November 3, 2014, Cairo – The American University in Cairo (AUC) is hosting today, on Tahrir Square campus, a two-day conference on the launch of the “Arab Human Development in the 21st Century: The Primacy of Empowerment” report, organized by the AUC Forum . Ever since their publication in 2002, the series of Arab Human Development Reports prepared by independent Arab experts and published by the United Nations Program (UNDP) has had a huge impact on development thinking and analysis as well as many policy-making aspects. The present publication, originally prepared as the 10th anniversary volume of these UNDP series, is no exception.“Coming after the series of mass protests and political upheaval and on the eve of the UN assessment of the 15-year Millennium Development Goals, the 10 chapters of Arab Human Development in the 21st Century are bound to continue the same impact of preceding UNDP reports,” said Bahgat Korany, director of AUC Forum, professor of political science at AUC and the lead author of the report. “The conduct of this huge research project during the last four years and the launch conference of this English edition by AUC Forum (the Arabic edition was launched in Beirut in September), confirms AUC’s intellectual leadership nationally, regionally and internationally.”
Under the leadership of lead author Korany, eight authors from Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Tunisia and Yemen, face up to issues impacting development . The authors deal with issues as varied as the rule of law, influence of media, corruption, multi-dimensional poverty and education, environmental hazards and difficulties of daily life, conflict-management, and religious education.
Mahmoud El-Gamal, AUC Provost will give the opening speech of the conference that will be followed by a penal titled, “Decoding Arab (Mis)Development: Politics or Economics? And a second panel titled “An Unhappy Arab World? Some Symptoms/Indicators”. The second day will start with a panel on “The Way Out” on the rule of law, media transparency and a discussion of the chapter on corruption, followed by a panel titled, “More on the Way-Out: Reforming Religious Education and Reinforcing Identity” and final panel on the Arab Transitions, challenges and opportunities titled, “The Arab World: Where To?”
The authors of the report are Baqer El-Najjar, professor of sociology, University of Bahrain; Najoua Ghriss, professor of pedagogy, University of Tunisia; Louisa Ait-Dris-Hamdouche, assistant professor of political science, University of Algiers; Lina Khatib, director of Carnegie Middle East center in Beirut; Mustafa Khawaja, coordinator of the National Statistical Monitoring System, Palestine; Zeyad Makhamreh, associate professor of geography, University of Jordan; Mohamed Malki, professor of constitutional law and political science and director of the Laboratory of Political and Constitutional Studies, Morocco and Sabria El-Thawr, lecturer in the fields of international development and linguistics at Sana’a University.