*Concepts and Objectives

It is essentially important to say that the Arab countries and societies are facing a very complicated and hard transitional phase, on one hand according the periodical reports of human developments which demonstrated the falling back status that occupied the region comparatively with the other parts of the world, on the other hand the reforming process in some of these countries is suffering from very hard obstacles despite the progress has been registered recently. The other significant point is referring to the flaring dialogue eructed among different political elites on the conceptions of reforming, quiddties, tools and objectives.
The questions that negotiate the reforming and challenges are still being considered a dominant subjects which ruled the political and intellectual movement in the Arab world and there is slight harmony between the views and the conceptions that referred pretty much to this issue such as the relation between the reforming process and its tracks as well as the regional conflicts especially the Arab-Israeli conflict, on the other side also the dialogue about the external and internal pressures on the reforming process and the role of cultural inheritance and Islam from the point of  intellectuality ,movements and organizations which are playing a major role in the reforming process additionally the transforming in the Arab world ,the role of civil society and its different foundations and the prominent role of violent and terrorist movements in crippling the reforming routes.
No doubt that during the last three years the Arab region have witnessed several reforming initiatives came from miscellaneous parties, international, regional, official and public which reflects the great progress have been demonstrated to reforming terms on the Arab’s agenda, but for profoundly viewer who shall see that the progress have been accomplished was insignificant, especially when it comes to official’s speech that doesn’t exceed the literal type with out being paired by practical steps and procedures which shall make the reforming process a visualized reality in the Arab social ,economic ,political economic and cultural life where it could be so beneficial  and enjoyed its merits by vast categories and sectors of the people in the region especially those who were marginalized as women and youth.     
From this point of view, Al-Quds Center for Political Studies and Konrad Adenauer foundation are launching an initiative which will construct on the efforts and experiments have been conducted in this context by the Arab societies during the last years, which also designed to deepen the dialogue about the reforming issues and challenges as well as to provide the common understanding which is deep and accurate to these issues and challenges and bring special focus on the substantial issues of the reforming.
This initiative is looking forward to form “The Arab Network for Reform and challenge” which shall work on institutionalizing and continuity of this dialogue through keeping on periodical meetings and conferences that are going to be organized by the “Net”or through the activation of direct dialogue means such as internet, emails and distributing fliers, studies, documents, experiences and diverse activities of the members of the “Net”
This initiative is looking to transform this” Net”into “Safety and Solidarity Net”where members can exchange the support and backing up all over the Arab countries, they are also looking for publicizing reforming dogma and do their best to circulate the cultures and values of democracy, the basis of plurality and the respect of human rights.

* Conference Program

First Day
December 8, 2005 
09.30 – 10:00  Registration

10:00 – 11:00  Opening Session

Oraib Al-Rantawi
Al-Quds Center for Political Studies
Amman, Jordan 
Dr. Hardy Ostry
Regional Resident Representative
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Amman Office
Amman, Jordan
Keynote speeches “The Barcelona-Process – Ten Years of European Assistance Towards Peace, Stability and Freedom in the Mediterranean”
H.E. Dr. Ralf Brauksiepe
Member of  the German Bundestag, Speaker of the CDU/CSU-Parliamentary Group for Development Cooperation
Berlin, Germany
H.E. Dr. Sabri Rbeihat
Minister of Political Development and Parliamentary Affairs
Amman, Jordan
11:00 – 11:30  Coffee Break

First Session
11:30 – 13.00  Political Reforms: Concept and Chances for a Joint Vision 
Chairperson: Dr. Zeyad Abu Amr

“Controversy of the Arab Particularity between Illusion and Entitlement”
Dr. Ibrahim Badran
Deputy President of Philadelphia University
Amman, Jordan
“The Arab World and the Challenges of Change and Reform” 
Dr. George Ishak
Coordinator of the Egyptian Movement for Change
Cairo, Egypt
“Joint Vision of Arab Reformists – Challenges and Possibilities”
Dr. Haider Ibrahim Ali Mohamed
Director of  Sudanese Studies Center
Khartum, Sudan

13.00 – 15.00  Lunch Break


Second Session
15.00 – 17.00  Arab Reform Initiatives: Accomplishments and Failures
Chairperson: Dr. Suffian Al-Issa

“US Support for Arab Reform Initiatives – the Case of Jordan”
Mr. Christopher J. Scott
Democracy Team Leader, USAID – JORDAN
Amman, Jordan
“European Reform Initiatives – A Comparative Review”
Dr. Mohammad Al-Momani

Professor on Political Science, Yarmouk University
Irbid, Jordan
“Arab Reform Initiatives: Accomplishments and Failures in the Gulf Cooperation Council – the Case of Bahrain”
Mr. Abdulrahman M. Al-Noaimi
Chairman National Center for Studies
Manama, Bahrain


Second Day
December 9, 2005 
Third Session
09.30 – 11.30  Reforms and Internal and External Controversies
Chairperson: Dr. Hasan Makkei

“European Approaches to Arab Reforms”
Mr. Thomas Schiller
Spokesman for European Affairs
CDU/CSU Parliamentary Group in the Deutsche Bundestag
Berlin, Germany
“Reform between Implicit and Deferred Will”
Dr. Fouad Ali Ibrahim
Writer/ Gulf Issues
Saudi Arabia
“Political Reform: Internal and External Duality”
Mr. Akram Al-Bunni 
Freelance writer for Al-Nahar, Al-Hayat, Al-Ghad dailies, and Aljazeera.net
Damascus, Syria 
11.30 – 12.00  Coffee Break

Fourth Session
12.00 – 14.00  Political Islam and Reform

Chairperson: Dr. Hasan Nafaa

“The Prophet’s Political Leadership and the Nature of Political Practice in Islam”
Dr. Sa’ed Addeen Al-Othmani
Secretary General of Justice and Development Party
Rabat, Morocco
“Reform Terminology in the Islamic Shiite Stream”
Mr. Ghanem Jawad
Al-Khawe’ei Foundation
London, United Kingdom 
“Islamists and Democracy”
Mr. Abdelaziz Al-Khamis
Sociology Professor
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
“Democracy and the Authority of Religious Provision”
Dr. Mohammad Habash
Member of the Syrian People Parliament
Damascus, Syria
14.00 – 16.00  Lunch Break

Fifth Session
16.00 – 18.00  Reform and Regional Conflicts in the Arab Region
Chairperson: Dr. Abdelaal Al-Razaqi

“Reform and Regional Conflicts – the Case of Jordan”
H.E. Dr. Mohammad Halaiqa
Senator, Former Minister of National Economy
and Minister of State
Amman, Jordan 
“Reform and Regional Conflicts  – the Case of Iraq”
H.E. Dr. Bakhtiar Amin 
Former Human Rights Minister
Baghdad, Iraq


Third Day
December 10, 2005 
Sixth Session
10.00 – 12.00  Role of Civil Society in the Reform and Democratization Process
Chairperson: Thomas Birringer

“Role of Civil Society in the Reform Process”
Mrs.Nafisa Lahrache
President Association Femmes en Communication
Alger, Algeria
“Reform in the Arab World – Women’s Perspectives”
Dr. Badria Al-Awadi
Executive Director  Arab Regional Center for Environmental Law
Kuwait, Kuwait 
“The Role of Civil Society (NGOs) in the Arab Reform Process”
Kamel Ben Younes
BBC Correspondent/Editor, Assabah Daily,
Professor at Tunis University
Tunis, Tunisia
12.00 – 12.30  Coffee Break

Seventh Session
12.30 – 14.30 Mechanisms of Activating and Developing the Reform
Process in the Arab World
Chairperson: Mr. Oraib Al Rantawi
Importance of Establishing an Interactive Arab Network and Website to Follow-up on Reforms 

A Proposal Presented by Al-Quds Center for Political Studies and Konrad Adenauer Foundation

Presentation of Networking Models & Mechanisms

Recommendations and Final Declaration
  –  Discussion & Amendments
14.30 – 16.30  Lunch
18:00 – 20:00 Closing Ceremony

Presentation of Results & Recommendations

Followed by


* Final Report

* Recommendations

* Photo Gallery