New Year, New Direction?

27/01/2012 11:25 am

Dr Harry Hagopian, the Bishops' Consultant on the Middle East

In our first Middle East Analysis podcast of 2012 we welcome back Dr Harry Hagopian - the Bishops' consultant on the Middle East North Africa region.

Can we expect 2012 to be as monumentally eventful as 2011? Perhaps even more so. Autocrats have been deposed, killed, put on trial or have been hospitalised. Some of those that remain are under intense scrutiny and pressure - either from revolutionaries, the international community or both. Stability is a word that has been forcibly torn from the region's dictionary. 

The indigenous Christian communities across the whole region continue to face challenges and uncertainties. Just two weeks ago, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, His Beatitude Fouad Twal, played host to an international meeting of bishops from North America and Europe in the Holy Land organised by the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales.

In this podcast, where religion meets politics, we take a look at the elections in Egypt. With an overwhelming Islamist feel to the results, what does this mean for the Coptic Christians in the country? Has the inter-religious solidarity of downtown Cairo, Tahrir Square, been replaced by flashpoints of conflict?

Also, as has been the case for almost a year, it's impossible to analyse the situation in the Middle East without looking at Syria. We discuss the withdrawal of the Arab League's monitors and the escalation of violence in the face of a stand-off. Where do we go next in Syria?

We conclude by reflecting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict - its imperatives and choices.

Duration: 24m 45s

The podcast can be downloaded/played at the top right-hand corner of this page.


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Dr Harry Hagopian


Middle East Analysis: MENA 16

In this Middle East Analysis, Bishops' Consultant on the MENA region Dr Harry Hagopian looks at the elections in Egypt, the withdrawal of Arab League monitors in Syria and reflects on the Holy Land Coordination - an international meeting of Catholic bishops in the region.   mena16.mp3 10.52 MB