CIHRS 13th Regional Forum of the Arab Human Rights Movement: Which future awaits democratic change movements in the Arab world?

In Annual Regional Forums, Human Rights Dissemination Program by CIHRS

The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) organized the 13th Regional Forum of the Arab Human Rights Movement, which was held in Cairo on May 19-20, 2007 and was titled “Which future awaits the democratic change movements in the Arab world?”

The forum hosted 60 participants including rights advocates, political activists, judges, academic researchers, writers, intellectuals, journalists and bloggers, from eight Arab countries: Egypt, Syria, Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq, and also from four European countries: France, Ukraine, Serbia, and Slovakia.

During the forum sessions, the participants presented research papers and oral interventions comparing  movements for democratic change in the Arab region and in Eastern Europe,  attempting to answer a fundamental question: “Why did  democratic change movements succeed in Eastern Europe and not in the Arab region?

The discussion touched on several cultural, social, and political variables of democratic change in both the Eastern European and Arab region. The discussion also included some commonalities in the two regions’ experiences. This prompted the attendees, through critical discussion, to focus on countering authoritarianism in the Arab region, through in-depth analyses exposing the pillars of authoritarianism and finding ways to overcome it.

The Regional Forum of the Arab Human Rights Movement is an initiative first founded by CIHRS in 1999, aiming to create a platform for dialogue on the pressing issues of democratization and human rights, and the future of the human rights movement and the challenges of its work in the Arab world.

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