October 9, 2013

Alex Klaushofer

Talk entitled ‘Lebanon Under Western Eyes’. Alex discussed the Lebanon that emerged from her research trips and conversations with Lebanese of all communities and beliefs over the past three years. In particular she shared her observations about Lebanon’s special status as the quintessentially diverse, multi-confessional country of the Middle East, the evolving nature of Lebanese identity and how far the Lebanon she discovered matches with perceptions of the country in Britain. Alex (Ms) Klaushofer is a London based journalist writing on social affairs and politics in Britain and the Middle East. Her work has appeared in many papers and magazines including the Guardian, the Observer, and the Daily Telegraph along with many contributions to the BBC. Alex Klaushofer graduated with an English degree from St. Hugh’s College, Oxford, and did her PhD in philosophy at Essex University. She taught in higher and further education for several years but it was in 1998, when she spent a summer as volunteer English teacher in a West Bank refugee camp, that she realised that the Middle East is (probably) the most interesting place in the world. She has been visiting the region ever since, as a writer and journalist and as Christian Aid’s Middle East Communications Manager. Her recently published book ‘Paradise Divided: A Portrait of Lebanon’, which is part travel narrative and part reportage, chronicles Lebanon’s attempts to maintain a fragile peace after its long civil war and last summer’s conflict with Israel. Charles Glass said about the book: The Lebanese in all their complexity, wonder, deceit and kindness shine through this delightful book.

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