Freedom House: Dialogue on Reform in the Arab World

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Conference held from May 31- June 4, 2010, Brussels, Belgium: "Freedom House will convene the final in its series of high-level roundtable dialogues in Brussels to envisage a new strategy for international engagement with civil society in the Middle East and North Africa. As part of Freedom House’s New Generation of Advocates program, the Dialogue series has brought together leading Arab civil society activists, prominent academics, government officials, diplomats, and influential journalists to answer several substantial questions: How do local activists viewthe current challenges and opportunities for democracy and respect for human rights in the MENA region? What are their shared priorities for reform, both regionally and locally? How can the United States and Europe effectively support these priorities? Over the past two years, a total of five Dialogues were held in Jordan, Egypt, Algeria, and Washington, D.C. to address these questions amidst the backdrop of a sustained global democratic recession." [1]

On June 1, 2010, opening talks at the conference were given by Daniel Calingaert, and Michael Emerson. [1]

A Wikileaks report observes that:

"The most interesting part of 08CAIRO2371 is perhaps this section:

"(SBU) The group included bloggers, journalists, activists from secular opposition parties such as El-Ghad and the Democratic Front Party and movements such as "Kifaya" and "April 6. A lawyer for the group confirmed that a French activist was among the detainees. Some of the detainees are participants in Freedom House's "New Generation" program which provides training for young activists. One member of the group departed for Washington January 18 to participate in a Project on Middle East Democracy program. Contacts confirmed that activist and El-Ghad party member Israa Abdel Fattah was also part of the group. (Note: Abdel Fattah was the subject of headlines in April 2008 when she was arrested and detained for 17 days after her call for an April 6 general strike on Facebook attracted almost 70,000 members (ref B). Following her release, she renounced her activities in a television interview, and has remained out of public view until now. End note.)

"The “New Generation” program is “supported by funds from the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development (USAID).” It has provided Egyptian fellows the opportunity to work with Americans and “hone” skills so they can become “social and political reformers.”" [2]

Participant Bios

Accessed February 2011: [3]



Resources and articles

Related Sourcewatch


  1. About, Dialogue on Reform in the Arab World, accessed February 8, 2011.
  2. 2011-02-07 UPDATE Google Executive Wael Ghonim in Tahrir Square & the Mubarak Regime's Repression of Bloggers, Wikileaks, accessed February 8, 2011.
  3. Bios, Dialogue on Reform in the Arab World, accessed February 8, 2011.