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Leading journalist to discuss dynamics of change in the Middle East

Rami Khouri
February 04, 2014

The Iraq-Syria border is in chaos. Al-Qaeda affiliated groups are in resurgence. It’s been three years since the Arab spring began, and the political map of the Middle East seems increasingly unstable.

Which way are things heading? Rami Khouri will address this question in a free public lecture at 4:30 p.m., Feb. 20, in the College of Law Great Hall on the Tempe campus.

Khouri is an internationally renowned political columnist who has reported on the Middle East for more than 20 years.

Khouri’s lecture, “Sectarianism, Secularism and Statehood: Challenges and Change that Shape the Middle East,” will speak to the dangers and the opportunities of emerging democracies in the region.

“If Arab countries can peacefully and democratically define a new military-civilian power balance along with a new balance of religious-secular values in their constitutions and public spheres, these would be two enormous gains that will long loom as a critical foundation for sensible and legitimate nation-building in the years ahead,” Khouri says.

Khouri is the editor-at-large of The Daily Star and director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University in Beirut. He is well-known for his nuanced coverage of the local, regional and global issues that make Middle East conflict so complex.

“Rami Khouri’s extensive experience living in and covering the Middle East makes him an extraordinarily valuable resource to help explain the recent dynamics of change in that region,” says Linell Cady, director of the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict.

Khouri's writings and commentary appear in a wide variety of media outlets, including the BBC, NPR, the Charlie Rose Show, the International Herald Tribune, Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Guardian/Observer.

He is also a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and the Dubai School of Government, has served as a visiting scholar at Stanford, Syracuse, Tufts, Mt. Holyoke and Northeastern, and is a recipient of the Pax Christi International Peace Award.

The Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict is an interdisciplinary research unit of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that examines the role of religion as a driving force in human affairs.

The lecture is part of the center’s “Alternative Visions” lecture series. The series brings nationally and internationally recognized experts such as Peter Bergen, Elaine Pagels and Reza Aslan to campus to address the sources of conflict and strategies for resolution.

The series is supported by a grant from philanthropist John Whiteman.

See for more information, or click here to RSVP for the lecture.

Written by Katie Mykleseth