Text full multimedia monochrome

First time here?

Find out more about how The Lecture List works.

Coronavirus situation update

Our lecture organisers may or may not have had time to update their events with cancellation notices. Clearly social gatherings are to be avoided and that includes lectures. STAY AT HOME FOLKS, PLEASE.


Find out what you can do to keep The Lecture List online

Media Talk: Obama on the Middle East - From Rhetoric to Reality

As Obama prepares to take office as the 44th US president, he is set to face huge challenges in the Middle East. Our panel of distinguished academics and journalists discuss those challenges.

Chaired by Dr. Rosemary Hollis (City University)
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman (King's College London)
Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi (Transatlantic Institute)
Amir Taheri (journalist and author)

As Obama prepares to take office as the 44th US president, he is set to face huge challenges in the Middle East. Will the renewed emphasis on diplomacy that he is proposing with the region pave the way for improved relations with Iran and prevent them from developing their nuclear programme? Will he be able to broker an Israeli-Palestinian peace process where every US president before him has failed and how will he balance his commitment to Israel with his desire to build peace with the Palestinians? Who are his new panel of advisors and special envoys to the Middle East and what will they mean for the region? And will the man famed for his rhetoric be able to make his vision a reality?

Lawrence Freedman has been Professor of War Studies at King's College, London since 1982. He has written extensively on nuclear strategy and the cold war, as well as commentating regularly on contemporary security issues. His most recent book, A Choice of Enemies: America confronts the Middle East, came out in May in the United States and was published in the UK in July.

Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi is the executive director of the Transatlantic Institute. A political scientist by training, he came to Brussels in 2006 after having previously taught Israel Studies at the Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies and at the Middle East Centre of St. Antony’s College, Oxford University. He is a frequent commentator on Israeli domestic politics, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and Europe’s Middle East policy. His columns have appeared on Newsday, the National Review Online, The Middle East Quarterly, the Jewish Chronicle, The Guardian, The Daily Mirror; and blogs on Contentions.

Amir Taheri is is an Iranian-born journalist and author based in Europe. His writings focus on Middle Eastern affairs and topics related to Islamist terrorism. He was executive editor-in-chief of Kayhan, Iran's main daily newspaper, from 1972-1979. Taheri has also been Middle East correspondent for the Sunday Times (1980-1984) and has written for the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and the Daily Mail. He has interviewed many world leaders including Presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton. He is the author of Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism and his new book, The Persian Night, will be published next month.

Dr Rosemary Hollis is director of City University London’s Olive Tree Israeli-Palestinian scholarship programme. Dr Hollis was previously at Chatham House with three years as director of research and ten years before that as head of its Middle East Programme. Dr Hollis has carved out a career as a leading specialist on regional political and security issues in the Middle East, and was for several years an Assistant Professor in Political Science at George Washington University in the US.


Dr Dr. Rosemary Hollis | talks
Professor Sir Lawrence Freedman | talks
Journalist and Author Amir Taheri | talks
Dr Emanuele Ottolenghi | talks


Date and Time:

27 January 2009 at 7:00 pm


1 hour 30 minutes



Frontline Club
13 Norfolk Place
W2 1QJ
+44 (0)20 7479 8950

More at Frontline Club...




Available from:


Additional Information:

Frontline is a media club that uniquely combines eating, drinking and thinking. A three-minute walk from Paddington Station, spread over three stripped wooden floors, it has a private clubroom for members, and a restaurant and forum space open to the public.

Register to tell a friend about this lecture.


If you would like to comment about this lecture, please register here.


Any ad revenue is entirely reinvested into the Lecture List's operating fund