How Middle East crisis impacts us all

Baker Institute career diplomat outlines challenges

HOUSTON – Joe Barnes knows the Middle East. He was a career diplomat for 14 years before he arrived at Rice University and now is a Bonner Means Baker Fellow at the Baker Institute.

He said the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani makes finding peace in the Middle East Region more elusive.

“The question arises," said Barnes. "How will the Trump Administration deal with proxy attacks that lead to U.S. fatalities in the future and that is unknown at this point.”

Barnes said adding to the challenges is the decades of distrust among the many cultures in the region and the history of the United States.

“We have former commitments, we have former actions, we have alliances," he said. "We have traditional rivalries, so it’s so hard to come up with a successful foreign policy in the Middle East because there are so many competing elements.”

Since 1972, the Houston Marathon Committee has been growing, and will once again sound the starting gun for the Chevron Houston Marathon Jan. 19.

Tens of thousands of runners and hundreds of thousands of spectators will be on Houston streets, but the big reason Houstonians should care about this race is because of the direct and indirect benefit to the community.

Wade Morehead, the Executive Director of the Houston Marathon Committee, is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. She said they have given more than $30 million to charities.

“Each year we have applicants, philanthropies that will write in and we have a selection committee that chooses the official charities each year," he said. "It’s been a fantastic process, they bring in runners, and people fundraise year-round.”

Find out how you can support the race even if you are not a runner.

It never gets old: seeing the smiling faces of a family that takes the keys for the very first time of a home they actually helped build.

One family will have that opportunity in the coming months as a result of the Houston Habitat for Humanity home frame that began last week in the KPRC-TV parking lot.

Allison Hay, the CEO of Houston Habitat for Humanity, is a guest on this week’s Houston Newsmakers with Khambrel Marshall. She said once the actual work starts everything moves quickly.

“This homeowner will be in her home at the end of April for sure," she said. “It’s a good volunteer time right through this month of good weather, about 6 to 8 days and then the trades take over and that home will be ready for her to move in April.”

More information about this week’s guests

Joe Barnes, Ph.D., Bonner Means Baker Fellow, Baker Institute, Rice University

Website: https://www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/joe-barnes/

Phone: 713-348-4646

Email: jjbarnes@rice.edu

Twitter: @BakerInstitute

Wade Morehead, CEO Houston Marathon

Website: https://www.chevronhoustonmarathon.com/

Phone: 713-957-3453

Twitter: @HoustonMarathon

Instagram: Chevronhoustonmarathon

Allison Hay, President, CEO Houston Habitat for Humanity

Website: https://www.houstonhabitat.org/

Phone: 713-6719993

Twitter: @HoustonHabitat

Instagram: HabitatHouston

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