THE ISSAM FARES INSTITUTE FOR PUBLIC POLICY AND INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
In collaboration with the Department of Philosophy at the American University of Beirut, IFI held a talk on July 26 with Loubna El Amine, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University titled “Thinking Beyond the Modern (Western) State.” El Amine reimagines the frameworks of non-Western states by looking back at the histories of two ancient Eastern empires, suggesting that if political theorists “think beyond” the Western state, unrestricted ideals and aspirations would be tapped into.
IFI’s Climate Change and Environment Program (CC&E), in collaboration with the Water Sanitation and Conservation (WSC) project, funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), organized a refresher course on Water Safety Plans for regional water establishments in Lebanon on July 5-6, 2023. The two-day event gathered 26 participants from the Litani River Authority and Lebanon’s four Regional Water Establishments (Beirut and Mount Lebanon, Beqaa, North Lebanon, and South Lebanon), who were trained on the development of water safety plans for their respective establishments. The training’s main focus is to help the water establishments improve their planning capabilities and the management of their systems in a way that ensures a safe delivery of water to beneficiaries.
IFI in collaboration with the London School of Economics (LSE) Middle East Centre held a workshop and interactive discussion titled “Lebanon Unsettled: The October 2019 Uprising as a Product of Urban Space” on July 3, 2023. The panel was composed of LSE Visiting Fellow in Human Geography and Environment Deen Sharp, Visiting Associate Professor in the Faculty of Architecture and Design Lebanese American University May Farhat, Landscape Architect and Urbanist Sarah Lilly Yassine, Policy Advisor, Writer and IFI Associate Fellow Camille Ammoun, who also acted as moderator. Professor of Politics and Urban Studies at the American University of Beirut Mona Harb participated as the discussant. The workshop presented the Lebanon Unsettled project, led by Deen Sharp and Dr. May Farhat that created a USEK student-led archive of the October 2019 uprising, placing this moment in its geographical and historical context.
IFI, in collaboration with the Bobst-AUB Collaborative Initiative, held a discussion titled “Democracy for Realists” on June 27. The event featured co-author of Democracy for Realists Professor of Politics Emeritus at Princeton University Christopher Achen, with Research Development Manager at IFI and Instructor of Sociology Rima Rassi as a discussant.
IFI and International Alert held a panel discussion titled “Strengthening Social Stability in and through Education” on June 22. The first panel titled “The need to work on social stability in and through education” featured Rasha Halat, Assistant Professor at the Lebanese University and consultant at International Alert, and Cory Rodgers, Anthropologist at the University of Oxford. The second panel titled "How to work on social stability through education” included Caline Saad, from International Alert, Elio Gharios, Director of Basmeh and Zeitooneh, as well as Ismahan Farhat, UNICEF Lebanon Child Protection Specialist.
IFI, in collaboration with the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, held a webinar on “Refugees in the Middle East: Navigating an Uncertain Future” on June 21. The panel included Mideast policy analyst and director of the Middle East Program at the Wilson Center Merissa Khurma, ME Council Affiliate and Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution Reva Dhingra, and Chair of the IDRC Forced Displacement Program for the Middle East and IFI University Fellow Fouad Fouad. The event was moderated by ME Council Director of the Governance and Development Program Nader Kabbani.