Monday, August 28, 2006

Forum: "Baghdad to Beirut: Birth Pangs of a New Middle East?"

Some political activity in the hinterlands: Together with my colleagues Joel Gordon (History) and Najib Ghadbian (Political Science), I've helped organize a forum on current Middle East affairs. The three of us (who also do a regular, smaller-scale forum called Diwan Baghdad) will all speak, along with two University of Arkansas students, Nadine Sinno and Sarah Gibson, who were in Beirut during the recent Israeli onslaught. I plan to talk about US media (mis)coverage of the Israeli assault on Lebanon. This Wednesday at 4 PM.

As for the "birth pangs" in question: When Condoleeza uttered her immortal words, she was, according to Northwest Arkansas Times columnist Gene Lyons (August 2), talking in code to Christian fundamentalists, i.e. she was addressing W's political base. She was alluding to a verse in Matthew (24: 7-8) where Jesus informs the Apostles how to recognize the "end times": "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom...All these are the beginning of birth pangs."

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Alannah said...

I read about this forum and really wanted to attend. The time, unfortunately, is inconvenient to those of us who work.

Ted Swedenburg said...

Sorry, we have to appeal to the students when we do it on campus...