Burning Issues Inside the Arab World

There’s noth­ing like a good debate to reveal the issues that mat­ter most to a soci­ety. And that’s what The Doha Debates have to offer — a good, nuanced look at the hottest issues in the Arab and Islam­ic worlds. The debates, which have been held in Qatar over the past three years, fol­low the for­mat used in the famous Oxford Union debates. And they’ve been aired over the BBC and have picked up a siz­able inter­na­tion­al fol­low­ing. (You can down­load the debates in video or via pod­cast from this page.) The speak­ers gen­er­al­ly include “aca­d­e­mics, politi­cians, reli­gious fig­ures, gov­ern­ment offi­cials, pol­i­cy experts and jour­nal­ists” and some of the recent top­ics debat­ed include the fol­low­ing (thanks Kirsten for the heads up on this):

  • Is the Sun­ni-Shia con­flict dam­ag­ing Islam’s rep­u­ta­tion as a reli­gion of peace?
  • Do the Pales­tini­ans risk becom­ing their own worst ene­my?
  • Is the face veil a bar­ri­er to inte­gra­tion in the West?
  • Should the Pales­tini­ans give up their full right of return?

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Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.