Episode 1 - Gaza, the key to war and peace in the Middle East

This was recorded on April 17, 2024

The evolution of Gaza, a region distinct from the West Bank and Egypt, from antiquity to the present day

Jean-Pierre Filiu, Professor of Middle East Studies, Sciences Po

Cristina Gallach, former UN Under-Secretary-General; former Spanish State-Secretary for Foreign Affairs

Episode 1 transcript

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Jean-Pierre Filiu_ headshot

Jean-Pierre Filiu is professor of Middle East Studies at Sciences Po, Paris. A historian and an Arabist, he has also held visiting professorships at the universities of Columbia and Georgetown. Hurst and Oxford University Press published his “Arab Revolution” in 2011, “Gaza, a History in 2014 (MEMO Book Award) and “From Deep State to Islamic State” in 2015, after University of California Press had published in 2011 his award-winning “Apocalypse in Islam.” 

His “Middle East, a political history, from 395 to the present” has just been out with Polity. His books have been translated in more than fifteen languages, including Arabic and Turkish.


Cristina Gallach

Cristina Gallach, international official and journalist, served as United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information (2015-17), and as a member of the Spanish government for six years (2018-2024) in multiple roles, including State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Iberoamérica and the Caribbean. As UN Under-Secretary-General, she directed global, regional, and local communications of the UN system on major current affairs and strategic agendas, with special emphasis on the 2030 sustainable development agenda, climate action, and peace and security issues. As a senior EU Official and communication director for the EU High Representative for Foreign Policy (1999-2009), she participated in all EU plans, activities and joint international initiatives related to the Middle East, including the Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

Prior to that, she worked for NATO as communications advisor to the Secretary General.   Her long career in journalism includes international reporting in Central and Eastern Europe, Brussels, and as a correspondent in the former Soviet Union, based in Moscow. She graduated from the Journalism and Communications faculty in the Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, holds an MIA from Columbia University (New York), and an Honorary Doctorate degree from Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona.