For over a decade, Radius has had the honor of co-hosting many programs with the Emile Bustani Middle East Seminar. Professor Philip Khoury chairs the series which is co-sponsored with the Center for International Studies. The Seminar, which celebrated its 30th anniversary last year, hosts two programs per semester offering deep insights and substantive discussion on wide-ranging topics related to the Middle East.
Emile Bustani was born in 1907 in Lebanon in the waning years of the Ottoman Empire. He received his MIT degree in Civil Engineering in 1933 and went on to found his own company in contracting and trading. Mr. Bustani had a vision of an Arab renaissance and worked towards that vision throughout his life. Tragically, he died in an airplane crash in 1963. At that time, he was one of the most influential businessmen and philanthropists in the Middle East. In 1985, Mrs. Laura Bustani and Mrs. Myrna Bustani, Emile Bustani's widow and daughter, established the Seminar to honor his memory and his deep and lasting contribution to higher education and to peace in the Middle East.
The Seminar features scholars, journalists, consultants, and other experts from the Middle East, Europe, and the United States who present recent research findings on contemporary politics, society and culture, and economic and technological development in the Middle East.
Tuesday’s Seminar will focus on sectarian violence in Saudi Arabia. Our guest speaker, Professor David Commins, will examine the Saudi government’s encouragement of this fragmentation to promote instability and uncertainty, and its reluctance to develop true political reforms.