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The House Divided: Sunni, Shia and the Making of the Middle East - Barnaby Rogerson in conversation


At the heart of the Middle East, with its regional conflicts and proxy wars, is a 1400-year-old schism between Sunni and Shia. To understand this divide and its modern resonances, we need to revisit its origins: to become familiar with 'The House' of Prophet Muhammad, the accidental coup after his death that set aside the claims of his son Ali, and the slaughter of Ali's son Husayn at Kerbala. These events, known to every Muslim, continue to influence Middle East politics. The House Divided follows these narratives through the first caliphates and the medieval empires forged by Arabs, Persians and Turks, to the contemporary Middle East. It shows how a dynamic range of identities - fuelled as much by ethnic, dynastic and national rivalries as by religious differences - have shaped the region. In 1979 this already complex world was jolted by the seismic shift of three revolutions - in Iran, Mecca and Afghanistan - whose effects are still being played out. Rogerson's original and intimate approach takes the modern chessboard of nation states and looks at each through its particular perspective.


The Big Marquee


3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Ticket Price

£7 (free to patrons)

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