Exploring the Middle East – past and present

How can you convey the essence of 3000 years of history and change in the Middle East in just 30 minutes? Professor Paul Starkey is a renowned writer, lecturer and translator of Middle Eastern studies at Durham University and together with his wife Dr Janet Starkey, managed to do just that.  We travelled, as if in a time capsule, to see the growth and decline of empires from Persepolis to the Romans, the Byzantines to the Ottomans and the impact of this turbulent history on the current political unrest of the region. It was a fascinating and insightful introduction. With just a tantalising look at the religion, art, literature and botany of the Middle East we quickly realised that there is so much more to explore.

If you are interested in learning more and would like to join a new U3A group on the subject please let us know your area of interest (culture, art, language, travel, cuisine….) by emailing us at dunsu3a@gmail.com.

Join our next monthly meeting on Tuesday 8th January 2019, when Derek Janes will be speaking on ‘Tea Smuggling and the growth of Tea Consumption in Scotland’. Come between 10 and 10:30 for coffee before the lecture begins.

Tues 11th December – Open meeting

Everyone is welcome at our monthly Open Meetings. Our speakers this month are Drs Paul and Janet Starkey, speaking about “Exploring the Middle East: Past and Present”. Both have lectured and published widely on the Middle East and traveled extensively in the region so it promises to be a most interesting and insightful morning. There will be plenty of opportunity to ask questions about the cultural and political landscape of the Middle East.

We start with coffee from 10 am in the Volunteer Hall and our speakers start at 10:30 am.


Launching the new Duns and District U3A

A launch event for the Duns and District U3A was held at the Hall on Wednesday 10 October but there is still time to enrol and join the many people who have taken the opportunity to learn something new or pursue an interest.

U3A is for you if you are not in full time employment, including if you are retired or semi-retired and want to pursue your interests, share ideas and skills or learn something new. There is no lower age to membership.

No qualifications are involved and topics can range from languages to music, crafts, nature, local history and technology. The friendly, social atmosphere, where everyone is welcome, is particularly valuable to those who feel lonely or isolated and who would benefit from making new friends, having new interests and engaging in conversation. In rural areas it can be a lifeline for people and we will be encouraging groups to use local village halls to bring U3A to the surrounding communities.

The Duns and District U3A was set up following an introductory meeting, attended by over 50 people, quickly followed by the establishment of the Steering Group. Already 115 people have registered and joined and 15 groups with identified leaders will meet regularly.  In addition there will be free, open meetings every month with speakers on a wide variety of topics.

Not sure learning is for you? Perhaps these quotes will inspire you….