Arab conference in Boston’s Harvard to shed light on refugees, healthcare and governance

The conference will run from April 5 to 7 in Harvard’s campus in Cambridge. (Screengrab)
Updated 01 April 2019

Arab conference in Boston’s Harvard to shed light on refugees, healthcare and governance

  • Keynote speakers at this year’s event include American University of Beirut President Fadlo Khuri, real estate tycoons Mohamad Hadid and Mohamed Morshedy
  • Among the panelists are Emirati Middle East Art expert Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Mashrou’ Leila front man Hamed Sinno, Lebanese graffiti artist Yazan Halwani and a host of United Nations ambassadors and advisors

CAMBRIDGE: The Arab Conference at Harvard, the largest pan-Arab conference in North America, will shed light on obstacles the Arab world faces in terms of identity, healthcare and governance, on Friday in the US’s Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The conference, which runs for three days, is titled (Re)Imagining Home and will be split into three main subthemes: (Re)Imagining Identity, (Re)Imagining Influence and Governance, and (Re)Imagining Healthcare.

“The theme (Re)Imagining Home speaks to every Arab. It speaks to the Arab in their homeland trying to imagine a better future, the Arab-American who is working through questions of identity in their new home, and pushes both the Arabs in their home land and the diaspora to discuss what home means to the millions of displaced Arab refugees in the region,” co-chair of the Arab Conference at Harvard, Dina Masri, told Arab News.

Throughout the three-day event, panels and keynote speeches will be given, as well as networking events that will allow attendees to mingle with panelists.

Keynote speakers at this year’s event include American University of Beirut President Fadlo Khuri, real estate tycoons Mohamad Hadid and Mohamed Morshedy.

Among the panelists are Emirati Middle East Art expert Sultan Sooud Al-Qassemi, Mashrou’ Leila front man Hamed Sinno, Lebanese graffiti artist Yazan Halwani and a host of United Nations ambassadors and advisors.

The track (Re)Imagining Identity, would focus on refugees and human rights and includes panels titled: My Forced Identity: What’s next for refugee youth in the region?, Palestinians of ‘48, Undocumented Citizens in the Arab World, and Libya – Current and Future.

The track (Re)Imagining Influence and Governance, which will discuss influences of individuals as well as government officials, would have a series of panels on topics such as the Muslim Ban, the impact of Urban Planning on governance, and Women in Development.

The (Re)Imagining Healthcare would be hosting five panels namely, Health in Conflict, Technology and Innovation in Healthcare, Mental Health in the MENA and the Future of the Healthcare Workforce and Medical Research in the Arab World.

“The conference is intended to empower the Arabs in their homeland to continue to work towards a better future, as well as foster a sense of responsibility to the region in those that are part of the diaspora. We hope that through this conference our attendees will meet others who are understanding of their identity struggles and who will push them to do better for our part of the world,” Masri said.

The conference will run from April 5 to 7 in Harvard’s campus in Cambridge.


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 19 October 2019

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”