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The Struggle for Academic Freedom: Perspectives from the Arab World

  • Dag Hammarskjold Lounge (7th Floor) International Affairs Building, Columbia University (map)

Followed by a reception: Five scholars from the region
Cosponsored by Human Rights Watch


  • Mohamed Bechri, University of Sousse, Tunisia

  • Daho Djerbal, Editor of Naqd Quarterly, Algiers

  • Hoda Elsadda, Cairo University

  • Munira Fakhroo, University of Bahrain

  • Salim Tamari, Institute for Palestine Studies, Jerusalem

Chaired by:

  • Joseph Stork, Human Rights Watch

Dr. Bechri talked about the limitations imposed by the state on the academic freedom of its citizens.

Dr. Elsadda gave a history of women's liberation and struggles for freedom in the past century.

Dr. Djerbal presented the audience with the history of violations against academic freedom in Algiers and recent forms of attacks on democratic freedoms.

Dr. Fakhro spoke on the academic environment in Bahrain.

Dr. Tamari argued that it wasn't so much the limitations set by states that offset the flourishing of academia generally, but a general lack of academic production in the universities due to the lack of books and the influx of students from rural areas whose views are more conservative.

After the conference, the panelists took questions from the audience.