Lectures

- 11/02/2016
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Five Years after the Arab Spring: What went wrong? Anne Alexander * Ali Al Fayez****

- 20/01/2016
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Deconstructing the Iran-Saudi saga and lifting of sanctions, within a turbulent Middle East Professor George Joffe* Roshan Mohammad Saleh** Jonathan Fryer*** 20th January, 2016 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvV_nxNJSIQ

- 15/12/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Together we challenge the culture of hate Speakers Sheikh Ahmed Haneef * John Woodhouse** Alex Cameron****

- 24/11/2015
Open discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Muted Modernists Professor Madawi Al-Rasheed ** “Muted Reformists” is the title a new book by Hurst Publishers written by Madawi Al-Rasheed, Visiting Professor at the Middle East Centre at the London School of Economics. The political dynamism of this most controversial kingdom are yet to be explored and comprehended by its adversaries and allies alike. Its ambition for regional dominance. The speaker will present an insight into the intriguing links between politics and religion in light of the emerging menace of the extremism of Al Qa’ida, ISIS and Wahhabism.

- 02/11/2015
New legislation aims to protect workers from widespread practice of paying foreigners less than they are promised

- 22/10/2015
A young Saudi protester is set to be beheaded and crucified for his role in 2012 pro-democracy protests. Ali Mohammed al-Nimr was arrested at the age of 17 and convicted of encouraging protests during the Arab Spring. He faces execution any day. Earlier this month, in response to mounting international pressure to release al-Nimr, the Saudi Embassy in London said, "the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia rejects any form of interference in its internal affairs and any impingement on its sovereignty or the independence and impartiality of its judiciary." We are joined by Clive Stafford Smith of the international legal charity Reprieve, which has just released a report on executions in Saudi Arabia.

- 17/10/2015
More than a dozen employment agencies in Qatar have reportedly been closed down by authorities for flouting the country’s labor law and failing to improve after being warned repeatedly.

- 13/10/2015
Former Detainees Describe Abuse by State Security officers

- 07/10/2015
The “2nd High-Tech Port by Musaid Qatar,” which saw its inaugural staging at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC) yesterday serves as a “big push” for defence trade between Qatar and Turkey, Musaid president Nail Olpak said.

- 05/10/2015
About 60 soldiers will transport people and equipment throughout the region using CH-47 Chinook helicopters.

- 29/09/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Reforming Iraq; Prospects and challenges Chris Doyle* Dr Zuhair Al-Naher** Karen Dabrowska*** The destabilisation of Iraq in the past decade has contributed to the state of anarchy in the Middle East, the rise of extremism and the mushrooming of terrorism. To achieve stability, Iraq must be supported to achieve meaningful reforms and strong central government. Corruption, quota system and foreign intervention are among the illnesses of the country. What are the prospects of Iraq’s transformation into a sovereign, democratic and stable power? These challenges will be debated at this seminar.

- 21/08/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Democracy and terrorism in North Africa Rashid Masoodi* Juma’ AlGamaty** Tayeb Ghloofi*** In recent months there have been serious political and security developments in North African Arab countries. Libya, Tunisia and Algeria have all witnessed sharp rise in terrorist acts. While democratic transformation is slow to emerge the political confusion is causing alarm among the people and the leaders alike. What went wrong in those countries? How could ISIS and other extremist and violent groups spread at will across the international borders? And what future is there for real democratic transformation that could contain the threat of extremism violence and sectarianism? 18th August 2015

- 30/06/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Fasting; Spiritual & moral empowerment to challenge world’s evils Dr Shuja Shafi* Reverand David Tuck ** Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi***

- 03/06/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Two challenges to mainstream faiths; Islamophobia and extremism 26th May 2015 Speakers Julian Bond* Ahmed Versi** Dr Sheikh Hojjat Ramzy***

- 27/04/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club UK Elections/ How valuable is the Muslim vote *Cllr. Mushtaq Lasharie **Miqdaad Versi ***Moeen Yaseen Monday, 27th April 2015 Chairman: Welcome, brothers and sisters, ladies and gentleman. Today we are just 11 days from the elections in the UK on May 7th. I think it is an opportune time for us to be discussing this topic: UK elections/ How valuable is the Muslim vote. I want to direct our panellists to look at not just how valuable the Muslim is but does the Muslim vote matter and do Muslims feel that the vote matters because that in itself is a very pertinent question. Analysts, journalists and others have been talking about ad nauseam that in about 40 constituencies where the Muslim vote could swing either way and have an impact on who would get elected.

- 07/04/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club The third Saudi war in Yemen: Why? Speakers Thanos Petouris * Ahmad Al Mo’ayyad** The ongoing war on Yemen has been launched without international legitimacy or logical justification. It has become one of the most controversial military operations in modern times. The scale of human and material destruction indicates that the attackers aim to obliterate the country and alter the balance of power in the Arabian Peninsula in favour of the counter revolutionary forces. Calls for a ceasefire especially by UN Secretary General have fallen on deaf ears as the pro-war media continues beating the drums of war.

- 17/03/2015
Open Discussions / Gulf Cultural Club Destruction of Religious Heritage: How and Why Speakers Ziauddin Sardar* Dr Irfan Al -Alawi** 10th March 2015 The ongoing systematic obliteration of the Islamic heritage sites including those linked to Prophet Mohammad, his household and followers, amount to nothing less than heritage terrorism. Historic monuments such as mausoleums, mosques, birth places of prominent Islamic figures, shrines and ancient artefacts have been systematically destroyed in Islam’s birthplace in Arabia, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq, Mali and Libya.

- 16/02/2015
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club Thirty-six years after the Islamic Revolution in Iran Iran in a turbulent world; new hopes, old challenges 3rd February, 2015 Chris Bambery*; author, broadcaster, journalist and political analyst Iran and the West; relations marred by suspicions Hojjatul Islam Javad Esmaeili.** Lecturer in Islamic Studies Spirituality, Change and Revolution Dr Ali Elkabbany***; Journalist and political analyst of Middle East affairs An Arab impression on first visit to Iran

- 27/01/2015
Open Discussions/Gulf Cultural Club Tunisia: from activist public to the re-founding of the republic Professor Charles Tripp* Tunisia was the cradle of the Arab Spring that blossomed this time four years ago. The region erupted in unprecedented popular revolutions after a young Tunisian man, Mohammad BuAzizi, immolated himself at a moment of outrage at the way he had been treated by one of the municipality officials at the Town of Sidi BoZaid. For the first time in decades the public claimed back the streets and forced several head of states to quit their positions in disgrace. How does the situation in Tunisia appear today? And what future is there for democratic transformation in the MENA states? Professor Tripp has spent two years of field research for a new book on Tunisia.

- 17/12/2014
Open Discussions/ Gulf Cultural Club / Christian Muslim Forum Mercy, compassion and love in Christianity and Islam Sheikh Mohammad Ali Shomali, Director of the Islamic Centre of England* Rev Maggie Hindley; Community &Public Affairs Specialist, Christian Muslim Forum** Robin Marsh; Secretary General of Universal Peace Federation*** Mahera Ruby; Researcher at Goldsmith University****