Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 26 May 2015

Review: Robert Frisk's talk springs a few surprises

The Harbour Commissioners was the setting for stories of dehumanising conflict in a lively talk from Robert Fisk.

The Independent's Middle East correspondent was always informative but never anything less than entertaining, despite the horrific violence he's seen.

It is from Syria that his most recent gut-wrenching pieces have been written. He discussed the Arab Spring but said he disliked the word 'spring,' preferring 'reawakening'. Arab people can't pronounce 'spring', he said, one of many instances when Fisk sought to open his listeners' eyes to what he regards as lazy journalism.

But humour abounded. Describing the high concentration of Shiite Muslims in the Middle East's most oil-rich countries, Fisk observed drily: "The lucky Shiites have all the oil."

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Gemini:

Don't bring your work home with you. Although you're wonderfully efficient in your job, you require different skills when dealing with friends and family. Be generous with your praise, resources and encouragement. Someone who is struggling needs moral support. Giving a lecture about personal responsibility will not help. Instead, lend a sympathetic ear. Ask questions. Picture things from the other person's point of view. A receptive attitude will strengthen your relationship.More