The Mideastwire Blog

Excerpts from the Arab and Iranian Media & Analysis of US Policy in the Region

Registration Now Open: The 11th Tunis Exchange Politics Conference @ Downtown Tunis, June 17-June 24, 2018

The 11th Tunis Exchange Politics Conference @ Downtown Tunis
June 17-June 24, 2018
* Application Deadline I April 15/Deadline II May 15, 2018
* 20 slots only/Rolling acceptance
* Registration form via

The Eleventh Tunis Exchange June 17-24 will engage participants from around the world in a multifaceted discussion of some of the key issues facing Tunisia and the wider region. The Tunis Exchange program specifically rests on two tracks this Summer:

Professional & Academic – Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and activists from Tunisia and the wider region. Themes will include, among others:

– The history and internal transformations of Ennahda, including organizational and ideological evolution since the revolution;

– The post-revolutionary evolution of the UGTT, Tunisia’s powerful labor union, and its role in politics (including implications of its role as primary mediator in the National Dialogue of late 2013);

– The composition, platforms of, and alliances between major parties (including Jebha Chaabia, Nidaa Tounes and Afeq Tounes, among others);

– The state of the Tunisian economy, including regional inequalities, budget transparency and decentralization, etc.;

– Security sector reform and the response to terrorism;

– Institutional and legislative reform needs following the passage of Tunisia’s constitution, focusing particularly on reform of the Ministry of Interior (security sector) and Ministry of Justice (judicial sector), Tunisia’s two most problematic ministries;

– Human rights in the new Tunisia (addressing issues such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, status of women, use of torture and the terrorism debate);

– Salafism, its composition (political, quietist, jihadi) in Tunisia and its relationship to and implications for party politics, stability, and governance moving forward;

– Taking stock of what Tunisia has done regarding transitional justice, what steps are planned to realize the recently passed transitional justice law, and what more needs to be done;

– The role of the media and civil society organizations;

– Youth politics and activism within and outside formal party structure;

– The scope and underlying causes of recent protest movements.

Dialogue with Leaders – Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political, religious and economic leaders from across the spectrum in Tunisia.

NOTE: Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers one month prior to the opening of the Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions.

Saturday, July 1 (Exceptionally with Human Rights Watch)
9:00AM – Welcome, Introductions and House Rules
Nicholas Noe, and Monica Marks, Oxford University
9:30AM – Human Rights in Egypt and the Maghreb since the Arab Revolts of 2011
Sarah Leah Whitson, Human Rights Watch
10:30AM – The evolution of Human Rights in Egypt and the Maghreb over three decades
Eric Goldstein, HRW
11:45AM – Tunisia, HRW Staff
1:15PM – LUNCH
2:30PM – Libya, HRW Staff
4:15PM – Social Media & Human Rights in North Africa, HRW Staff

Sunday, July 2 (Exceptionally with Human Rights Watch)
9:30AM – Womens’ Rights in North Africa, HRW Staff
11:15AM – Egypt, HRW Staff
12:45PM – LUNCH
2:00PM – Algeria, HRW Staff
3:45PM – Morocco, HRW Staff
6:00PM – Michael Ayari, The International Crisis Group

Monday, July 3
9:30AM – Monica Marks, Oxford University
12:00PM – LUNCH
1:00PM – Huda Mzioudet, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
2:30PM – Amine Ghali, Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center
6:00 PM – Farah Hached, Labo Démocratique
7:30 PM – Hamza Abidi and Abdo Slim, Activists

Tuesday, July 4
9:30AM – Nicolas Kaczorowski, IFES
10:30AM – Lubna Jribi, SOLIDAR
11:30AM – Salaheddine Jourchi, Co-founder An-Nahdha
1:00PM – Meherzia Laabidi, An-Nahdha
2:30PM – LUNCH
4:00PM – Gilbert Naccache, Author
5:30PM – Tarek Kahlaoui, Al-Irada

Wednesday, July 5
9:00AM – Khedija Arfaoui, Activist & Jane D. Tchaicha, Bentley College
10:30AM – Ahlem Belhaj, Association for Democratic Women/UGTT
12:00PM – Lotfi Zeitoun, An-Nahdha
1:00PM – Rached Ghannouchi, Co-Founder, An-Nahdha
2:00PM – LUNCH
3:00PM – Mohamed Ghariani, Ex-RCD
4:30PM – Faouzi Elloumi, Nidaa Tounes
6:00PM – Taoufik Bou Aoun, DG, PM Office for Countering Violent Extremism
7:30PM – Houda Slim, MP, Machroua Tunis

Thursday, July 6
9:30AM – Zied Boussen, Activist
10:30AM – Kacem Afaya, Ex-UGTT
12:30PM – Salwa Gantri, ICTJ
1:30PM – LUNCH
2:30PM – Chafik Sarsar, President, ISIE
3:30PM – Yassine Brahim, President, Afeq Tunis
5:00PM – Mohsen Marzouk, President, Machroua Tunis
6:30PM – Noomane Fehri, BIAT Labs and Former Minister of Information

Friday, July 7
9:30AM – Mohamed Khouja, Founder, Jabhat Al-Islah
11:00AM – The Truth and Dignity Commission
1:00PM – LUNCH
2:00PM – Moncef Marzouki, Former President, Tunisia and Leader, Al-Irada
3:30PM – Noureddine Lajmi, President, HAICA
5:00PM – Achraf Aouadi, I-Watch
6:00PM – Sami Ben Gharbia, Co-Founder, Nawaat

Saturday, July 8
9:30AM – Salem Ayari, Union of Unemployed Graduates
11:00AM – Adnan Hajji, MP, Redeyef
12:00PM – Group Discussion
1:30PM – Steven Abdelatif, The Maison Tunis/YUKA
3:00PM – END

Program Format:
The Tunis Exchange will open at the Novotel/IBIS Hotel with an orientation and security briefing at 7pm on Sunday, June 17. On June 21 at 6pm, the group will travel south for two days of meetings in the interior regions. We will return in the evening on Saturday, June 23 and begin meetings at Novotel/IBIS the next morning, June 24, at 9am. The Exchange will close by 2pm on June 24. In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 20. Sessions themselves will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis for all speakers and will generally allow ample opportunity for question time (consecutive translation into English will be provided when necessary). All sessions will also be held under the Chatham House rule, although we customarily work with our speakers to approve any quotes/references that participants may need for their own work.

Participation Fee – $900; Note that participation fee discounts are available for participants who wish to attend multiple Exchanges. For more information, please email us here. Furthermore, all our programs are funded on the basis of fees paid by the participants themselves: There is no government, private or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

Accommodation – $60 per night in a shared double room at the Novotel Hotel (breakfast and taxes are included; we will arrange for sharing under our group booking). Alternative accommodation, including in a single room at IBIS (approximately $85 per night), is available upon request. Students are also welcome to arrange for their own housing.

Airfare – $300, approximate from the European Union.

About the Co-Directors:
Monica Marks is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD Candidate at Oxford University. Her work, which focuses on politics, institutional reform, and Islamist movements in Tunisia and Turkey, has appeared in peer-reviewed books and journals, news outlets including The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, and The Washington Post, and for think tanks including the Carnegie Endowment, the Brookings Institute, and The Century Foundation.

Safa Belghith is an International Relations graduate from the Higher Institute of Human Sciences at Al-Manar University where the focus of her research thesis is Media and Politics. She also has a degree in English Linguistics, Literature and Civilization from the University of Manouba. She works as a freelance journalist and research consultant on issues related to Tunisian politics and women’s rights.

Request a registration form via:

Written by nickbiddlenoe

March 8, 2018 at 11:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

%d bloggers like this: