Forum to examine political influence of Arab youth

March 13, 2011

The role of Arab youth as an emerging political force, as well as their use of new technological tools such as social media to ignite change is the prime focus of discussions at Qatar’s Al Jazeera news network’s Sixth Annual Forum, which opened in Doha on Sunday.

Under the title “The Arab World in Transition: Has the Future Arrived?”, the three-day forum will explore the complex and changing political and economic landscape in the region and its future ramifications in the light of the latest uprisings in the Arab world.

With a close scrutiny of the Arab world, and seeking to answer whether the future is already here, the seminars and sessions of the forum will also be dedicated to the evolving nature of journalism.

It will discuss how new methods of investigative reporting have challenged conventional standards and ethics, and the impact that such imposed transparency may have on events, diplomacy and public opinion in the region and beyond.

Political leaders, intellectuals, media experts and a new generation of activists are expected to debate the developments of fragile states in the region to better understand the emerging realities and their wider implications.

Qatari daily Gulf Times reported on Sunday that Shaikh Hamad Bin Thamer Al Thani, head of the board of directors of Al Jazeera Network, will offer in a message to the forum a platform for open dialogue and debate to contemplate and put into perspective the developments in the region, their global impact, and the role of media and journalism in an increasingly dynamic context.

The forum officially began with opening remarks from Waddhah Khanfar, Al Jazeera’s Director General, and keynote speeches by Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, former president of Brazil, and Ahmet Davutoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister.

Earlier, on Saturday, Khanfar opened a pre-forum seminar under the topic “People are more important than centres of power… Let us put the human being at the centre of our attention”. The seminar, with participants from Tunisia, Egypt, the USA and Jordan, offered insights into the current situation in the Middle East and proposed solutions for the future of the region.

Building on the international recognition of the network’s coverage of the recent events, the forum features young activists, bloggers and journalists who are credited with roles in the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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