Seminar on Promoting Liberal Values: Protecting the Freedom of Expression in the Arab World

Seminar on Promoting Liberal Values: Protecting the Freedom of Expression in the Arab World

Beirut, Lebanon August 30 - September 1, 2018

Arab Youth Union for Freedom and Democracy (AYUFD) has held aseminar on Promoting Liberal Values: Protecting the Freedom of Expression in the Arab World in Cooperation with Future Movement and Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF) in Beirut (Lebanon) from August 30 to September 01, 2018.

The seminar aimed to:

  • Develop the participants' skills in writing liberal position papers and prepare a position paper on " Counter Strategies for Promoting Free Thought in Social Media in the Arab World"
  • Participants identify and appreciate the individual and public freedoms as the most important liberal principle and know about their impact on the progress of the societies
  • Participants agree on the misconceptions of liberal values ​​in the Arab context and suggest solutions for change
  • Participants share experiences on the protection of freedoms and the rule of law in their countries

   

The workshop began on Friday 31 August 2018 with welcoming words from:

  • Dr. Iyad Ishtaya, President AYUFD
  • Ahmad Al Rachwani, President IFLRY
  • Dr . Tariq al-Marabi, Member in the Lebanese parliament, Future Movement
  • Dirk Kunze, Head of FNF Beirut Office

The first session was on Digital Rights, Legal Spaces and Limitations for the Civic Discourse in Social Media of our Countries were divided into three workshops:

  1. Workshop with Khuloud Al Khatib, President of the Lebanese Foundation for Unity and Defense of Equal Rights, discussed:
    • The development of the media and cyber crime laws in the Arab world
    • Case Studies for Digital Rights Violation
  2. Workshop with Obaid Qataya, Social Media Exchange (SMEX) discussed:
    •  Technical Surveillance, Censorship, Sanctions andStrategies against Social Media Activism and Campaigning
  3. Workshop with Lea Prodi, Director of Marsh Association discussed:
    • Identify general concepts of freedom of expression
    • Identify types of violations against freedom of expression in the Arab world
    • Discover ways to fight censorship

       

The second session was on elaborating a Liberal Position Paper on Defining a Cause, Organize, Advocate, Create Content – Counter Strategies for Promoting Free Thought in Social Media during which a presentation and workshop was presented by Ahmed Rashwani, president IFLRY.

By the end of the first day, the Friedrich Naumann Foundation Lebanon and Syria organized an event on entrepreneurs stories of failure.

The second day of the seminar began on Saturday, September 1, 2018, with a visit to Future TV during which Fact Finding about “Freedom of Expression” was discussed followed by 2 workshops on:

  1. The Liberal Thought – The Relation between Freedom, Responsibility and Power by Mohamed Farid, Researcher
  2. Elaborating a Liberal Position Paper onLiberal Values in the Arab Context – Misconceptions, Main Challenges and Solutions for Change by Iyad Ishtaya, President AYUFD

          

The events ended with an evaluation of the seminar and a presentation by Ahmed El Sayed, Executive Director ALF on the preparation for the upcoming seminar of ALF & AYUFD in Tunisia and the developed policy paper on the cooperation between MENA and Europe in the field of education and development.