“Assad is against the Muslim Brotherhood.The Muslim Brotherhood and Obama are against General Sisi.But the Gulf states are pro Sisi! Which means they are against the Muslim Brotherhood!Iran is pro Hamas, but Hamas is backing the Muslim Brotherhood!Obama is backing the Muslim Brotherhood, yet Hamas is against the US! The Gulf states are pro US. But Turkey is with the Gulf states against Assad; yet Turkey is pro Muslim Brotherhood against General Sisi. And General Sisi is being backed by the Gulf states! Welcome to the Middle East and have a nice day.”
This is how Ms.Lourdes Vidal started her session Last thursday at ESEI. Ms.Lourdes Vidal is the Chief officer for Arab and Mediterranean world at IEMED (European Institute of the Mediterranean). Starting from the situation in Syria, Ms. Vidal shed light on many of the current problems of the region. Since the “Arab Spring”, the area has been unpredictable and hard to understand. Our guest explained the reasons behind the start of the “Arab Spring” and how it spread from one country to the other.
“The Arab region does not only consist of Arabs” Ms.Lourdes also explained. Egyptian Copts, Turkish Kurds, Palestinian Jordanians, Algerian Berbers, Saudi Shia Muslims, Assyrian Christians, Turkmens and Yazidis are all minorities that fall under the “Arab” umbrella.
A topic like this can never be covered in 3 hours, but Ms.Vidal definetly managed to inspire us to think more deeply about the middle east.