Following my reflection last week on the death of Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim on 5 December (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17573, I should add that his successor has just been elected at Balamand Monastery in Beirut, in the early morning hours of Monday 17 December 2012.
For the final Middle East analysis podcast of 2012, we have chosen to set aside, temporarily, the hard political angles and social realities of the Middle East North Africa region and instead focus on the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
As reported on Ekklesia (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/17561) yesterday, Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch & All the East passed away as a result of a stroke at St George’s hospital in Lebanon on 5 December 2012 at the age of 92.
The latest Middle East and North Africa (MENA) podcast, conducted with James Abbott at the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales, looks at Palestine's new situation at the United Nations, after the General Assembly recently voted to bestow on it Non-Observer Member State status.
Dr Harry Hagopian suggests that a recent letter to the UK Foreign Secretary from two senior bishops opens up some fruitful lines of investigation in understanding, and seeking solutions to, a long-standing grievance in the Middle East.
Digital democracy and the huge expansion of social media is transforming political action and diplomacy, says Dr Harry Hagopian, who has been expanding his own involvement in that arena, not least due to his regular podcasts on developments in the Middle East and North Africa. He looks especially at social media's impact in that region.