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Newsletter No.7 - April 2011
Issue No.7 | April 2011 

Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making / Urbanism:
Beirut's only park is closed

  IFI's Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making (RAPP) program releases a policy memo, "Partisan urban governance restricts access to public space", which addresses the need for transforming Beirut’s isolated public places into centers for daily social practice, including Beirut’s urban park, Horsh Al-Sanawbar, and its management, security, and promotion.

  At an IFI-hosted event entitled At the Edge of the City,” book editor, urban planner and author of the memo Fadi Shayya discussed his project of the same title with a panel of AUB professors. Shayya’s work critically examines the “discourse on public space and urban governance in Beirut” through historical accounts and analyses on citizenship, social practices, activism, and the environment. Calling for an alternative dialogue to the current treatment of public spaces in Beirut, Shayya exposes and challenges current policies facing Beirut's park, from partisan politics to aesthetics.

Research, Advocacy and Public Policy:
Director’s Policy Forum

  IFI's RAPP program launches the Director’s Policy Forum, a series of lectures focusing on Policy Research Institutes (PRIs) and their role in policy-making in the Middle East, as examined by their directors. According to IFI Director Rami Khouri, “[Learning] how PRIs see their role, see their impact, and see their priorities in society” is the main aim of the series.

  Dean of the Dubai School of Government and IFI Non-resident Senior Public Policy Scholar Dr. Tarik Yousef presented at the Forum’s inaugural event and addressed the vulnerabilities Dubai harbored in the wake of the latest economic crisis, citing a lack of natural resources and young government institutions as major factors. “Dubai was probably ground-zero for where the global financial crisis hit the Arab world,” he said.

  Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) and Interim Dean of the School of Foreign Service of Georgetown University in Qatar, discussed CIRS and its operations in the second lecture of the series. Kamrava reinforced self-reflection within a PRI and explored the Center’s guiding principle of carving out a “distinct niche” in Gulf research.

Research in Focus

RAPP: Consortium of Arab Policy Research Institutes (CAPRI)

  CAPRI is IFI’s latest public policy initiative that focuses on bringing together Arab think tanks and PRIs to assess and enhance the use of research in public policy-making. This initiative was developed in response to the lack of effective research conducted on Arab PRIs’ influence on policy-making in the region. CAPRI also plans to soon expand research past the Arab world into Iran and Turkey. CAPRI will eventually explore how global policies may be influenced by interactions between the Middle East and IFI's colleagues in Europe, North America, and various other regions.

Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making / Urbanism

"At the Edge of the City:
Re-inhabiting Public Space toward the Recovery of Beirut’s Horsh Al-Sanawbar"

A panel discussion for the book release of At the Edge of the City with Jala Makhzoumi, Professor, Department of Landscape Design and Ecosystem Management, AUB, Samir Khalaf, Professor, Department of Social & Behavioral Sciences, AUB, George Arbid, Associate Professor, Department of Architecture & Design, AUB, and book editor Fadi Shayya, urban planner and architect.

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Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making

"Dubai and the Dubai School of Government after the economic crisis: What we have learned, how we are responding"

Inaugural lecture by Tarik Yousef, Dean of the Dubai School of Government and IFI Non-resident Senior Public Policy Scholar.

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Research, Advocacy and Public Policy-making

"Researching the Gulf:
Thinking Outside the Box in Qatar"

A roundtable discussion with Mehran Kamrava, Director of the Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS), School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University in Qatar.

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