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Activities

ACTIVITIES

Bridging the Gulf in Diversity

On Friday, May 27th, the CAWDB (Center for the Advancement of Women and Diversity in Business) held their latest seminar, entitled "Changing Cultures, Creating Opportunities" at the World Trade Center in Amsterdam.

 

The evening was divided into two parts. The first was an interactive session, "The Multicultural Workplace," led by Donna Driver-Zwartkruis, Adjunct Professor in Business Administration, Webster Leiden; Lecturer in the Faculty of Economics & Business VU, Amsterdam; and PhD candidate at The Union Institute & University Cincinnati Ohio, USA.

 

The second part was of the evening was devoted to the guests from the Arab Gulf region. They were Dr. Amal Hamidallah Al Ahmadi, Dr. Mohammed Al Roken, Jafar Alshayeb, Hala Aldosari, and Adel Al Qallaf.

 

Dr. Amal Hamidallah Al Ahmadi is a Dutch Arab intellectual residing in the Netherlands. She is Director of Bridging the Gulf Foundation for Human security in the Gulf region ( six Arab Gulf countries). Mrs. Hamidallah, is lawyer, graduated at Pantheon Assas University ( Paris, France). Former Coordinator for the Middle East & North Africa region at Amnesty International (the Netherlands) and Head of the Middle East department at Mama Cash foundation (the Netherlands). She is a former UNESCO staff member (Paris), former program officer for the Balkan at the IOM, international organisation for migrations. Actual Member of the steering committee of the Center for the Advancement of Women and Diversity in Business at the Webster University where she is lecturing in the International NGO program. As expert for the Middle East and North Africa, she has a long experience working in the field of democracy, agency and participation, peace and security, human development, economic justice gender and human rights mainstreaming in the so-called MENA region .

 

Dr. Al Roken is an Associate Professor of Public Law at the United Arab Emirates University (UAE) in Al Ain where he also served as the Vice Dean of the Faculty of Law (1998-2000). He directs Bridging the Gulf program for human rights education and awareness. Previously, he chaired the UAE Jurists Association (1998-2004) and he is currently the chairman of the Jurists Association (2010-2012). Dr. Al Roken is also the author of several published legal research papers, articles, and books.

 

Jafar Alshayeb, a well-known analyst of local political issues and reforms, was educated in the US. He is a regular commentator and analyst of local politics and reform issues in many influential Arab press and media channels. He heads local charity foundations and youth programs and sponsors "Tuesday Cultural Forum," aiming to set the groundwork for dialogue on different social and political issues such as civil society, human and minority rights, and democratization. He participated in the National Dialogue Initiative in Saudi Arabia and serves as an active member in the National Society for Human Rights (Saudi Arabia), among many other positions.

 

Hala Aldosari, is a Saudi woman who lived in the US for three years while pursuing her graduate degree in health services research, and is now based in Jeddah. Her blog, Hala In US, is an extension of that experience. She writes for a Saudi daily newspaper and she posts in Arabic on her other blog, Hala Al-Dosari.

 

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CIVICUS World Assembly Montreal 2011

For the first time in the history of the Gulf region a delegation of civil society leaders participated actively in the 10th edition of the CIVICUS World Assembly, held from 10-12 September in Montreal and attended by over 800 delegates.  

During the Assembly a variety of themes were tackled from climate justice to development effectiveness to democratic space - with different movements from around the world coming together towards a common dialogue of sustainable, inclusive development based on human rights. While the 2010 CIVICUS World Assembly highlighted the external clampdown on civil society, primarily from governments, the 2011 event witnessed an increasing recognition of the internal threats to civil society, particularly formal civil society organisations who are disconnected from the rising wave of informal citizen participation around the world. Bridging the Gulf Delegation was involved in the programme track: Democratic Space. A session was organised by Bridging the Gulf team targeting the state of civil society in the Arab Gulf countries trough thematic and sectorial approach. Varying from the thematic issue of women rights to the typology of institutions working on the ground.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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Field visit to Kingdom of Saudi Arabia 2011:Riyadh Jeddah Mecca

On invitation from the Saudi National Human Rights Society, with support from the Netherlands embassy in Riyadh and the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a delegation of Bridging the Gulf foundation visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The aim was to introduce Bridging the Gulf Foundation's methodology of working at grassroots level, fostering shared learning experiences in the field of human rights education, awareness raising, capacity building and support to civil society empowerment. During the sessions, touchy issues were discussed such as domestic violence, the rights of women to drive including the case of Manal Al Sharif who was under arrest at the time and released to the Kingdom during the visit. Other issues related to intercultural and religious dialogue, youth involvement, women empowerment and participation space for civil society development were discussed.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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FIRST GCC THINK TANK DEVELOPMENT DIALOGUE: SALALAH, OMAN 2011

In the frame of the first GCC dialogue on 'Think Tank Development' held on July in  Salalah in Oman; Bridging the Gulf foundation with its large delegation of civil society leaders from the Gulf region participated actively in this groundbreaking event aiming at the empowerment of the civil society in this particular part of the world. Over thirty experts from more than fifteen countries gathered in the southern Omani city of Salalah.  Among them were members of the Legislative and State Councils, as well as officials from universities, think tanks, media platforms and human rights organizations. Ambassador Luigi Narbone, Head of the EU Delegation to Riyadh was also present. The event was organized jointly with Tawasul local partner. A number of think tanks, researchers and academicians from the GCC took part to this groundbreaking seminar. The participants discussed the role of think tanks and research centers in the community.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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Seventh Forum For The Future Democracy and political reform : Doha 2010

The Bridging the Gulf Foundation delegation contributed to the Civil Society Forum, organised in coordination with the co-chairs by the National Human Right Committee (NHRC) and the Arab Democracy Foundation (ADF), held on 11 January. The purpose of the Civil Society Forum, which gathered together around 250 representatives from democracy advocates and civil society activists from the MENA Region, was to prepare a common Civil Society platform of principles and goals to be presented during the Ministerial meeting of 12-13 January 2011, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton,  French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie, and Canadian Foreign Minister, as well as several Arab Foreign Ministers and the Foreign Ministers of Spain and Afghanistan and representatives of the Foreign Ministers of Hungary and Switzerland, and of the Japanese parliament. The aim of the platform would be to promote political reforms and human rights in the Region as well as to foster co-operation on these issues between civil society and governments in a legitimate, open, and constructive framework.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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10th Doha Forum on Democracy , Development & Free Trade

A delegation from Bridging the Gulf Foundation attended the Tenth Doha Forum. It is important to note that the Forum began as a Conference on Free Trade and evolved into a forum for democracy and free trade.

This session saw the participation of more than 90 countries offering a unique regional platform for exchange of ideas. The gathering was exceptional in bringing together academics, civil society representatives and politicians from government and opposition parliamentarians, opinion makers and businessmen from diverse political, social, cultural and religious background, offering new ideas in an atmosphere of freedom and subtraction and constructive debate.

Many leaders from academia, policy-makers, business and non-governmental communities contributed ideas and research papers as part of the Forum's Global Agenda Councils. Space was created for interaction with local leaders whether from government or civil society to deal with issues related to the region, for example in the workshops organised under the lead of the Arab Democracy Foundation, that dealt with conflict resolution, human security and democracy promotion.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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Bridging the Gulf Foundation network at the Doha Anti-Human Trafficking Forum 2010

The Gulf region is watching an incredible increase in demand for labour, mainly low-skilled Asian labourers working in the services sector but also as domestic workers or in the construction sector. The migrant workers are in their majority coming from South Asian countries but tend also to come from some other Arab countries that have suffered conflicts, which are affecting their security and economic situation. As a result some people take advantage of this situation by exploiting and violating the rights of this vulnerable group.  In some cases their treatment amounts to modern day slavery, and is defined as "trafficking in humans".  Article 3, paragraph (a) of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs".

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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Training in the concept of civil society and citizenship: Qatar 2010

Bridging the Gulf foundation, jointly with the Arab democracy foundation (ADF) and in collaboration with the Dutch embassy in Doha (Qatar) organised a three-day training course on civil society and citizenship. The workshop entitled ‘The concept of civil society and citizenship" shed light on the concept of civil society and the mechanism of applying it to Arab countries. The course targeted Qatari youth working in civil society organisations and media houses, and aimed to master the concept of civil society (understanding/ building/ empowerment and mechanism to meet and address local needs). The participants were young male and females from Qatari Sharia Law University, lawyers, journalists, female social workers and young females entrepreneurs also candidates for local municipality elections.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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Bridging the Gulf Foundation at the training programmes held in preparation for Majlis Al Shura elections in Oman 2009-2010

Omani women have been undergoing a dramatic phase of change and they stand head and shoulders with the rest in the region. When you compare the status of Omani women 10 years ago and today, the change is remarkable. More and more women are coming to the forefront; more girls are acquiring higher education, and more women are occupying higher position. Women in Oman have enough potential to be an effective component in the further construction of their community. As men, women too have the right to raise their voice in the Sultanate. Despite the positive laws,  the support from the local leadership, the gains secured mainly in the field of changes in laws and access of women to education, Omani women failed in securing seats at Majlis Shura election in 2007. Yet Omani women have resolved not to give up and are doubling their efforts to overcome stereotyping regarding women leadership, agency and participation in the Sultanate public life. They firmed up their determination to dream big to secure at least half of Majlis Shura seats.

 

For the full report, please contact Bridging the Gulf Foundation at: bridgingthegulf@nhc.nl

 

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