The process of democratization presently unfolding in North Africa and the Middle East is the theme of a conference following the official opening of DIPD, with guests from Egypt and Tunisia providing first hand impressions of the situation – and the role that could possibly be played by external actors.
The objective of this conference is to provide speakers from the region, who have first hand knowledge of the developments taking place in the two countries, with a platform to inform a Danish audience made up of Members of Parliament, members of political parties, academics, representatives from civil society and the media. The information and the dialogue will form part of the background for how different groups in Danish society engage with the process of democratization in Egypt and Tunisia, including how best we can support the aspirations of the citizens.
The Minister for Development, Mr. Søren Pind, will open the conference. This will be followed by presentations from four speakers, who will present their different perspectives and assessments of the events unfolding in the two countries:
Dr. Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan
Dr. Gamal Soltan is the director of Al-Ahram Center for Political and Strategic Studies (ACPSS), Cairo, Egypt. Past responsiblities in the ACPSS included the leading position in two ACPSS’s programs: Middle East in World Politics program and Survey Research porgram. He has served for two years (1999-2001) as the editor of the ACPSS’s “Strategic Papers”, a monthly series of policy oriented monographs published in both Arabic and English. His recent publications include: Contending Political Forces in Post Saddam Iraq; The U.S. Policy in Iraq; Arab Politics and the Palestinian Intifada; Political Culture and Political Participation in Egypt; Security Perceptions in the Arab World and Euro-Med Relations. During the period 2006-2009, Dr. Soltan served as a professor of political science in the American University in Cairo, where he taught courses on theory of international relations, Middle East politics, Egyptian foreign policy, and the international relations of the Middle East. Gamal Abdel Gawad Soltan has a Ph. D. in political science from Northern Illinois University (1995).
Dr. Fatema Khafagy
Dr. Fatema Khafagy holds a Ph.D. in Development Planning from University of London. She is presently a consultant on women’s rights in the Arab region to the European Commission and to the UN WOMEN. Formerly she was the Ombudsperson of Gender Equality in Egypt and UNICEF head of Gender and Development Program. She is a founding member of the People’s Socialist Alliance (new political party in Egypt). Member of People’s fact finding committee (formed after the revolution to investigate the cases of those injured during the revolution). Board member of the Alliance for Arab Women. Member of the Coalition of feminist organizations in Egypt. Member of the Think Tank for Arab Women. She is also the author of several publications on Women’s rights, civil society and gender based violence in the Arab region.
Mr. Fathy Abou Hatab
Mr. Fathy Abou Hatab is an Egyptian journalist living in Cairo. He is the managing editor of Al-Masry Al-Youm Arabic website edition, an independent news website. Fathy Abou Hatab also worked as a community manager for almasryalyoum.com. Before joining Al Masry Alyoum, he worked as a web editor of the Danish Egyptian Dialogue Institute in Cairo, Managing Editor of European Muslims page at islamonline.net and MENA program director of meedan.net. He is particularly interested in the effect of digital media in Egypt and the Arab world, and he trains journalists on the use of social media.
Dr. Kamel Jendoubi
Dr. Kamel Jendoubi was one of the most well known Tunisian dissidents under the Ben Ali regime, being prevented to enter the country for 17 years. Since 2003 he has been the President of the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Network, and he is also the president of Comité pour le Respect des Libertés et la démocratie en Tunisie. He was formerly president of the migrant organization Fédération des Tunisiens des Deux Rives. He is also a board member of World Organisation against Torture and president of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies.