On 19 May 2023 Syria’s leader Bashar Al-Assad arrived in Jeddah for the Arab League summit. It was the first time Damascus attended the summit since being expelled from the league in 2011. Despite hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions displaced, thousands incarcerated, a ruined economy and a country battered and bruised, Riyadh has welcomed Syria back into the fold of Arab Nations. Many see this as a victory for Bashar Al-Assad but are they right? Join us for a conversation with Dr Lina Khatib.
Khatib is the Director of the SOAS Middle East Institute and MBI Al Jaber Chair in Middle East Studies as well as Professor of Practice at the Department of Politics and International Studies at SOAS University of London. Prior to this, she served as director of the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House and before that was director of the Carnegie Middle East Center at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. She also co-founded and led the Program on Arab Reform and Democracy at Stanford University’s Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law and was a Senior Associate at the Arab Reform Initiative. She has published several books and is a frequent writer and commentator on current affairs in the Middle East.
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