Farea Al-Muslimi is chairman and co-founder of Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies and a non-resident fellow at both the Carnegie Middle East Center and Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C. In August 2016, UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon appointed Al-Muslimi to the Advisory Group of Experts for Progress Study on Youth, Peace and Security, a study mandated by UN Security Council Resolution 2250 to examine the positive contribution of youth to peace processes and conflict resolution and effective responses at local, national, regional and international levels. Al-Muslimi’s writings and analysis on Yemen and the wider region have been published in Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, New York Times, The Independent, The Guardian, Al-Hayyat, As-Safir, Al-Monitor, as well as several other publications. In 2013, Foreign Policy named him to its list of Top 100 Global Thinkers, and in 2014 The Guardian named Al-Muslimi to its Top 30 under 30 list of young leaders in digital media around the world.
Monica Marks is a Rhodes Scholar and PhD Candidate at Oxford University, and a doctoral fellow with the European Research Council’s WAFAW program. 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. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Ms. Marks has taught as a Visiting Professor in the Politics and International Relations Department of Istanbul’s Bogazici University. Recently she has been a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University’s SIPA school and at the London-based European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR). She speaks Arabic and Turkish.
Nicholas Noe is a political advisor for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue in Geneva. In 2016, he served as Regional Organizing Director for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Michigan where he managed the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation. Previous to this, Mr. Noe lived in Beirut (2004-present) and in Tunis (2012-2014) where he was a co-editor of the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s journal on the Middle East, Perspectives, and co-founder of the news translation service Mideastwire.com (2005-Present) covering the Middle East media. He regularly provides analysis and commentary for Al-Jazeera International, BBC and several US and European publications and is the author of a White Paper for the New America and Century Foundations entitled: “Re-Imagining the Lebanon Track: Towards a New US Policy.” He is also the editor of the 2007 book “Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah” and was a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations in 2014. Mr. Noe graduated with honors from Cambridge University (MPhil, International Relations, 2006) where he was elected a scholar of Selwyn College and Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University (1999). In 2020, he was awarded a Policy Fellowship at the European University Institute in Florence.
Safa Belghith is an International Relations graduate from the Higher Institute of Human Sciences at Al-Manar University where her work focused on the intersection of media and politics. She also has a degree in English Linguistics, Literature and Civilization from the University of Manouba and works as a freelance journalist and research consultant on issues related to Tunisian politics and women’s rightsArthur Quesnay is Assistant Researcher and PhD Research Fellow in Political Science at the ERC-funded Sociology of Civil Wars program at the Panthéon-Sorbonne University (Paris 1) since 2015. He was previously (2010-2014) a Junior Research Fellow in Iraq at the Institut français du Proche-Orient (IFPO). His doctoral thesis focuses on sectarian conflicts in Northern Iraq, where he conducted extensive fieldwork since 2009. He has also conducted parallel fieldwork in Libya (2011-2012) and Syria (2012-2013 and 2016) with insurgent groups. Taken together, his work highlights social and political transformation through the Middle East Civil Wars. As co-director of Noria MENA Programme, Mr. Quesnay calls for social scientists to adopt new methodological and conceptual approaches to understanding these extreme situations and for combining micro and macro analyses.
Yamen Soukkarieh graduated in 1999 with a Communication Media Degree from the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Since that time, he has worked as a producer and cameraman for numerous Lebanese and international media organizations, including with CNN, Arte and Al-Jazeera, among others.
Karma Ekmekji 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.
Alison Tahmizian Meuse 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.
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
The best immersion course on a country in transition I’ve seen.
Dr. Alfred Stepan
Dean of the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University
Time-tested technique and tactful diplomacy enables The Exchange to achieve an environment conducive to attention, dialogue and reflection.
Dr. Jalel Harchaoui
Research Fellow of the Conflict Research Unit of the Clingendael Institute
There could not exist a more thorough and intensive immersion into Lebanese history and politics than The Exchange.
Phd. candidate at UC Berkley
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.
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.
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