Transnational Tides and the Future of the Arab City

A conference on urban sustainability

2 Oct 2009
4 Oct 2009

With the support of the Yale University Council on Middle East Studies and the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy at the American University of Beirut

"Transnational Tides and the Future of the Arab City." This interdisciplinary event encourages the exchange of cutting-edge expertise by environmental, cultural, business, political, design, and intellectual innovators, Yale alumni or otherwise.

Keynote address by Mr. Talal Shair, Vice Chairman and CEO, Dar Al-Handasah

Special address by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Nobel laureate and Director, Yale Climate and Energy Institute

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The Arab experience of globalization has resulted in the refashioning of Arab cities into unique spaces hosting transnational communities. These communities are distinguished not only by their demographic diversity but also by their extraordinary mobility. And despite the fluidity of these transnational communities, they are a fixture, at least for the foreseeable future.

The movements within the globalized Arab Middle East – of people, of capital, of ideas – can be understood as tide-like in their scale, force, and effect. Gesturing toward the historical dimension of these shifting patterns of migration and exchange, this conference explores how transnational leaders can use their mobility and resources to engage the new metropolitan network in the building of a sustainable, integrated regional future.

Conference program

Thursday 1 October

Top 21, Crowne Plaza Beirut

6:00pm: Registration
8.00pm: Welcome Reception

Friday 2 October

West Hall, American University of Beirut

8.00am: Late Registration

9.00am: Opening Ceremony
Ms. Léa Hakim, Conference Co-Chair, YAAA Representative in Lebanon
Mr. James A. Cohen, Assistant Secretary of the University for International Affairs, Yale University
Mr. Omar Christidis, Conference Strategist, YAAA Co-Founder
Dr. Peter Dorman, President, American University of Beirut H.E. Mrs. Bahia Hariri, Minister of Education and Higher Education H.E. Mr. Ziad Baroud, Minister of Interior and Municipalities

10.00am Welcome Coffee Break

10.30am: Panel 1: Urbanism
Mr. Todd Reisz, Office of Metropolitan Architecture/AMO, Co-author, Al Manakh
Mr. Akram Abu Hamdan, Director General, Mawared
Mr. Angus Gavin, Urban Development Division Head, Solidere
Mr. Sinan Hassan, Architect, Principal, Sinan Of Syria Architects (SOSA) Archiculture
Mr. Gregory Acker, Senior Planning Manager, Estidama

12.00am: Coffee Break

12.00pm: Panel 2: Infrastructure
Dr. Walid Fayad, Principal, Global Energy and Utilities Practice, Booz & Co.
Ms. Sandra Frem, MIT Department of Architecture
H.E. Dr. Bader Alsheraan, Minister of Electricity and Water, Kuwait
Dr. Abdel Malik Al Jaber, CEO, Zain Levant Region
Ms. Tabitha Decker, Yale University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Dubai School of Government
Dr. Saleh Jallad, Group Vice President, Consolidated Contractors Company

2.00pm: Lunch

3.30pm: Special video address
Ms. Jasmine Melvin-Koushki, Director of Content, YAAA Representative in Kuwait
Dr. Rajendra Pachauri, Director, Yale Climate and Energy Institute and Chairman, Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

3.45pm: Panel 3: Environment
Mr. Mohamad Chakaki, Aga Khan Scholar for Islamic Architecture, MIT
Mr. Brian Cullinane, Sustainability Leader for the Gulf Region, Arup
Mr. Khaled Awad, Director, Property Development Unit, Masdar
Dr. Weslynne Ashton, Lecturer and Program Director, Industrial Ecology in Developing Countries, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Science
Dr. Mey Jurdi, Chair, Environmental Health Program, American University of Beirut

5.30pm: End of First Day

8.30pm: Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Development Dinner
Khan El Franj, Saida
Hosted by H.E. Mrs. Bahia Hariri, Minister of Education and Higher Education

Saturday 3 October

West Hall, American University of Beirut

9.30am: Keynote address by Mr. Talal Shair Chairman and CEO, Dar Al-Handasah

10.00am: Coffee Break

10.30am: Panel 6: Culture
Dr. George Arbid, Associate Professor of Architecture, American University of Beirut
Ms. Karla Britton, Lecturer in the History of Architecture and Urbanism, Yale School of Architecture
Ms. Huda Smitshuijzen AbiFares, Founding Director, The Khatt Foundation, Center for Arabic Typography
Mr. Omar Al-Qattan, Filmmaker and Cultural Activist
Mr. Omar Rajeh, Founder, Beirut International Platform of Dance

12.00am: Coffee Break

12.30pm: Panel 5: Education
Dr. Marcia Inhorn, Chair, Council on Middle East Studies, Yale
Mr. Walid Gerard El Ghass, Chief Learning Officer, Hariri Foundation for Sustainable Human Development
Dr. Safwan Masri, Director, Columbia University Middle East Research Center
Ms. Liz Kepferle, Director of Admissions, School of Foreign Service in Qatar, Georgetown University
Mr. Mohamad Chakaki, Aga Khan Scholar for Islamic Architecture, MIT

2.00pm: Lunch

3.30pm: Panel 4: Entrepreneurship

Mr. Gilbert Doumit, Senior Partner, Beyond Consulting and Training, Yale World Fellow
Mr. Abdulsalam Haykal, CEO, Transtek and President, Syrian Young Entrepreneurs Association
Dr. Marcia Inhorn, Chair, Council on Middle East Studies, Yale University
Mr. Kamal Nasser, CEO, Conservus
Mr. Mohammad Meddah, Founder and Editor, startuparabia.com

5.00pm: Closing Ceremony

8.30pm: The Future of YAAA

10.00pm: Party with special performance by Mr. Omar Offendum Chakaki
Walimat Wardeh, Hamra

Sunday 4 October: Optional activities
*To be confirmed
**YAAA members only

Please visit conference.yalearabalumni.org for more information and a complete list of speakers. For general inquiries, please contact conference@yalearabalumni.org.