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Emily Hawthorne — Stratfor

Posted by on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 in Blog

Reported by Brad Wiewel

President-Elect Bill Davies called the meeting to order at noon (President Julie Benkoski was in Panama on Rotary business). Past President Barry Curlee led the pledges and Don Busby gave the invocation. Cindy Brummer led us in reciting the “FOUR WAY TEST.” Our Greeter was Vlad Bahrencu and our Host was Carl Noble.

Global Awareness Update: Tom Anderson followed up on Mark Kapner’s presentation last week and emphasized the Global Grant Scholarship which is available to students for post
graduate work at an international institution. Last year’s recipient was selected from our Club and received $50,000!

Wine Tasting Announcement: Past President Dick Brown announced a wine tasting at his home next Friday (September 21st) featuring wines of the Iberian Peninsula.

After plenty of Fellowship time, Edis Oliver introduced our program speaker, Emily Hawthorne of Stratfor, which is an American geopolitical intelligence platform and publisher. Ms. Hawthorne is a Middle East and North African specialist and she is fluent in Arabic! She has a bachelor’s and a master’s from UT.

Ms. Hawthorne gave members insights into the current state of the Middle East including:

  • There are 20 countries in the Middle East and it is a diverse and broad crossroads of religion, languages and trade;
  • The power states are Iran, Egypt, Turkey and Saudi Arabia;
  • Israel is a power but it does not exert its power beyond its borders;
  • Iran and Saudi Arabia are in a cold war, both want to be the preeminent power in the region;
  • Saudi Arabia and Israel view the Iran nuclear agreement as a tilt toward Iran;
  • Iran seeks a land bridge to the Mediterranean Sea through Iraq, Turkey and Syria; and,
  • The Islamic state has been diminished through the help of our friends the Kurds, but Turkey sees the Kurds as a thread and security risk.

President-Elect Bill thanked Ms. Hawthorne and presented a book for her autograph which will be donated in her honor to Fulmore Middle School. He thanked our featured newsletter sponsors Andy Swanson of Centric Commercial and Corey Wilson of Kidd Roofing.

President-Elect Bill ended with a thought for the day, and the meeting was adjourned at 1:00pm.

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