“The Syria Dilemma and the Middle East” is the topic of a talk to be given by Paul Salem, vice president of the Middle East Institute in Washington, DC, on Tuesday, August 26, at 5 PM in Fisher House in Woods Hole, Dr. Salem will discuss the ongoing Syrian crisis and its implications for the Middle East and for the United States. This talk will be the final one in the summer series, Middle East Transitions 2014, presented by the Committee for Peace and Justice in the Middle East, a nonprofit and non-partisan group of citizens based in Woods Hole.
Organizers note that for more than three years, Syria has been engaged in a violent internal conflict. More than 200,000 have been killed and many more wounded. About 2.5 million Syrians have had to flee their country and another 6.5 million have been internally displaced, for a total of nine million out of total population of fewer than 23 million. Efforts to resolve the crisis politically have been stalemated.
This situation will be analyzed and discussed in a special session by Dr. Salem, an expert on Syria and the Middle East. Between 2006 and 2013 he was founding director of the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, a regional think tank. Before that, in 1989 he founded and directed the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, a think tank, and between 1999 and 2006, he was also director of the Fares Foundation in Lebanon. In 2002 he served on the senior review committee for the United Nations Development Program’s “Arab Human Development Report”.
Dr. Salem writes regularly in the Arab and Western press and has been published in many journals and newspapers. His articles and op-eds have appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Affairs, the National Interest and the Financial Times. He has published several books and reports on the Middle East including “Broken Doors: the Causes and Consequences of the Arab Uprising” (in Arabic 2013); “Iraq’s Tangled Relations” (2013); “Libya’s Troubled Transition” (2012), “Can Lebanon Survive the Syrian Crisis?” (2012), and “The Arab State: Assisting or Obstructing Development” (2010). Dr. Salem holds bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Fisher House is at 13 Church Street, Woods Hole, opposite the Church of the Messiah. Presentations are free and open to the public. Sessions begin at 5 PM, with the speaker talking for 40 minutes, followed by a brief question and answer period and, afterward, light refreshments. Off-street parking is available adjacent to the Church of the Messiah Cemetery.