Tag Archives: Jordan

Lebanon – Threats and Risks Assessment

shattered flag 2With each new explosion, the Media and institutions of the international community warn of the risk of yet another civil war in Lebanon. A number of internal and regional factors are cited each time: the intensification of terrorist activity, the ongoing political vacuum, the opening of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL), spill-over effects from the Syrian crisis, a massive influx of Syrian refugees…

The picture is indeed quite grim. However, not all factors carry equal weight and significance. In this new special report on Lebanon, NGC intends to analyse and rank the various terrorist threats and other risk factors, and outline possible future scenarios. Continue reading

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Beyond Fikr 12: a Strategic Initiative on Academic Employability in the Arab World

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Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Makkah Governor and ATF chairman

In his closing remarks, Fikr 12 Executive Director Hamad Abdullah Al Ammari announced the Arab Thought Foundation’s resolve to launch two strategic initiatives to enable job creation in the Arab World.

The first initiative aims at setting up a strategy to facilitate investments and create jobs in the region. The second Pilot initiative aims at ranking Arab universities’ employability (i.e. graduates’ ability to find appropriate job opportunities) in three different countries: Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Morocco.

This project, based on in-depth research by NGC and designed in close collaboration with the ATF, would represent an important contribution to better matching graduates’ skills and labor market needs, thus helping reduce Youth unemployment.

The importance of Culture, mindset and Education to help solve the tragedy of Youth unemployment was one of the key results of the special Fikr 12 report on Job creation conducted by PwC[1]. The need to reform Higher Education was highlighted throughout the Conference by political leaders, members of the private sector as well as researchers.

Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Ibrahim Saif said the Middle East must ensure that “the region produces not only an educated, but an employable generation.”

According to Waleed Al-Banawi, chairman and founder, JISR, Saudi Arabia: “The system of education prevailing in the Arab nations is producing thousands of graduates providing them with only theoretical knowledge. Instead, the graduates coming out of the Arab universities must be equipped with soft skills such as communication and analytical abilities.”

Marwan Iskandar, economy expert from Lebanon, stressed the need to enhance education levels in the region and update curricula to meet the job requirements in the market. to read more on the Conference’s discussions, check here.

More to come soon on this ambitious initiative!


[1] 86% of the surveyed population considers that raising education levels is very important to improve youth unemployment.

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New Publication on the Syrian Conflict

Pas de printemps JPEGWe are very proud to anounce the publication by La Decouverte Editions  in French of “Pas de printemps pour la Syrie – Les clés  pour comprendre les acteurs et les défis de la crise, 2011-2013” (“Won’t there be a Syrian Spring? Keys to understand the players and the challenges of the crisis (2011-2013)”) under the supervision of the French Institute of the Near East (IFPO).

This collective work brings together the contributions of more than 20 experts among the best connoisseurs of the Middle East and Syria. NGC Director, Janaina Herrera contributed by bringing a unique expertise on the Syro-Lebanese diaspora in Latin America and its positioning vis a vis the Syrian crisis. For a detailed table of contents and list of authors (in French), click here.

Focusing on information collected as close to the source as possible, this important book highlights the historical roots of the crisis, analyzes the issues at stake and scrutinizes its political, economic and ideological implications.

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NGC Special Report: How can we help Arab Entrepreneurs?

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NGC was honored, as a Knowledge Partner of the Arab Thought Foundation, to plan and moderate the Fikr 12 workshop on “Entrepreneurship and Start ups: from individual achievement to collective success” (Ritz Carlton Dubai, 5th December 2013) with the valuable participation of distinguished guests representing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Arab world:

H.E. Mr. Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO, Mohammed Bin Rashid Establishment for SME Development (“Dubai SME”), United Arab Emirates
Dr. Khalid bin Othman Al-Yahya, Managing Director, Accenture Management Consulting, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Mr. Eyhab AlHajj, Co-Founder, Managing Director, Prosper, Sultanate of Oman
Mr. Fadi Bizri, Managing Director, Bader Young Entrepreneurs Program, Lebanese Republic
Mr. Ziad Mabsout, Financial Consultant and Analyst, Lebanese Republic

Following a brief presentation, NGC co-founder, Issam al Khatib, moderated a lively session based on Q&A with the speakers and the public to better define obstacles to entrepreneurship in the Arab countries and identify priority reforms.
Continue reading

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Remarks on the Legality of Potential Strikes on Syria

un-flag-square With the procrastination of military action and national parliaments’ growing involvement, debates over the legality, legitimacy and efficiency of potential strikes against the Syrian regime are getting increasingly polarized.

In that context, we would like to share a set of arguments regarding the issue of the legality of  an intervention in the face of UN Security Council’s paralysis. Continue reading

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Did you know? Latin America has had 8 presidents of Arab origin

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According to Al-Ahram, over 17 million people in Latin America are thought to be of Arab origin. Other estimations calculate that Latin Americans of Arab descent could represent up to 5% of the region, or 25-30 million people. Most of them are descendants of immigrants who came from Syria, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan, during the first decades of the 20th century.

One thing is certain: Latin America hosts the largest Arab diaspora in the world. By comparison, the Arab minority in Europe (including Arab immigrants and Europeans of Arab origin) was estimated at about 6 million in 2010.

Latin Americans of Arab descent have been disproportionately successful. Nowhere in the world more than in Latin America have the Arab migrants been able to thrive and be so successful. The names of Carlos Slim in Mexico, Miguel Facussé in Honduras or José Said in Chile are synonyms of economic power and political influence. Continue reading

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Climate Change in the Arab world: How much worse can it get?

aridI remember witnessing a surreal scene during an international Forum in Northern Europe, in 2011. A group of young Arab pro-democracy actors, heroes of the day, had been gathered for lunch break to meet with one of the Forum leaders. They were duly reminded of the importance of protecting the environment and asked to start promoting ASAP a “green agenda” for their countries. The Arab heroes, slightly taken by surprise, promised politely to do so.

How can you be so disconnected from the realities and preoccupations of the Arab peoples and be so right at the same time? Continue reading

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Middle East & South America – The Way Ahead

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In many different ways, the symposium co-organized by the Center University Saint Esprit of Kaslik (USEK)  and the RIMAAL (29-30 November) on the relations between the Middle East and South America was an eye-opener. It confirmed the massive potential of the trans-regional relation, the dynamism and ambitions of key stakeholders but also the long way still ahead of us.

During the event, the elements of this new South-South relationship literally crystallized under our eyes: new research avenues were identified (O. Dabene); future events and academic initiatives were announced and people from both continents met and clicked. We truly felt like pioneers. Continue reading

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