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Freedom Is in Retreat in the Middle East: 11 Years After the Arab Spring

Freedom Is in Retreat in the Middle East: 11 Years After the Arab Spring

Tue, Jan 25, 2022 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM Eastern Standard Time (UTC-5)

Register here.

An NIF Zoom event discussion regarding the 11-year anniversary of the Arab Spring and the state of freedom and human rights in the region.

About this event

Disclaimer: NIF events are by email invitation only and are non-transferable. Please note that when registering for any of our events, all required fields must be properly filled out. We reserve the right to deny entry for those who fail to do so, i.e. inputting “NA” in the “organization” or “job title” section.

Speakers

Sarah Leah Whitson, Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), former executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division from 2004 – 2020, member of the Council on Foreign Relations and member of the board of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, widely published on human rights and foreign policy in the Middle East in international and regional media outlets including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, and CNN, appears regularly on Al-Jazeera, BBC, NPR, MSNBC, and CNN

Bassam Barabandi, Co-Founder of People Demand Change, worked as a Non-Resident Fellow at the Newlines Institute, served in the diplomatic civil service of the Syrian government for 14 years, had numerous postings as a diplomat including being the first secretary at the Embassy of Syria in Washington DC, the head of political affairs at the Syrian Embassy in Beijing, and a post at the Syrian Government’s U.N. mission in New York City, has written extensively on the Syrian conflict and been published in numerous outlets, has conducted guest interviews to provide his analysis for BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Sky News, France24, and others

Amr Hamzawy, Senior research scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University and Director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin, was previously an associate professor of political science at Cairo University and a professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo, served as a senior fellow in the Middle East program and the Democracy and Rule of Law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the January 25, 2011 revolution, former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights

Moderator

Khaled Saffuri, Founder and President of the National Interest Foundation (NIF), former Principal at Meridian Strategies and founder of one of the United States’ largest and most active organizations to represent the Middle East and Muslim-Americans, has testified in front of Congressional Committees and led Congressional delegations to the Middle East, regular contributor to CNN, CBS, and BBC and contributes articles and written publications to outlets such as The Washington Post and The American Conservative

About our Speakers:

Sarah Leah Whitson is the Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN). Previously, she served as executive director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division from 2004 – 2020, overseeing the work of the division in 19 countries, with staff located in 10 countries. Whitson has led dozens of advocacy and investigative missions throughout the region, focusing on issues of armed conflict, accountability, legal reform, migrant workers, and human rights. She has published widely on human rights and foreign policy in the Middle East in international and regional media, including The New York Times, Foreign Affairs, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, The Los Angeles Times, and CNN. She appears regularly on Al-Jazeera, BBC, NPR, MSNBC, and CNN. Previously, Whitson worked in New York for Goldman, Sachs & Co. and Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and Harvard Law School. Whitson is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is on the boards of the International Centre of Justice for Palestinians, Artistic Freedom Initiative, Freedom Forward, ALQST for Human Rights, and Sinai Foundation for Human Rights. She speaks Armenian and Arabic.

Bassam Barabandi is Co-Founder of People Demand Change and was a Non-Resident Fellow at the Newlines Institute. Born in Damascus City with familial ties to Deir Azzour Province, Syria, Bassam Barabandi worked in the diplomatic civil service of the Syrian Government for 14 years before leaving the Syrian Embassy in Washington D.C. in the summer of 2013 and co-founding People Demand Change Inc. Previously as a diplomat, Mr. Barabandi had numerous postings, including being the first secretary at the Embassy of Syria in Washington D.C., the head of political affairs at the Syrian Embassy in Beijing, China, and a post at the Syrian Government’s U.N. mission in New York City. Through his time as a diplomat, Mr. Barabandi also worked with the World Bank, the U.S. Treasury Department and as a liaison to the U.S. Congress. Since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in 2011, Mr. Barabandi was instrumental in providing unhindered access to consular services for all Syrians regardless of political or ideological affiliation, including access to many Syrians who had no other avenue through which to acquire passport extensions and other necessary legal documents. Mr. Barabandi has a BA in political science and public administration from the American University of Beirut and speaks fluent Arabic and English. Since co-founding PDC, Mr. Barabandi has written extensively on the Syrian conflict and has been published in Foreign affairs, Foreign policy, and was quoted by all main newspaper and research on Syria & has conducted guest interviews to provide his analysis for BBC, Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Sky News, France24, and other media outlets.

Amr Hamzawy is a senior research scholar at the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law at Stanford University and Director of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He studied political science and developmental studies in Cairo, The Hague, and Berlin. He was previously an associate professor of political science at Cairo University and a professor of public policy at the American University in Cairo. Between 2016 and 2017, he served as a senior fellow in the Middle East program and the Democracy and Rule of Law program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C. His research and teaching interests as well as his academic publications focus on democratization processes in Egypt, tensions between freedom and repression in the Egyptian public space, political movements and civil society in Egypt, contemporary debates in Arab political thought, and human rights and governance in the Arab world. His new book On The Habits of Neoauthoritarianism – Politics in Egypt Between 2013 and 2019 appeared in Arabic in September 2019. Hamzawy is a former member of the People’s Assembly after being elected in the first Parliamentary elections in Egypt after the January 25, 2011 revolution. He is also a former member of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights. Hamzawy contributes a weekly op-ed to the All Arab daily al-Quds al-Arabi.

About our Moderator:

Khaled Saffuri is the Founder and President of the National Interest Foundation (NIF), a nonpartisan think tank and nonprofit organization established in April of 2018 which is focused on bettering relationships between the United States and countries across the globe through the promotion of smarter foreign policy. Mr. Saffuri has previously served as a Principal at Meridian Strategies providing international business and government clients with unparalleled strategic and public affairs consulting services, and also founded and ran one of the United States’ largest and most active organizations to represent the Middle East and Muslim-Americans. He has worked for many years with Members of Congress and has testified in front of Congressional Committees, advising them on international issues and leading Congressional delegations to the Middle East. Due to his extensive background and expertise, Mr. Saffuri is a regular contributor to a number of important media outlets in the United States and internationally including CNN, CBS, and BBC and contributes articles and written publications to outlets such as The Washington Post and The American Conservative.

Note: additional speakers may be announced later.

Give the Gift of Truth This Jewish New Year

The Media Line has been leading for more than twenty years in pioneering the American independent news agency in the Middle East, arguably the first in the region. We have always stayed true to our mission: to provide you with contextual sourced and trustworthy news. In an age of fake news masquerading as journalism, The Media Line plays a crucial role in providing fact-based news that deserves your support.

We're proud of the dozens of young students we've trained in our Press and Policy Student Program who will form the vanguard of the next generation of journalists to the benefit of countless millions of news readers.

Non-profit news needs public support. please help us with your generous contributions.
Donate
The Media Line
We thank our loyal readers and wish you all the happiest of holidays.

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