Integrity Conversations / Robert Fisk in conversation with Peter Greste - 31 Aug 2017

Gail Kelly
Gail Kelly

When: Thursday 31 August, 7pm for 7.30pm
Tickets: Full – $24.00 / *Conc – $18
* Concession includes students and pension & health care card holders
Venue: ** Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University, South Bank Brisbane


** Due to demand we have moved this event to the Conservatorium Theatre. We offer our heartiest thanks to the Queensland Conservatorium for allowing us to use the Theatre on the eve of the opening of their 2017 opera and hope you enjoy the wonderful opera set on display behind our guest speakers.


Through a Glass, Darkly

History, Lies and ISIS – how we fail to tell the story of the Middle East

Please join us for an evening with Middle East correspondent, author and broadcaster Robert Fisk in conversation with fellow journalist and author Peter Greste. 

Our failure to understand the history of the Middle East and its violence can be blamed on our refusal to grasp the fact that these lands do not belong to us, says Robert Fisk. Our dangerous misreporting of a people who never asked for ‘democracy’ from the West — they asked for ‘dignity’ and ‘justice’ during the Arab revolutions of 2011 — has led politicians into a fraudulent policy based on fear, and hatred of ‘terror’. When a million Muslims arrived in Europe two years ago, we regarded their arrival as a catastrophe. But it would have been a disaster if they had headed for the lands of the ‘Islamic State’. Their refusal to do so was the greatest disaster to befall ISIS — far more important than its military defeat.

Robert has been a Middle East correspondent for 41 years, based in Beirut, first for The Times of London and, since 1989, for The Independent. He has reported from most of the region’s wars over the past four decades, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan (1979), the Iranian revolution, the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), the Lebanese civil war, the Algerian civil war, and – today – the Syrian war. He has also written eyewitness accounts of the US occupation of Afghanistan, the Anglo-American invasion of Iraq in 2003 and the subsequent occupation, numerous Israeli invasions of Lebanon, and – of course – the Arab revolutions in 2011.

When he was reporting from Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s, Robert mused that he had become “the Ottoman correspondent”. He has described the effect of his three interviews with Osama bin Laden as “an albatross which will never fly away” from his career. He is the author of two best-selling first-person histories of the Middle East – Pity the Nation and The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East – and is currently writing the companion volume, Night of Power: The Betrayal of the Middle East.

Robert was born in 1946 and educated in south-east England, gained a BA in English, classics and linguistics from Lancaster University and a PhD in Politics from Trinity College, University of Dublin. His doctoral thesis on Irish neutrality in the Second World War was published (In Time of War: Ireland, Ulster and the Price of Neutrality 1939-45) and is still in print. Robert’s father Bill was a second-lieutenant in the King’s Liverpool Regiment in the Third Battle of the Somme in 1918 — his army career ended when he refused to execute an Australian-born British soldier.

Robert will be available after the event to meet and sign books in the Conservatorium Foyer.

Peter Greste is an Australian journalist and correspondent who has worked for Reuters, CNN, the BBC, and most recently Al Jazeera. He has worked across the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. Peter has won the Peabody and Tribeca Film Festival Disruptive Innovation awards in the US; a Royal Television SocietyJudges award in the UK; and a Walkley Award in Australia. He won the 2015 Australian Human Rights Commission’s HR medal.

This event is presented by Griffith University: Integrity 20