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SLU-Madrid Sponsors Event on Yemen at Spain's Largest Arab Cultural Center

by Isaiah Voss


Last week, SLU-Madrid fostered open dialogue with Sorbonne Université (France) and Paris-based think tank AESMA at Madrid's Casa Árabe, a center that serves as the country's gateway to the Arab and Muslim world.

The SLU-Madrid Department of Political Science participated in Aula Árabe Universitaria, a series of open debates and lectures. Several universities, including SLU-Madrid, partner with Casa Árabe to address current issues across the Arab World. Casa Árabe is a Spanish government initiative designed to facilitate Spain's relations with Arab cultures.

The SLU-Madrid-sponsored event almost reached Casa Árabe's full capacity. It was also live-streamed on YouTube. As the presenters spoke in English, simultaneous interpretation into Spanish was provided. 

Barah Mikaïl, Ph.D. (Political Science), served as a commentator in a talk with Adlene Mohammedi, Ph.D., who detailed past key events and current evolutions related to Yemen. 

Reflecting on Mohammedi's conference on "Yemen: Military quagmire, humanitarian tragedy, political stalemate," Mikaïl defined the conference's purpose as unpacking a "complex situation that is a consequence of the irresponsibility of regional and international actors." 

Mikaïl has fostered a stable relationship between SLU-Madrid and Casa Árabe, making this installment his department's fourth consecutive year participating in the series.

Three people speaking during a conference
From left to right: Olivia Orozco (Casa Árabe Coordinator of Education and Economics), Barah Mikaïl, Ph.D., and Adlene Mohammedi, Ph.D. Submitted photo.

SLU-Madrid's previous presentations at the center have touched on terrorism and radicalism in the Middle East, economics in the Persian Gulf and the Lebanese internal crises.

Mikaïl described these events as an "extension to the classroom" by helping students develop the "willingness to listen to different points of view."

All students in the M.A. in Political Science and Public Affairs attended, along with some undergraduate majors.

"It is good for students to be in touch with speakers and students from other universities," Mikaïl said.

Casa Árabe certifies students who have attended physically 40% or more of the Aula Árabe Universitaria debates with its "Passport to the Arab World."

Mikaïl and Casa Árabe plan to expand on the successful series. SLU-Madrid will help to develop themes and topics for next year's 6th annual Aula Árabe Universitaria. The Department of Political Science also hopes to establish internship agreements and additional ways of cooperating with the center.

Learn About the M.A. in Political Science and Public Affairs