British Queen celebrates


The Oxford Student has learned that Oxford Speaks, a student speaker society, will feature an impressive array of speakers this Trinity Term, including former U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi,

Israeli journalist Gideon Levy, and Baroness Brenda Hale, the former president of the U.K. Supreme Court.

Pelosi, a seasoned Democratic politician who served as Speaker of the House under four U.S. Presidents, will kick off Week 1. Joining her that week will be Nimko Ali, a British-Somali social activist and CEO of The Five Foundation, dedicated to ending female genital mutilation.

Baroness Hale will take the stage in Week 6. Known for her advocacy of women's rights, she became an honorary fellow of Merton College in 2021 and has publicly criticized institutions like the Garrick Club for their male-only policies.

Week 7 will feature Gideon Levy, a prominent journalist renowned for his work in Haaretz and his advocacy for a one-state solution in Israel. Levy has been vocal in condemning Israeli government policies, particularly regarding illegal settlements on Palestinian land.

Other notable speakers include Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and writer; Daron Acemoglu, a Turkish-American economist; Henrietta Bowden Jones, a distinguished medical doctor; Elizabeth Maruma, a Tanzanian biodiversity leader and author; and Lina Abu Akleh, a Palestinian activist.

Oxford Speaks, founded in Michaelmas 2023 by Sam Zia and Sophia Lee, has quickly gained prominence for hosting influential speakers, focusing on international relations and global affairs. The society aims to provide an intellectual space for engaging with and challenging the world's change-makers.

Past speakers have included artist and activist Ai Weiwei, former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert, and Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, known for his expertise in UK defense.

While the society's discussion series on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has stirred controversy, Zia and Lee express their excitement for this term's lineup, emphasizing their commitment to addressing global issues, particularly the ongoing violence in the Middle East. They envision Oxford Speaks as a platform for fostering meaningful dialogue and exchange of ideas. Photo by Becks, Wikimedia commons.