With the announcement of the Abraham Accords in August 2020, the program for regional cooperation was established at the Dayan center to promote normalization through the corridors of Academia. The program aims to create academic collaborations between Israel and the GCC and to foster academic relations between relevant institutions through joint conferences, shared publications and exchange of academic content. The program also strives to facilitate research collaboration between scholars to create and share solutions to regional development challenges.
Although it focuses on academic collaboration, the program seeks to encourage a more open dialogue within the Middle East and with its partners. For that purpose, we established "Hiwar" as a platform for open discussion and exchange of ideas. "Hiwar" is a virtual forum which brings together MDC researchers and members of civil society, academia, and government from the region to discuss important contemporary political, social, economic, and cultural issues using a historical perspective. These discussions aim build interpersonal relationships and to increase our knowledge by introducing a diversity of perspectives that challenge our assumptions on a given issue.
The program also takes an active part in the Gulf-Israel Policy Forum which was established as a joint venture with the UAE-Israel Business Council. The Policy Forum serves as a central hub for networking, consultation and collaboration between leading scholars, policy makers and practitioners from Israel and the Gulf, and includes members of leading think tanks and universities from Israel, the UAE, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia. The forum is also well connected to a leading media outlet in Israel and the Arab Gulf and it serves as a resource for knowledge about the Gulf countries in Israel and knowledge about Israel in the Gulf countries, both for the policy community and the media. More information about the forum can be found here.