20 februari, 19:30-21:30, Spui 25 Amsterdam,
One hundred years ago, the end of First World War marked the beginning of a turbulent period in the Middle East after a period of relative stability under Ottoman rule. Western interests, signified by documents like the Balfour Declaration, the Sykes-Picot Agreement, and the Treaty of Sèvres, turned the region into an area of volatility, conflict, and geopolitics. Today, a century later, the region has changed significantly. The volatility and geopolitical struggles, however, have not. As the civil war in Syria is drawing to a close, the power balance in the region seems to be shifting: an established presence of Russia, growing Iranian influence, and a cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran with consequences throughout the region. During this Century Session, historian and former Middle East correspondent Peyman Jafari examines the geopolitical history of the Middle East and how this shaped the region and looks at the perspectives for the future. Will US influence retreat further? Can Russia consolidate its new stature? Is a direct conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia inevitable?