Arab Conference at Harvard kicks off on November 9

Harvard University are organising the eleventh annual Arab Conference at Harvard (ACH) at Harvard University on Nov. 9-12, 2017.

Titled “Arab Visionaries- Claiming Tomorrow” the four-day conference aims to build bridges between the region’s rich history and promising future. To that end, the conference will seek to transcend the region’s existing divides to envision a prosperous path forward where the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. The driving mission of this congregation is to transcend current obstacles by building bridges where inspiring Arab leaders across business, political, and civic spheres, along with think tanks will showcase Arab creativity, hope, and resilience.

Keynote speakers include: Habib Essid, former Prime Minister of Tunisia; Prince Turki Al-Faisal, former Saudi ambassador to the US; Ali Larayedh, former Prime Minister of Tunisia; Nabila Altunisi, Saudi Aramco; Ayman Mohyeldin, Journalist at NBC News; Khaled Abol Naga, award-winning actor, film producer, and director; James Zogbi, President of the Arab American Institute; Hamadi Jebali, former Prime Minister of Tunisia; Fadi Ghandour, CEO of Wamda; Farid Lahoud: Group Corporate Secretary at Bank Audi; and Khalid Al- Rumaihi, Chief Executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

The ACH 2017 will also include more than 50 speakers in 20+ panel discussions on wide range of topics including activism, Arab Americans in politics, mental health, innovations in healthcare and education, energy and climate change, inspiring Arab Women and the Arts. Panel discussions will also include the topics of the future of Tunisia, Syria and Gaza. On the final day of the conference, focused on business issues, keynotes will cover the entrepreneurship eco-system, restructuring economies post oil, innovation and opportunities, and preparing for the digital age. Panels will also cover investing in the Middle East and jumpstarting the Silicon Valley of the Arab World. The conference will also feature a TedTalk-like ACH event, a startup pitch competition as well as multiple networking and cultural events, and a career fair.

The Arab Conference at Harvard, the largest pan-Arab conference in North America, is expected to be attended by over 1,200 participants, including professionals, businesspersons, economists, entrepreneurs, government officials, and students and alumni from Harvard, and other top schools in North America.

In their welcoming note of the Conference, the conference co-chairs, Noura Chbeir and Mohamad Khalil Harb, asserted that this year’s conference “is a platform that brings together stakeholders and Arab youth to verbalise and discuss the concerns, innovations, challenges and ways forward of the region. It’s a unique opportunity to showcase the multilayered and diverse experiences and realities of the Arab World from the cultural to the technological and the political.”

“Economies in the Arab World are in a crucial point, and it is imperative to start preparing regional businesses for the challenges but also the opportunities that lie ahead of them and the smart investments that will allow them to remain sustainable in the fast changing environment that we live in.” Wissam Abourizk, chair of the business day, said.

Hesham Hamoda, President of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association noted that the conference “will celebrate the Arab world’s achievements and culture while urging our participants to translate diverse ideas into concrete solutions for a shared and vibrant. It’s not enough to discuss the challenges but we also need to propose innovative solutions ignited by the youth of the Arab World.”