The World Affairs Council of Charleston hosts six speaking events each year, three in each the spring and fall.  During those seasons, come to this page to find information about each upcoming speaker, and the date and time of the event.

Cold War in the Middle East: Face-Off between Iran and Saudi Arabia

May 03, 2017 at 5:15 PM 
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Buyer Auditorium in Mark Clark Hall
Ave of Remembrance, The Citadel Campus
Charleston, SC
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Date/Time: Wednesday, May 3rd, Reception 5:15 pm, Speakers 6:00 pm

Location: Buyer Auditorium in Mark Clark Hall on The Citadel Campus

Topic: Cold War in the Middle East:  Behind the Headlines - Face-Off between Iran and Saudi Arabia  

Speakers: Professor John Creed of the College of Charleston and Albert Thibault, WACC Program Chairman 

John Creed        Al Thibault

Description: This very serious dynamic pits Shia and Persian Iran against Sunni and Arab Saudi Arabia. It underlies much tension and violence in the region. Both countries have created sectarian alliances behind which the different Middle East countries have lined up. Syria is the most potent example. The Saudi - Iranian confrontation is not widely recognized and understood by Americans but it overlays much of the daily news we witness and poses serious dilemmas for the United States.  

Prof. John Creed who leads the Middle East studies program at the College of Charleston will discuss the Iranian perspective: what drives Iranian policy. He has spent much time in the Middle East, most recently conducting research in Jordan, a pivotal country. Al Thibault, WACC program chair, will focus on Saudi Arabia. He headed the Political Section of the U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia where he was later deputy Ambassador and U.S. Charge d'Affaires. He continues to follow Saudi affairs closely.  

Dr. Creed is a graduate of Texas Christian University and received his MA and Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina. He has written extensively on the Middle East and was recently recognized as Outstanding Faculty of the year in Humanities and Social Science at the College. Al Thibault spent many years in Canada, received his BA from the University of Windsor and MA from the University of Toronto. He was a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, and was at the Indian School of International Studies in New Delhi. He studied Arabic in Jordan. A Foreign Service officer for 35 years, he served primarily in South Asia and the Middle East.    

Meeting sponsor is Chuck and Bonnie Bensonhaver.          

The Annual WACC Meeting will be held just prior to the speaker event.

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