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Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship
In The News & Press Releases
  • Civil Society Innovation Initiative (CSII) workshop - March31-April 1, 2016
    An interview with Mr. Azzam, Asfari Institute director, was posted on ANND’s Facebook page

  • KGNU Community Radio interview with Dr. Rania Masri - March 24, 2016
    The Movement Crisis in Lebanon
  • American University of Beirut’s Teachers Express Solidarity with JNU Students - Feb 24, 2016
    Caravan Daily News

    Beirut: Over 130 faculty, students, staff, and affiliates of the American University of Beirut (AUB) have expressed solidarity with JNU students.
    “We condemn the police action at JNU, the arrest of the JNUSU President Kanhaiya Kumar on the charge of sedition, the unwarranted harassment of students and activists, the targeting of Umar Khalid, and the profiling of Kashmiri and Muslim students on campus. We denounce the repressive charges against Kumar and others, the violence against faculty and students, as well as police complicity in the beating of Kumar at the Patiala Courthouse.” AUB statement asserts.
    Dr. Rania Masri, Associate Director for the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB, weighed in on the issue: “Universities are places where thought must be free to develop, where students can learn without fear of being arrested for sedition, where teachers can teach critical, challenging histories, and where parents can send their children without fear that they will be victimized for questioning historical injustices.”

  • American University of Beirut in Solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University - Feb 23, 2016
    Published Online: Feb 25, 2016

    Members and Affiliates of the American University of Beirut Issue Statement of Solidarity with Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi . The Milli Gazette Online
    Dr. Rania Masri, Associate Director for the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB, weighed in on the issue....

  • Al_Gunaid Sahl, Press Release  - 15 December 2015
    Programs & Projects Manager
    Kuwait Society for Human Rights

    تصريح صحفي حول مشاركة الجمعية في اللقاء الإقليمي حول المجتمع المدني وتحديات الإخفاق في حماية النساء
    Click Here


         مؤتمر "كفى" للقاء النسوي الاقليمي  : باشتراك الاستاذ فاتح عزام
اللقاء الإقليمي: المجتمع المدني وتحديات الإخفاق في حماية النساء
بيروت، ١٢-١٤ كانون أول/ديسمبر ٢٠١٥
البيان الختامي   

                                                                                                                      view photos:   1  &  2

  • Radio4all - a-Infos Jeff Blankfort interview with Dr. Rania Masri - November 25, 2015
    "Masri exposes US support of ISIS through backing of Turkey and Saudi Arabia"

  • Media Fueling War Fervor, Xenophobia In 24/7 Cycle - November 19, 2015
    Mint Press Article quoting Dr. Rania Masri
    Without real analysis and historical context, we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past, said Rania Masri, associate director of the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at the American University in Beirut, on Oregon’s KBOO radio this week.
    “With that knowledge and understanding that we should look at what the French president is saying when he calls for—and I quote—a ‘pitiless war’,” she said. “Who will die next….given that it seems that the French government is unfortunately going to follow in the footsteps of the U.S. government?”
    “Hundreds upon hundreds of Iraqis have been dying in Iraq every month since the U.S. invasion in 2003,” she said. “That recognition is critical. Because we need to understand ISIS was born out of Iraq. ISIS was not born out of Syria. It was born from the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq. It was that anger, that humiliation, that destruction of Iraq, that fueled the environment that led to ISIS.”

  • Dr. Rania Masri on the Deadly Bombing in Beirut - November 18, 2015
    Program: Flashpoints 
    Radio interview:      or       kboo_episode.2.151117.1745.69083.mp3
    Dr. Masri discussed the Western media’s response to the terrorist attacks in Lebanon and France, and the absence of coverage of the attacks in Iraq.  She talked about US foreign policy, US domestic policy, and Black Lives Matter, Howard Zinn, building an alternative media, and the need for a real democracy in the US.

  • News Release for Dr. Rania Masri – 17 November 2015
    IPA, Institute for Public Accuracy – Oakland, CA, USA
    Paris, Beirut and the “Weaponization of Grief”

  • Putting the Attacks in Paris and Beirut Into Context – Dr. Rania Masri - 16 November 2015
    Radio Interview on KPFK, Pacifica in Southern California

  • Dr. Masri's Radio interview,  13 November, 2015
    The Media's Skewed Portrayal of the Bombing in Beirut

    Rania Masri and Vijay Prashad say the western media's reporting on the ISIS bombing in Lebanon is deeply racist and accepts the ISIS narrative by describing the southern Beirut neighborhood as a "Hezbollah bastion" 

  • From Beirut After Bombing: “We are Not Numbers” Dr. Rania Masri - November 12, 2015

  • Youth Voices from inside Palestine
    Lecture and Discussion, 20 October 2015
    حراك "أرفض شعبك بيحميك" الفلسطيني.. في بيروت
    عقدت ندوة، مساء الثلاثاء، في الجامعة الأميركية بدعوة من "مركز الأصفري للمجتمع المدني والمواطنة" و"تاء مربوطة"، شاركت فيها منسقة حراك
    "#‏أرفض_شعبك_بيحميك" ميسان حمدان


  •  Panels on Recent Protests in Lebanon
    a series of multiple panels every week starting on 13 October 2015 through 1 December 2015
    at the Issam Fares Hall by Caspar and Gambini, just outside the main campus
      Al Akhbar reports on recent discussion panels held by several departments and student clubs at AUB to critique the recent 
      protests  in Lebanon.

  • Dr. Rania Masri Interview on IONO FM in SA on 18-09-15: RACISM AND ZIONISM

  • Asfari Institute Director Fateh Azzam interviewed in Summer 2015 issue of AUB’s MainGate

  • Lecture/Discussion: The potential and limits of UN human rights mechanisms, September 17, 2015

    Institute Director Fateh Azzam is invited by the Syrian League for Citizenship to address the topic of the limits of CSO advocacy through the United Nations Human Rights Mechanisms

  • Dr. Rania Masri interview on “The Drive Home Experience” on September 17, 2015.  The show is featured on Radio Al Ansaar - 90.4FM in Durban, 105.6FM in Pietermaritzburg and via live streaming on . The presenter of the show is Seraj Bassa.

    Interview Questions Covered:
    1.      The Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has become a powerful, global, and de-centralized movement in a relatively short time period; do you think that it is powerful enough to get the its point across, get Israeli to stop its occupation of Palestine?
    2.      Main stream media has been presenting an inaccurate depiction of what has been happening in Gaza, and are portraying the violence as Israel’s attempt to defend themselves, why is that, why are the Palestinian people still being painted as the aggressors?3.      The United States has ample evidence of Israel’s human rights violations, such that it should have changed  its policies by now, stop aiding Israel, why has it not done so, why is still continuing to give Israel military aid?
    4.      Do you think that cessation of American military aid to Israel will create the desired effect, restrain Israel?
     What do you think needs to be done to get Palestinian people the help they need, how can the international community be made to see just how the Palestinian people are being oppressed by the apartheid state of Israel?

  • South Africa Workshop by International Social Science Council, the University of Kwazulu-Natal, and Transformations to Sustainability,  September 10, 2015

     Institute Associate Director Rania Masri participated in a four-day workshop in Durban, South Africa organized by the International Social Science Council, the University of Kwazulu-Natal, and Transformations to Sustainability.  This interdisciplinary and international workshop was organized for the 8 finalists in the Transformations to Sustainability Programme Call for Proposals. (Approximately 500 grants were received, from which 8 were selected as finalists, and then 3 will be funded.)  As one of the lead partners in a finalist proposal, the Asfari Institute was asked to participate. The objective of this workshop was to build an collaborative, global network of people  —  academics, practitioners and activists — engaged in research on social transformation; by the end of the workshop, a loose network was built, with a focus on developing an international “summer school” for academics and activists engaged in environmental justice for social change to connect and critically learn from each other.  The Asfari Institute WILL BE hosting the second collaborative meeting on furthering this network. 
    After the workshop, Rania Masri then participated in the World Social Science Forum (WSSF) 2015: Transforming Global Relations for a Just World, also held in Durban, South Africa.  The WSSF 2015, organized by the International Social Science Council, the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa, and the Human Sciences Research Council, brought together more than 900 researchers and practitioners and activists from 84 countries to address current global issues and future priorities for international social science - with a particular weight given to  issues of justice and inequalities. Most critically, there was a clear focus on the promotion of the research-policy-action nexus and the pathways to social justice by social movements, two core interests for the Asfari Institute.  AT THE WSSF, Rania Masri spoke about the challenges for collective action for both social movements and the academic-activist nexus. 
    Institute Associate Director has been invited by various civil society organizations in Cape Town to give a seminar on the relationships between US white supremacy and Zionism, and the solidarity bridges between Black Lives Matter and Palestinians.

  • Civil Society Regional Innovation Hubs? Morocco MENA regional workshop 8-10 September 2015

    Institute Director Fateh Azzam participated in a three-day consultation workshop in Rabat, Morocco organized by CIVICUS and Counterpart International in the context of the recently announced Civil Society Innovation Initiative, promoted by a consortium of donors that includes  the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). The workshop discussed the proposal of establishing in MENA and elsewhere regional civil society innovation hubs "that will connect CSOs to each other through peer-to-peer learning and tools to support their work and amplify the voice of civil society.” 
    Participants debated the concept, purpose and possible priorities of such a hub and agreed to the idea in principle. However, they noted that this should only be a beginning conversation that should continue before any decisions are made. Future discussions should include a more open agenda, and much broader representation of CSOs in the region, especially relying on the experience and expertise of broad networks of professional and grass roots CSOs. The Asfari Institute awaits more information on how this initiative will develop

  • "Syrian Young Leaders Program - SYLP" 

    Friedrich Ebert Foundation has announced the launch of its new program “Syrian Young Leaders Program-  SYLP" seeking to promote the participation of young Syrians in the political, economic and social life of their country by providing training to a selected group of young people who have the desire and ability to assume positions of responsibility in public and political life and thus contribute to addressing the problems and challenges facing their society.
    Attached is the call for applications as well as the application form.
    The deadline to receive applications has been extended to 26.06.2015. 

             أعلنت مؤسسة فريدريش إيبرت عن إطلاقها لبرنامج "قادة سوريا الشباب" والذي  يسعى إلى تعزيز مشاركة السوريين الشباب في الحياة السياسية والاقتصادية الاجتماعية لبلدهم عن طريق توفير التدريب لمجموعة مختارة من الشباب الذين لديهم الرغبة و القدرة على تولي مناصب المسؤولية في الحياة العامة والسياسية و بالتالي المساهمة في حل المشاكل و التحديات التي تواجه مجتمعهم.

    تجدون مرفقاً شرحاً عن طبيعة البرنامج و طلب المشاركة .

    موعد استلام الطلبات 26/6/ 2015 

     Click here for the Application

  • Mr. Fateh Azzam is quoted in about the "Palestinian Citizenship"
    نقاش قانوني حول أبعاد منح الجنسية الفلسطينية للاجئين 
  • Dr. Rania Masri was interviewed in the following article in Swedish. It is about resilience and how Lebanon is a country where people continue to face challenges and still find ways to cope and create solutions.

  • The Asfari institute's Dr. Rania Masri was the keynote speaker at the University of Philadelphia’s (Amman) 11th conference back in October 2014. The focus of the conference was on Arab woman.
    In this interview, Dr. Masri spoke about the role of academia in the pursuit of social justice and about feminism vs tokenism.
    The link for the talk itself is: (Audio and text)...…/women-war-and-resi…/

  • Arab Citizens Propose Alternative Development Strategies.
    Outcome document of Arab regional meeting on the post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
  • Asfari Institute Director Fateh Azzam article on Palestinian citizenship in Al Shabaka on May 05, 2015:
    A Bold Proposal: Palestine Should Give its Refugees Citizenship

  • Asfari Institute Director Fateh Azzam interviewed on Alaan TV on the occasion of International Women's Day, March 8
    (in Arabic). 

مقابلة مع فاتح عزام، مدير مركز الأصفري، على شاشة تلفزيون الآن "" بمناسبة اليوم العالمي للمرأة

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