This House believes that George Bush has kicked open the door to democracy in the Middle East

Wednesday March 30 2005
MOTION REJECTED by 27% to 73%

Speakers

Fouad Ajami

Speaking for the motion
Fouad Ajami

Fouad Ajami is the Majid Khadduri Professor and Director of Middle East Studies at the Johns Hopkins University Sc hool for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Washington DC, a position he has held since 1980.

Prior to this appointment, he was a member of the Faculty of the Department of Politics at Princeton University. A naturalized US citizen of Lebanese birth, he is the author of 'The Dream Palace of the Arabs: A Generation's Odyssey', 'The Arab Predicament', 'Beirut: The City of Regrets', 'The Vanished Imam' and other works. His essays have appeared in The New Republic, The New York Times Book Review, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, The Times Literary Supplement, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post Book World, The New York Times Magazine and other forums.

Professor Ajami is the recipient of several awards, most notably the five-year MacArthur Prize Fellowship, an award granted to individuals of exceptional talent in the arts and sciences. He has also been a Research Fellow of the Lehrman Institute in New York City. He now serves as a consultant for CBS News, with which he has been associated since 1985. He has been, since 1989, a contributing editor for US News & World Report, for which he has written regularly on matters of American foreign policy, Middle East politics and modern history. He is a member of the editorial board of the magazine Foreign Affairs. In June 2002, he was elected by the members of the Council on Foreign Relations to a five-year term on the Council's Board of Directors.

Professor Ajami's 'The Arab Predicament' has been issued by Cambridge University Press in its 'Cambridge Classics' edition and has been re-printed 17 times since its appearance in 1981. His book 'The Vanished Imam' was selected by The New York Times Book Review as "one of the best ten books of 1986". 'The Dream Palace of the Arabs' was chosen as a New York Times Book Review Notable Book of 1998.

 

Ghayth Armanazi

Speaking against the motion
Ghayth Armanazi

Ghayth Armanazi is founder and chairman of the Arab International Media Forum, a nonpartisan and apolitical organization that aims to develop closer links between the media in the Arab and the non-Arab world. Its partners include representatives of major news outlets throughout the world.

Armanazi is himself a familiar face on BBC World and other news networks, as his experience and connections make him a sought after commentator on Arab affairs. From 1992 to 2000, Armanazi was Ambassador of the Arab League of States to London. Prior to assuming that position, he served as editor-in-chief of the quarterly journal Arab Affairs and as the general manager of the Arab Bankers Association, also based in London.

Armanazi's writing has appeared in numerous publications, including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The World Today, published by the Institute of International Affaires.

Armanazi is also executive director of the British Syrian Society and a senior consultant at Middle East Consultants International, a business development firm headquartered in London.

Born in Syria, Armanazi was educated at the University of London and the American University of Beirut.

 

Salameh B. Nematt

Speaking for the motion
Salameh B. Nematt

Salameh B. Nematt has been the Washington DC bureau chief for Al-Hayat, the London-based, pan-Arab daily newspaper, since March 2003. The Jordanian-born journalist is also Washington DC bureau chief for LBC, the pan-Arab satellite channel based in Lebanon.

His work in DC focuses on reporting and analyzing US foreign policy, including issues related to the war in Iraq, the war on terrorism, the US drive for democratization in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as issues related to US military and security strategies. His weekly column for Al-Hayat appears every Thursday.

Before moving to DC, he served as managing editor for Al-Hayat in London. From 1998-1999, he was the newspaper's international diplomatic correspondent, a position he resigned briefly to serve as head of the Strategy Unit at Jordan's Royal Court, an advisory post for King Abdullah II.

From 1988 to 1999 he was the Amman bureau chief for Al-Hayat and a regional correspondent for the BBC Arabic Service radio. From 1994 to 1995, he worked as regional correspondent for the BBC Arabic Service TV. From 1983 to 1988, he was chief political correspondent for the English-language daily Jordan Times and the Arabic-language daily Al Rai.

Mr. Nematt has contributed to numerous other publications, including The Economist, Middle East Magazine, Jane's Defence Weekly, Mideast Mirror, Die Zeit and Newsweek, as well as international broadcast media such as BBC World, ITV News, ABC news, PBS, CBC radio and TV, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya and Al-Hurra.

Over the past 20 years, he has reported on and analyzed developments related to the Iran-Iraq war, the 1990-1991 Iraq invasion of Kuwait, the second Gulf war and the Arab-Israeli peace process. He has been selected by the World Economic Forum's organizing committee as a member of the Media Working Group, commissioned to plan a strategy for reforming the Arab media by 2010.

 

Azzam S. Tamimi

Speaking against the motion
Azzam S. Tamimi

Dr. Azzam S. Tamimi is director of the Institute of Islamic Political Thought, a London-based think tank whose aim is the objective study and assessment of Islamist movements in pursuit of a modern Islamic political theory.

Tamimi's work is concerned with issues of human rights, liberty and democratization in the Islamic world. In 1992, he helped to found the London-based organization Liberty for the Muslim World, and in the 1998 Parliamentary Elections in Jordan, he served as Chairman of the Islamic Movement's Parliamentary Office. Tamimi has served on occasion as a bridge between Islamist movements and Western media and governments, explaining Islamic ideals and sentiments in order to encourage understanding and accommodation on both sides.

Born in Hebron in 1955, Tamimi received a B.Sc. in Combined Studies in Science from the University of Sunderland in 1978 and a PhD in Political Theory from the University of Westminster in 1998. He has been a lecturer at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education in Leicestershire since 2000.

Tamimi is the author of one book, 'Rachid Ghannouchi, Democrat within Islamism' and editor of several more, including 'Islam and Secularism in the Middle East', 'Power-Sharing Islam?', 'Musharakat al-Islamiyin Fis-Sultah' and 'Ash-Shar'iyah as-Siyasiyah fil-Islam'. He has written dozens of papers and articles on subjects ranging from the portrayal of Islam in the Western media to the history of Jerusalem under Western rule.

 

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