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Georgetown Dean Gives Public Lecture on Impact of Geography on Middle Eastern Politics

Mar 14, 2017

How has the physical topography, climate, and natural resources of the Middle East impacted the region’s history and politics? The dean of Georgetown University in Qatar explored the effects of geography on the people of the Middle East in a public lecture.

Hosted by the Qatar Natural History Group, the talk by Dr. James Reardon-Anderson focused on how the location of sources of water and petroleum has affected human behavior and policies in the region. 

“The uneven distribution of natural resources has had a profound impact on the people and politics of the Middle East,” said Reardon-Anderson. “This talk is an opportunity to exchange knowledge on the role geography has played in the region, both historically and in the present day.”

The event was a part of the QNHG’s expert lecture series. “Through these monthly talks and field trips, the group strives to discover the environment, history and culture of Qatar,” said Dr. Thierry Lesales, public relations representative for QNHG. “We count on the goodwill of specialists who generously accept to spend their time with us and share their knowledge. We are very honored to receive the contribution of Dr. James Reardon-Anderson, who will allow us to understand how geography has shaped the destiny of this region.”

The talk by Reardon-Anderson forms part of the Qatar Natural History Group’s expert lecture series. The group, which was founded in 1978, aims to bring together people who have an interest in the natural history of Qatar and the Gulf. In addition to monthly lectures, it also hosts regular field trips to sites of cultural, historical, and archaeological interest.

Reardon-Anderson is the founding dean of GU-Q and the Sun Yat Sen Professor of Chinese Studies at the Georgetown University. He has been a member of Georgetown faculty since 1985 and previously taught at the University of Michigan, Johns Hopkins University, and the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University and is the author of five books on China, covering foreign policy, the environment, and history. His latest book, which focuses on China and the Middle East, is scheduled for publication later this year.

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