DUBAI --- During two trips to the Middle East within the past two weeks, I have found nearly universal hopelessness about the situation in Syria and what it means for the larger region. Proposed peace talks are considered a sham, just a ploy to convince distant publics that their governments are “doing something.” No one thinks that Basher Assad, as long as he is still breathing, will relinquish power in Syria. Everyone agrees that the slaughter will continue indefinitely.

Dubai: The newly established Diplomacy Club will be a bridge in promoting cultural, sports, humanitarian and business diplomacy among the diplomatic community in Dubai. This was stated by Mobisher Rabbani, CEO and founder of the Diplomacy Club-UAE on the launch of the initiative on Sunday. Representatives from various consulates were present at the opening ceremony, including the United Kingdom, France, Canada, Japan, Peru, Tunisia, Angola, Algeria and Kyrgyzstan.

January 15, 2013

Table tennis has helped connect China and the United States since 1971, when the US team's visit to Beijing sparked a thaw in relations. The sport is poised to play a similar role again, as Dubai announced on Monday it will sponsor the Chinese national team as part of an effort to promote exchange and growth between the two nations."This will be the first time the Chinese national table tennis team has cooperated with a foreign partner."

The United States, along with a host of other nations, has refused to sign the International Telecommunications Regulations (ITR) put together by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) at the World Conference on International Communications (WCIT) in Dubai this week.

Representatives of more than 190 countries will convene as an official body, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), in Dubai. It is the first time the ITU has assembled to write critical new rules since 1988. Today, the internet has reached a crossroads, and decisions made this month could set it on a distinctly new path.

Issues including whether the humanities have a place in 21st-century nations will be among those discussed at the British Council's Going Global conference next year, it has been announced. The conference, which will be held on 4-6 March in Dubai, will have the central topic of universities' role in creating knowledge economies.

America's public diplomats face the formidable challenge of undercutting radicals' support by helping improve the lives of the vast majority of Arabs. Their concerns are similar to those found elsewhere in the world: jobs, housing, education, health care, and the other basics of a decent life. Helping to build the foundation for that kind of life should be the driving force for American public diplomacy.