The 1st Armenia Exchange

Upcoming virtual event organized by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and The Exchange Foundation

September 19-26, 2021 (Yerevan & Syunik)

* Application Deadline I: August 1, 2021

* 25 Slots Only (Rolling Admission)

The Armenia Exchange

Upcoming virtual event organized by the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies and The Exchange Foundation

September 19-26, 2021 (Yerevan & Syunik)

*Application Deadline I: August 1, 2021

*25 slots only (Rolling Admission)

The Armenia Exchange September 19-26, 2021, is an effort by the non-partisan, non-profit Exchange Foundation to promote a deeper understanding of Armenia as well as peacebuilding and security in the region. As such, the seven day, in-person conference will provide participants with an opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political and economic actors from across the spectrum in Armenia, in both the capital Yerevan as well as for at least two days in the province of Syunik.

NGO Practitioners

& Peacebuilders

Foreign Diplomats
& Analysts

Academics
& Researchers

Journalists & Media Professionals

Who Should Register?

Register Now

Registration Deadline: August 1, 2021

View Topics

Our first Armenia Exchange will be held over seven days in Armenia and will open with an orientation briefing at 8pm on Sunday, September 19, at the conference hotel venue in Yerevan. After five days of meetings in and around Yerevan (including several outside of the conference hotel), on Friday, September 24, we will travel by bus to Syunik and conduct sessions with our speakers in the region. The return to Yerevan will be on Sunday, September 26, where we will close the Exchange by 1pm at the conference hotel.


In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 25. Sessions will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis and will generally allow ample opportunity for question time (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.

$800 -- Student/Unaffiliated Researchers/Freelance Journalists

$1200 -- NGO/UN/Media/Academic

$1500 -- For-Profit/Government

All funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: The participants themselves who pay the participation fee or scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed specifically to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides an objective platform for dialogue and understanding.

The Exchange Foundation currently has two Scholarships (covering the participation fee, travel/lodging and a per diem) available in each of two categories: A) An Armenian/Armenian origin person who can demonstrate a lack of institutional or self-funding ability; B) The Global Exchange Scholarship available for journalists or researchers who will deepen the social, political and geographic diversity of the Exchange and who can document a lack of institutional or self-funding ability. For any questions related to scholarships, email:

info@globalpoliticalexchange.org

Program Specifics:

Participation Fees:

Applying for a Scholarship:

Additional Costs:

Accommodation – In addition to the participation fee, participants wishing to stay at the conference hotels (Tufenkian Heritage Hotel - Yerevan; TBA in Syunik) should expect to pay an average of $80 per night for a single room, including breakfast and taxes (other meals are not included). Except for those persons already residing in Yerevan, we recommend that all participants in the Exchange reside at the conference hotel during the program.


Airfare – $500, approximately from the European Union; $900 from the United States.

Excerpt of Session Topics:

Nagorno-Karabakh - Speakers will discuss the prospects for peace and security for the people of Nagorno-Karabakh amid a tenuous ceasefire, and as questions linger as to the mission of the Russian peacekeepers, whose mandate is set to expire in four years. International legal experts will discuss the principles of territorial integrity versus self determination, while regional analysts and Yerevan-based foreign diplomats will examine what kind of settlement may be possible to secure the future of what remains of the unrecognized Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. Government officials will discuss the ways in which the war was conducted and the various outcomes as well as their strategy for a secure and peaceful Armenia and Artsakh.


Recent Armenian elections and the local landscape - Over the seven days of the Exchange, we will hear from leading figures in the government as well as the opposition and discuss their plans for the future of Armenia, broadening its foreign relations and securing its borders after a devastating war.


Prospects for trade - We will meet business leaders to learn about their challenges under three decades of blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan, the possibilities for trade with both the East and the West and their desire for or aversion to greater connectivity with neighbouring Turkey and Azerbaijan. We will also learn about competing visions for regional trade, including Turkey’s desire for a transit corridor through southern Armenia, as well as Iran’s position against such a corridor -- and revived interest in shoring up its links to Armenia.


Structural impediments to human development - Several sessions will be devoted to veteran investigative journalists and activists who can speak to the issues of corruption, human rights, security and socio-economic challenges that go well beyond the current focus on the warscape. To this end, we will also meet representatives of the minority Yazidi community to learn about the issues they face.

Interlocutors*:

  • Office of the Prime Minister of Armenia
  • Office of the President of Armenia
  • Armenian Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • The Government of Nagorno-Karabakh Republic
  • Armenian Opposition Representatives
  • Syunik Elected Representatives
  • Representatives of Armenia to the European Court of Human Rights
  • Office of the Human Rights Defender/Ombudsman

Officials

Multilateral Institutions

  • Minsk Group Co-Chair Nations
  • The United Nations
  • International Crisis Group
  • Regional Studies Center
  • The Caucasus Institute
  • International and Comparative Law Center
  • Armenia-Iran Strategic Cooperation Development Center

  • TUMO Center
  • Union of Advanced Technology Enterprises

  • Aurora Humanitarian Initiative
  • Anna Astvatsaturian Foundation


    * N.B.: Partial list only; the final agenda with confirmed speakers will be made available to admitted participants one month in advance of the Exchange.

Research / Entrepreneurship / Humanitarian

Accepted participants in the upcoming Tunis Exchange will receive the full Agenda of confirmed speakers one month prior to the opening, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions. The completed Agenda of the last Tunis Exchange (June 2019) was as follows:

THE COMPLETED SCHEDULE OF THE LAST TUNIS EXCHANGE (JUNE 2019)

Sunday June 9


6:00pm -- Introductions, House Rules & Safety Briefing: The Exchange


7:00pm -- Opening Discussion


8:00pm -- Ouiem Chettaoui, Security Sector Specialist



Monday June 10


8:30am -- Monica Marks, NYU Abu Dhabi


10:30am -- Amine Thabet, Mehdi Foudhaili & Hervé de Baillen, Democracy Reporting International


12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Zied Ladhari, Minister of Development, Investment & International Cooperation, An-Nahdha Party


3:30pm -- Yassine Brahim, Afek Tounes Party Leader & MP


5:00pm -- Radwan Masmoudi, President of The Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy


6:00pm -- Emmanuel Geny, Democracy International


7:30pm -- Achraf Aouadi, President of I-WATCH Tunsia & Mohammad Dhia Hammami, Wesleyan University



Tuesday June 11


10:00am -- GROUP DISCUSSION


11:00am -- Salwa Gantri, Country Director International Center for Transitional Justice


12:30pm -- LUNCH


1:30pm -- Tarek Kahlaoui, Former Director of the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies, Assistant Professor MSB


3:00pm -- Selim Kharrat, President of Al-Bawsala


5:00pm -- European University of Tunis, Discussion With International Relations Department



Wednesday June 12


9:30am -- Stefan Buchmayer, Country Director of The Democratic Control of Armed Forces


10:45am -- International Republican Institute Senior Advisor Djordje Todorovic, Resident Program Officer Elizabeth O’Bagy & Jihen Jouini


12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Nabil Karoui, Karoui & Karoui World


2:30pm -- Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia, Al-Irada Party Leader


4:00pm -- Fadhel Ben Omrane, Nidaa Tounes MP


5:00pm -- Ahlem Belhaj, UGTT & Femme Democrat Leader


6:00pm -- Khawla Ben Aicha, Machroua Tounes MP



Thursday June 13


9:00am -- Amine Ghali, President of Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center


10:30am -- Nicolas Kaczorowski, Country Director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems


12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Mohamed Ali Azaiez, An-Nahdha


2:00pm -- Rached Ghannouchi, President of An-Nahdha


5:00pm -- Mohamed Ayadi, INLUCC Commissioner


7:00pm -- Dinner


8:00pm -- Drive to SFAX



Friday June 14


11:00am -- Anouar Jebir, Baladiyya Sfax, Health Commission


11:45am -- Ayman Bouhajeb, Machroua Tunis Sfax, & Mohsen Marzouk, Head of Party Machroua Tounes


1:00pm -- LUNCH


3:30pm -- Baddredine Abdelkefi, MP An-Nahdha


5:00pm -- Drive to GABES


9:00pm -- Dinner with Rim Thabti, Activist & Blogger



Saturday June 15


9:30am -- Mohamed Ali Chouiab, Activist


11:00am -- Mouhamed Hayder, Cultural Association of Gabes


12:30pm -- LUNCH


2:30pm -- Ismail Hafsi, Environmentalist & Activist


3:30pm -- Yessine Ben Salem, Nahdha Regional Secretary General Gabes


4:30pm -- Khayreddine Debaya, Environmentalist & Activist


5:30pm -- Drive back to TUNIS


Sunday June 16


11:00am -- Ouided Bouchamoui, Nobel Prize Winner, The Quartet & Former President of UTICA


12:00pm -- Group Discussion


1:00pm -- Tunis Airport & End Program



The 13th Tunis Exchange will be held in Association with Georgetown University's Democracy and Governance Program June 7-14 in Tunisia and will engage participants from around the world in a multifaceted discussion of some of the key issues facing Tunisia and the wider region.


Who Should Register:


— Foreign diplomats;


— NGO practitioners;


— Researchers, analysts and journalists;


— Academics working on the 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;


- 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 LeadersParticipants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political, religious and economic leaders from across the spectrum in Tunisia.



**********


THE COMPLETED SCHEDULE OF THE TWELFTH TUNIS EXCHANGE:


NOTE:


Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers prior to the opening of the Thirteenth Tunis Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions.




Sunday


6:00pm -- Introductions, House Rules & Safety Briefing: The Exchange


7:00pm -- Opening Discussion


8:00pm -- Ouiem Chettaoui, Security Sector Specialist



Monday


8:30am -- Monica Marks, NYU Abu Dhabi


10:30am -- Amine Thabet, Mehdi Foudhaili & Hervé de Baillen, Democracy Reporting International


12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Zied Ladhari, Minister of Development, Investment & International Cooperation, An-Nahdha Party


3:30pm -- Yassine Brahim, Afek Tounes Party Leader & MP5:00pm -- Radwan Masmoudi, President of The Center for the Study of Islam & Democracy


6:00pm -- Emmanuel Geny, Democracy International


7:30pm -- Achraf Aouadi, President of I-WATCH Tunsia & Mohammad Dhia Hammami, Wesleyan University



Tuesday


10:00am -- GROUP DISCUSSION


11:00am -- Salwa Gantri, Country Director International Center for Transitional Justice


12:30pm -- LUNCH


1:30pm -- Tarek Kahlaoui, Former Director of the Tunisian Institute of Strategic Studies, Assistant Professor MSB


3:00pm -- Selim Kharrat, President of Al-Bawsala


5:00pm -- European University of Tunis, Discussion With International Relations Department



Wednesday


9:30am -- Stefan Buchmayer, Country Director of The Democratic Control of Armed Forces


10:45am -- International Republican Institute Senior Advisor Djordje Todorovic, Resident Program Officer Elizabeth O’Bagy & Jihen Jouini12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Nabil Karoui, Karoui & Karoui World2:30pm -- Moncef Marzouki, Former President of Tunisia, Al-Irada Party Leader


4:00pm -- Fadhel Ben Omrane, Nidaa Tounes MP


5:00pm -- Ahlem Belhaj, UGTT & Femme Democrat Leader


6:00pm -- Khawla Ben Aicha, Machroua Tounes MP



Thursday


9:00am -- Amine Ghali, President of Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center @ NOVOTEL


10:30am -- Nicolas Kaczorowski, Country Director of the International Foundation for Electoral Systems


12:00pm -- LUNCH


1:00pm -- Mohamed Ali Azaiez, An-Nahdha @ HQ NAHDHA


2:00pm -- Rached Gannouchi, President of An-Nahdha


5:00pm -- Mohamed Ayadi, INLUCC Commissionier


7:00pm -- Dinner


8:00pm -- Drive to SFAX



Friday - Sfax


11:00am -- Anouar Jebir, Baladiyya Sfax, Health Commission (Elected in 2018 under Macroua Tounes)


11:45am -- Ayman Bouhajeb, Machroua Tunis Sfax, & Mohsen Marzouk, Head of Party Maroua Tounes


1:00pm -- LUNCH


3:30pm -- Baddredine Abdelkefi, MP An-Nahdha


5:00pm -- Drive to GABES


9:00pm -- Dinner with Rim Thabti, Activist & Blogger



Saturday - Gabes


9:30am -- Mohamed Ali Chouiab, Activist


11:00am -- Mouhamed Hayder, Cultural Association of Gabes


12:30pm -- LUNCH


2:30pm -- Ismail Hafsi, Environmentalist & Activist


3:30pm -- Yessine Ben Salem, Nahdha Regional Secretary General Gabes


4:30pm -- Khayreddine Debaya, Environmentalist & Activist


5:30pm -- Drive back to TUNIS



Sunday


11:00am -- Ouided Bouchamoui, Nobel Prize Winner, The Quartet & Former President of UTICA @ Novotel


12:00pm -- Group Discussion1:00pm -- Tunis Airport & End Program





*********


Program Format:


The Tunis Exchange will open at the Novotel/IBIS Hotel in downtown Tunis with an orientation and security session at 6pm on Sunday, June 7 (the exact timing may change to accommodate late arrivals), after which our Media Partner for The Exchange - Meshkal - will provide a briefing on key issues and trends facing Tunisia. Throughout the week Monday-Friday, we will hold sessions both at the conference hotel as well as around the capital, usually from 9am until 6-8pm. On the evening of Friday, June 12, the group will travel to Kef in Western Tunisia for meetings. We will return to Tunis by 12pm on Sunday, June 14 for a short closing session (we therefore recommend booking departure flights after 4pm on Sunday, June 14). In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 22. 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.


Costs:


Participation Fee - $950. All funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: The participants themselves who pay the participation fee ($950) or scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed specifically to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.


Applying for a Full Scholarship - The Foundation for Global Political Exchange currently has one fully funded Scholarship (covering the conference fee, a per diem for meals, accommodation and airfare/transportation to the Exchange) available in each of two categories: A) The Global Exchange Researcher Scholarship available for researchers who will deepen the social, political and geographic diversity of the Exchange and who can document a lack of institutional or self-funding ability; and B) The Tunisian/Tunisian Origin Researcher Scholarship for Tunisian researchers who additionally demonstrate a lack of institutional or self-funding ability. For any questions related to scholarships or to request an application with more information, email info@thebeirutexchange.com


Accommodation - A single room at IBIS is available upon request for $75 per night inclusive of all taxes and breakfast. Participants are welcome to arrange for their own housing, although all participants are required to pay $120 for the two nights stay in the interior.


Airfare - $300, approximate from the European Union.

Register Now

Registration Deadline: April 30, 2021

Upcoming Exchanges

The Exchange Foundation is an effort by the non-profit, 501 (C)3 Foundation for Global Political Exchange to promote professional and academic enrichment through a variety of small group, direct engagement conferences in Western Asia and North Africa.


During their stay, typically lasting five days to one week, participants from around the world listen to and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians representing an array of different points of view in a specific country.


The first Exchange was launched in June 2008 in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, thirteen years on, more than 850 people from 51 different countries have attended 40 different Exchanges in the region.


Crucially, all funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: The participants themselves who pay the participation fee or scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed specifically to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

Listen to and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians from the Arab world

Broad social, political and geographic diversity of speakers

Creating a neutral platform for dialogue and understanding

More than 850 participants, 51 countries, 40 different Exchanges

Karma Ekmekji

Karma is a Mediation Advisor with UN Women and Senior Policy Fellow at the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut and the Lead Advisor on their Women, Peace and Security initiative. Karma is also an adjunct instructor in International Affairs and Women Peace and Security, a member of the Executive Board of the Intisar Foundation and a member of the Mediterranean Women Mediators Network. Stemming from a strong interest in empowering women in the field of diplomacy, peacemaking, mediation and negotiation, Karma founded the #Diplowomen initiative to share knowledge, develop mentorship opportunities and strengthen networking in this field. Prior to this, she was the International Affairs and Relations Advisor to former Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri, where she served as the focal point for all international dossiers. Karma has also worked at the office of the UN Special Coordinator for Lebanon and at the Department of Political Affairs and the UN Secretariat in NY.

Nicholas Noe

Nicholas is the co-founder of The Exchange Foundation (2008) as well as the Beirut-based news translation service Mideastwire.com (2005). He currently serves as a Political Advisor at the Geneva-based Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue.

Alison Tahmizian Meuse

Alison is veteran foreign correspondent, spending the past decade reporting for AFP, the world’s third largest news wire, NPR and most recently as regional editor for the Asia Times. She is a newly appointed Senior Fellow at the Regional Studies Center (RSC) in Yerevan and a Strategic Advisor at DeepStrat consultancy out of New Delhi. Her research focuses on Armenia's evolving global alliances and strategies for navigating the regional power negotiations between Russia, Turkey and Iran.

About the Co-Directors:


The Exchange Foundation is an effort by the non-profit, 501(c)3 Foundation for Global Political Exchange to promote professional and academic enrichment through a variety of small group, direct engagement conferences in Western Asia and North Africa. During their stay, typically lasting five days to one week, participants from around the world listen to and question leading intellectuals, activists and politicians representing an array of different points of view in a specific country.


The first Exchange was launched in June 2008 in Beirut, Lebanon. Now, more than a decade later, 1000+ people from 51 different countries have attended 45 different Exchanges in the region. Crucially, all funding for the Exchange comes from only two sources: The participants themselves who pay the participation fee or scholarship recipients who benefit from individual, charitable contributions designed specifically to broaden the social, political and geographic diversity of each Exchange table. As such, there is no government, commercial or non-profit support, an aspect that we believe provides a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

About the Exchange Foundation:

Request an Application

A well-oiled program that brings you an impressive number and selection of speakers from across the spectrum. Worth every penny!

I learned more in my 10 days at the Beirut Exchange than in any university course! This was a wonderful experience filled with fascinating speakers.

Oliva Holt-Ivry

Nicole Sganga

Senior Programs Advisor on Women, Peace, and Security, U.S. Department of State

CBS News reporter

Illuminating and life changing experience. I will recall the Exchange as one of the most authentic educational experiences of my life.

Sahar Rizvi

Student

Who should register?

NGO Practitioners

& Officers

Foreign Diplomats
& Analysts

Academics
& Faculty

Journalists & Media Professionals

Past Exchanges

Intensive & Immersive Courses on Western Asia & North Africa

Unique access to information, perspectives, updates and analysis.

Access to information

Gain direct insight and rare first-hand knowledge about the country from a wide range of perspectives.

First-hand knowledge

Engage with speakers during the sessions and connect with them after the Exchange.

Connect with speakers

Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political and economic actors from across the spectrum in Western Asia and North Africa

Dialogue with Leaders

Upcoming Exchanges

The 14th Tunis Exchange

Our first post-COVID, in-person Exchange will kick off in Yerevan on September 19, 2021, one year after the latest Armenia-Azerbaijan war.

September 19-26, 2021

The Yemen Exchange is an intensive online version of the Yemen Exchange organized by the Sana’a Center and The Exchange Foundation since 2017.

April 19-30, 2021

The 1st Armenia Exchange

To be held virtually over four Thursday and Saturday mornings (EST time), in partnership with Georgetown University's Democracy and Governance Center.

May 27-June 19, 2021

(Applications open May 1)

(Applications open March 22)

(Applications now open)

Co-founder, Nicholas Noe: +961.81.797.943 (Beirut/WhatsApp)

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