Processes of democratic transition in today’s Arab world carry with them both challenges and opportunities for minorities. While emerging social and political spaces may offer minorities better opportunities for political participation and social inclusion, minority rights are not always given enough importance in current processes of democratic transition, as is the case in Egypt. Furthermore, in places undergoing conflict, like Syria, threats facing minorities as a result of escalating sectarianism undermine prospects of democratic transition and reconciliation. The aim of this workshop is to help further understand how the political participation and social inclusion of minorities during Arab democratic transitions can be strengthened, with invited speakers covering cautionary tales offered by the Lebanese and Iraqi experiences, and the current challenges faced in Egypt and Syria.
1:15pm-2:45pm: Panel 1, Lessons from Lebanon and Iraq, featuring Firas Maksad (Lebanon Renaissance Foundation), Marina Ottaway (Woodrow Wilson Center), and Omar Shakir (Stanford University). Chair: Lina Khatib (Stanford University)
3:00pm-4:30pm: Panel 2, Focus on Egypt and Syria, featuring Joel Beinin (Stanford University), Laure Guirguis (University of Montreal), and Laila Alodaat (Syria Justice and Accountability Center). Chair: Jawad Nabulsi (Nebny Foundation, Egypt)
4:30pm-5:00pm General Discussion
The workshop is co-sponsored by the Stanford Initiative for Religious and Ethnic Understanding and Coexistence, supported by the President's Fund, the Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity, the Religious Studies Department, and the Taube Center for Jewish Studies.