In an aim to address issues surrounding the Arab Spring and the Arab world, the Harvard Arab Alumni Association (HAAA) and other Arab and MENA student bodies, are currently holding an Arab Weekend conference entitled “The Arab Up-rising: Sustaining the Spring- Avoiding the fall” which has started on Thursday.
The 4-day event, which will end on Nov. 11, is composed of a series of conferences tackling issues viewed as obstacles Arab countries have yet to overcome to build efficient administrations that can offer successful democratic transitions in the region, eradicating deterioration to dictatorship.
In its sixth year, the Arab Weekend is considered the largest pan-Arab gathering in North America and is expected to bring in an audience of 1,000 participants.
The event is set to attract professionals, economists, entrepreneurs, government officials, and students from well-known schools all over the United States
“The Arab Weekend is one of HAAA’s most significant efforts to strengthen the ‘Arab voice’ at Harvard and the United States by bringing the very best of the Arab world to Harvard to showcase the excellence and diversity of the Arab world, and open channels of dialogue among global leaders to address critical issues that profoundly impact a region about which we care very deeply,” said HAAA President Amer Lahham in a statement.
Attending personalities from all over the Arab region are Jordan’s former Prime Minister Samir Rifai, Egypt’s former Prime Minister Essam Sharaf, and Fouad al-Saniora, Lebanon’s former prime minister.
Conference co-chairs Noura Selim and Mohammed Sherine Hamdy, in their opening remarks said that “Arabs are looking ahead towards the future, wondering whether they will be able to sustain what they have achieved after more than a century of struggle.”
Dubai’s Healthcare City Executive Director Ayesha Abdullah will also be present as a key note speaker along with Amr Hamzawy, a former member of the Egyptian parliament and Said Darwazah, Jordans’ former minister of health among others.
According to Selim and Hamdy, the conference was commended by the White House in 2011 for being “The Premier Arab World Conference.”
Panel discussions will vary from Syria’s ongoing conflict, to healthcare services in the region, to expanding access in energy concerns in the region, to online boom in the region and many others.