(WASHINGTON) – The Brookings Institution is proud to announce the ninth annual U.S.-Islamic World Forum, convened each year in partnership with the State of Qatar. This year’s Forum, from May 29 -31 in Doha, is entitled “New Voices, New Directions” and will feature emerging leaders from across the Muslim world. With political transitions continuing to unfold across the Middle East and broader geopolitical changes occurring in the world beyond, the 2012 Forum takes place at a time of tremendous change. New leaders, new ideas, and new political forces are transforming the nature of key parts of the Muslim world and America’s relationship with them.
Among the 2012 Forum’s keynote speakers are Pakistani Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hassina, Qatari Prime Minister Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr Al-Thani; U.S. Deputy National Security Advisor Denis McDonough; Organization of Islamic Cooperation Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu; Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkol Karman; and PLO Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat.
Bringing new voices to the annual dialogue, the 2012 U.S.-Islamic World Forum will host participants from the United States, Western Europe, and more than 24 Muslim-majority countries, including: Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Sudan. In attendance will be many of the new political players who have emerged from the Arab Awakening in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – from secular activists like Hossam Baghat to representatives of the Ennahda Party in Tunisia, from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Nour Party in Egypt.
“With political, social, and economic change playing out across the globe, we are pleased to host so many of the Muslim world’s new and brightest voices,” said Martin Indyk, Vice President and Director for Foreign Policy at Brookings. “The 2012 Forum will bring together new leaders with fresh ideas and strategies for tackling the pressing challenges that face the United States and many Muslim-majority nations and communities.”
In addition, the Forum will include esteemed religious leaders, including the revered Sunni scholar Sheikh Abdulla Bin Bayyah, Mufti Malek Shaar of Lebanon, Bishop John Chane of Washington, D.C.’s National Cathedral and Imam Mohammed Magid of the Islamic Society of North America. Several prominent media figures will also attend this year’s Forum, including actor Khaled Abol Naga, talk-show host Nashwa al Ruwaini, and Hollywood producer Walter Parkes; as well as several distinguished journalists.
Noted for varied, open, and frank dialogue, the Forum will webcast several of the keynote addresses and panel discussions, during which speakers will explore and debate the impact of the breathtaking political changes underway in the Middle East, as well as many other issues affecting the wider Muslim world and relations with the United States. Other session topics include: the power of non-state actors in bringing about social change in the rapidly changing geopolitical landscape; the role of arts and religion in these periods of social and political transformation. Smaller expert working groups will seek to build partnerships to address such issues as how external assistance can most appropriately aid the ongoing democratic transitions in parts of the Arab world; and how the obstacles to philanthropic giving to Islamic charities can be reduced. In “The Long Conversation,” a new signature event, participants will engage in an off-the-record, town hall-format discussion on religion, political civility and state-building.
The first U.S.-Islamic World Forum was held in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States and sought to build bridges of understanding between the United States and the Muslim world – as the Forum still does today. The annual event has helped create meaningful networks of American and Muslim leaders across the spectrum of government and civil societies, encompassing the worlds of the arts, business, science and technology, education and religious faith.
For more information about the 2012 U.S.-Islamic World Forum or to register, please contact: Gail Chalef. Brookings Director of Communications for Foreign Policy, at (202) 797-4396 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Additional information about the Forum and the Forum schedule is available online at: http://www.brookings.edu/events/2012/05/29-us-islamic-forum
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Video highlights from the 2011 U.S.-Islamic World Forum can be viewed at: