• Advertise here

Blog Awards

  • Sablogpolitics

  • Sablogpolitics

  • Sablogrunnerupgroup

  • Sablogrunneruppost

  • JIB


« SA Embraces Chavez | Main | Israel’s Africa Policy Revisited »

September 08, 2008



I am a bit confused. Do you have a divinitive list of who went on the SAHRD trip to Israel?


BD -


I have just emailed this to Nathan Geffen (SAHRD)

Hi Nathan,
Na'eem Jeenah's new Middle East Institute sounds like an excellent place for The SAHRD to continue its research. If you or Doron or even Dennis Davis want an internship there, I could supply references based on your SAHRD work. I can't, of course, promise that you will get offered a position but I have often communicated with Na'eem Jeenah when he was at The FXI, and I am sure that I could pull a few strings!

I am not certain if Na'eem's personal institute will actually be allied to The FXI or The SAHRC or The MRN or The Mail and Guardian or The SAHRD or The SACP or The PSC or The ANC or Cosatu, but if it is... then its' reputation will be even greater in academic, media, human rights and freedom of expression circles.

I have not yet been approached by Na'eem to lecture on the Middle East, but I am sure that this is only an administrative oversight on his behalf. Setting up your own major academic institution takes a lot of time and effort and I fully understand that he might have been a bit too hectic to contact me.


(Jeenah added that the institute will also provide opportunities for students who wish to further their training in research development and those with a keen focus on the Middle East. “With this institute, we hope to get student interns to assist with research and also equip them with the knowledge and skills to deliver talks and public seminars.” )

New institute to focus on Middle East
Posted on:  2008-08-25 16:57:49
The coming weeks will see the launch of a new institute dedicated to the study of Middle Eastern politics and contemporary events. Spearheaded by former Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI) head, Naeem Jeenah, the foundation will develop scientific research on the contentious region and disseminate it in South Africa and abroad, and use it to influence policy development of government and civil society.

The formal launch of the institute is earmarked for October, but a name will be finalised in the coming weeks. Jeenah said he was approached about the concept by business people who identified a need for the institute and the idea has been in progress since the end of 2008. “With the amount of activism shown in South African with regards to Middle Eastern politics, one would have thought an institute would have already been in existence. Despite our country’s role on an international front, there is not a single institute that deals exclusively with the Middle East. There is a definite need for a research institute of this nature,” he said.

Jeenah said the institute aims to gather and disseminate research on various Middle Eastern issues and Palestine would be a core focus. Other important areas of research include Syria, Lebanon as well as Iran and Iraq. According to Jeenah, there are a few educational and research institutes, such as the University of Cape Town, that offer courses on the Middle East and the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC), which is currently concluding a project on the area. Apart from them, there is no specific long-term focus on the region.

“South Africa as a state has a very high profile role on a global scale, firstly in terms of its role in Africa as well as in the United Nations and other multi-lateral organisations. Government always has something to say on the Palestinian issue. With the Middle Eastern situation, there is a continued advocacy from activist groups for the Palestinian plight but, this is not grounded in local research,” he explained.

Jeenah said economics plays a pivotal role in politics and this would be another area of research. He added that the institute will also provide opportunities for students who wish to further their training in research development and those with a keen focus on the Middle East. “With this institute, we hope to get student interns to assist with research and also equip them with the knowledge and skills to deliver talks and public seminars.”

The institute’s website will go live at its official launch in October. Interested individuals can contact the VOC Newsroom for more information. VOC (Tasneem Mohamed)


Not everyone is listed on the SAHRD bios.


Dear Jane Duncan, Iqbal Jassatt and Nathan Geffen,

I alert the Freedom of Expression Institute, The Media Review Network and The South African Human Rights Delegation to the subjugation of women in Iran.

Is there anything that your organizations could do to bring this matter to the immediate attention of the South African public? I know that Na'eem Jeenah is an expert on "Islamic Feminisms" (i kid you not) so it might be worth getting him on board.

As a starter, how about using your literary talents? You could all write some articles for the SA press. I am sure that the Mail and Guardian would print them. If, for some weird, totally inexplicable reason, you hit a brick wall with Ferial, I suggest that you try Mondli's "Sunday Times".

Please forgive me for lumping you all together, but I know that you have much in common and could, if you put your minds to it, do something to help.



Great spot Steve!


I think that Nozizwe Madlala-Routledge and Jeremy Routledge are now divorced. Have you any info on whether they got on well with each other in Israel? Did their trip re-ignite a former romance or were they sitting at opposite ends of the SAHRD dining table.

It would be great if Jonny Steinberg could write one of his books about the SAHRD delegation. If so he might include such matters as seating arrangements. I know it sounds prosaic but this matter, if handled deftly, could be quite interesting.


If Jonny steinberg does focus on the personal relationships as well as on the more mundane politics, he might have a best seller on his hands.

For me it would be a "Must Buy". But I would want to know what sort of chemistry there was within the group. The book mustn't just have a go at the Israelis. It must skillfully illuminate the group's personal dynamics as well as giving us deep imsights into what makes each delegate tick.


so are the 17 who did sign supposed to be the supposedly more moderate members of the SAHRD?


Is Doron Isaac's chairperson of Limmud in Cape Town?

The comments to this entry are closed.

Search this Blog

Contact Us

  • Email_1

Events & Lectures

  • Advertise your event or lecture here

News Feed

Comments Disclaimer

  • Comments on this site are the views and opinions of the persons who write the comments and do not reflect the views of the authors of this blog. Comments are often left unmoderated. Should you feel that you have been personally slandered in the comments, please let us know and we will remove the offensive comment.