American Univesity of Beirut



The Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship will serve as the regional hub of a dynamic community of academics, practitioners, policymakers, and members of the general public interested in exploring traditional and innovative forms of associational life and in advancing realistic solutions to the obstacles to effective civil society and citizenship in the Arab world. The Institute will encourage evidence-based research; disseminate research findings and policy/practice recommendations; provide education and training for active citizenship and effective civil society; promote awareness of civil society and civic engagement in the region; and stimulate fruitful dialogue among the region’s varied publics.

In the conduct of its mission, the Institute will:
• Support freedom of thought and expression;
• Provide a neutral space for dialogue;
• Foster tolerance and respect for the diversity of Arab cultures and perspectives;
• Seek to interpret civil society and citizenship broadly and inclusively; and
• Remain responsive to emerging needs and trends.


Through its research, education, and activities, the Institute will support the development of an informed and engaged citizenry and of increased openness, transparency, and accountability at all levels of Arab associational life.

International Advisory Committee

The Advisory Group is chaired by the AUB Provost, and is composed of the Institute’s director, external experts and two representatives of the Asfari Foundation. The Advisory Group’s mandate includes providing advice and feedback on the Institute’s mission and short- and long-term programming. Its membership is currently in formation and the following four are confirmed.

International Advisory Committee Members
Lina Choue​iri -  Interim Provost, AUB
Saba Almubaslat - Chief Executive Officer, The Asfari Foundation
Tamara Alrifai - United Nations
Sami Ben Gharbia - Nawaat
Nadia El Cheikh - American University of Beirut
Hoda ElSadda - Cairo University
Bassam Haddad - George Mason University
Islah Jad - Birzeit University
Baroness Helena Kennedy, QC - House of Lords
Asma Khadr - Jordanian National Commission for Women
Joseph Bahout ​- Issam Fares Institute, AUB
Mouin Rabbani - Institute for Palestine Studies
Maha Yahya - Carnegie Middle East Center

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