Mid East Views
Ret. Commodore Abdulateef Al-Muthim of the Royal Saudi Navy, and currently a columnist for Alyaum, a newspaper published in Saudi Arabia, was the featured speaker at the John Quincy Adams Foreign Affairs Distinguished Speaker Series, held in the Heritage Room of the Maxwell Library.
The lecture was sponsored y The Edward W. Minnock Center for International Engagement at Bridgewater and the university’s Center for Middle East Studies.
“The Middle East . . . Prosperity versus Democracy” was the topic of the discussion, and Mr. Al-Mulhim said “[T]that gradual reforms, refraining from violence, freedom of the press, equality, and acceptance of the others may bring about stability to the Middle East.”
He said that history has proven that some Middle East states will more likely adapt democratic principles if such changes are introduced at a pace consistent with each nation’s culture, history and traditions.
“We know now that democracy cannot be forced. We are talking about a vast geographic area with many states and different customs. Planning and patience are necessary. Armed intervention does not work,” he said.
Mr. Mulhim was introduced to the audience by Dr. Jabbar Al-Obaidi, professor of communication studies, and director of BSU’s Center for Middle East Studies.
“I have known Mr. Al-Mulhim four years now through the annual convention of the National Council on U.S.- Arab Relations in Washington D.C. and I know how valuable his experience and insight are. It is such a great pleasure and privilege to have him with us for this occasion,” said Dr. Al-Obaidi in his welcome.
Greetings were also delivered by Dr. Michael Kryzanek, executive director of the Minnock Center. (Story and photo by David K. Wilson, ’71, University News)