Conference Season Kick-Off

It was less than two years ago that a Tunisian named Mohamed Bouazizi set himself and the Arab World on fire. He was a 26 year old college graduate trying to make a living selling vegetables on the street and, after police confiscated his cart and roughed him up, he took his own life to protest.

Reverberations from this single man’s death and the subsequent revolts that overturned entrenched dictatorial regimes in the Middle East have come to be known as the The Arab Spring. Events in its aftermath continue to dominate the news from Iran’s nuclear ambitions to Syria’s horrific bloodshed, from the ascendancy of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood to the deaths of American diplomats in Libya.

The 26th Camden Conference, “The Middle East: What Next?” will offer explanations, insights and opinions from people who have been directly involved with recent events and their impacts on the countries and people in the region and on American foreign policy.

The annual event takes place February 22-24, 2013 live from the historic Camden Opera House with streaming to satellite venues in Belfast at the Hutchinson Center, Ellsworth at The Grand, and Rockland’s Strand Theatre.

The Camden Conference is not limited to those three days in February. It also includes a robust season of free community events leading up to the February Conference that promise to prepare you for “The Middle East: What Next?” For example:

THE LIST, a modern-day Schindler’s List story focusing on Kirk Johnson, an American fighting to save thousands of Iraqis whose lives are in danger because they helped the U.S. rebuild Iraq. Co-sponsored with the Camden International Film Festival, Saturday, September 29, 4PM at the Bayview Street Cinema, Camden. Post film discussion moderated by Mac Deford.

INTERNET AND REVOLUTION: From text messaging to Twitter… How is technology along with social media driving The Arab Spring”? –With U. of Maine Professor Paul Holman on Thursday, October 4, 6:30-8:00PM at the Rockland Public Library.

THE CHANGING ROLE OF RELIGION IN THE ISRAEL/PALESTINE CONFLICT: Why has religion become more central to reaching a peace agreement? –with Colby Professor David Freidenreich on Monday, October 15, 6:30-8:00PM at the Adas Yoshuron Synagogue in Rockland.

SEEDS OF PEACE with Tim Wilson, former director of both the Seeds of Peace International Camp in Maine and the Seeds of Peace Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem. Tuesday, October 23, 6:30-8:00PM at the Belfast Free Library.

THE KING AND I: I TAUGHT HIM HOW TO SERVE: With Maureen O’Keefe, the first national tennis coach for the Jordanian Tennis Federation and personal coach to King Hussein on Thursday, November 1, 6:30-8:00PM at the Rockland Public Library.

ADAMS V. JEFFERSON: THE FURIOUS ELECTION OF 1800 – 100 DAYS IN 100 MINUTES with Mac Deford and Tom DeMarco returning with their popular history road show just in time for the Election. Friday, November 2, 7PM at the Rockport Opera House and Sunday, November 4, 2PM at the University of Maine’s Hutchinson Center in Belfast.

REVOLUTIONS WITHOUT REASON: HOW RELIGION UNDERMINES FREEDOM IN THE MIDDLE EAST AND NORTH AFRICA with Dr. Anouar Majid of the UNE Center for Global Humanities, Thursday, December 13, 6:30-8:00PM at the Camden Public Library.

For a full listing, please visit our Community Events Calendar at

The Camden Conference is a nonprofit, non-partisan educational organization whose mission is to foster informed discourse on world affairs through year-round community events, public and student engagement, and an annual weekend Conference featuring distinguished speakers focusing on a central theme related to U.S. foreign affairs. For more information, please visit or call 877-214-8579.

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