Building consensus on nonviolent methods to support democratic transitions

International Conference on Non-violence 
Gammarth, Tunisia, November 1-3

From the 1st to the 3rd of November, the city of Tunis will host an international conference entitled, “the Democratic Transition in the MENA Region: From Revolution to Active Citizenship, Nonviolence, and Regional Solidarity.” FINAL AGENDA

This conference will bring together key civil society players in post-revolutionary MENA to participate in a dialogue in order to define a regional strategy to support non-violent activism and democratic transition.  Social leaders hailing from Morocco, Syria, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia, Lebanon, Palestine, Iraq, Jordan, Bahrain, and Yemen will all share their experiences with the European experts in attendance.

Participants will address the following questions throughout the course of the three-day event: how can we achieve real dialogue and inclusive democracy between people with different political and social ideologies? Where does the freedom of expression intersect with the limits placed to uphold cultural diversity?  What does it mean to apply non-violent methods when the opposition uses violent methods?

Through the discussion of these questions, the conference hopes to create a space for Arabs and European civil society to share their experiences and build a joint regional strategy to support the transition from authoritarianism, non-representative regimes, and occupation, to a true inclusive democracy that respects human rights and social justice.  This inclusive democracy will also be home to a civil society that allows different ideologies to exist in common spaces of understanding.  Finally, the meeting will seek to amplify support for non-violence and to use the exchange of experiences to broaden the horizons of the participants.

The conference will discuss the evolution of citizens’ democratic movements, civic participation and nonviolent struggles in MENA countries and why the movements in Libya and Syria turned to military, armed struggles.  In Europe too, new actors are emerging and using some of the tools learned from the Arab Spring, including physically occupying public spaces and fighting against police repression.  The meeting will strengthen real solidarity and partnership between nonviolent civil society actors in both regions, identify the key challenges to inclusive democracy and social justice, consolidate local civil society principles and objectives, and exchange examples of successful strategies to strengthen the impact and effectiveness of nonviolent movements.

The Foundation for the Future (FFF)Training and Research Institute in Romania (PATRIR) and the International Institute for Nonviolent Action (NOVACT), are jointly organizing this conference with the support of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs and the Anna Lindh Foundation.  Several other Mediterranean and European organizations have formed a coalition in support the event and its objectives, including the Peace Operations Department of PeaceAction, iWatch, the Nonviolence Network in the Arab Countries (NNAC), the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC), IKV Pax Christi, Beyond Reform and Development (BRD), the Permanent Peace Movement (PPM), Un Ponte Per (UPP), and Solidarity Interational (SI).

Join Our Social Debate

For those unable to attend the conference in person, a number of virtual tools will be made available.  There is already an open event hosted on Facebook as well as a Twitter hashtag called #MENADialogue.  The online debate will begin on October 24th at 12pm (UCT +3) and will allow all interested in the topic to reflect upon the concept of nonviolence and enrich the debate prior to the November event.

Documents: CONCEPT NOTE

For more information or a statement (EN, FR, ES, AR) from participants, please contact:

FOUNDATION FOR THE FUTURE (BMENA): Dima Masri.dima.masri@foundationforfuture.org + 96265544906 

NOVACT: Núria Millan. Nuria@nova.cat +34 935513292

SPEAKERS, RELATORS & MODERATORS

Nabila Hamza (Tunisia) President of Foundation  for the Future

Felipe Daza (Spain) Co-Director of International Institute for Nonviolent Action, NOVACT
Abdel Ali Mastour (Morocco) President of the Citizenship Forum, Montada Mouwatana, Casablanca.

Abdullah Khalid (Iraq)

Abir Kopty (Palestine) Representative of Popular Struggle Coordination Committee

Acharf Awadi (Tunisia)

Ali Damash (Jordan) Social Media Expert / Director of ‘Under my olive tree’ a volunteering NGO

Amal Grami (Tunisia) Lawyer and Women Rights Activist

Arcadi Oliveres (Spain) Intellectual and Member of “Justicia i Pau”. Expert in North-South relations, international trade, foreign debt and defense economics.

Ayman Talbi (Tunisia) Cyber activist / Blogger

Azza Soliman (Egypt) President Center for Egyptian Women’s Legal Assistance (CEWLA)
Ben Braham Nour Eddine (Algeria) President of ADWAA rights for Democracy and HR

Dalia Ziada (Egypt) Director of Ibn Khaldum Center for Development Studies: Women, Cyberactivism and Nonviolence

Eugenia Vathakou (Greece) Activist and Project Coordinator, University of Peloponnese, Dept. Political Science & International Relations, PhD in International Conflict Analysis European Perspectives.

Farah Salky (Lebanon) Coordinator of ARM & Nasawiyya

Fatima Abdallah Gandhour (Lybia) Free Media Association. A well-known activist during the revolution.

Fouad Raoueiah (Italy) Expert on Community Radios.

Francesco Mortane (Italy) Intellectual and Member of the Green Movement. Activist and politician of Sinistra, Ecologia e Libertà.

Gilbert Doumit (Lebanon)
Hicham Jadaoun (Lebanon)

Ignacio Pedraza (Spain)

Imad Bazzi, Blogger, Social Media Activist (Lebanon) Blogger, social media activist

Leila Nachawati (Spain-Syria) Social media manager, Spanish-Syrian activist who writes for Global Voices and Periodismo Humano.

Luca Gervasoni (Spain)

Maher Sahli (Tunisia) President of Association Cultivons la Paix. Lawyer / Human Rights and Non violence Activist.

Marta G. Franco (Spain) Journalist in Periódico Diagonal

Martina Pignatti (Italy)

Mohamad Hamdan (Lebanon)

Mohamed Shehab El Din (Egypt) Cofounder and Board member of Nahdet El Mahrousa.

Mohammed Al Mastaki (Bahrain) President for Bahrain Youth Society for Human Rights & Cyber activist

Mohammed Hamdan (Lebanon)
Moncef ben Slimane (Tunisia)

Nadia Moussa Foundation for the Future (FFF)

Ogarit Younan (Lebanon) Founder of Arab University for Nonviolence and Human Rights

Omar Abu Rassaa (Jordan) Activist on Nonviolence strategies and campaigns
Radhia Belhaj Zekri (Tunisia) President of AFTURD

Rajwa Tohme (Lebanon) Activist

Ridha Tili (Tunisia) Fondation A. Tlili pour la Culture Démocratique & President of

Liaisons Méditerranéennes.

Rihab Elhaj (Lybia) Co-founder and President of the New Libya Foundation

Romeral Ortiz Quintilla Representative of Patrir-DPO

Saad Salloum (Iraq) Masara for Cultura and Media Development & professor at University of Baghdad.

Salah Khawaja (Palestine)

Sameera Al Qenaei (Kuwait) Kuwait Society for Human Rights

Samir Dilou (Tunisia) Minister of Human Rights and Transitional Justice

Slahedine Jourshi (Tunisia) President of Mountada El Jahedh. Political background, intellectual.

Thirsa de Vries (The Netherlands)

Xavier Artigas (Spain) Media Activist from 15M Channel BCN TV.

Yassar Fattoum (Syria) Social media activist

Zahira Kamal (Palestine) General Secretary of the Democratic Party FIDA, Former Minister of Women’s Affairs of the Palestinian Authority

Zakaria Faroussi (Syria) Activist

OTHER PARTICIPANTS

Ameerah Ameen Damaj (Yemen)
Ahmed Al-Zekri (Yemen) NGO, activist, journalist, part of HRITC joint project, and very active in human rights
Ali El Bachiri (Morocco) President of l’Association Marrocaine pour l’Action au Développement (AMAD).
Baseem Tamimi (Palestine) Leading member of the Palestinian Nonviolent Resistance against the Israeli Occupation.
Catherine al- Talli (Syria)
Cherifa Kheddar (Algeria) Association DJAZAIROUNA des familles victimes du terrorisme. Bilda, Algerie
Emad Jasim Salman Al – Saray (Iraq) Al Amal
Farag Hassi (Lybia) Elections Monitoring
Farida Bouchenaf (Algeria) Activist and nonviolence network, AFEPEC s member : femenist association from ORAN
Farroudja Moussaoui (Algeria) Vice president AMUSNAW, cultural and pro human rights organisation from Kabilia.
Fatima Kadhim Bahir al-Bahadli (Iraq) Al-Firdaws/Basra Network for Training and Development
Ferial Farih Women Rights Activist
Housaam Thrash
Jawhar Ben Mbarek (Tunisia) Head and spokesman of the Tunisian Leftist-Secular independent list Doustourna (Tunisia) TBC
Kamel Jallouli (Tunisia) Koulna Tunis. Dialogue, Constitution, Equality
Kawa Bunga (Syria) Head of Free Syrian Students Union in Lebanon
Lema Nazeeh (Palestine) Activit Youth Movement against the occupation and democratization of the Palestinian Institutions.
Mahamad Zarroug (Lybia) Forum for Democratic Libya
Mazen Abou Hamdan (Lebanon) Representative of CHAML
Mohamed Al Mastaki (Bahrein) President for Bahrein youth Society for Human Rights. Very young. Ciberactivist
Mohammed Al Saud (Syria) Activist. Establishing a network of activists fighting for liberation; campaign to organize the nonviolent resistance movement in Syria.
Nasser Ragie (Lybia) Social Media and activist
Pablo Soto (Spain), Software develper, creator of the file-sharing programs on P2P network Manolito, Piolet and Bluster. He is one of the three developers of the 15M.cc project.

Pr. Mohamed Hadded (Tunisia) President de l’Observatoire des Religions comparées. Intellectual, especialized on religions

Radhia Nasraoui (Tunisia) Women and HR Activist
Reza Eslami
Sana Sbouai (Tunisia) Cyberactivist / Nawat.com. Woman, social media
Shireen Al Araj (Palestine)
Sihem Bensedrine, Porte Parole, Conseil National pour les Libertés en Tunisie. Fundar revist Kalima (digital) and Radio Kalima.
Wael Abbas (Egypt) Internationally renowed blogger, journalist and human rights activist