HHH Curtin speaking on Sectarianism in the Middle East, Sept 9

As instability continues to plague the Middle East, many of the current conflicts in the region have been attributed to sectarianism, a politicization of ethnic and religious identity. From the crisis in Iraq and Syria to the tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the struggle between Sunni and Shi‘i groups for dominance is tearing apart the region and shows no signs of abating. But for all the religious discourse permeating the conflict, much of its roots are political, not religious. How does sectarianism fit into a larger narrative of the Middle East? How have governments manipulated sectarian differences? And finally, what is the U.S. doing about it? 

 On September 9, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer and Great Decisions speaker Mary Curtin will lead a conversation on sectarianism in the Middle East. 

The event will be moderated by Bill Davnie, former U.S. Foreign Service Officer and Great Decisions speaker. 


Mary T. Curtin is Diplomat in Residence at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota. She worked as a U.S. Department of State Foreign Service Officer from 1986 to 2011, serving in five overseas assignments including Poland, Tunisia, Mali, Chile, and Washington, D.C. Throughout her career she kept a focus on how the U.S. could help promote democracy and human rights through bilateral and multilateral efforts. She was political counselor at the U.S. Mission to the European Union and oversaw mission engagement efforts regarding NATO and Afghanistan.
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