Har­vard’s seeds plant brighter fu­ture

The Daily News Egypt - - Events -

The Har­vard Arab Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion (HAAA) and the Arab and MENA stu­dent groups at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity are or­gan­is­ing the 11th an­nual Arab Con­fer­ence at Har­vard (ACH) at Har­vard Uni­ver­sity 9-12 Novem­ber.Ti­tled “Arab Vi­sion­ar­ies—Claim­ing To­mor­row”, the four-day con­fer­ence aims to build bridges be­tween the re­gion’s rich his­tory and promis­ing fu­ture.

To that end, the con­fer­ence will seek to tran­scend the re­gion’s ex­ist­ing di­vides to en­vi­sion a pros­per­ous path for­ward, where the whole is greater than the sum of its in­di­vid­ual parts.The driv­ing mis­sion of this con­gre­ga­tion is to tran­scend cur­rent ob­sta­cles by build­ing bridges, where in­spir­ing Arab lead­ers across busi­ness, po­lit­i­cal, and civic spheres, along with think tanks, will show­case Arab cre­ativ­ity, hope, and re­silience.

In their wel­com­ing note of the con­fer­ence, the con­fer­ence cochairs, Noura Ch­beir and Mo­hamad Khalil Harb, as­serted that this year’s con­fer­ence “is a plat­form that brings to­gether stake­hold­ers and Arab youth to ver­balise and dis­cuss the con­cerns, in­no­va­tions, chal­lenges, and ways for­ward of the re­gion. It’s a unique op­por­tu­nity to show­case the mul­ti­lay­ered and di­verse ex­pe­ri­ences and re­al­i­ties of the Arab world from the cul­tural to the tech­no­log­i­cal and the po­lit­i­cal.”

Key­note speak­ers in­clude for­mer Tu­nisian Prime Min­is­ter Habib Es­sid, for­mer Saudi Am­bas­sador to the US Prince Turki Al-Faisal, for­mer Tu­nisian Prime Min­is­ter Ali Larayedh, and chief engi­neer of Saudi Aramco Na­bi­lah AlTu­nisi, as well as NBC News jour­nal­ist Ay­man Mo­hyeldin; award-win­ning ac­tor, film pro­ducer, and di­rec­tor Khaled Abol Naga; and Arab Amer­i­can In­sti­tute Pres­i­dent Dr. James Zogbi.

More­over, for­mer Tu­nisian Prime Min­is­ter Ha­madi Je­bali,Wamda CEO Fadi Ghan­dour, Bank Audi Group cor­po­rate sec­re­tary Farid La­houd, and Bahrain Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment Board CEO Khalid Al- Ru­maihi will par­tic­i­pate in the event.

ACH 2017 will also in­clude more than 50 speak­ers in 20+ panel dis­cus­sions on a wide range of top­ics, in­clud­ing ac­tivism,Arab-Amer­i­cans in pol­i­tics, men­tal health, in­no­va­tions in health­care and ed­u­ca­tion, en­ergy and cli­mate change,in­spir­ingArab women, and the arts. Panel dis­cus­sions will also in­clude the top­ics on the fu­ture of Tu­nisia, Syria, and Gaza. On the fi­nal day of the con­fer­ence, fo­cused on busi­ness is­sues, key­notes will cover the en­trepreneur­ship eco-sys­tem, re­struc­tur­ing economies post-oil, in­no­va­tion and op­por­tu­ni­ties, and prepar­ing for the dig­i­tal age. Pan­els will also cover in­vest­ing in the Mid­dle East and jump­start­ing the Sil­i­con Val­ley of the Arab World.

Wis­sam Abour­izk, chair­per­son of Busi­ness Day, stated, “Economies in the Arab world are in a cru­cial point, and it is im­per­a­tive to start prepar­ing re­gional busi­nesses for the chal­lenges, but also the op­por­tu­ni­ties that lie ahead of them and the smart in­vest­ments that will al­low them to re­main sus­tain­able in the fast-chang­ing en­vi­ron­ment that we live in.”

The con­fer­ence will also fea­ture a TedTalk-likeACH event,a startup pitch com­pe­ti­tion, mul­ti­ple net­work­ing and cul­tural events, and a ca­reer fair.

The Arab Con­fer­ence at Har­vard, the largest pan-Arab con­fer­ence in North Amer­ica, is ex­pected to be at­tended by over 1,200 par­tic­i­pants, in­clud­ing pro­fes­sion­als, busi­nessper­sons, econ­o­mists, en­trepreneurs, gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials,and stu­dents and alumni from Har­vard Uni­ver­sity and other top schools in North Amer­ica.

Dr. He­sham Hamoda, pres­i­dent of the Har­vard Arab Alumni As­so­ci­a­tion, noted that the con­fer­ence “will cel­e­brate theArab world’s achieve­ments and cul­ture while urg­ing our par­tic­i­pants to trans­late di­verse ideas into con­crete so­lu­tions for a shared and vi­brant fu­ture.It’s not enough to dis­cuss the chal­lenges, but we also need to pro­pose in­no­va­tive so­lu­tions ig­nited by the youth of the Arab world.”

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