* June 18-25, 2017
* Application Deadline 1 April 15/Deadline II May 25
* 20 slots only/Rolling acceptance
The Eighteenth Beirut Exchange program rests on two tracks:

Professional & Academic – Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and activists from Lebanon and the wider region. Themes will include, among others: Recent protest movements in Lebanon; The Arab Uprisings; The Syrian conflict and its regional implications; The Islamic State; The Special Tribunal for Lebanon; The United Nations role in Lebanon and the region; Engaging political Islam; Asymmetrical conflict: The July 2006 Lebanon War; Human Rights in Lebanon and the wider Middle East; and the deployment of sectarianism.

Dialogue with Leaders – Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen and engage leading social, political and economic actors from across the spectrum in Lebanon.

NOTE: Due to the current security situation in Lebanon, the Eighteenth Beirut Exchange will generally restrict its meetings in and around Beirut, although at least one trip to the North and one trip to the South is planned.


NOTE: Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers one month prior to the opening of the Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions.

Wednesday, January 11
8pm – Opening Orientation & Security Briefing

Thursday, January 12
9:30am – Nicholas Noe, Mideastwire.com
12pm – Sami Gemayel, Kataeb
1:30pm – Karim Makdisi, American University of Beirut
5:30pm – Bassam Khawaja, Human Rights Watch
7pm – Bashir Saade, Stirling University

Friday, January 13
8:30am – Rami Khouri, AUB
11am – Farea Muslimi, Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies
12:30pm – Omar Nashabe, Consultant for Defense Counsel, STL
3:30pm – Group Discussion
4pm – Ayman Mhanna, Global Forum for Media Development
7pm – Abdallah Dardari, UN/ESCWA & Frm. Vice Premier of Syria

Saturday, January 14
10am – Sari Hanafi, AUB
12:30pm – May Akl, Free Patriotic Movement
2:30pm – Antoine Habchi, The Lebanese Forces
5pm – Mustapha Alloush, The Future Movement

Sunday, January 15
11:30am – Imran Riza, UNIFIL
2:30pm – Mleeta Museum @ South Lebanon
7pm – Walid Jumblatt, The Progressive Socialist Party

Monday, January 16
9am – Mohammad Afif, Hizbullah
11am – Rabih Shibley, AUB
1pm – Yassine Jabber, The Amal Movement
2pm – Alain Aoun, FPM
3:30pm – UNRWA
6pm – Nicolas Pouillard, IFPO
8pm – Marwan Maalouf, Menapolis/#YouStink

Tuesday, January 17
10am – Ammar Moussawi, Hizbullah
1:30pm – The Special Tribunal for Lebanon
4pm – Christina Lassen, The European Commission in Lebanon
6pm – Liz Sly, Washington Post
7pm – Nicholas Blanford, Daily Star/Times of London

Wednesday, January 18
10:30am – Patriarch Beshara Rai
1pm – Osama Hamdan, HAMAS
2:30pm – Shadi Karam, Frm. Senior Adviser to the Prime Minister
4pm – Closing Session

Program Format:
The Eighteenth Beirut Exchange will be held over the seven days in downtown Beirut and will open with an orientation and security briefing at 8pm on June 18. The Exchange will close by 2pm on June 25, although from June 19-24 we will generally convene from 9am until 7pm, including in locations outside of the conference hotel in Beirut. In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 20. Sessions themselves will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis for all speakers and will generally allow ample opportunity for question time (consecutive translation into English will be provided when necessary). All sessions will also be held under strict Chatham House rules, although we customarily work with our speakers to approve any quotes/references that participants may need for their own work.

Participation Fee – $900; Partial financial aid is available for those participants that can demonstrate need as well as alumni of our previous programs.

Accommodation – $420 for seven nights in a shared double room (we will arrange for sharing with other participants). Except for those persons already residing in Lebanon, we recommend that all participants in the Exchange reside at the conference hotel during the program (only accepted students will be notified of the hotel location). The hotel in downtown Beirut is priced at $60 per person/per night, including breakfast, taxes and airport pickup, for a shared double room. Single rooms are available for $100 per night. Note that we can also arrange for less expensive, private housing near to the conference room which is priced at approximately $40 per person, per night.

Airfare – $500, approximate from the European Union.

About the Co-Directors:
Yamen Soukkarieh graduated in 1999 with a Communication Media Degree from the Lebanese American University in Beirut. Since that time, he has worked as a producer and cameraman for numerous Lebanese and international media organizations, including with CNN, Arte and Al-Jazeera, among others.

Nicholas Noe recently served as Regional Organizing Director for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign in Michigan where he managed the Get Out The Vote (GOTV) operation for the crucial areas of Wayne County and Dearborn City. Previous to this, Mr. Noe lived in Beirut (2004-2016) and in Tunis (2012-2014) where he was a co-editor of the Heinrich Boell Foundation’s journal on the Middle East, Perspectives, and co-founder of the news translation service Mideastwire.com (2005-Present) covering the Middle East media. He regularly provides analysis and commentary for Al-Jazeera International, BBC and several US and European publications and is the author of a White Paper for the New America and Century Foundations entitled: “Re-Imagining the Lebanon Track: Towards a New US Policy.” He is also the editor of the 2007 book “Voice of Hezbollah: The Statements of Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah” and was a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations in 2014. Mr. Noe graduated with honors from Cambridge University (MPhil, International Relations, 2006) where he was elected a scholar of Selwyn College and Magna Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa from Brown University (1999).

REQUEST AN APPLICATION via info@mideastwire.com