A Talk by Former Ambassador Mark Hambley
Saturday, June 27, 1 pm
Sixteen Acres Branch, 1187 Parker Street
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The majority of stories coming from the Middle East that dominate America’s news media have not been good news. The headlines and images during many bloody decades of wars have been filled with extreme violence, religious intolerance, poverty, frightened refugees, and battle-scarred towns and cities.
Springfield resident Mark Hambley, former American ambassador in the Middle East, who still visits frequently in the context of his current duties, will share some of his thoughts about this very troubled area of the world.
Mark’s impressive diplomatic resume includes representing America in numerous Middle Eastern countries including Qatar, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, and Egypt. His current duties take him to these countries as well as Israel, Palestine, Turkey, Iraq, the Gulf, and on occasion, to Syria, several times a year. For more information about Ambassador Hambley, please see this MassLive article.
Please join him for what we hope will be a valuable opportunity to ease your concerns or increase your disquiet — and perhaps learn a bit more about important Middle Eastern issues than you currently see, hear, or read in the media. These issues include:
** Can Syria, Israel, Egypt, Afghanistan or Iraq have lasting peace?
** What conditions and political issues have led to the rise of the militant groups ISIS and Al-Qaeda?
** Is war with Iran inevitable?
** Can America and Western countries be part of the solution to bringing stability to the Middle East or have they been part of the problem?
A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Call the branch at 413-263-6858 for more information.
About the speaker:
A native of Boise, Idaho, Mark Hambley currently works as a Board of Apollo International, Inc. and as special counsel on a full range of international matters. Over the past 50 years — including more than three decades as a Foreign Service Officer — he has visited 167 countries; worked with the United Nations on sustainable development and climate change; and acquired expertise in local and regional affairs during a wide variety of overseas postings, especially in the Middle East, during the course of which he was appointed Ambassador to Qatar and later to Lebanon and as Consul General in Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
During his years in government service, Mark was an active observer/reporter of several noteworthy, and on occasion even seminal, events including the Viet Cong’s Easter Offensive in Vietnam in 1972; the Ramadan or Yom Kipper war of 1973; coups and political change in Yemen; the 1979 siege of the Grand Mosque in Mecca; the Sadat assassination in 1981; the S/S Achille Lauro seizure and the security forces mutiny in Egypt in 1985/86; the Kyoto Protocol of 1997; and the three Gulf wars of the 1980s, 1990/91, and 2003 onwards.
Mark is a regular speaker and media commentator on the Middle East, international terrorism, and on issues related to environmental and energy security, potential pandemics, and climate change. Over the past few years, usually as part of his work with the London-based Next Century Foundation, his travels have taken him on missions to Iraq/Syria, Israel/Gaza, Saudi Arabia.
During and after the 2011 “Arab Spring,” he has spent considerable time in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, and Libya – all countries where he had served at one time in a diplomatic capacity. He is also a member of several corporate, civic, educational and philanthropic boards and institutions and has been the recipient of a number of governmental and civic honors and awards.
Mark and his wife, Patricia, make their home in Springfield, Massachusetts where they garden, write, read, and plot new adventures with their 80lb. white German Shepherd.