A group of Arab and foreign academics came together in Cairo on Thursday at the beginning of a two-day conference to discuss the future of the Arab uprisings
The event was organised by research hub the Arab Reform Initiative (ARI), an independent institution which offers funding for scholars within the region through its Arab research support programme. The programme aims at developing the research skills of a new generation of social scientists in Arab states by offering funding for individual and collaborative research.
The ARI was founded in 2005 by sixteen think tanks and research institutes hailing from the Arab world, Europe and the United States.
Since its establishment, the ARI has worked to produce knowledge of the Arab region through in-depth research projects, engaging in collaborative work, building capacity of teams in different countries in data collection and survey research, and developing a network of scholars, activists and practitioners who share a vision of reform.
Bassma Kodmani, ARI’s Executive Director, said the research organisation currently operates in more than 15 Arab countries.
“The aim has always been to open room for Arab voices; our partners [local NGOs and research bodies] in the entire Arab world use their connections to help us achieve our goal,” Kodmani said.
The conference was attend by, among others, member of the ARI Board of Directors Abdallah Saaf; Yemeni Minister of Legal Affairs Mohamed Al-Mekhlafi; prominent Lebanese writer and scholar Fawwaz Trabulsi; Syrian researcher Yassin Sweiha; Egyptian labour activist Fatema Ramadan; Egyptian journalist Wael Gamal; senior associate at the Beirut-based Carnegie Middle East Center Yazid Sayigh; and Tunisian Judge Kalthoum Kenou..
Ahram Online will report on more extensive results that will be released by the participating scholars over the next few days.