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Aula Árabe 3.17. Quo Vadis, Lebanon?

Published at 46 30,,, 22 2022
Next Tuesday, April 5, this conference will be held at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid and on our YouTube channel (in Spanish and English). It will be given by Karim Bitar, a researcher at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques and is taking part within the framework of the Aula Árabe Universitaria program. Going from bad to worse, Lebanon has been plunged into one crisis after another since 2020: from the financial sector, due to major depreciation by the Lebanese pound and hyperinflation, to the weakened humanitarian aid sector. Added to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic was the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed 250 people and wiped out important port infrastructures. With the current war in Ukraine, the wheat imports on which the Lebanese depend to survive will most likely lead to a rise in hunger rates. Over half of the country has fallen below the poverty line, and 20% live in extreme poverty. The parliamentary elections to be held on May 15, 2022 are viewed as anopportunity to respond to the year 2019 protests, which demanded an end to ruleby the political elites who have run the country since the end of the civil war andsunk it into the current state of crisis. Despite the people’s protests, however, thereligious party-based regime has resisted yielding power and continues its fight toremain in place. Observers warn of high levels of corruption and manipulation in an atmosphere of chaos and illegitimacy, exacerbated by international pressures not to postpone the election. Within this context, the likelihood of a post-election debacle resulting in major difficulties is very high. This session of Aula Árabe Universitaria is being held with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in Political Science and Public Affairs at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus. The event will be presented by Barah Mikaïl, director of the Political Science and International Relations program at Saint Louis University, and moderated by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator. Karim Bitar is a researcher at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS) in Paris and editor of the French monthly magazine L’ENA hors les murs. He is an associate member of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) and an associate researcher at the Institut Medea in Brussels. He is a professor of International Relations and History of Political Thought at several universities. He also frequently testifies before the Foreign Affairs Committees of the French and European Parliaments. He has authored various chapters and articles in Le Monde diplomatique, Libération, Le Monde, Informed Comment, Atlantico, La Vanguardia, An Nahar, L’Orient-Le Jour, etc., as well as editing and co-writing the collective book Regards sur la France, in which 30 personages from around the world analyze France’s strengths and weaknesses. Foto: Gregor Enste ( Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung en Flickr)

ALL VIDEOS IN THIS CATEGORY

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    AAU 4.1 Iraq nearly twenty years after its “liberation”

    On September 26, our program Aula Árabe Universitaria will be back with this conference, at which Iraqi activist Haifa Zangana will explain the current situation in the country. We are just a few months away from the twentieth anniversary of the war in Iraq, launched by the US in March 2003, when it sent 160,000 soldiers with the support of the United Kingdom, Australia and Poland. According to the former president of the United States, George W. Bush, that invasion would lead to the “liberation of Iraq.” Two years later, during his speech at the Fort Bragg military base (you can watch the full speech in English by following this link), Bush argued that, as a pillar of his “war on terror,” eliminating terrorists who “know that as freedom takes root in Iraq, it will inspire millions throughout the Middle East to demand their freedom as well.” However, the reality in Iraq today is radically different, and the region, whose popular demands of 2011 have been silenced, is no better off politically, economically or socially. At this opening conference in the new Aula Árabe Universitaria 4 event series organized by Casa Árabe and held with the cooperation of the Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies (MEAIC) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, analyst Hayder al-Khoei will be examining current event in this key country in the stability of the Middle East, in terms of the American concept of democracy, in a nation mired in internal struggles, fighting between armed militias, with a failed government plagued by corruption, and the state’s sovereignty violated on a daily basis. The author will be accompanied by Nieves Paradela, tenured lecturer in the Department of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Autonomous University of Madrid, and Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe's International Relations Coordinator. Presented by Cristina Juarranz, Programming Coordinator and Assistant Director of Casa Árabe. Hayder al-Khoei is the head of external relations at the Al-Khoei Institute in Iraq, where his work focuses on intra- and inter-religious dialogue in the Middle East region. Prior to this, he was a member of the Middle East and North Africa programs at the Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) and the European Council on Foreign Relations, where his research focused on political and security-related developments in Iraq and Syria. He earned a Master’s degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, and another Master’s degree in Islamic Studies from the Islamic College of London. Further information: https://en.casaarabe.es/event/iraq-nearly-twenty-years-after-its-“liberation” Foto: Iraq (@USArmy en Flickr)
    Published at 10 20,,, 22 2022
  • Islamic Finance potential in Egypt: corporate banking and capital marketShow video

    Islamic Finance potential in Egypt: corporate banking and capital market

    New webinar organized by the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain. Sharia-compliant banking makes up about 5,4% of the Egyptian banking market, with a growth rate of 12.2% compared to March 2020 (Egyptian Islamic Finance Association (EIFA), report 2021). Among 38 banks operating in Egypt, a total of 14 banks are providing Islamic banking products in Egypt, including 3 full-fledged Islamic banks: Faisal Islamic Bank of Egypt (30,6% of Islamic banking industry), Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (21%), and Al Baraka Bank (19%), in addition to Banque Misr´s Islamic Banking segment (22%), and other 10 Islamic units from conventional banks. There are 248 Islamic banking branches (5,5% of banking branches) serving about 3 million customers in Egypt (Daily News Egypt, 22/05/21). The Egyptian government is making new progress to develop its financial sector and increase financial inclusion in the country (56.2% out of adult population-CBE, Eleqtisade News, 26/04/22). Beyond the banking system, Sukuk law was introduced by the financial regulatory authority “FRA” in the amended Capital Market Law no. 17 of 2018, including a reorganization of the issuance and trading of all sukuk forms. The country offers ample investment opportunities that can attract the Islamic placement opportunities for financing development whether Infrastructure projects, Corporate & SMEs finance or consumer levels. The current growing Egyptian economic development needs and population’s values offer promising prospects for Islamic finance. In this context, the roundtable, organized by the SCIEF-Casa Árabe Observatory of Islamic Finance in Spain, will explore the potential of Islamic finance to contribute to financial development in Egypt, in SME and corporate finance, and in the capital market. Diverse industry experts and players, financial experts and bankers will share their views and opinions on Islamic Banking and Finance industry development in Egypt. With the participation of Rania Abdelfattah, Mostafa El Eskandarany, Nourhan El Sharkawy, Mohamed Shousha, and Abdallah Kenawy, moderated by Fatiha Talahite (CNRS & Paris Nanterre University), with a first reaction by Mehmet Asutay (Durham University) (tbc). Part of the discussion series IF @NA: current developments and prospects in times of [digital] change, dedicated to analysing the state and evolution of Islamic Finance in the North of Africa. Further information: https://en.casaarabe.es/event/islamic-finance-potential-in-egypt-corporate-banking-and-capital-market
    Published at 52 15,,, 22 2022
  • Another Arab diversity: LGBT fiction by Saleem HaddadShow video

    Another Arab diversity: LGBT fiction by Saleem Haddad

    As part of Pride Week, Casa Árabe has organized this event with Lebanese writer and filmmaker Saleem Haddad in Madrid on July 5, with the collaboration of the Editorial Egales publishing firm. He will be talking with Jimena González Gómez and Enrique Aparicio. Two of Saleem Haddad’s recent works will be presented during the encounter: his novel Guapa and the short-subject film Marco. Guapa narrates a day in the life of Rasa, a gay youth living in an unnamed city in a random Arab country, struggling to eke out a future for himself in the midst of an unbearable political and social scene. However, this is not just another normal day in Rasa’s life: The night before, his grandmother and only family Teta caught him in bed with another man; his best friend has gone missing; and that same night he is invited to a wedding that will change his life forever. The New Yorker described the novel as “vivid, tortuous...sensual and biting, seeping with smoke and blood,” whereas The Guardian said that it was “an explosive debut... Guapa gives a breath of fresh air to the saying that ‘everything personal is also political.’“ The novel is being presented along with the author’s short-subject film Marco, nominated for Best British Short-subject Film at the IRIS Awards in 2019. Omar lives a lonely life in London. He has been in the city for over a decade and spends his days working while ignoring his mother’s phone calls. One night, he picks up his phone and invites a young man who catches his eye to come over: a Spanish sex worker named Marco. However, as their night together progresses, Omar gets a lot more than he bargained for. A story of alienation and the search for intimacy in modern-day London, as well as a meditation on the pain of loss and exile, ‘Marco’ is also a universal story about the simplest, most intangible of desires: the need for human connection. Casa Árabe has organized this event with Saleem Haddad, who will be talking with writer Jimena González Gómez and cultural journalist Enrique Aparicio. Presented by: Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator. Saleem Haddad was born in Kuwait City to an Iraqi-German mother and a Palestinian-Lebanese father. He has worked with Doctors Without Borders and other international organizations in Yemen, Syria, Libya, Lebanon and Egypt. His first novel, Guapa was published in 2016, receiving acclaim from the critics of the New Yorker, The Guardian and others, and he received a Stonewall Honor and Polari First Book Prize in 2017. Haddad was also selected as one of the Top 100 Global Thinkers of 2016 by Foreign Policy magazine. His writing has been supported by institutions such as Yaddo and Literarisches Colloquium Berlin. His debut as a film director has come with Marco, released in March 2019 and nominated for the 2019 Iris Award given to the “Best British Short-subject Film” Jimena González Gómez has a bachelor’s degree in Arabic Philology from the Universidad Complutense and a PhD in Romance Philology from the University of Seville. She has been a teacher of Spanish as a Foreign Language, a university professor of Spanish Language History and a researcher at the CSIC, the University of Seville and several foreign universities (Venice, Munich, Brno). She reads and writes everything she can. She currently represents the Más Madrid political party on the Chamberí District Council (Madrid). Enrique Aparicio is a freelance cultural journalist. He contributes to media outlets which include Yasss.es, Píkara Magazine, Cinemanía, Jenesaispop and the journal of Spain’s Academy of Film. Winner of the Alcobendas saispop Fungible Prize for Youth Short Stories in 2017 and a runner-up for the Paco Rabal Award in Film Journalism given by the AISGE in 2020, he also created the podcast ¿Puedo hablar! alongside Beatriz Cepeda. It has more than two million listeners and a live show since 2021. Further information: https://en.casaarabe.es/event/another-arab-diversity-lgbt-fiction-by-saleem-haddad
    Published at 27 04,,, 22 2022
  • The Geopolitics of GasShow video

    The Geopolitics of Gas

    On Monday 13 June in Madrid, energy experts Carole Nakhle, Executive Director of Crystol Energy, and Gonzalo Escribano, researcher at the Real Instituto Elcano, will analyse the geopolitical challenges of gas and other hydrocarbons in the face of the crisis caused by the war in Ukraine. The war in Ukraine, which began in spring 2022, has had a number of consequences for the population worldwide; in addition to the shortage of wheat and sunflower oil, there is also a pressing gas supply. According to Eurostat data, gas consumption in Europe is mainly divided between 46% Russian, 20% Norwegian, 11% Algerian and 5% Qatari. Although not all EU members are equally vulnerable to Moscow, the European bloc's energy stability is threatened by European sanctions against Russia and retaliation by Vladimir Putin's regime. The search for alternatives to deal with energy shortages has become a generalised race to the bottom, as weaning dependence on Russia is a complex and expensive process. Some of the alternatives being considered directly involve countries in North Africa or the Gulf. One option is to increase the supply of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), with Qatar being the main supplier to Europe, followed by the United States, Nigeria and Algeria. Another possibility would be to diversify supply by combining gas production from Saudi Arabia, Norway, Australia and Azerbaijan. Closer to Spain is the Algerian alternative, the third largest gas supplier to the European Union and of enormous importance for the countries of southern Europe. However, due to the political instability in that country, as well as its Libyan neighbour, where the conflict has been ongoing since 2011, there are risks to supply that are causing volatility and nervousness in the markets. At this meeting at Casa Árabe, Carole Nakhle will be accompanied by Gonzalo Escribano, Director of the Energy and Climate Change Programme at the Elcano Royal Institute. It will be moderated by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe's International Relations Coordinator. Carole Nakhle is founder and executive director of Crystol Energy. She is a specialist in politics, finance, market development, governance, energy taxation, fiscal regimes and geopolitics. She is an advisor to the Washington-based International Tax and Investment Centre and a leading energy expert with Geopolitical Intelligence Services. She also participates in the OECD Policy Dialogue on Resource-Based Development. In 2007, she founded the non-profit organisation Acces for Women in Energy. In 2017, she received the Honorary Professional Recognition Award from the Tunisian Minister of Energy, Mines and Renewable Energy. And in 2021 she was selected CEO of the Year in the UK by CEO Monthly magazine. Her publications include numerous articles and reports, as well as two books: Petroleum Taxation: Sharing the Wealth, and Out of the Energy Labyrinth, the latter co-authored with former UK Secretary of State for Energy Lord David Howell. Gonzalo Escribano is Director of the Energy and Climate Change Programme at the Elcano Royal Institute and Professor of Economic Policy in the Department of Applied Economics at the UNED. His research interests include international energy issues, the external dimension of both Spanish and European energy policy, energy geopolitics, energy security and renewable energies, among others. Escribano holds a PhD in Economics and Business Administration and has been a visiting researcher at Florida State University and the Autonomous University of Madrid, as well as at the Spanish Centre for International Relations of the Ortega y Gasset Foundation. His publications include Energy Security for the EU in the 21st Century. Markets, Geopolitics and Corridors and several articles in international academic journals such as Energy Policy, European Journal of Political Economy and Global Policy. Photo: Kees Torn on Flickr
    Published at 18 06,,, 22 2022
  • Aula Árabe 3.17. Quo Vadis, Lebanon?Show video

    Aula Árabe 3.17. Quo Vadis, Lebanon?

    Next Tuesday, April 5, this conference will be held at Casa Árabe’s headquarters in Madrid and on our YouTube channel (in Spanish and English). It will be given by Karim Bitar, a researcher at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques and is taking part within the framework of the Aula Árabe Universitaria program. Going from bad to worse, Lebanon has been plunged into one crisis after another since 2020: from the financial sector, due to major depreciation by the Lebanese pound and hyperinflation, to the weakened humanitarian aid sector. Added to the ravages of the COVID-19 pandemic was the devastating explosion in the port of Beirut, which killed 250 people and wiped out important port infrastructures. With the current war in Ukraine, the wheat imports on which the Lebanese depend to survive will most likely lead to a rise in hunger rates. Over half of the country has fallen below the poverty line, and 20% live in extreme poverty. The parliamentary elections to be held on May 15, 2022 are viewed as anopportunity to respond to the year 2019 protests, which demanded an end to ruleby the political elites who have run the country since the end of the civil war andsunk it into the current state of crisis. Despite the people’s protests, however, thereligious party-based regime has resisted yielding power and continues its fight toremain in place. Observers warn of high levels of corruption and manipulation in an atmosphere of chaos and illegitimacy, exacerbated by international pressures not to postpone the election. Within this context, the likelihood of a post-election debacle resulting in major difficulties is very high. This session of Aula Árabe Universitaria is being held with the cooperation of the Master’s degree program in Political Science and Public Affairs at Saint Louis University’s Madrid campus. The event will be presented by Barah Mikaïl, director of the Political Science and International Relations program at Saint Louis University, and moderated by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator. Karim Bitar is a researcher at the Institut de Relations Internationales et Stratégiques (IRIS) in Paris and editor of the French monthly magazine L’ENA hors les murs. He is an associate member of the Geneva Center for Security Policy (GCSP) and an associate researcher at the Institut Medea in Brussels. He is a professor of International Relations and History of Political Thought at several universities. He also frequently testifies before the Foreign Affairs Committees of the French and European Parliaments. He has authored various chapters and articles in Le Monde diplomatique, Libération, Le Monde, Informed Comment, Atlantico, La Vanguardia, An Nahar, L’Orient-Le Jour, etc., as well as editing and co-writing the collective book Regards sur la France, in which 30 personages from around the world analyze France’s strengths and weaknesses. Foto: Gregor Enste ( Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung en Flickr)
    Published at 46 30,,, 22 2022