Lecture to focus on U.S., Middle East relations


Friday’s Great Decisions lecture will explore “U.S. Realignment and the Future of the Middle East” with a presentation from Hassan Aly, Ph.D., founding dean of the School of Public Administration and Development Economics, and professor of economics at the Doha Institute for Graduate Studies.

The U.S. relationship to the Middle East is at a political crossroads. The Middle East as a region finds itself once again to be a global strategic playground for U.S., Chinese, Russian, and European geopolitical interests as we move into the mid-21st century. The strong coordination between the United States and regional allies in recent decades finds itself challenged by shifting political realities across the region as well as our own changing domestic political and economic needs, demands and considerations. The U.S. faces a great decision about how best to approach the latest tide of political and economic challenges in the Middle East: Tensions between Saudi Arabia, Iran, and their respective sectarian allies; the resurgence of secular vs. religious political tensions in Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, and beyond; and the tragic violence cycle that continues to plague Israel and the Occupied Territories. Can the U.S. realize its Middle Eastern interests with a lower level of military and political involvement or should the U.S. renew a focus on playing a leading role in the region?

Aly is an emeritus professor of economics at The Ohio State University. At OSU, Aly served in many positions, including faculty associate at the Middle East Studies Center and at the John Glenn Institute for Public Service and Public Policy. Since May 2017, Aly has served as dean of the Business School at Nile University, Cairo. Previously, he was the founding dean of the School of Public Administration and Development Economics, and a Professor of Economics at the Doha Institute (DI) for Graduate Studies.

A preeminent scholar in his field, Aly has served as president of the Middle East Economics Association and is a lifetime research fellow at the Economic Research Forum, with over 50 highly regarded academic articles published in professional journals. Currently, Aly serves as a consultant for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in the Middle East.

The lecture will take place from noon to 1 p.m. at the William Street United Methodist Church at 28 W. William St., Delaware. Those attending are welcome to bring a brown bag lunch. Coffee and tea will be provided.

The presentation will also be broadcast over Zoom at https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85158448001.

For more information, visit www.greatdecisionsofdelawareoh.com.

The Great Decisions program is a series of free, public lectures from central Ohio foreign policy experts who explore pressing international topics of the day. Sponsored by the Foreign Policy Association, Great Decisions provides a series of eight published essays around which our local presenters base their discussions each week. The presentations include audience question-and-answer periods to engage in thoughtful discussion.

Submitted by Erinn Nicley.

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