The Middle East Institute is pleased to welcome MEI Scholar Randa Slim for a discussion on the implications of Hezbollah's growing role in Syria for Lebanese politics and Lebanon's Shiite community. Recently returned from a trip to the region, Slim will examine Hezbollah's potential end game in Syria, and whether Lebanon will be able to resist being drawn into the conflict following Hezbollah's plunge into the Syrian abyss. Lebanon is fast approaching a tipping point, with sectarian tensions running high, the fight in northern Lebanon between Alawite and Sunni groups entering a new phase, fragile state institutions near collapse, and parliamentary elections postponed. Violence along the Syria-Lebanon border has become a daily occurrence, and the number of Syrian refugees is set to reach 2 million by the end of next year. Thus far, Lebanon's political stakeholders seem committed to preserving the status quo of non-engagement out of fear of sectarian strife, the collective memory of the devastating civil war, and their belief that this will be an unwinnable war. Until now, these factors have prevented the political crisis in Lebanon from transforming into wide-scale civil strife: whether this holds true in the future will be partly determined by military developments in neighboring Syria. Slim will elaborate on these issues and share her predictions and concerns regarding Hezbollah's military involvement in the Syrian conflict, many of which she raised in her recent piece, which you can read here.Bios:Randa Slim is a scholar at the Middle East Institute and an adjunct research fellow at the New America Foundation. A former vice president of the International Institute for Sustained Dialogue, Slim has been a senior program advisor at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, a guest scholar at the United States Institute of Peace, and a program officer at the Kettering Foundation. A long-term practitioner of Track II dialogue and peace-building processes in the Middle East and Central Asia, she currently co-moderates the Middle East Dialogue, a Track II initiative to monitor and analyze emerging political and security dynamics in the Arab region. The author of several studies, book chapters, and articles on conflict management, post-conflict peacebuilding, and Middle East politics, she is working on a book manuscript about Hezbollah.Kate Seelye is senior vice president of the Middle East Institute, where she oversees MEI's programs and communications. Prior to joining MEI, Seelye worked as a radio and television journalist covering the Arab world from 2000-2009 from her base in Beirut, Lebanon. She reported on the region for NPR, BBC's The World, PBS' Frontline/World and the renowned Channel Four British investigative news series, Unreported World. Prior to that she worked as a producer for the Newshour with Jim Lehrer on PBS.Thu, 6/27/2013 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm