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Syrian conflict topic of SAU lecture

By ArkansasOnline

This article was published February 24, 2014 at 9:16 a.m.

An author and commentator on Middle East history and politics will put into context the Syrian conflict during a speech Monday night on the Southern Arkansas University campus in Magnolia.

David Lesch, a professor of Middle East history at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas, is to deliver the 2014 SAU Emerson-Thomas-Crone Lecture on Bashar Assad and the disintegration of Syria, which will argue that the nearly 3-year-old conflict could pose disastrous regional and international repercussions, the university said.

Lesch met regularly with Assad from 2004-09, which began as he interviewed the president in preparation to write The New Lion of Damascus: Bashar al-Asad and Modern Syria, published in 2005.

Director of the Harvard University-NUPI-Trinity University Syria Research Project, Lesch has led a team of researchers over the past year in investigating obstacles to resolving the Syrian crisis, and they have recently finished an 850-page final report, which he has been presenting to leaders in Europe, at the U.N. and elsewhere.

The lecture, set for 7:30 p.m. Monday, will be held in the SAU Reynolds Center Grand Hall in Magnolia. The event is free and public. More information is available by calling the SAU Foundation Office at (870) 235-4078.

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