Past Event

The “New” Middle East

December 10, 2018
6:30 PM - 8:00 PM
Auditorio CEA/ PUCV, Antonio Bellet 314, Providencia

Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University and a scholar of the contemporary Arab world (author of Tunisia: An Arab Anomaly, Columbia University Press, 2017), will contextualize ongoing developments in the region and shed light on what the future holds. The event will be chaired by Juan Pablo Toro, international editor at El Mercurio.

From invasions to failed revolutions, convulsive events of the last two decades have shattered traditional power dynamics in the Middle East. Emboldened by petrodollars, Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, and Doha have replaced historic centers of gravity in Cairo, Damascus, and Baghdad, with both regional and non-regional actors vying to fill a leadership void.

Turkey and Iran, mobilizing both diplomatic and military efforts, seek to carve out a region that serves competing individual interests. Russia, benefiting from decreased U.S. involvement in the region, is re-establishing itself as a globalsuper power.

Volatile alliances and conflicting interests continue to shape the battlefields of Syria, Yemen, and Libya.President Trump and his son-in-law Jared Kushner are touting an “Ultimate Deal” as the solution to the Palestinian-Israeli crisis.

The only success story of the so-called “Arab Spring”, Tunisia, is pressing on with efforts to consolidate its democratic gains, while Egypt is back in the throes of a military dictatorship that is a client state of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, all unified in an effort to isolate Qatar.

Against such a backdrop, pertinent questions loom, with both regional and international implications:

  • How will Saudi Arabia’s standing in the world be impacted in the wake of the Khashoggi affair?
  • How will opposing interests in the region’s battlefields play out? What do we make of new alliances being forged between Gulf states and Israel, with Iran as a common enemy?
  • Will the Gulf Cooperation Council survive, or will we see further rifts emerging?
  • How will the changing tides between Israel and diaspora Jews, the rise of religious conservatism in Israel, and the condition of Palestinians impact any potential resolution of the crisis?


The event will be in English with simultaneous translation to Spanish.
*Parking available at Parking en Antonio Bellet 143