Historical Events and their Outcomes
The group will explore historical events and world views that underlie and have led to present situations. We will deal with the Middle East, at least to start with.
It is a new group, intended for those with a keen interest to find out how our present world has been shaped by past conflicts, rivalries and persons. It is not intended for experts in Middle East history, but members will be expected to read and delve and bring information to the group.
For the first couple of meetings, members will be sent an
extract from a relevant text to introduce a particular topic or theme; this will provide the basis for a discussion at the meeting supported by maps and any other information that members can bring. Subsequently the role of preparing such introductions will be shared within the group.
There are various approaches to the overall theme. The group may choose to deal one by one with the various countries which form the middle east, [Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen] and with the powers that have an interest there [Turkey, USA, Iran, Russia];
OR it could deal with some of the big themes [nationalism v regionalism, religion v secularism, modernism v tradition, oil and capitalism]
OR with tribes and ethnicity [Kurds, Alawites, Assyrians, Persians, Arabs, etc]
OR with the key personalities whose lives and actions have influenced The Middle East, [Ataturk, Lawrence of Arabia, Nasser, Al Qtub, Osama ben Laden, The Mufti of Jerusalem, Ayatolah Khomeini, etc],
or since all these themes interact, with some combination thereof.
Within this field there are many fascinating ideas eg What constitutes a Nation?, (Israel, Rojava in N Syria, Iran and Turkey have dramatically different views of what defines a nation). Or the ideological progression from Al Qtub and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt to Osama Bin Laden and the AlQuaida in Afghanistan and on to Al-Bhaghdadi and ISIS in Syria. Or how has the alliance between the House of Saud and the Wahhabi impacted the training of Muslim clerics world wide.
There is a lot to explore.
As well as standard news sources and texts, members will be guided towards alternate sources and political perspectives, eg Al-Jazeera and Al-Monitor as well as BBC.
The group will meet every three weeks.
Starting November 21st 3.00pm – 4.00pm at the
Community Room Tesco Store at Colliery Road, Redding FK2 9RA
email@example.com - 01506 209019 - 07762 409646