Al Sharq Forum – Foreign Affairs LIVE: Sykes Picot At 100

Event Description

A century ago, a secret agreement between France and Britain carved the Middle East into spheres of influence supervised by the two superpowers. The Sykes-Picot agreement hastily divided the territory of the former Ottoman empire into a map that did not correspond to the ethnic, tribal or sectarian distinctions on the ground.  Join Al Sharq Forum and Foreign Affairs for a special event to look back at the legacy of the treaty that defined and divided the Middle East. This evening event will bring together experts from the public and private sectors to examine the profound consequences of Sykes-Picot today, as well as the contemporary policy recommendations to address its consequences.



Sykes Picot At 100

Washington, D.C.
The Council on Foreign Relations
1777 F Street NW


03 June 2016

5:00 – 6:00 Check-In & Welcome
6:00 – 6:15 Opening Keynote
6:15 – 7:30 Plenary Session
Speakers: Steven Cook,
Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies, Council on Foreign Relations
Shadi Hamid,
Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution; Author, Islamic Exceptionalism
Rachel Havrelock,
Author, River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line
Emad Shahin,
Hasib Sabbagh Distinguished Visiting Chair of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Georgetown University
Joseph Bahout,
Visiting Scholar, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Moderator: Galip Dalay,
Research Director, Al Sharq Forum; Senior Associate Fellow on Turkey and Kurdish Affairs, Al Jazeera Center for Studies
7:30 – 8:30 Networking Reception



 Galip-Dalay Galip Dalay works as a research director at Al Sharq Forum and senior associate fellow on Turkey and Kurdish Affairs at Al Jazeera Center for Studies. He previously worked as a visiting fellow at the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) in Berlin and as a political researcher at SETA Foundation in Ankara. He is  a regular writer for German Marshall Fund of the United States’ Turkey policy brief papers and book-review editor of the quarterly magazine Insight Turkey. In addition, He is columnist for Middle East Eye and blogger for Huffington Post.
 shadi-hamid Shadi Hamid is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Center for Middle East Policy and the author of the new book Islamic Exceptionalism: How the Struggle Over Islam is Reshaping the World(St. Martin’s Press). He is also a contributing writer for The Atlantic. His previous book was Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East (Oxford University Press, 2014). An expert on Islamist movements, Hamid served as director of research at the Brookings Doha Center until January 2014. With Will McCants, he currently co-leads the Brookings “Rethinking Political Islam” initiative. Hamid received his B.S. and M.A. from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, and his Ph.D. in political science from Oxford University.
 Rachel-Havrelock Rachel Havrelock is Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she serves as the founder and director of the UIC Freshwater Lab.  She is the author of River Jordan: The Mythology of a Dividing Line (University of Chicago Press) that examines the Jordan River as a border and the Jordan Valley as an integrated watershed. As a member of the International Advisory Council of Ecopeace Middle East, she is involved with efforts to remediate the Jordan River and support sustainable regional development.  She brought mayors from the Jordan Valley together with mayors from the Great Lakes basin at her 2015 summit, Water after Borders, where the mayors signed a signature piece of water diplomacy, the “Sister Waters Agreement.”  During a 2013 sabbatical, Rachel pursued research on the Iraq Petroleum Pipeline that once ran from Kirkuk to Haifa at the British National Archive, in Israeli and Jordanian archives, and by traveling the pipeline route and interviewing those living on and around it.  She plans to publish this research as a book entitled Pipeline: How Oil Created the Modern Middle East and How Water Can Transform It.   Rachel served as a 2011 Department of State Professional Fellow and was awarded a 2014 Alumni Impact Award.

Her research has been supported by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, FLAS, the UIC Institute for the Humanities, the UIC Dean’s Research Award, and the University of Cambridge Centre for Research in the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities (CRASSH).

 Emad-Shahin Emad Shahin is a visiting professor at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics. He is professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo (on leave). Shahin holds a Ph.D. (1989) from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, M.A. (1983) and BA (1980) from the American University in Cairo. He has taught in leading universities in the United States including Harvard, Notre Dame, Georgetown, George Washington, and Boston University. His research interests include Comparative Politics, Democracy and Political Reform in Muslim societies, Islam and Politics, and Political Economy of the Middle East. A prolific author, Shahin authored, co-authored and co-edited six books and has more than 50 scholarly publications including journal articles, book chapters and encyclopedia entries. His publications include Political Ascent: Contemporary Islamic Movements in North Africa; co-editorship with Nathan Brown of The Struggle over Democracy in the Middle East and North Africa; and co-authorship of Islam and Democracy (in Arabic). He is the editor-in-chief of The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Politics and co-editor with John L. Esposito of The Oxford Handbook of Islam and Politics.

Previously, Shahin was a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Columbia University (April 2014- March 15), public policy scholar at The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars (February- August 2014). He was the Henry R. Luce Associate Professor of Religion, Conflict and Peacebuilding at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies (2009-2012). He was visiting associate professor in the department of Government at Harvard University (2006-2009), faculty affiliate with the Kennedy School of Government, and visiting scholar in the Islamic Legal Studies Program at Harvard Law School (2006-2007).

 Steven-A-Cook Steven A. Cook is Eni Enrico Mattei senior fellow for Middle East and Africa studies at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). He is an expert on Arab and Turkish politics as well as U.S.-Middle East policy. Cook is the author of The Struggle for Egypt: From Nasser to Tahrir Square (Oxford University Press, Fall 2011), which won the Washington Institute for Near East Policy’s gold medal in 2012, and Ruling But Not Governing: The Military and Political Development in Egypt, Algeria, and Turkey (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). His new book, Thwarted Dreams: Violence and Authoritarianism in the New Middle East, will be published by Oxford University Press in 2016.

Cook has published widely in foreign policy journals, opinion magazines, and newspapers, and he is a frequent commentator on radio and television. He also currently writes the blog,From the Potomac to the Euphrates.

Prior to joining CFR, Cook was a research fellow at the Brookings Institution (2001–2002) and a Soref research fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (1995–1996).

Cook holds a BA in international studies from Vassar College, an MA in international relations from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, and both an MA and PhD in political science from the University of Pennsylvania. He speaks Arabic and Turkish and reads French.

Joseph-Bahout Joseph Bahout is a visiting scholar in Carnegie’s Middle East Program. His research focuses on political developments in Lebanon and Syria, regional spillover from the Syrian crisis, and identity politics across the region.

Previously, Bahout served as a permanent consultant for the Policy Planning Unit at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2009–2014). He was a professor of Middle Eastern Studies at Sciences Po Paris (2005–2014) and a senior fellow at Académie Diplomatique Internationale (2008–2014). He also served as a professor of political sociology and international relations at Université Saint-Joseph in Lebanon (1993–2004), and a researcher at the Beirut-based Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches sur le Moyen-Orient Contemporain (1993–2000).

Bahout is currently an associate fellow at the Geneva Center for Security Policy, and a member of the scientific board of the Institut Français du Proche-Orient.

He is the author of books on Syria’s business community and its political outlook (1994), and Lebanon’s political reconstruction (1998), in addition to numerous articles and book chapters. He is a frequent commentator in European and Arab media.

Abdelrahman Ayyash

Abdelrahman Ayyash

Associate Fellow at Al Sharq Forum
Abdelrahman Ayyash

Latest posts by Abdelrahman Ayyash (see all)

Galip Dalay

Galip Dalay

Research director at Al Sharq Forum
Research director at Al Sharq Forum and senior associate fellow on Turkey and Kurdish Affairs at Al Jazeera Center for Studies.
Galip Dalay



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