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.