Middle East lecture inspires Batley students

Dr Shahi during his visit to Batley Girls High School.

Dr Shahi during his visit to Batley Girls High School.

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Batley Girls’ High School pupils received a thought-provoking session on the Middle East during a recent visit by a lecturer.

Dr Afshin Shahi, lecturer in Middle East Politics at the University of Bradford, visited the school to discuss ‘The Middle East: Beyond the Headlines’.

The speech kept an audience of over 200 staff, students and invited guests enthralled throughout as Dr Shahi covered a range of key themes incorporating historical, social and political narratives, with a key focus on the environmental dimension of current conflicts.

At the conclusion of the talk, students were able to ask questions.

Aabidah Patel, Co-Lead student for the school, said: “This was such a fantastic opportunity and Dr Shahi proved to be an excellent speaker.

“The questions I was able to ask and the answers he gave were directly relevant to my study of A-level geography and really helped to enhance my appreciation of critical issues in the Middle East and globally.”

Pam Pickles, Member Trustee, was also very impressed by Dr Shahi’s visit.

She said: “Dr Shahi was excellent and handled what could have been a very tricky subject extremely sensitively.

“Also, what he had to say was extremely thought-provoking even though no quick solution could be suggested by any of us.

“The students can only be praised for their attentiveness and courage in following up the lecture with such relevant and, in some cases, very in-depth questions.”

Deputy headteacher David Cooper added: “Afshin is a fantastic academic role model for our young people.

“We were very impressed when he spoke to us at our visit to hear the US Ambassador speak at the University of Bradford and he reminded us today of the complexity of the situation in the Middle East.

“We look forward to working with him again in the future.”