The Search for a Mideast Solution: A Discussion between Professor Safwan Masri and Nicolas Pelham

On April 11, 2016, Columbia Global Reports hosted a discussion about the book Holy Lands: Reviving Pluralism in the Middle Eastpublished by Columbia Global Reports in 2016The speakers included author of the book, Nicolas Pelham, Middle East correspondent for The Economist and Professor Safwan M. Masri, Executive Vice President for Global Centers and Global Development at Columbia University.

April 11, 2016

The speakers discussed how European powers broke up the Ottoman Empire and tried to turn it into a collection of secular nation-states, which has now been proven to be a spectacular failure. Rulers turned religion into a force for nationalism, and the result has been ever increasing sectarian violence. The only solution, Pelham argues in his book, is to accept the Middle East for the deeply religious region it is, and try to revive its venerable tradition of pluralism.

This discussion was moderated by Nicholas Lemann, Joseph Pulitzer II and Edith Pulitzer Moore Professor of Journalism, Dean Emeritus of Columbia Journalism School, and Director of Columbia Global Reports.