A poster for the program at the IAPD office in the Vienna Peace Museum
Journalist Hashem Mandee (fourth from left) is the main speaker. UPF-Austria President Peter Haider is third from left.
The room at the Vienna Peace Museum is filled with an enthusiastic audience.
Hashem Mandee (fifth from left) warns of the dangers of military and security escalation as well as political rivalry.
Speakers and audience at the end of the program

Vienna, Austria—UPF-Austria held a roundtable discussion on the topic “Horn of Africa and the Middle East – Perspectives for Peace and Development.”

The meeting was held on June 12, 2019, in the office of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD), which is located at the Peace Museum Vienna.

The main speaker was Mr. Hashem Mandee, a journalist who was born in Iraq and studied theater, film and communications science in Vienna universities and fine arts in Baghdad, Iraq. He started his career in Baghdad radio and television as a news and program presenter. He continued his career as a freelance journalist for several Arab and international media, among them the BBC World Service Arabic section, Aljazeera magazine and Al Riyadh newspaper in Saudi Arabia. Later he worked as an editor at Radio Free Iraq / Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty in Prague, Czech Republic, and then moved to the United States and worked there for the Alhurra television channel and Radio Sawa in the state of Virginia as a broadcaster.

The speaker highlighted the dangers of military and security escalation in the region and political rivalry. He emphasized the importance of separating political differences from economic interests of the nations and peoples of the region and the world. He advocated for the acceptance of compromise of the outstanding problems and guarantees for coexistence and avoiding harm to national, regional and international interests.

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