Attend MPAC-DC Forum on Islamic Political Movements & Dinner with Ghannouchi, Tunisian Revolution Leader

November 29, 2011

MPAC announced today it will host two special events tomorrow focusing on the Arab Spring, a Capitol Hill forum on “Islamic Political Movements and the Arab Spring: Committed to Democracy and Pluralism?” and a special dinner with Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda Party. 

Featuring a panel of prominent experts from the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and the Brooking Institution, the afternoon forum will explore the impact Islamic movements will have on newly democratic governments in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as their impact on U.S. foreign policy. More than 30 new political parties have sprung up since the beginning of the Arab Spring, several of which claim to be Islamic.

The panelists will examine Islamic political parties’ commitment to democracy, women’s rights and religious freedom, as well as the broader impact this will have on the future of reform in the region.


Confirmed Speakers:

  • Haris Tarin – Director of MPAC’s Washington, DC, office who has traveled extensively throughout the Middle East and engaged global Muslim communities
  • Marina Ottaway – Senior Research Associate in the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, and author of several publications including ”Getting to Pluralism: Political Actors in the Arab World” with Amr Hamzawy
  • Khaled Elgindy – Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Center for Middle East Policy, and a former Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute and Policy Analyst at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom

WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 12:30 - 2 p.m.

WHERE: Cannon House Office Building, Room 121

RSVP: Omnia Joehar, DC Program Assistant or 202-955-6290 by 5 p.m. (EST) today


One of the most important figures in modern Islamic political thought and theory, Rachid Ghannouchi has long been an advocate of the Islamic principles of pluralism, freedom and democracy as a way to bring stability to a region mired by tyranny and dictatorship.

Imprisoned by President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 1981 for his political and social activities, Ghannouchi moved to Europe as a political exile in 1988, where he lived for two decades. There, he continued to criticize Tunisian politics and Ben Ali’s regime. Following the revolution which resulted in Ben Ali’s ouster early this year, Ghannouchi returned to Tunisia, where his Ennahda Party won a majority in the first successful democratic election of the Arab Spring.

In Washington, DC, for a series of meetings with policy-makers, media and think tanks, MPAC’s special event will provide a platform for Ghannouchi to share his party’s vision for Tunisia’s future and reflect on the broader events of the Arab Spring.

When: Tuesday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.

RSVP: Seats are limited. Location will be provided upon confirmation.
Hoda Elshistawy, MPAC’s Legislative & Policy Analyst or 202-955-6290

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