the Central Committee for Elections of the Municipal Councils. He is the president of Ishara Consultancy Services, a consulting firm whose headquarters is located in Tripoli. It gives advice on technology, education and policy, as well as electoral procedures. His expertise in the field of elections and local governance. He has a PhD in Computer Engineering from the University of Bath in the United Kingdom. Barah Mikaïl is the director of Stractegia Consulting and an associate professor at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus. Prior to this, he worked as a main researcher in geopolitics and security at the Foundation for International Relations and External Dialogue (FRIDE), as well as a head researcher on the Middle East and North Africa, and water-related topics at the International and Strategic Relations Institute (IRIS, 2002-2010), with headquarters in Paris. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/libya-what-are-its-prospects-after-seven-years-of-conflict
    Published at 38 05,,, 18 2018
  • Karen Armstrong visits Casa ÁrabeShow video

    Karen Armstrong visits Casa Árabe

    The author, awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences (2017), gave a conference on "The Challenges Facing Islam in the Modern World". The current world is turbulent and complex, and many regions of the planet are immersed in crises and conflicts that Western public opinion associates with the religious fact, particularly Islam. Karen Armstrong will reflect on the origins of violence as historically associated with political power rather than religious beliefs. The academic will talk about Islam, its historical evolution in comparison with the other two great monotheistic religions, Christianity and Judaism. She will also tackle the relationship of Islam with the processes of modernization and secularization of societies, reflecting on the widespread assumption about the supposed incompatibility between Islam and democracy. We will know which are, from her point of view, the challenges that the 21st century faces from a global perspective and in the interest of a greater understanding among the different communities that inhabit the planet. We will try, ultimately, to shed some light on where should, both individuals and institutions, direct our actions. Karen Armstrong is the author of numerous books on religion, including A History of God, which became an international bestseller; The Battle for God, A History of Fundamentalism; Islam; Buddha; and The Great Transformation, as well as a memoir, The Spiral Staircase. Her work has been translated into 43 languages. She has addressed members of the US Congress on three occasions; lectured to policy makers at the US State Department. In 2006, she was invited by Kofi Anan to join the High-Level Group of the new UN Alliance of Civilisations; in 2008; She was awarded the Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Medal; in 2009, she was awarded the TED Prize and with TED founded the Charter for Compassion, which is now a global movement. From 2008- 2016, she was a Trustee of the British Museum; in 2013, she was awarded the inaugural British Academy Al-Rodhan Prize for Improving Intercultural Relations; and in 2017, she was awarded the Princess of Asturias Award for Social Sciences. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/karen-armstrong-visits-casa-arabe
    Published at 21 08,,, 18 2018
  • Art and Conflict: Challenges and prospects for artistic creation in today’s LibyaShow video

    Art and Conflict: Challenges and prospects for artistic creation in today’s Libya

    On the occasion of the exhibition “Tracking a Vanishing Landscape: Contemporary creation in Libya,” Casa Árabe has organized this round table discussion, with the participation of the exhibition curator and two artists whose work is on display. The event included talks by Najlaa El-Ageli, the exhibition’s curator and artists Takwa Abo Barnosa and Hadia Gana. Presented and moderated by: Nuria Medina, Casa Árabe’s Culture Coordinator. This round table discussion analyzed the role played by artists and producers of culture in Libya, in light of the events and uncertainties affecting the country today. We will attempt to learn more about the context in which art and creation take place in a country whose modern and contemporary history has been complex and is quite unknown to the Spanish public. The round table discussion participants will be analyzing the most important problems affecting cultural institutions and artists in Libya, and they will debate over the prospects for young creators who have spent their careers living under the pressure of the revolutionary movements of 2011, known as the “Arab Springs,” having used their work and activities to contribute to building a sense of citizenship and participation. Najlaa El-Ageli, the exhibition curator, was the founder of the entity Noon Arts Projects, which is devoted to increasing the visibility and voice of the art and contemporary creation scene in her country of origin, Libya. Intervening in the round table discussion along with her are two of the artists featured in the exhibition Tracking a Vanishing Landscape, who have traveled to Madrid from Tripoli just for this purpose. Hadia Gana is a specialist in ceramics and installations. She creates works with a major social component and brings up topics involving Libyan society, such as corruption, post-revolutionary trauma and the collective memory of Libya’s modern social and cultural history. Her work has been exhibited on many occasions outside of Libya. She is currently the director of the Ali Gana Foundation, created in memory of her father, a well-known Libyan intellectual who worked to preserve the country’s cultural heritage. The foundation is preparing the opening of the Ali Gana Museum in Tripoli, with the mission of offering an artistic, cultural and educational space open to everyone. Takwa Abo Barnosa, the youngest artist in the exhibit and also a resident of Tripoli, is a specialist in Arabic calligraphy, an art which combines all types of mixed techniques, above all the digital printing of images from current times and of journalistic interest about Libya. In her work, Barnosa deals with the current state of political chaos, anarchy and widespread disorder. In 2015, along with Abdullah Turkie, she founded the WaraQ Art Foundation, a non-governmental organization which strives to strengthen the cultural and artistic cooperation and sharing between the Middle East and North Africa. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/art-and-conflict-challenges-and-prospects-for-artistic-creation-in-today’s-libya
    Published at 10 11,,, 18 2018
  • Challenges for Iraq after the defeat of Daesh (ARABIC)Show video

    Challenges for Iraq after the defeat of Daesh (ARABIC)

    04.26.2018. Members of the Shia, Sunni and Christian faiths in Iraq took part in this conference, organized by Casa Árabe, the Embassy of Iraq in Spain and the Alulbeyt Spain Foundation. The official proclamation of victory against the self-named Islamic State (Daesh), achieved by Iraq’s government in December 2017, has opened up a new era for the country. In 2014, Daesh controlled one-third of Iraq’s territory, almost a third of Syria and had reached as far as just a few kilometers from Baghdad. However, thanks to the cooperation between various local forces and the Iraqi Army, the lost terrain was recovered, bringing the end to a situation that seemed to be driving a strategic region of the world towards disaster. It is best not to become too triumphalist, though, because the region is still mired in profound instability, and there are still major challenges in reconstruction faced by the country in order to achieve long-term stability and complete the reconstruction process. This conference brought together Iraqis of the Shia, Sunni and Christian faiths to analyze the country’s current state of affairs. Taking part in the event were Sheikh Mohammed Ali Al Museli, representative of the Great Ayatollah Ali al Sistani in the Russian Federation and Azerbaijan; Dr. Khalid Al Mulla, a researcher on social and religious subjects and the president of the Centrism and Moderation Foundation, and Father Naim Ayoub Shoshandy, a former parish vicar at the Cathedral of Qaraqosh. The event was moderated by Yusuf Fernández, an Arabist and member of the Alulbeyt Foundation. It was presented by Pedro Martínez-Avial, the General Director of Casa Árabe. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/challenges-for-iraq-after-the-defeat-of-daesh
    Published at 10 04,,, 18 2018
  • Women’s struggle for socio-political participation in the Arab worldShow video

    Women’s struggle for socio-political participation in the Arab world

    05.08.2018. Within the framework of the seminar Women’s leadership and participation in Arab countries, Casa Árabe organized this conference, in which three experts analyze the situation for women in the region. Two months after International Women’s Day, it is now a good time to stop and take a look at the situation in Arab countries. The social changes over the last decade in many of the MENA region’s countries may be seen from different vantage points, ranging from inequality in gaining access, sectarianism and gender-related violence to positive indicators of political participation through the media, art, urban mobilizations and even the polls at election time. The way in which women have lived these changes merits a space for sharing experiences, whether in terms of marginalization or empowerment, and thus for analyzing the degree of participation by women in the socio-political arena. The conference included talks by Manal Al Dowayan, an independent Saudi artist; Faten Kallel, former State Secretary of Tunisia’s Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Nada Nashat, defense coordinator at the Center for Legal Assistance of Egyptian Women (CEWLA). Moderated by: Karim Hauser, from Casa Árabe. The conference was held as part of the seminar Women’s leadership and participation in Arab countries, which also included the participation of Reem Khalifa, an independent journalist from Bahrain, and Rauda Morcos, a Palestinian activist for LGBT rights. More info: http://en.casaarabe.es/event/women’s-struggle-for-socio-political-participation-in-the-arab-world
    Published at 07 04,,, 18 2018