Camden Conference announces speakers

Dec 13, 2012
Harvard's Kennedy School Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns will return as moderator.

Camden — The 26th Annual Camden Conference “The Middle East: What Next?”— scheduled for Feb. 22-24, 2013 — will feature a roster of speakers with decades of expertise in the region.

Following the Friday evening keynote address by award-winning journalist Robin Wright, Saturday will focus on key countries and issues. Returning as conference moderator will be Ambassador R. Nicholas Burns of Harvard’s Kennedy School.

Marwan Muasher, former Jordanian Ambassador to Israel and to the United States, will cover broad aspects of the Arab Awakening and assess its current status. Then Marc Lynch, associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University and director of the Institute for Middle East Studies, will address Egypt and political Islam. Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies and associate professor at the University of Oklahoma, will focus on his special area of expertise, Syria, and the regional spillover and conflicts associated with the current unrest there.

Saturday afternoon will begin with Gregory Gause, Professor and Chairman of the Political Science Department at the University of Vermont, speaking on Saudi Arabia, Sunni/Shia issues, and regional geostrategic clashes. Shai Feldman, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at Brandeis University, will cover Israel and its situation amid regional change and conflict, especially with Iran. Seyed Hossein Mousavian, former Iranian Ambassador to Germany and spokesman for the Iranian team working on nuclear issues, currently at Princeton University, will speak on Iran and related issues.

On Sunday morning, the conference will broaden the scope and address the role of the United States. Barbara Ibrahim, professor of sociology and director of the Centre for Civic Engagement at the American University in Cairo, will illuminate the human face of the Arab Awakening, with special attention to the role and future of women in the Middle East. Rounding out the impressive lineup of speakers, Ambassador Ryan Crocker will speak on U.S. policies, perspectives, and prospects in the new Middle East. The final Sunday morning session, featuring a panel of all the speakers responding to attendees’ questions, will be moderated by Ambassador Burns.

“The Middle East: What Next?” takes place live at the Camden Opera House and simulcast to satellite venues, the Strand Theatre in Rockland, the Hutchinson Center in Belfast, and the Grand in Ellsworth. Tickets are on sale now. For more information, visit or call 236-1034.

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