Refugees and Social Cohesion: How to Reduce Tensions in Lebanon​


Conference hosted by the American University of Beirut (AUB)
Organized by AUB's Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs and the Embassy of Canada to Lebanon 

Date: ​November 23​, 2017
Location: Issam Fares Institute Auditorium – AUB (Green Oval) 


The aim of the conference is to discuss:

  1. Factors of radicalization and the responses of the Lebanese and the Canadian governments in that respect;
  2. The question of refugees in Lebanon and the anti-Syrian sentiment as a factor of radicalization;
  3. Impacts of programming designed to counter radicalization and improve social cohesion in Lebanon.
This conference will also encourage fruitful exchanges on this global issue and foster cooperation between academics, policy-makers and NGOs. 


Conference Agenda

​9:30 - 10:00
​10:00 - 10:15
​Inaugural Session

H.E. Dr. Tarek Mitri, Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs 
Lebanese Attitudes towards Syrian Refugees: Ethical Considerations

H.E. Ms. Emmanuelle Lamoureux, Ambassador of Canada to Lebanon 
Tolerance, Openness and Inclusion Make the Specificity of the Canadian Narrative

H.E. Mr. Mouin Merheby, Minister of State for Displaced Affairs 
Refugees and Human Rights

​10:15 - 11:45
​First Session
Radicalization and Deradicalization

Moderator: Ms. Diana Moukalled, Journalist

Dr. Jocelyn Belanger, Assistant Professor, New York University, Abu Dhabi & Canadian expert on radicalization 
Thrilled to Pieces: On the Role of Sensation Seeking in Political Violence

Dr. Maha Yahya, Director of Carnegie Middle East 
Radicalization Factors in Lebanon

Dr. Khalil Gebara, Advisor to the Minister of Interior 
The Lebanese Government Response

Video Presentation by Ms. Ritu Banerjee, Senior Director, Canada Centre for Community Engagement and Prevention of Violence 
Overview of Canada’s Domestic Efforts to Counter Radicalization to Violence​

​11:45 - 12:00
​ Coffee Break
12:00 - 13:30​​Second Session
The Situation of Refugees in Lebanon

Moderator: Mr. Thaer Ghandour, Journalist

Dr. Jihan Rabah, Director of Research and Analysis, eConcordia, Co-principal Project SOMEONE, and Member of the UNESCO Global Chair on Prevention of Radicalization and Violent Extremism 
Building Counter-narratives to Violent Extremism and Radicalization in Canada: Possibilities and Challenges

Ms. Mireille Girard, UNHCR Country Representative 
Refugees in Lebanon - Facts and Figures

Dr. Nasser Yassin, Director of Research, Issam Fares Institute 
Countering the Xenophobic Narrative through Data Journalism

Dr. Ziad El-Sayegh, Expert on Public Policies and Refugees & Senior National Policy Advisor to the Ministry of State for Displaced Affairs 
Refugees and Human Rights​

​13:30 - 14:30
​14:30 - 16:00
​Third Session
Promoting Social Inclusion through Active Programming - A Canadian Contribution

Moderator:Mr. George Ghali, Executive Director, Act for Human Rights (ALEF)

Ms. Elisa Dari, Lebanon Country Director, Search for Common Ground (SFCG) 
Inclusive and Participatory Governance in the Municipalities of Wadi Khaled, Northern Lebanon

Mr. Fadi Abilmona, Programme Manager, UNDP - Crisis Prevention & Recovery (CPR) Programme 
Locally-based Approach for Justice and Security Interventions

Dr. Rami Lakkis, Founder and General Manager, LOST - The Lebanese Organization for Studies and Training 
Engaging Syrian and Lebanese Women in Social Stability in the Bekaa

Ms. Renée Sabbagh, National Programme Officer, UNODC Lebanon 
UNODC’s Intervention in Lebanese Prisons

Mr. Nizar El Laz, Project Manager, The Stabilisation Network (TSN) 
Empowering Youth in Tripoli, Saida and Central Bekaa to Counter Violent Extremism