WAAAUB Holds First Ever International Convention: Commitment to AUB and Enhancing Ties among Alumni  
AUBMC Receives US Accreditation
Seven New Members to Join the AUB Board of Trustees
Establishment of the Michael Atiyah Chair in Mathematical Sciences at AUB
AUB Nutrition and Food Science Department Named as WHO Collaborating Center
Academic Excellence Rewarded: AUB's Merit Scholarships
AUB Announces New Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service
Shahe Kazarian's - Reflections of My I (Published by Cadmus Project: 2007)
Faculty Profile: Patrick Lewtas
Professor Mrad Lectures Abroad
Staff Profile: Ramzieh Saad
Essay Competition Honors Arab World's 'Prince of Poets'
Donald Mitchell Examines Control Over City Streets
The Political Consequences of American Romanticism
Juan Cole Points at Failures in United States
Scholar Studies Impact of Terrorism on American Imports
Ambassador Evaluates Role of United Kingdom in the Arab World
A View of Islam in the Eighth Century
The Need for Dialogue Between Religions
Istanbul's Pleasures Revealed
National Identity Without Citizenship?
On-line Workshops Help Train Journalists
Student Artwork Exhibited at Jafet Library
Amulets and Talismans at the AUB Museum
Living with Animals: To Prevent Torture and the Impact of War
Women's Auxiliary Holiday Luncheon
Home of Hope Orphans Tour AUB Medical Center
Italian Opera Recital at Assembly Hall
Strengthening Ukraine and Lebanese Relations with Music
AUB Music Club Concert
From Sufi Chant to Oriental Jazz
AUB Choir and Choral Society Celebrate Christmas
Benefit Christmas Concerts Help Ayadina Center
Red Cross Club Forms Human Ribbon
January 2008 Vol. 9 No. 4


Ambassador Evaluates Role of United Kingdom
in the Arab World

Left to right: Frances Guy and rami Khoury

The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) organized a lecture and open discussion with Frances Guy, the current ambassador of the United Kingdom to Lebanon, on December 10 in AUB's College Hall. Entitled "More Fraternity than Friction: the Role of Values and Policies in Relations between the United Kingdom and the Arab and Islamic World," the talk was the first in an IFI-sponsored series, "The Ambassador in the Academy," as announced by Rami Khoury, the IFI director and editor-at-large of Lebanon's Daily Star. As planned, the series will bring resident and roving ambassadors of countries and multinational institutions to AUB for a day to exchange thoughts with students, faculty, and staff.

Saying that the United Kingdom is no longer a power-determining factor in the Levant region today, Guy stressed that the only way to avoid a clash of civilizations between East and West would be by demolishing current misconceptions about "the other" in order to build a future of shared respect and mutual benefits.

She announced the British forces in Iraq would hand over full control to Iraqi authorities before the start of 2008, and added that the United Kingdom, through huge amounts of humanitarian aid, has been instrumental in alleviating the suffering of oppressed people both in dictatorial and war-torn countries. Nonetheless, she underscored her country's interest in aligning itself with "the world's only superpower today" by supporting American foreign policy in those countries.

Ambassador Guy delineated the two significant initiatives toward achieving better communication between the United Kingdom and the Islamic world that took place toward the end of 2007. The first was a letter written by Muslim Arab leaders in October and sent to Christian authorities in Europe, which argued that the very differences between the two religions should instigate fruitful dialogue between them-a dialogue that has already started between the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia under the title of "Two Kingdoms Working Together." The second sign of interfaith goodwill was made by the royal visit of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to Pope Benedict XVI in the Vatican, an initiative Guy interpreted as "a genuine acknowledgement that both Islam and Christianity have a place in the world today."

Guy concluded that without "the economic and military clout" her country enjoyed fifty years ago, the United Kingdom needs to perform a succinct reappraisal of England's global position in the twenty-first century. "For us, the former colonizers," she said, "we should work harder to remove the friction created by the residues of colonialism by taking decisive action about major political and cultural issues of concern to Arab and Muslim Easterners today." In retrospect, Guy noted that the most fruitful changes have been made in areas where there was "no colonial baggage," citing the joint cooperation between the British Muslim population and Indonesia, the biggest Muslim country on earth, as an example.

In the discussion that followed, Guy conceded that while England's foreign policy misdemeanors have been exaggerated by political foes, former premier Tony Blair's government acted unwisely on several fronts. She spoke of England's long-term refusal to initiate dialogue with extremist groups, but declined to discuss the British influence on current Lebanese politics and the ethical and political responsibilities of the United Kingdom's failure in July 2006 to broker a quicker ceasefire for Lebanon.


Guy took up her appointment as ambassador in Beirut in October 2006. She was the United Kingdomambassador to Yemen between 2001 and 2004, and for two years starting in 2004 was head of the Engaging with the Islamic World Department in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. Before joining the diplomatic service, Guy worked with the British Council in Damascus.