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Middle East expert to discuss implications of regional unrest at KU lecture

Monday, March 24, 2014

LAWRENCE – An Israeli former senior official on Arab affairs will discuss current and future implications of turbulence in the Middle East during the 2014 Diplomat’s Forum lecture this week at the University of Kansas School of Law.

Avi Melamed, the Rosenzwog Fellow of Intelligence and Middle East Affairs for the Eisenhower Institute in Washington, D.C., will deliver a talk on “The Middle East: Winds of Change and Quicksand – The Arab Awakening, Israel and the Region” at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 27, at the Stinson Leonard Street LLP Lecture Hall, 104 Green Hall. The lecture is free and open to the public, and a reception will follow the event.    

“Decades of unrest and growing tensions have finally erupted in The Arab Awakening,” said Melamed, a former intelligence official. “The turbulence is rocking the Arab and Muslim world and generating changes across the region.”

Fluent in Arabic, Melamed is the founder and creator of Feenjan – Israel Speaks Arabic, a nonprofit initiative that presents contemporary Israeli society and culture to the Arab world in Arabic and serves as an online platform for Israelis and Arabs to discover and discuss issues of common interest.

Melamed has authored two books, “Separate and Unequal: Israel’s Rule in East Jerusalem” (Harvard University Press) and “Ubrusi,” a novel. He is a frequent guest on English and Arabic networks, including Al Jazeera, BBC Arabic and i24news.

The Diplomat’s Forum is the law school’s most prestigious annual international and comparative law event. Its aim is to provide a platform for an open sharing of thoughts on international law and relations and the United States through the perspective of a professional with notable diplomatic experience in the service of a foreign government.

Past speakers have included:

  • Sean Hagan, general counsel and director, Legal Department, International Monetary Fund, fall 2012.
  • Anthony Amunategui Abad, managing director, TA Trade Advisory Group, The Philippines, spring 2011.
  • Ambassador Liu Zhenmin, deputy permanent representative to the United Nations, People’s Republic of China, fall 2008.
  • Fawaz Al Alamy, deputy minister of commerce and industry and Chief World Trade Organization technical negotiator, Saudi Arabia, fall 2007.
  • Takao Shibata, consul general, Japan, spring 2007.
  • Robert Zischg, consul general, Austria, spring 2006.
  • Margriet Vonno, economic counselor, Royal Dutch Embassy, The Netherlands, fall 2003.