Journalist Viviana Mazza enthralled a crowd on February 28 when she spoke about the political morass of the Middle East to members and friends of DA-Milan at Meet Bar Niro in the city. Mazza is an expert on the subject, having been to the region many times, including Saudi Arabia recently and Syria in the last year. She explained that the complexities of the region stem, in part, from the antithetical interests of Sunni and Shia Muslims, the former represented by Saudi Arabia and the latter by Iran. Syria’s conflagration is compounded by Russian, Turkish, and (to some extent) US pressures, though she pointed out that the Trump administration essentially has no policy concerning the Middle East, other than "Israel good, Iran bad”. This policy vacuum is encouraging other political actors to rush in to fill the void, with unpredictable effects. After concluding her prepared remarks, Mazza generously remained for a lively Q & A discussion.
Mazza writes for Corriere della Sera and is the author or co-author of five books and the winner of six journalism awards. She studied at the American University of Cairo in 2005 after having received a master’s in journalism from Columbia University in NY. Her BA is from the University of Turin.
Thank you to Claudia Flisi, former Chair and Vice Chair of Democrats Abroad - Milan Chapter, for contributing this story.