Hiwar: An MDC Forum for Intra-Regional Dialogue


This virtual forum brings together MDC researchers and members of civil society, academia, and government from throughout the Middle East and Africa to discuss important contemporary political, social, economic, and cultural issues in historical perspective. The forum works in the spirit of the Chatham House Rule in order to encourage an open discussion and frank exchange of ideas. The purpose of these discussions is to build interpersonal relationships and to increase our knowledge by introducing a diversity of perspectives that challenge our assumptions on a given issue.

Participation in these fora is by invitation only and advanced registration. We will publish short reports following each event that summarize the substance of these discussions.

For more information, please contact dayancen@tauex.tau.ac.il.

Past Hiwar Events:

"Arab Perspectives on the Deal of the Century" - July 19, 2020

Moderator: Prof. Uzi Rabi, Director, Moshe Dayan Center.

Speaker: Pierre Akel, Co-Founder of METransparent.

Respondent: Dr. Brandon Friedman, Director of Research, Moshe Dayan Center.

"Expanding the Peace with Israel, Opportunities and Obstacles: The Cases of Algeria and Sudan" - September 10, 2020

Moderator: Joseph Braude, Founder and President of the Center for Peace Communications.


Isma’il Sayyid Ahmad, Head of Khartoum Office of The Independent’s Arabic Edition, Sudan.

Sami Baziz, Correspondent, Dzair TV and Al-Hayat TV, Algeria.

Respondent: Dr. Brandon Friedman, Director of Research, Moshe Dayan Center.

"Syria After the Arab Spring: War, Identity, and Generational Change" - October 28, 2020

Moderator: Dr. Nir Boms, Co-Chairman, Gulf Israeli Policy Forum, Moshe Dayan Center.


 Ahed al-Hendi, Project Manager, Heracles Group, Former Political Prisoner in Syria and Human Rights Activist.

Shadi Martini, Executive Director of Humanitarian Relief and Regional Relations, Multifaith Alliance for Syrian Refugees.

"The Kurds in a Changing Middle East" - December 1, 2020

Moderator: Dr. Brandon Friedman, Director of Research, Moshe Dayan Center.


Hejar Berenji, Chief Technical Officer at Rudaw Media Network.

Sirwan Kajjo, journalist and researcher on Kurdish politics and the Middle East.

Parwez Rahim Qader, lecturer of political science at Salahaddin University in Erbil.

Arzu Yilmaz, visiting lecturer in international relations at the University of Kurdistan Hewler.

"Writing the Next Chapter of the Abraham Accords – Challenges and Opportunities" - February 22, 2021

Moderator: Dr. Nir Boms, Co-Chairman, Gulf Israeli Policy Forum, Moshe Dayan Center.


Mohammed Baharoon, Director, Dubai Public Policy Research Center (b'huth).

Dr. Driss Bouyahya, Associate Professor, Moulay Ismail University, Mekens.

 Ahdeya Ahmed Al-Sayed, President of the Bahraini Journalists Association.

"Ahead of the 24th Knesset Elections: Palestinian-Arab Society in Israel at a Crossroads" - March 15, 2021

Moderator: Dr. Arik Rudnitzky, Project Manager of the Moshe Dayan Center’s Konrad Adenauer Program for Jewish-Arab Cooperation.


Prof. Elie Rekhess, (Northwestern University) Crown Visiting Professor, Israel Studies.

Ms. Reem Hazzan, (Political activist) Member of the Hadash Arab-Jewish political party.

Dr. Ahmad Agbaria, (Tel Aviv University) Postdoctoral fellow at the School of Historical Studies.

"Social Contracts, Sovereignty, and Stability in the Middle East: Post Arab Spring Perspectives" - May 3, 2021

Moderator: Dr. Sarah J. Feuer, Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies, and the Rosenbloom Family Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.


Najat Al Saied (UAE), Columnist in Al Ittihad, Al Hurra and Israel Hayom.

Khaldoon Bakhail (Yemen), Co-Founder of Red Sea Analytics International (RSAI).

Ahmed Alkuzaie (Bahrain), Political Consultant, Managing Partner of DC based Political Consultancy Firm ‘Khuzaie Associates LLC’.

Yaroup Ajlouni (Jordan), Physician, Humanitarian Activist, President of Jordan Health Aid Society.

"The Israeli-Palestinian Puzzle: Religion, Nationalism, and Sacred Spaces" - June 8, 2021

Moderator: Dr. Ilham Shahbari, Neubauer Research Fellow at the Institute for National Security Studies.


Dr. Ebtesam Al Ketbi (UAE), President and Founder of the Emirates Policy Center.

Dr. David Koren (West Jerusalem), Director of the Five Years Strategic Plan for Education in East Jerusalem at the Ministry of Education.

Dr. Rami Nasrallah (East Jerusalem), Head of the International Peace and Cooperation Center in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Elhanan Miller (West Jerusalem), Researcher of Palestinian politics at the Forum for Regional Thinking.