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Connected crises in the Arab world: Iraq, Syria and Lebanon

September 28, 20207:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel 7:00 p.m.
In English and Spanish, without translation.

On Monday, September 28, we will be officially begin a new edition of our program Aula Árabe Universitaria with this conference given by Lina Khatib, director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House, which we will be broadcasting live on our YouTube channel.

It will be moderated by Iñaqui Gutiérrez de Terán, a professor and researcher of Arab and Islamic Studies at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Presented by: Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Relations Coordinator.

Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: three countries enduring long-lasting crises in the Arab world, which are connected to each other on many different levels. Beyond just the identity and ideology-related issues which are often used to explain violence in the region, Lina Khatib proposes an analysis of the political economics of these conflicts in order to identify some common factors which are decisive in all three countries. Most notable are the corruption, the influence of armed role-players and certain cross-border dynamics, including the role played by Iran and the economic trade between these conflicting actors. Every war economy is enmeshed within a complex socio-political system in which multiple variables and agendas interact. This web of interests and phenomena must be explained in order to understand how violence is practiced and changes over time. In doing so, Khatib assesses the three countries’ political and economic prospects in the medium term.

This conference marks the beginning of the new event series Aula Árabe Universitaria 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.

IMPORTANT: Given the serious nature of the health situation at present, the conference will be broadcast live on Casa Árabe’s YouTube channel, where there will also be a chat to pose questions to this speaker.

Lina Khatib is the director of the Middle East and North Africa Program at Chatham House and an associate researcher at SOAS. Prior to that, she was a senior research associate at the Arab Reform Initiative, director of the Carnegie Foundation’s Middle East Center in Beirut, co-founder of the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at the Center for Democracy, Development and Rule of Law at Stanford University, and a professor at the University of London’s Royal Holloway. Since 2008, she has been a founding co-editor of the Middle East Journal of Culture and Communication. Her research focuses on international relations in the Middle East, Islamist groups and security, political transitions and foreign policy, with a special focus on the Syrian conflict. Some of her most notable recent publications include the books: Taking to the Streets: The Transformation of Arab Activism (co-edited with Ellen Lust, Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), The Hizbullah Phenomenon: Politics and Communication (with Dina Matar and Atef Alshaer, Hurst/Oxford University Press, 2014) and Image Politics in the Middle East: The Role of the Visual in Political Struggle (I. B. Tauris, 2013), as well as several reports, documents and articles on the economics of conflicts in the Middle East, the Syrian conflict, the Islamic State and Qatar’s foreign policy, among others.
Connected crises in the Arab world: Iraq, Syria and Lebanon
Aula Árabe is a new annual inter-university program organized by Casa Árabe with the cooperation of several of Madrid’s public universities (UAM, UCM, UC3M and URJC). Its purpose is to promote knowledge about the Arab world and to complement the education given in the member university programs from a multidisciplinary perspective, offering students the chance to come into contact with relevant speakers and experts at the international level in different fields and areas related with the Arab world. Aula Árabe will include the organization of various conferences by Casa Árabe at its Madrid headquarters throughout the academic year, as proposed by the associated bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs, with contents which will be adapted to their curriculum and thematic needs.  

Aula Árabe was launched during the academic year of 2020-21, in accordance with the successful program carried out the preceding year, with each conference assigned to one of the associated programs to have submitted proposals. However, due to developments in the COVID-19 situation, we have had to make changes to the usual system of live, in-person attendance.
The Master’s degree in Contemporary Arab and Islamic Studies (MEAIC) at the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid trains specialists who are able to deal with the complexity of the Arab and Islamic world through interdisciplinary knowledge of its culture, politics and societies.   

The MEAIC is distinguished for offering the possibility to access knowledge about Arab and Islamic realities from inside the worlds of intellectual production, where its primary role-players do their work, both Arabs and Muslims who live in their countries of origin and the Arab diasporas in Europe and the Americas. To achieve this, it works with a series of professors from both the UAM itself, as well as the CSIC, UCM, UNED, UGR, UAB and UCLM. With a notable emphasis on the world of research, the education provided in the MEAIC degree program nonetheless makes it possible for students to join the working world in such fields as cooperation, international relations, journalism and business, becoming specialists qualified on this geo-strategic region thanks to its varied program of professional internships.  

Further information about the MEAIC