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Wilson Center’s Middle East Program Collaborates with Rudaw Research Center at Second Erbil Forum

Erbil, Iraq—The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program partnered with the Rudaw Research Center in Erbil, Iraq in the Second Erbil Forum 2023 whose theme “Turning Points and the Future of the Middle East” has focused on the geopolitical, economic, and social developments in the region.

MEP Chairman Ambassador Jim Jeffrey delivered a keynote address at the conference on the role of Turkey in the region and its foreign policy direction. The discussion is particularly timely given the momentous challenges Turkey is currently facing in the aftermath of two earthquakes that has left more than 50 thousand people killed and the unknown impact on its domestic politics and thus foreign policy direction.

MEP also co-hosted a panel on digital transformation in the MENA region moderated by Associate Alex Farley. The panel, which included Jordan’s former Minister of the Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship Mothanna Gharaibeh, President of the SEED Foundation Sherri Kraham Talabani, and Executive Director of the startup incubator and co-working space The Station Mustafa Dawood, highlighted the challenges and successful strategies for advancing inclusive digital transformation in the region.

Further, MEP Director Merissa Khurma moderated a discussion with Kurdistan Parliament’s speaker Dr. Rewaz Faiq Hussein on the importance of empowering women in Kurdistan and Iraq. The discussion highlighted Dr. Faiq’s personal journey and thoughts on the barriers that women face to participate in the political life of the country and how the law can be a powerful tool to change attitudes towards more women political participation.

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Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more