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Press Release / February 14 2019

Doha Debates Announces Speakers for Debut of Unique Live Debate Series

Press release, February 14, 2019

The relaunched and expanded Doha Debates today announced a diverse and exciting lineup of speakers for its first live event, a debate on the world’s urgent and worsening refugee crisis, that will take place on February 26.

The debut of the Doha Debates series will examine how best to solve the global refugee crisis, which has led to more than 25 million people being forcibly displaced across borders.

The program, hosted at Northwestern University in Qatar, will be livestreamed on Twitter and distributed through other digital outlets after the show. The majority of the debate’s in-person attendees will be students from universities at Qatar’s Education City, with the audience — including those participating digitally — playing an active role in shaping the debate and solutions.

Building on the tradition established by Doha Debates since its original launch 14 years ago, the initiative’s new concept features live debates, digital videos, a TV series, blogs and podcasts on the world’s most pressing challenges. This innovative approach includes Majlis-style discussions that are designed to bridge differences, build consensus and identify solutions to global issues. Doha Debates is a production of Qatar Foundation.

Amjad Atallah, managing director of Doha Debates, emphasized the urgent need to address the global refugee crisis and explained the goals of the debate’s participants, saying: “With more refugees than ever worldwide, we need answers on how best to deal with this crisis. As this live program will show, in a world of increasingly vitriolic arguments, Doha Debates will stand out as a global platform for solution-focused dialogue. This edition of Doha Debates brings together an extraordinary combination of perspectives — refugee, nationalist, internationalist — with a shared goal: agreeing on ways to end this refugee emergency.”

The debate’s participants:

Muzoon Almellehan: Syrian refugee and education activist. Muzoon is working to empower and advocate for refugees, especially girls, and their access to the education they deserve.

Marc Lamont Hill: American professor of Media, Cities and Solutions at Temple University. An activist and award-winning journalist, Marc was until recently a commentator at CNN. He is the author or co-author of four books, including a New York Times bestseller.

Douglas Murray: British author, award-winning journalist and political commentator. Douglas’ latest book, The Strange Death of Europe: Immigration, Identity, Islam, was a No. 1 bestseller in nonfiction. It has subsequently been published in more than 20 languages worldwide.

Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini: Serving as the debate’s bridge-building connector, Sanam is the founder and executive director of International Civil Society Action Network, working to prevent violent extremism by promoting peace, rights and pluralism worldwide. She is an adjunct professor at Georgetown University.

International journalist Ghida Fakhry will moderate the first season’s debates. Nelufar Hedayat, an Afghan refugee, international journalist and documentary maker, is the digital host for the debate livestreams.

The new Doha Debates will reach and engage people around the world through a variety of distribution platforms. Doha Debates’ strategic partners include TED, Fortify Rights, Storytegic and Shared_Studios, with its creative contributors including 2017 Oscar nominee Daphne Matziaraki and 2003 Sundance Best Documentary Director and Audience Award winner Jonathan Karsh, whose company is developing a TV program around the core principles of Doha Debates.

Watch the livestream exclusively on Twitter @DohaDebates at 6 p.m. Qatar time, GMT +3 hours, EST +8 hours.

Join the conversation using the hashtag #DearWorld.


Media Contact:

Sumi Alkebsi

Communications Officer

Phone: +1 202-609-7916

Email: [email protected]