Middle East and North Africa
Europe is experiencing a wave of migration not seen since the end of World War II. Forced out of their homes by terror and war in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, pulled to Europe by the prospect of a better life, huge numbers are risking everything in perilous journeys across land and sea.
Joined by the Guardian‘s inaugural migration correspondent Patrick Kingsley, whose new book The New Odyssey documents these journeys, we will explore what failures lead to the current crisis and what needs to be done to avert it.
It is half a decade since Egypt’s revolution first erupted, promising something more than a binary choice between Islamism and military authoritarianism. Yet since the unrest began we have seen the Muslim Brotherhood rise to power, only to be overthrown by an army strongman – but is this just the start?
In May 2012, Janine di Giovanni travelled to Syria, the trip would mark the beginning of a relationship with the country that would continue to draw her back, as the situation rapidly became one of the most brutal conflicts in recent history. She will be joining us, in conversation with BBC HARDtalk presenter Stephen Sackur, to share the stories of the people she has encountered in Syria and her experience of covering the country.
In collaboration with the Syrian Association for Missing and Conscience Detainees and the National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Opposition Forces we are hosting The Caesar Exhibition at the Frontline Club for one day only. The images will be on display on Tuesday 6 October from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM – the exhibition is open to all and there is no need to book to attend.
10:00 AM – 6:00 PM
The images will be on display – there is no need to book to attend.
3:00 PM – 4.45 PM
Stephen Rapp, Ambassador-at-Large for War Crimes, will give a speech and is available for questions.
7:00 – 8.30 PM
Panel discussion on ensuring accountability and justice
Four and a half years ago, Egypt dominated headlines globally with scenes of hope and change in Tahrir Square, yet now the country garners attention for a very different reason – the imprisonment of journalists. Much has changed in Egypt since Nawal El Saadawi last spoke at the Frontline Club four years ago, and we are pleased to welcome her again to reflect on the situation today in Egypt. She will be joined in conversation with journalist Wendell Steavenson, who was in Tahrir fours years ago and has covered the change that has taken place in subsequent years.
After years of negotiating world powers have reached a historic deal with Iran, limiting their nuclear activity in return for the lifting of international economic sanctions. For the first First Wednesday after the summer break we will be debating what the Iran deal means for the country, the region and relations with the West.
A century ago, on the eve of World War I, there were two million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire. By the early 1920s, when the massacres and deportations finally ended, one and a half million of them were dead, with many more forcibly removed from the country. In a new project, Armenian-American photographer Diana Markosian travelled to Armenia to meet survivors and to ask them about their last memories of their early home. She will be joining us in conversation with Fiona Rogers, global business development manager at Magnum Photos International & founder of Firecracker, to show her work and share the stories of the survivors she met who, 100 years on, still remember their home.
In the summer of 2014, the scenes from Gaza and the media portrayal of events again ignited a global debate about the enduring Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One year later, the media spotlight has moved on and the people have been left to rebuild their lives, with over 100,000 still displaced. We will be joined by a panel of journalists who were there to cover the conflict, as well as those who have been involved in the efforts to rebuild, to reflect on what happened a year ago and what life has been like since.
Weaving together stories of hardship and brutality with touches of humanity, Samar Yazbek‘s new book The Crossing documents several dangerous clandestine trips she took into the North of her country and is testimony to the appalling reality that is Syria today. She will be joining us in conversation with Syrian writer and broadcaster, Rana Kabbani, to share her observations and what she heard from the people about their hopes and fears for the future.
In what was only meant to be a three month trip, Emma Sky travelled to Iraq in 2003 having volunteered to help rebuild the country immediately after the invasion and overthrow of Saddam Hussein. She soon found herself as a political advisor to the US military and three months turned into a decade. She will be joining us in conversation with The Guardian‘s Middle East editor, Ian Black to share her unique insight into the US military, and the complexities, diversity and evolution of Iraqi society as documented in her new book The Unraveling: High Hopes and Missed Opportunities in Iraq.
Red lines have been set and crossed, inquiries have been conducted and talks have been attempted, and yet the conflict in Syria continues to devastate the lives of its population. Over four years since the conflict in Syria began, we will be asking if there is any sign of light at the end of the tunnel.
The new leader of Saudi Arabia, King Salman, pledged continuity after his accession to the throne following the death of his half-brother, King Abdullah. But with a growing youth population, faint calls for reforms, an unstable oil market and the Islamic State (IS) on its doorstep, will he be able to deliver his pledge? With a panel of experts we will be looking at the situation within Saudi Arabia and the changes we might see under the new king, as well as discussing its influence and actions in the region and relations with the West.
Four years ago, Libya dominated the headlines as the country struggled to overthrow Muammar Gaddafi. Now, despite the fact that a country of vital importance in the region is sliding into civil war, it has all but disappeared from the news.
In a new book, The Libyan Revolution and its Aftermath, leading journalists, academics and specialists trace the journey from the outbreak of protests in Benghazi in February 2011 to the subsequent conflict. Some of its contributors and other experts will be joining us to offer an insight into what led to the current crisis and how Libya might be able to rebuild itself.
The Middle East has long been home to many varied and distinctive faiths that have learned to survive the perils of attacks and assimilation, but today with the region in turmoil they face greater threats than ever before. In conversation with The Guardian‘s Middle East editor, Ian Black, former diplomat and author of Heirs to Forgotten Kingdoms, Gerard Russell, will be taking us on a journey across the past and present of the Middle East, into the religious communities that have survived for centuries and talking about what needs to be done to ensure their future.
In nearly four years, Egypt has seen a revolution, the fall of a dictator, its first democratically elected president ousted by the military and the rise of a new leader. All this has been captured in the weekly columns of novelist Alaa Al Aswany for the newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. In a new book Democracy is the Answer: Egypt’s Years of Revolution, Al Aswany brings together his newspaper columns to give a picture of Egypt’s recent history. He will be joining us in conversation with BBC Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, to reflect on events of the past four years, the divisions that they have created and the hope for the future.
Is Libya on the brink of becoming a failed state? Three years after Nato-backed rebels overthrew Muammar Gaddafi and the country was held up as the success story of the Arab Spring, Libya is deeply divided. As Libya’s parliament calls for foreign intervention to protect civilians from deadly clashes between rival militia groups, we will be asking what has gone wrong in the country.
With a panel of experts we will take a view of events on the ground and the measures being taken by Iraq, its neighbours and the international community. Asking how ISIS has been able advance so quickly and what can be done to prevent further escalation of sectarian polarisation. We will also be looking at the new alliances that might be formed in this new front on the fight against extremism.
As Abdel Fattah al-Sisi takes his place as Egypt’s second democratically elected leader, we will be looking at his roadmap for the country. Are we seeing a return to military dominance of politics and what does that signal for Egypt?
As one of Britain’s most romantic historical figures the story of Lawrence of Arabia is well known, but to what extent do we know the truth of how his actions shaped the region? In his new book Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East, veteran correspondent Scott Anderson cuts through the legend to offer a reassessment of his story and the secret colonialist plots in which he was involved. Anderson will be joining us in conversation with journalist and author Christopher de Bellaigue, to share his retelling of Lawrence of Arabia, reflecting on the actions of the past and how they continue to shape the region and its future.
The uprising in Syria began as a battle between Syrians and the regime of Bashar al-Assad, but the picture in the country now is much more complicated. As fighting between the Syrian opposition and al-Qaeda affiliated groups intensifies we will be bringing together a panel to offer a picture of what is happening on the ground in Syria. We will be looking at groups involved, how they have developed and their power and influence in the country and further afield.
As political instability continues in Egypt, renowned Arab journalist Yosri Fouda will be joining the BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen in conversation, to give some insight into how this situation will develop.
Nearly three years after the start of the revolution in Tunisia, which was followed by uprisings across the Middle East and North Africa, many are beginning to examine what has changed in the region. One of those that has had a front row seat of this recent history is the BBC’s Middle East Bureau Chief, Paul Danahar. He will be joining us in conversation with BBC Arabic’s Samir Farah, to share his insight and analysis of events and what he feels the future holds for the region and it’s relationship with the West.
A year after his victory in Egypt’s historic first free election Mohamed Morsi has been ousted. Since his removal from power by the military on 3 July tensions have soared on the streets of Egypt. With events developing at great speed we will be taking stock of what has happened and asking what this means for Egypt’s future.
Following the presidential election in Iran, we will be bringing together a panel of experts to deliberate the results and what they mean for the future of the country. In association with BBC Persian Service, we will be taking an in-depth look at Iran’s new president, Hassan Rouhani, exploring his affiliations and policies at home and internationally.
From Cairo to Damascus, Tunisia to Bahrain, Writing Revolution brings together some of the best new writing born out of the profound changes shaking the region. We will be joined by the editors and two of the contributors to talk about their work and how it has been shaped and influenced by the historic events unfolding around them.
On 14 June, Iranians will go to the polls to vote in Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s successor. As debate around the elections begins to heat up we will be joined by a panel of experts to talk us through the power struggles and the state of opposition movements.
This event is organised by Bahrain Pro-Democracy Group in UK and Sayed Alwadaei, political activist in UK.
A special seminar to coincide with the second anniversary of Bahrain’s 14 February Revolution.
It is the longest and most peaceful revolution, yet the least covered by the Western media. When the youth of the Gulf island of Bahrain decided to join the Arab Spring on 14 February 2011 they were responding to the call for change that had resonated in the corners of the Arab world. Two years later, they have remained faithful to their revolutions, slogans and human values.
A year after Marie Colvin was killed in Homs, the war in Syria is still raging and has cost the lives of more than 60,000 people. Following new US Secretary of State John Kerry’s first foreign tour, we ask if he can deliver on his vow not to leave the Syrian opposition “dangling in the wind”.
This event is organised by Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Followed by a drinks reception.
In this launch event for her new book, Naomi Sakr looks at recent transformations in Egyptian journalism, exploring diverse approaches to converged media and the place of participatory cross-media networks in expanding and developing the country’s body of professional journalists.