French star philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy is in favor of military intervention in Syria, he thinks the travel ban for Grass to Israel is absurd and he defends Dominique Strauss-Kahn against the international mob.

It's Sunday morning last week and Bernard-Henri Lévy, France's most famous living philosopher, is at work. He walks into the lobby of the Hotel Bristol in Paris on his cell phone. When he has finished his conversations after half an hour, he approaches us and apologizes for the delay. The phone rings again. Levy disappears. Philosophy means for the 63-year-old star intellectual not to wallow in the seclusion of a library about abstract concepts, but to do very specific things, such as: To turn the war in Bosnia-occupied Sarajevo into a movie in 1992 or go to Pakistan to investigate the murder of U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl by Al Qaeda in 2002, or in 2011, to convince Nicolas Sarkozy, then French President, of the need for military intervention to overthrow the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi. And now? Levy switches off his mobile phone.

French Middle East expert Gilles Kepel on the rebellion in Syria, the crucial phase of the "Arab Spring" and the Muslims in the suburbs of Paris.

Gilles Kepel, 56, is the leading expert on Islam in France. He comes from a Czech-French family and taught at the renowned Parisian elite university "Institut d'Etudes Politiques". For three decades he has observed political Islam and radical Islamism in the Arab world and in France. His best-known books include "Prophet and Pharaoh", "The spiral of terror: The way of Islam, September 11 in our suburbs", “The Black Book of Jihad: The Rise and Fall of Islam ". In February 2012 he published "Ninety-three", a tribute to Victor Hugo, and a study of the social revolution in the Parisian suburbs. Kepel met profil on the margins of a conference of "Rencontres Valmer: Beyond the Arab Spring" orgnized by the "Center for Mediterranean Integration" and the French Foreign Ministry in Marseille.

After tea with the queen © Shona McGrahan

After tea with the queen © Shona McGrahan

Die Queen begeht ihr 60. Thronjubiläum. Was Sie immer schon über die britische Königin wissen wollten. Und noch ein bisschen mehr.  

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© 2018 Tessa Szyszkowitz