Project Description

As part of the MENARA project, the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs at the American University of Beirut (IFI – AUB) organized a focus group in Beirut (Lebanon) on 2 November 2018 with twelve scholars, experts, civil society leaders and activists from Lebanon and the Arab Middle East. It should be noted that some invited participants from the Gulf region could not ultimately attend due to limitations and political constraints. Still, Beirut serves as a regional hub for many (international and regional) NGOs as well as UN agencies, and as such regional discussions were plentiful along with detailed focus on Lebanon and its neighbourhood. The discussions were linked to the general aims of the MENARA project – characterizing the regional order, defining scenarios and discussing policy options for the EU – and was initially (informally) structured in four parts (though participants themselves were allowed to take the discussion in directions that made sense to them):

1. Regional rivalries and new regional order;

2. State–society dynamics;

3. The role of the EU and other external actors;

4. Future scenarios

 

Read the full MENARA Focus Group Report