Influence and Governance

Muslim Ban: What’s Next for Our Community?

Lawyers and community organizers will examine what is next for our community, both in terms of legal challenges and community organizing following the Supreme Court Muslim Ban decision in Trump v. Hawaii. Discussions will include how the Muslim Ban decision fits within a larger apparatus of criminalization and state surveillance of Muslim and Arab Americans. The panelists will discuss the short and long-term impact of the ban on communities they serve – for instance, by sharing experiences of Yemeni relatives of U.S. citizens attempting to reunite with their families in the U.S. The conversation will also focus on the potential impact of recent litigation, such as a class action law suit regarding the government’s failure to provide fair case-by-case waivers from the travel ban. Finally, panelists will discuss efforts to build intersectional communities of resistance.





The Role of Students Abroad in The Intellectual Reform of The Arab World

Panel Chair: Dr. Essam Heggy

Lecture and a Panel with Open Discussion and final recommendations

Can science and education reform the Arab world deep from its roots up to its falling leaves? Can it succeed in establishing peace and sustainability where current political processes have failed? These might look as redundant questions, but the truth  is that they are urging today more than anytime through the modern history of this area. In this decade US and European universities are witnessing a surprising surge of applicants and enrollments in Arab students. One can easily notice that most of those who will freshly graduate will never come back but surprisingly at a more advanced part of the professional curriculum some of them do return to serve in governmental or entrepreneurial roles. It is no surprise that a significant population of government officials and leaders in the MENA area are graduates of international universities a remarkable observation among this population that mostly all would have served at one step in student unions abroad. The session will address several questions: What role is there for Arab students abroad today? Can Arab student abroad be a motor for change and tolerance in the area? How Arab alumni from US and European universities succeeded in changing their countries of origin? What does it take? Why some fails and other succeeded? Why are the key parameters that define their success? How can Arab students abroad establish be the seed for the needed socio-economic changes in the Arab world?




Women in Development 

How do you go from the state of re-imagining home to making your vision a reality? To dare to re-imagine, to let your imagination take you beyond the status quo, to share your vision, to look for those who endorse you, to navigate your relationships with opposers and blockers are but a few dimensions of what it takes to make change in the Arab World. These difficulties are even more compounded for women — how do you make your voice heard in a male-dominant society? How do you pursue your vision without compromising on your role as wife, mother, and daughter? How do you push yourself when times are low, when some of your closest co-workers have lost their motivations, and when investors are skeptical? How do you navigate the political landscape if you grew up outside the country and are labelled as a foreigner in your country of origin? 

In this panel, we bring women who have dared to (re)imagine and have defeated the hurdles to change the status quo. From the NGO, private, public, and academic sector, they have flown in from different parts, to tell you the bumps in the roads, the hurdles, the high points and low points, and how they made it work. Join us to listen and discuss their stories with transparency.