71st Program Year – Second Meeting
The Program: “Poverty, inequality and the structural threat to the Arab region” External powers looking at the Middle East tend to focus on issues of high politics. That focus may blind them to the local, regional, and global factors which drive the ongoing political and sectarian tensions and armed conflicts across parts of the Arab region. Lurking beneath diplomatic maneuvering is a dangerous pattern of new and deep structural threats that have converged in a cycle of poverty, inequality and vulnerability that seems likely to keep the region mired in stress and conflict for decades to come. These threats exacerbate existing antagonisms and armed clashes across the region, heighten social tensions, and ultimately lead to the fragmentation of both individual countries and the wider Arab region that had enjoyed some minimal commonalities and integrity in the past century.
Presenter Rami George Khouri is an internationally syndicated political columnist and book author. He was the first director, and is now a senior fellow, at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut. He also serves as a nonresident senior fellow at the Kennedy School of Harvard University. He is editor at large, and former executive editor, of the Beirut-based Daily Star newspaper, and was awarded the Pax Christi International Peace Prize for 2006.
He teaches or lectures annually at the American University of Beirut and Northeastern University. He has been a fellow and visiting scholar at Harvard, Mount Holyoke, Princeton, Syracuse, The Fletcher School at Tufts, Northeastern, Denver, Oklahoma and Stanford universities, and is a member of the Brookings Institution Task Force on US Relations with the Islamic World. He is a Fellow of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs (Arab East Jerusalem). He also serves on the Joint Advisory Board of the Northwestern University Journalism School in Doha, Qatar, Georgetown University’s Center for Regional and International Studies in Doha, Qatar, and recently completed a four-year term on the International Advisory Council of the International Committee of the Red Cross.
He was editor-in-chief of the Jordan Times for seven years and for 18 years was general manager of Al Kutba, Publishers, in Amman, Jordan, where he also served as a consultant to the Jordanian tourism ministry on biblical archaeological sites. He has hosted programs on archaeology, history and current public affairs on Jordan Television and Radio Jordan, and often comments on Mideast issues in the international media.
He has a BA and MSc degrees respectively in political science and mass communications from Syracuse University, NY, USA.