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Understanding and Confronting Sectarianism

Beirut, 9 March 2017 – The Arab Reform Initiative organized a one-day conference to assess factors that led to the rise of sectarianism and articulate strategies to confront it and pave the way for a return to past sectarian diversity in the region.

Participants discussed the historical processes through which sectarianism emerged, whether it is a byproduct of authoritarianism and the failure of governance. How should political sectarianism be understood and can sectarianism be reconciled with citizenship? How is sectarianism linked to geopolitical conflicts in the region? What models can be used to put an end to it and go back to past sectarian diversity and the values of coexistence?


9:00 - 9:30 | Opening Session:
Welcoming and explaining the objectives of the meeting and the next conference
Speakers: Bassma Kodmani - Hassan Abbas

9:30 11:30 | The First Session: Democracy and Sectarianism
Speakers: Mia Rahbi - Ahmad Beydoun
Moderator: Bassma Kodmani

11:30 - 12:00 | Coffee break

12:00 - 14:00 | Second Session: Political Sectarianism
Speakers: Luqman Salim - Kheder Khaddour
Moderator: Salam Kawakibi

Lunch Break

15:00 - 17:00 | Third Session: Geopolitical Communities
Speakers: Mazen Azi - Isam Al-Khafaji
Moderator: Hassan Abbas

17:00 - 17:30 | Closing Session
Syrian Association of Citizenship