Discussion panel at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars

28 Feb, '08

Had an excellent panel discussion at the Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars and met with Dr. Haleh Esfandari (who was imprisoned for 8 months in Iran recently – 4 of which were in house arrest in Tehran) who chaired the session with Dr. Dr. Cheryl Benard of the RAND Corporation. With me on the panel were Najdat Anzour, the Syrian filmmaker; Honey Al-Sayed, presenter of the popular “Good morning Syria” show on Al-Madina FM; Ziad Mosehni of Tolo TV in Afghanistan; Senad Pecanin the founder and editor of Dani Magazine in Bosnia and Riad Kahwaji of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis based in the UAE.

It was a lively discussion where every one of us briefly talking about our experiences and then fielded questions from the attendants. I concentrated on the ‘Just Bahraini’ campaign, its history and my future plans for it as well as general discussion of personal and press freedoms in the Middle East.

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Comments (4)

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  1. I attended this panel discussion. It was very an insightful experience. I learned a lot about the panel members and their experiences.

    I was impressed about the ‘Just Bahraini’ campaign. I found it to be a very enlightening initiative and a valuable idea to bring people together who are torn apart by rivalry and disenfranchisement. This excellent idea can be implemented effectively as a tool in other areas of the region to tackle some issues that we face in the Middle East nowadays. An example includes gender balance in the political arena, an issue that needs addressing through reform efforts.

    I would encourage you to share your thoughts and experiences related to this topic at http://www.Aswat.com where reformers from the region can gather online to interact about effective reform strategies and tap into a wider network of likeminded activists.

    It was pleasure meeting you.


    Mohamed Ab.

  2. “It was very insightful experience” (Correction)!!!


    It was pleasure meeting you.



  3. Just me says:

    What did Cheryl Benard, islamophobic self-proclaimed vitriolic spokeswoman for the ME, have to say for herself?

  4. mahmood says:

    She said hi, introduced the speakers and sat back and listened.

    It seems that as almost every speaker stressed the importance of the US supporting local reformers and assisting them in any politically expedient way, the audience, including Benard took in the message.

    How that translates ultimately, remains to be seen.

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