* July 1-July 8, 2017
* Application Deadline I April 15/Deadline II May 25
* 20 slots only/Rolling acceptance

The Ninth Tunis Exchange July 1-8 will begin with a two-day conference led by Human Rights Watch (HRW) Saturday, July 1 and Sunday, July 2. Country experts for Mauritania, Morocco, Western Sahara, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt and Libya – joined by HRW senior staff – will conduct discussions on key issues facing each country, as well as some of the broader human rights challenges in the Middle East and North Africa.

Participants who wish to only attend the two-day HRW conference – and not the seven and a half day Tunis Exchange – can do so at the reduced registration rate of $299. As with our other Exchanges, the seven and a half day program will engage participants from around the world in a multifaceted discussion of some of the key issues facing Tunisia and the wider region. The Tunis Exchange program specifically rests on two tracks this Summer:

Professional & Academic – Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and activists from Tunisia and the wider region. Themes will include, among others:- The history and internal transformations of Ennahda, including organizational and ideological evolution since the revolution;

– The post-revolutionary evolution of the UGTT, Tunisia’s powerful labor union, and its role in politics (including implications of its role as primary mediator in the National Dialogue of late 2013);

– The composition, platforms of, and alliances between major parties (including Jebha Chaabia, Nidaa Tounes and Afeq Tounes, among others);

– The state of the Tunisian economy, including regional inequalities, budget transparency and decentralization, etc.;

– Security sector reform and the response to terrorism;

– Institutional and legislative reform needs following the passage of Tunisia’s constitution, focusing particularly on reform of the Ministry of Interior (security sector) and Ministry of Justice (judicial sector), Tunisia’s two most problematic ministries;

– Human rights in the new Tunisia (addressing issues such as freedom of speech, freedom of conscience, status of women, use of torture and the terrorism debate);

– Salafism, its composition (political, quietist, jihadi) in Tunisia and its relationship to and implications for party politics, stability, and governance moving forward;

– Taking stock of what Tunisia has done regarding transitional justice, what steps are planned to realize the recently passed transitional justice law, and what more needs to be done;

– The role of the media and civil society organizations;

– Youth politics and activism within and outside formal party structure.

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


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.

Tuesday, January 3
6pm – Opening Orientation & Security Briefing
7pm – Monica Marks, Oxford University

Wednesday, January 4
8am – Ouided Bouchamaoui, Tunisian Employers’ Association
10am – Amine Ghali, Al-Kawakibi Democracy Transition Center
11:45am – Lobna Jeribi, Solidar Tunisie
2:30pm – Chawki Tabib, National Anti-Corruption Commission
4pm – Moncef Marzouki, Al-Irada
6:30pm – Salwa el-Gantri, International Center for Transitional Justice

Thursday, January 5
9am – Filippo Di-Carpegna, UNDP
1pm – Lotfi Zeitoun, Ennahda
2pm – Rached Ghannouchi, Ennahda/MP Naoufel Jemali
4:30pm – Chafik Sarsar, Independent High Authority for Elections
6pm – Chokri Mabkhout, Manouba University
7pm – Noomane Fehri, Afek Tounes

Friday, January 6
8:30am – Olfa Lamloum, International Alert
10am – Meherzia Laabidi, Ennahda
2:30pm – Discussion section
4pm – Tadrek Laamouchi, Tunisian Assoc. for Management & Social Stability
5pm – Rachid Torkhani, Jebhat al-Islah
6pm – Moez Joudi, Tunisian Governance Association
7:30 – Tarek Kahlaoui, Al-Irada

Saturday, January 7
9am – Kamel Morjane, Al-Moubadara
11:30am – Malek Khadraoui, Inkyfada
2:45pm – Corrina Mullin, Tunis University
4pm – Farah Hached, Labo Démocratique
5:30pm – Wafa Ben Hassine, Access Now

Sunday, January 8
1pm – Chaima Bouhlel Al-Bawsala
3pm – Huda Mzioudet, Investigative Journalist
5pm – Thierry Bresillon, Le Monde Diplomatique
6:30pm – Achraf Aouadi, I-Watch

Monday, January 9
9:30 – Discussion Session
11:30 – Alfred Stepen, Columbia University
12:30 – The Truth and Dignity Commission
2pm – Sabrine Goubantini, Nidaa Tounes
4pm – Hafidha Chakir, Tunisian Association of Democratic Women
6pm – Salah Zeghidi, SOS Terrorism/UGTT
8:30pm – Huda Slim, Machroua Tounes

Tuesday, January 10
9am – Khaled Zribi & Bilal Sahnoun, The Tunisian Stock Exchange
11:30am – Taieb Bakkouche, Arab Maghreb Union
12:30am – Selim Abdessalem, International Legal Assistance Consortium
1:30pm – Airport/End Program

Program Format:
The Tunis Exchange will be held over the seven and a half days in downtown Tunis and will open with an orientation and security briefing at 9am on Saturday, July 1. HRW staff will conduct sessions on Saturday and Sunday from 10am until 5pm. Thereafter, sessions will be held in the Novotel Hotel and at sites outside of the hotel each day from 9am until approximately 6pm. The Exchange will close by 2pm on July 8. 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. Participants who wish to only attend the two-day HRW workshop – and not the seven and a half day Tunis Exchange – can do so at the reduced registration rate of $299.

Accommodation – $480, for eight nights in a shared double room as we advise participants to arrive on June 30 (we will arrange for sharing with other participants). Room rates at our conference hotel – IBIS/Novotel – vary depending on arrangements, but generally fall within the range of $60 per night, per student for a shared double room (breakfast, taxes and airport pickup are included). Alternative accommodation, including in a single room at IBIS (approximately $85 per night), is available upon request. Students are also welcome to arrange for their own housing.

Airfare – $300, approximate from the European Union.

About the Co-Directors:
Monica Marks 
is a Rhodes Scholar, PhD candidate at Oxford University, and Visiting Fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Her work, which focuses primarily on politics, institutional reform, and Islamist movements in Tunisia and Turkey, has appeared in peer-reviewed books and journals, news outlets including The GuardianThe New York TimesForeign Policy, and The Washington Post, and for think tanks including the Institute for Integrated Transitions (IFIT), the Carnegie Endowment, the Brookings Institute, and The Century Foundation. A former Fulbright Scholar to Turkey, Ms. Marks has taught as a Visiting Professor in the Politics and International Relations Department of Istanbul’s Bogazici University. Since 2014 she has been a research fellow with the Aix-en-Provence-based WAFAW program, and was in 2015 a Visiting Fellow at Columbia University’s SIPA school. 

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).

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