On November 17, CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD) hosted Lina Khatib, a senior research associate with the Arab Reform Initiative, for a special talk on the Syrian crisis. Khatib was a co-founder of the ARD Program and managed its research agenda for four years before leaving CDDRL to lead the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut.
After conducting extensive fieldwork on the Syrian-Turkish border, Khatib provided a detailed analysis of ISIS’ origins and how they are benefitting from the unresolved crisis in Syria. Khatib also weighed in on the refugee crisis, as well as the regional rivalries that are using Syria as a proxy to exert themselves militarily. Khatib argued that a military solution to solving the ISIS problem is not the right approach, and encouraged the international community to begin engaging different members of the Syrian opposition, and rethinking their approach to international diplomatic negotiations.