First Wednesday: People, Protest and Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa

Talk March 2, 2011 7:00 PM

As protests continue across the Middle East and North Africa, March’s First Wednesday event will be an opportunity to discuss the Libya crisis and take stock of events elsewhere in the region.

The focus will be the latest news from the region and a broader look at the people behind the protests – who are they, what has shaped their ideas and what do they plan to do next?

We will also be beginning to look forward at the prospects for democracy and examining Western diplomacy in the light of such great political shifts.

This month’s First Wednesday will be chaired by BBC presenter Mishal Husain.


Noman Benotman, a senior analyst at Quilliam. He was previously a leader of the jihadist Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and an associate of senior al-Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Sudan. In September 2010, he published an open letter to his former colleague Osama bin Laden calling on him to abandon violence;

Professor David Held, Graham Wallas Professor of Political Science, co-director of LSE Global Governance;

Sir Richard Dalton, associate fellow of the Middle East and North Africa programme at Chatham House and a senior former diplomat and ambassador to Libya (1999 – 2002) and Iran (2003 – 2006);

Marwan Bishara, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst.