Tenth Annual conference of Arab Thought Foundation

Arab Spring: What’s Next?



Ever since the Arab Thought Foundation launched its first annual conference, “FIKR” conferences have visited different Arab capitals and cities, tackling the challenges and concerns of the Arab World, discussing the current events, seeking to strengthen the Arab position on the world map, and shedding the light on the potential and new capabilities that carry the constructive seeds and changes that would enhance and improve the Arab future.

The conference in its tenth edition intersects with the critical and accelerated events our Arab World is going through, and lines with the implications of the “Arab Spring” events. This expression given to the revolutions occurring in some Arab countries requires attention and evaluation of its dimensions, tracks, and impacts. This choice goes with the Foundation methodology in raising the major current Arab Affairs (every year) in its annual conference, and in hosting different Arab thinkers and some foreign professionals and interested guests, to study and present acceptable visions and ideas. ATF is keen on preserving its impartiality in managing a conference under a free intellectual umbrella and providing the good climate for a civilized objective dialogue.

Day 1 - 10 Mouharram 1433 H corresponding to December 5, 2011 AD


FIKR & AFKAR Session

New projects and ideas as well as exceptional experiences that could inspire the audience and have a positive impact on our Arab.


Maher Kaddoura - Social Entrepreneur - Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan


Abdul Aziz Tarabzoni - Consultant at McLarty Associates, first Saudi Youth Ambassador to the United Nations - KSA

Mohammed S. Al-Lai - CEO, Al-Amal Microfinance Bank - Yemen

Abdul Mohsen AlAjmi - CEO of wasmlabs.com , Founder of Reyadah.com – Kuwait

Mohammed Alraffei - Founder & CEO at CORD – EGYPT

Sabreen Taha - Journalist, TV reporter, and editor – Palestine

Nabil Labassi - Lawyer & Human Rights Activist – Tunis

Mostapha Salameh - Motivational Speaker and Outdoor Expedition consultant – Jordan

Mohammad Al-Shami - Project Manager with Resonate! Yemen Foundation – Yemen

Bassam Jalgha - Engineer & Entrepreneur – Lebanon

Adel Al Marwani- Founder of Athar Training Company, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia




Official inauguration

Welcoming notes of:

Dr. Soliman Abdel Moneim, Secretary General, Arab Thought Foundation

Speech of:

HRH Khalid Al Faisal, Chairman, Arab Thought Foundation

Honouring of:

HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Dubai


Keynote Speech from Partner Sponsor by:

AbdulRahman Bin Fahed Al-Wuhaib, Senior Vice President Operations Services, Saudi Aramco, Kingdom of Saudi Aramco




First Session – Why Spring in Winter

In front of a historical and sudden turning point, so-called "The Arab Spring", the Arab World is witnessing many turnovers and changes. The Youth were themselves pioneers. However the question is what are the reasons that led to this “Spring” in this period of time and what is the main driving force for these changes. • Did the causes of the Arab Spring find the right timing? • Was the Arab citizen forced to lead a project for change, or had he continually sought for it for so long, without the conditions being adequate yet? • Is the Arab Spring an outcome of a political maturity and awareness acquired by Arab people through the years and different historical eras?


Nadim Koteich, Executive Producer and Talk Show Host, Future News, Republic of Lebanon


Abla Abou Elbah, Member of Parliament, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Mohammed Auajjar, Member of the Supreme Council for Audiovisual Communication, Morocco

Mohamed Noman Galal, Expert in International Strategic Studies, Kingdom of Bahrain

Mahmoud Shamman, National Transitional Council Information Minister, Libya

Shafeeq Ghabra, Professor of Political Science, University of Kuwait, State of Kuwait


Second Session – Economic Challenges

There is no doubt that the political crises have led to a deteriorated economic situation and social disturbance that became in its turn, the main driving force for Arab revolutions. Unemployment is now threatening everyone, and the problem of growing unemployment requires finding an immediate solution and searching for productive investments that may guarantee a minimum level of economic stability. These facts lead to social stability, which is a right every citizen is entitled to enjoy.• What are the expected challenges? How can the economic stability be realized and preserved? • Is it possible that, what is considered today a loss or an economic recession has a positive impact on the long run? • How would the impact of world crises be on the Arab world in general and on countries that have experienced the Arab Spring in particular?


Mohammed Chatah, Senior Foreign Policy Advisor to Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Republic of Lebanon


Bashir Messaitfa, Senior Lecturer in Economics, Algeria University, People's Democratic, Republic of Algeria

Jawad Al Anani, Senior Economist and Chairman of Al Baseera Consultancy, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Mohammed Al Dahshan, Policy Consultant and Writer, Arab Republic of Egypt

Tarik Yousef, Chief Executive Officer, Silatech, State of Qatar

Yasar Jarrar, Partner in PwC Middle East, United Arab of Emirates

Day 2 - 11 Mouharram 1433 H corresponding to December 6, 2011 AD


Third Session – The State

Following the spread of the current revolutions in the Arab World, it appears difficult for political regimes to overlook the need for the reforms people are continually calling for. It becomes crucial that these regimes undertake an impartial review and draw a consensual road map in their policy and programs. • How can we read the future of political regimes after the Arab Spring? • Between State and Non-state, how would the Arab political movement be revealed? • Who leads the transition period, and lays the foundation of the new pillars of political regimes?


Mahmoud Al Werwary, Presenter of Hiwar AlArab at Al Arabiya Channel, Arab Republic of Egypt



Ali Alkheshaiban, Columnist at AlRiyadh Newspaper, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Amre Moussa, Former Foreign Minister and Former Secretary General of the League of Arab States, Arab Republic of Egypt

Khalil Gebara, Academic and Head of the Good Governance Unit – Saad Hariri Office, Republic of Lebanon

Mohieddine Amimour, Former Minister of Culture, People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

Tarek Mitri, Former Minister of Information and University Professor, American University of Beirut, Republic of Lebanon




Fourth Session – Arabs, Neighbors and the World

The so-called Arab Spring prevailed in a few Arab countries, however many of them remained isolated from that unrest. Would the Arab Spring be an incentive for more work on coherence and support for the foundations of the modern state? In the midst of these changes, the relationship between Arab states was affected, as well as their relationship with neighboring countries and the world. • Will the Arab Spring affect the relations between Arab countries? Are we witnessing new alliances and maybe the strengthening of the Arab world through the Arab League? • Which role are neighboring countries playing in the making of the current Arab events? Is it possible to preserve the political, economic, social and intellectual habits and Arab sovereignty? • What are the consequences of foreign intervention in the Arab Spring events, and is such interference welcomed?



Saad M F T Alajmi, Publisher of Alaan E-magazine, State of Kuwait



Abdul Hussain Shaban, Head of the Documentation Centre of International Law in Beirut, Republic of Iraq

Meftah Etwilb, Director of International Relations, Libyan Red Crescent, Libya

Mohamed El-Hacen Ould Lebatt, University Professor and International Expert, Mauritania

Turki AlFaisal, Chairman of the Board of King Faisal Center for Research and Islamic Studies


Lunch Break


Fifth Session – Does Culture have a Spring?

People’s culture defines their identity, taking up a large space in their history pages. Both culture and politics have always played an important role in understanding people’s history, in defining their destiny and in planning for their future. Therefore, we cannot overlook the role of culture in this new era of the Arab history. • Does the Arab Spring have an intellectual and cultural philosophy that Arab intellectuals seek to adopt, develop and promote? • “Culture of Change” dominates the spirit of the Arab Spring; are we witnessing the raise of a new culture? How does it affect the Arab identity? • What is the role of Arab intellectuals during these times?



Salah Jarrar, Minister of Culture, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan



Adballah Seyid Ould Bah, University Professor, Mauritania

Dhiya Al Musawi, Shura Council Member, Kingdom of Bahrain

Fatma Al Sayegh, Associate Professor in History, United Arab Emirates University, United Arab Emirates

Tahar Labib, University Professor and Director of the Arab Organization for Translation in Beirut, Tunisia

Ziad Aldrees, UNESCO Saudi Ambassador, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Day 3 - 12 Mouharram 1433 H corresponding to December 7, 2011 AD


Sixth Session – Women, Youth and Cyberspace

In the midst of the Arab Spring, the alliance between traditional and modern media and technology was clear and obvious. It is worth noting that the leaders of this coalition are the Youth themselves. This coalition contributed to the creation of a new communication tool to reflect the idea, whether it is a political, economic, social, or subsistence idea. It has reflected the reality and incited Arab citizens and foreign analogues to adopt their stance regardless of its nature. • Did this alliance contribute to revealing the reality or to distorting it? • Revolutions and modern media: Who served who? • Did television prove being the strongest media and cannot be defeated by any modern media? • How credible is social media? • New media: is it limited to Youth and the privileged class? • Did the Arab Spring contribute to the empowerment of Arab women at both political and social levels?


Mahmoud Al Werwary, Presenter of Hiwar AlArab at Al Arabiya Channel, Arab Republic of Egypt


Asma Hedi Nairi, Researcher in Criminal Sciences and Parliamentarian in the International Youth Parliament of Water and Representative of Arab and African Youth , Tunis

Fayez AlShehri, Writer and Researcher in New Media, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Ghassan Hajjar, Managing Editor of An-Nahar newspaper, Republic of Lebanon

Samer Younis, Regional Trainer and Social Activist, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Sultan Saoud Al Qasemi, Non-Resident fellow, Dubai School of Government, United Arab Emirates


Seventh Session – The Arab Spring, What’s Next?

Now that the Arab Spring has imposed its presence on the international scene, the Arab citizen has discovered ways for change and taking charge in the design, while planning an exhaustive program that guarantees a decent lifestyle to all Arabs. • Is the Arab mind prepared to transition to a new political, economic, social and intellectual era? • Would the next stage carry radical changes at all levels, or would it be an extension of the pre-Arab Spring with some minor changes and amendments? • What is the impact of the Arab Spring on future generations? Would these generations continue to see the specter of the pre- Arab Spring or is a new era awaiting them?


Fatima Zahra Daoui, Senior Presenter, Al Arabiya, Morocco


Abdulelah Belqaziz, Professor of Philosophy at the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Hassan II University Casablanca, Morocco

Ahmed Obeid Al Mansoori, Member of the Federal National Council, United Arab Emirates

Fahad Al Orabi Al Harthi, President of Asbar Centre for Studies, Research and Communications, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Hamood Abutalib, Writer, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia


Break and Networking


Arab Creativity Award