In my latest Middle East analysis podcast, attention is focused on the maelstrom of violence tearing through Syria. If reports are to be believed, this conflict continues to claim between 100 and 200 lives a day.
On 6 November 2012, the Armenian Church and its community in the UK & Ireland recall the first anniversary of the ordination at Holy Etchmiadzin of their serpazan or bishop as the primate of the Armenian Apostolic Church.
Today, 4 November 2012, the Coptic Orthodox cathedral in Abbasiya, Cairo, witnessed what has been described in the media as an ‘altar lottery’ when a blindfolded young boy dipped his small hand into a glass bowl that contained the names of three vetted candidates and chose Anba (Bishop) Tawadros as the new Coptic Pope to succeed the late Shenouda III.
Describing another personal Armenian-Turkish encounter, Dr Harry Hagopian feels that "it is important for us Armenians nearing the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide in 2015 to start distinguishing ordinary Turkish men and women from Turkish officialdom or many of its politicised institutions let alone from Turkey and Azerbaijan."
Back in September, there were expressions across the world of what was dubbed 'Muslim rage' by the media, following the tawdry trailer for a film entitled 'Innocence of Muslims' ostensibly intended to defame the Muslim prophet Muhammad and insult the ummah of Islam worldwide. But Dr Harry Hagopian paints a much deeper and wider picture of Muslim discontents and provocations experienced throughout the Middle East and North Africa and elsewhere. Challenging simplistic 'clash of civilisations' theses, he says that what we need is not further disengagement between peoples and cultures, but rather further re-engagement.
All Things Considered, the half-hour award-winning flagship of BBC Wales (radio) that is presented by Roy Jenkins every Sunday at 9:00 AM, will discuss Syria live tomorrow (Sunday, 5 August 2012) and I will be a panellist in the BBC studio.
In the midst of significant, but not necessarily tectonic, changes across the entire Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, what has happened to Palestine, a virtual state clothed with a real idea, which had been at the forefront of the political imagination of the Arab masses for long decades? Dr Harry Hagopian examines long standing questions and recent developments with an eye to addressing 'the elephant in the room' of MENA politics.
A recent London discussion of Christian-Muslim relations illustrated in an enlivening way the need for developing conversation and exchange to take place at a number of levels, says Dr Harry Hagopian. Intellectuals and theologians can set the tone on key issues, but Christians and Muslims alike have a responsibility in communal, political and inter-prersonal engagements to deal truthfully, to confront prejudices, to speak out against faith-based discrimination and to tackle the roots of extremism wherever they are found.