Unprecedented and unpredictable, the dynamics of transition in the Arab world have defied analysis and fuelled debate, and raised a plethora of essential questions for us to consider.
Since October, the UCLU Arabian Society has hosted a series of lectures and discussions to promote the education of the Middle East at UCL, reflecting the prominence of the ongoing events while always making sure to maintain a strict secular and apolitical stance.
In doing so, the society has seen its membership reach record levels, with a large percentage of its members coming from non-Arab backgrounds for the first time.
The successful programme, which helped the society win the award of UCLU’s Most Developed Society of the Year, has comprised student debates investigating the prospect of democracy in the Middle East, seminars examining the patriarchal culture of Arab societies and the role played by women in the uprisings, and also invited guests such as BBC Security Correspondent Frank Gardner to talk to the society.
The society has also strengthened its co-operation with other UCLU societies such as the UCLU European Society, with which it hosted a discussion on European foreign policy in Libya as part of UCL’s European Focus Week in November.