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John McCarthy

You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey Through Israel and Palestine

Hay Festival 2013, 

Transported as a young boy by his father’s tales of Palestine, John McCarthy has always been drawn to the mystique of the Middle East. Remarkably, his first-hand experience of its brutal conflicts – he was kidnapped and held hostage in the Lebanon for five years – only strengthened his determination to return and explore its myriad complexities.

In the years since his ordeal, McCarthy has travelled through Israel and East Jerusalem, from the shores of the Mediterranean to the Bedouin encampments of the Negev Desert. His intensely moving encounters with the inhabitants of this beautiful but tormented region reveal the continuing tragedy of the Palestinians who remained in Israel after its formation in 1948 – and who still dare to think of it as home.

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Richard Wyn Jones and James Mitchell talk to Bethan Rhys Roberts

Scottish Independence: How Might it Affect Wales?

Hay Festival 2014, 

In light of the First Minister for Wales’s call for UK-wide constitutional conventions, how does the Scottish independence vote, whether yes or no, affect the people of Wales?

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Hans Blix talks to Jon Snow

The Joseph Rotblat Lecture 2013

Hay Festival 2013, 

This year’s lecture is given by the Swedish politician and diplomat. As Head of the International Atomic Energy Agency he led the Western inspection and response to the Chernobyl disaster. As head of the UN Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission he led the search for Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq between 2000 and 2003, finding none. Chaired by Jon Snow.

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Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

Hay Festival 2016, 

The former Finance Minister of Greece shows that the origins of the European collapse go far deeper than our leaders are prepared to admit – and that we have done nothing so far to fix it.

Yanis Varoufakis talks to Martha Kearney

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Jeremy Bowen talks to Tom Fletcher

The Arab Uprisings: The People Want The Fall Of The Regime

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Middle East correspondent analyses the state of the region, the response of the international powers and the feelings of the people on the ground. Chaired by the British Ambassador to Lebanon.

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Soha Ali Khan, Anupam Kher, Nandita Das and William Dalrymple talk to Nik Gowing

The British Council Series - Re:Imagine

Hay Festival 2012, 
As part of a global series of events celebrating UK-India relations an unprecedentedly superstarry Bollywood cast gather to discuss perceptions and cultural visions of C21st India with the writer and the BBC World anchor.
 

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James Daunt, Rodric Braithwaite, Douglas Smith and Rachel Polonsky

The Pushkin House Waterstones Russian Book Prize

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Waterstones chief James Daunt and the chair of judges Sir Rodric Braithwaite host a discussion on writing about Russia with Douglas Smith (shortlisted author of Former People) and author and judge Rachel Polonsky. The shortlist was announced on 25 April.

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Jim Swire and James Robertson talk to Philippe Sands

Perspectives On Lockerbie

Hay Festival 2013, 

Twenty-five years after a bomb brought Pan Am Flight 103 down on the town, the novelist James Robertson, author of The Professor Of Truth, and Dr Swire, whose daughter Flora was killed in the bombing and who is a member of the Justice For Megrahi group, reflect on the tragedy.

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Christiana Figueres talks to Nick Stern

The British Academy Platform: We’ll Always Have Paris

Hay Festival 2016, 

A conversation with the Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, who is now charged with delivering the COP21 Agreement, signed in Paris.  If anyone can do it, she can. And she will.

Christiana Figueres talks to Nick Stern

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Roberto Saviano talks to Ed Vulliamy

My Italians: True Stories of Crime and Courage

Hay Festival 2016, 

The investigative journalist and author lives under police protection from the crime syndicates he exposed and denounced in Gomorrah and ZeroZeroZero. He offers a personal and candid portrait of Italy today: a place of trafficking and toxic waste, where democracy is bought and sold, and organised crime rules both north and south.  



Roberto Saviano talks to Ed Vulliamy

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Elif Shafak

The Raymond Williams Lecture 2013

Hay Festival 2013, 

The novelist, author of Honour, The Bastard of Istanbul and The Forty Rules of Love develops her mesmerising exploration of writing and identity deriving from her fascination with the silent letter of her Turkish alphabet – the 'Ghost G'.

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Juan José Ibarretxe

How To Change a Country: An Exclusive Hay Masterclass by the Basque President

Hay Festival 2014, 

The Basque Country in the early 1980s was a nation beset by conflict, its economy in ruins. Three decades later and it’s a nation at peace and second only to Luxembourg in Europe’s prosperity stakes. And all this with an equality index on a par with Scandinavia. Come and hear how they did it from the man who led the country from the opening of the Guggenheim to the eve of ETA’s lasting ceasefire. What are the lessons for other countries? You may be surprised… Chaired by Adam Price.

Juan José Ibarretxe

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Peter Oborne and David Morrison

A Dangerous Delusion: Why The West Is Wrong About Nuclear Iran

Hay Festival 2013, 

The authors attempt to avert a potential global catastrophe by showing that the grounds for war do not exist, that there are no Iranian nuclear weapons, and that Iran would happily come to a table and strike a deal. They argue that the military threats aimed by the West against Iran contravene international law, and argue that Iran is a civilised country and legitimate power across the Middle East. Chaired by Bronwen Maddox.

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Christopher Hill, Brendan Simms and Robert Tombs

Cambridge Series 13 - Will The UK Ever Get On With Europe?

Hay Festival 2012, 
How much does Britain’s history impact on the way it sees its relationship with Europe and can we overcome that? What are the wider implications for international relations for a Britain adrift of Europe?
 

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Lieutenant General Sir James Bucknall, John Holmes and Philippe Sands talk to John Kampfner

The Google Debates 4: The Future Of Intervention

Hay Festival 2013, 

What are the lessons to be learnt from Libya, Syria and Afghanistan? The senior NATO officer, Commander of the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, is joined by the UN Secretary General for Humanitarian Affairs and the leading international lawyer.

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Muhammad Yunus

The Hamlin Lecture

Hay Festival 2013, 

The Bangladeshi Nobel Peace Prize-winning pioneer of microfinance and founder of the Grameen Bank talks to Nicholas Stern.

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Layla Al-Zubaidi, Matthew Cassel and Mohamed Mesrati talk to Jo Glanville

Writing Revolution

Hay Festival 2013, 

The editors and contributors present the best writing on the Arab revolutions from prominent journalists, activists, bloggers, academics and writers who participated in and bore witness to the ongoing uprisings and struggles.

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Julie Burchill talks to Katie Glass

Unbound

Hay Festival 2014, 
The writer and journalist talks about language, argument and her crowd-funded book Unchosen: at 14 Julie Burchill fell in love. Not with a boy, but 'with a whole race of people – the Jews'. The journalist and novelist has been learning Hebrew and even chose Hatikvah, the Israeli national anthem, as her single record choice for Desert Island Discs.
Julie Burchill talks to Katie Glass

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William Dalrymple

The Return Of A King

Hay Festival 2013, 

The historian tells the story of the British forces as they invade Afghanistan in 1839 and re-establish Shah Shuia ul-Mulk on the throne. The British faced little opposition to the invasion but, two years later, the Afghans rose in answer to the call for jihad and ultimately consigned the British to their most humiliating military defeat of the C19th.

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Mark Tully

India - The Road Ahead

Hay Festival 2012, 
The peerless commentator on India examines the economic boom, corruption, poverty, diversity and cricket in the world’s largest democracy. Chaired by Oliver Balch, author of India Rising - Tales From a Changing Nation.

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Nicholas Stern

The British Academy Lecture

Hay Festival 2013, 

Six years on from his landmark Climate Change Report, Lord Stern thinks he underestimated the predictions of global temperature rise and that we may now be looking not at 2/3° but at 4/5°. On the up side, he sees potential for economic growth in green industries. Chaired by Nik Gowing.

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Murong Xuecun

British Council Series - Caging a Monster

Hay Festival 2012, 
The outspoken Chinese cult novelist builds on his now famous ‘In my country’ Oslo speech, talking about the harder realities behind the economic miracle. Chaired by Rosie Boycott. (Subtitles with consecutive translation for Q&A)
 

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Lily Cole and WWF

Lily Cole’s Amazon Adventure: Q&A

Hay Festival 2013, 

Sky Rainforest Rescue ambassador Lily Cole features in a short film about her journey to the Brazilian Amazon to explore how people are making a sustainable income living from the rainforest. Join Lily to hear how she is supporting Sky and WWF to help protect 1 billion trees in the Amazon rainforest. Chaired by Andy Fryers.

 

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Jung Chang talks to Rosie Boycott

Wild Swans, 25 years on

Hay Festival 2012, 
The author and biographer of Mao revisits the family history she wrote 25 years ago, and looks at the changes in China over that quarter century.

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Farah Faizal

Screening of The Island President

Hay Festival 2012, 
After introducing democracy to Maldives, the lowest-lying region in the world, President Mohamed Nasheed fights to prevent his homeland from disappearing under the sea. Farah Faizal, former High Commissioner to Maldives, introduces the film and updates us on the current situation post-President Nasheed who was forced to resign after a military coup in February 2012.