DATE & TIME
Thursday 4th of May
7:00 pm to 9:00 pm
69 St James’s Street
London, SW1A 1PJ
Jean-Pierre Filiu will describe the long centuries of intertwined history between Syria and the West. We all have some part of Syria inside ourselves, so abandoning this country and its people to such tragedy meant losing touch with our own values and memory. Jean-Pierre Filiu will revisit in Syria a past so intimately linked to ours. Some figures will sound familiar to us such as Saint Paul or Saladin. He will shed light on other characters who helped shape our common legacy. He will hold in front of us the “Mirror of Damascus” (the title of his recently published book), in order for us to better understand in this reflecting image what our world has become.
Jean-Pierre Filiu, a historian and an arabist, is professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po, Paris School of International Affairs (PSIA). He has held visiting professorships both at Columbia School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) and at Georgetown School of Foreign Service (SFS).
He served also as an adviser to the Prime Minister (2000-2002), to the Minister of Defense (1991-93), and to the Minister of Interior (1990-91). Prof. Jean-Pierre Filiu was a career diplomat from 1988 to 2006, following humanitarian missions in Afghanistan (1986) and Lebanon (1983-84). He was assigned to Amman, before becoming Deputy Chief of mission in Damascus and Tunis.
His book Apocalypse in Islam (University of California Press, 2011) was awarded the main prize by the French History Convention. Hurst (London) and Oxford University Press (New York) published his Arab Revolution, ten lessons from the democratic uprising in 2011, Gaza, a History in 2014 (Palestine Book Award by the Middle East Monitor) and From Deep State to Islamic State: the Arab counter-revolution and its jihadi legacy in 2015. His works and articles about contemporary Islam and the Arab world have been published in a dozen languages. Professor Filiu also wrote the script of Best of Enemies, a graphic novel about US in the Middle East.