HIA Netherlands Debates European Impact of Arab Change
On April 28th, the HIA Netherlands office hosted a public event entitled “Arabic Change, European Shift: The impact of the Arabic revolution on European policy and the European community.” The response was extremely positive - 128 people packed into the auditorium at de Balie to hear two panels moderated by playwright and radio host Pieter Hilhorst. In the first panel, experts from all over Europe debated how policies in Europe can better nurture and help breed democratic element in this region. The participants represented a wide range of European identities and Arabic scholars. The first panel included Rouba Al Fattal (Canadian-Syrian scholar working in Belgium), Atef Hamdy (migration and extremism expert at the Clingendael Institute), Alexander Weissink (writer and journalist who lived for many years in Egypt), and Marietje Schaake (EP D66, Netherlands and HIA Senior Fellow). HIA Program Assistant Veysel Yuce pointed out how powerful it was to have a politician present. “The other speakers and the audience had the feeling that some one in power was really listening and was in a position to do something.“
For the second panel, El Yamin Soum (French-Algerian sociologist), Nadia Bouras (PhD student in Moroccan migration history at Leiden University), and Mostafa Hilali (Major in the Dutch Army and member of the Jewish Moroccan network and Trans-Atlantic commission) discussed the impact of the Arabic Revolution on Arabic-European and Muslim-European communities. As the panel spoke, it became clear that a positive image of the homeland betters the position of Arabic-Europeans.
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