CAABU Reception for new MPs
Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 16th June, 2010
The Council for the Advancement of Arab-British Understanding (CAABU) — on whose Board I sit — held a reception in the Jubilee Room of the House of Commons this lunchtime to introduce itelf to newly elected MPs. Amongst the speeches was a short address from the ubiquitous and urbane Dean of the Diplomatic Corps, the Kuwaiti Ambassador, Khaled Al-Duwaisan, as well as some remarks from (Lord) David Steel (with whom I travelled to Gaza many moons ago). The Israeli lobby, while not as strong in London as it is in Washington, is nonetheless a powerful force in both of the British Houses of Parliament, which makes it all the more important that there is a visible Arab presence. Of course, the Arab narrative is a far more complicated one, as it covers issues way beyond the immediate concerns of Israel-Palestine, though for someone such as myself, who has been working as a journalist and academic in the region for longer than I care to recall, this very complexity adds to its fascination. My current focus is mainly on Jordan, but the entire Arab world intrigues.