SPEAKERS
Ms. Amira Yahyaoui   Ms. Amira Yahyaoui
Human rights activist, blogger and founder of the Tunisian Parliament Monitor
Tunisia

Ms. Yahyaoui is president founder of Al Bawsala, a non-profit organization newly founded by a group of young Tunisian activists, with the aim of supporting the democratization process and reinforcing citizenship awakening in Tunisia.

She is a young Tunisian activist who has been working for the past decade to promote human rights in Tunisia. Following the revolution in early 2011, she continues to focus on freedom of expression, with an emphasis on anti-censorship.

She was a candidate in the Tunisian election earlier this fall, as a head of an independent youth list “Sawt Mostakel”.

Ms. Lamees Dhaif   Ms. Lamees Dhaif
Writer, Media Figure and Activist
Kingdom of Bahrain

Ms. Dhaif is a Bahraini journalist, active in the Bahraini resistance campaign.

She has written in various newspapers in the Persian Gulf region, but as an oppositionist, she has been banned from writing since the beginning of the revolution in Bahrain.

She is also a human rights activist and was a member of the Board of Directors of the Bahraini Journalists Association for three consecutive rounds.

She gained wide recognition after she presented a program discussing taboo issues such as poverty, sadism, prostitution, corruption, and inequality, on Al-Rai, a private Kuwaiti television channel.

Ms. Dhaif has won several awards including: Best Investigative Report in 2004, the Excellence Award in Journalism in 2008 and was honored as best writer by the Women's Union in the International Women's Day in 2009.

Mr. Ricardo Karam   Mr. Ricardo Karam
Talk Show Host, Founder and General Manager, Takreem Achievement Award
Lebanon

Mr. Karam is a famous talk show host who is best known for his TV programs “Souar”, “Maraya” and “Waraa Al Wojoh” which hosted numerous celebrities including the Dalai Lama, Noor Al Hussein, Kofi Annan, Luciano Pavarotti & many others.

He founded RK Productions, a production and consulting company with production expertise, business and marketing strategies, helping clients target their audience and deliver their messages.

In 2008, he conceived “TAKREEM”, an exceptional initiative aiming at celebrating Arab achievements around the globe.

He has published two main books: “Privileged Encounters” & “The Lebanese Paris”.

Mr. Karam currently serves on the board of several academic institutions, associations and NGOs.

Mrs. Fawzia Salama   Mrs. Fawzia Salama
Journalist and TV presenter
MBC
Lebanon

Ms. Salama is a writer, journalist and presenter.

She is currently one of the four female hostesses of Kalam Nawem talk show on MBC.

She is also Editor for Sayidaty, Kolelnas, Adam and Samra magazines and Asharq Al Awsat daily newspaper.

Ms. Salama holds a BA in English literature & a Master’s degree in literary criticism.

Mrs. Mona Khazindar   Mrs. Mona Khazindar
General Director
Institut du Monde Arabe
France

Ms. Khazindar is the first woman and first Saudi to be appointed Director General of the Institut du Monde Arabe, Paris.

She is also president and founding member of “Al-Mansouria Foundation for Culture and Creativity”, a Saudi non-profit cultural foundation that aims to promote Saudi and Arab contemporary art.

Prior to becoming Director General she was curator of contemporary art and photography at the institute, responsible for the IMA’s permanent art collection.

She was recently appointed co-curator of the first Saudi pavilion in the 54th edition of the Venice Biennale.

Mrs. Hala Fadel   Mrs. Hala Fadel
Chair of the MIT Enterprise Forum for the Pan Arab Region and Fund Manager
Comgest
Lebanon

Ms. Fadel is portfolio manager at Comgest, and president of the Beirut office that services the Middle East.

She previously worked at Merrill Lynch and ranked number 1 and number 3 over 50 European analysts.

She has founded numerous NGOs that cater to the advancement and development of the youth, including the MIT Enterprise Forum of the Pan-Arab region

Ms. Fadel is also Founder and Chair of the first “carfree” event in the Middle East which aims at increasing awareness about the environment.

Ms. Darine Hamze   Ms. Darine Hamze
Actress and Director
Lebanon

Ms. Hamzé is an accomplished actor, director and artist.
She has worked in the course of her career on major international and local films, and has played leading roles in several TV series.

Ms. Hamzé holds an MA in Media Arts from the University of Westminster, UK.

Mrs. Buthaina Al Ansari   Mrs. Buthaina Al Ansari
Founder, Chairperson & Chief Executive Officer
Qatariat Co
Qatar

Ms. Al Ansari is founder and chairperson for Qatariat T&D holding company, and strategic program planning manager in Qatar Telecom.

She is a board member of Qatari Business Women Forum and Arab International Women’s Forum.

Ms. Al Ansari was named “Business Women of the Year 2011” by Arabian Business Magazine and rated 67 among the 100 most powerful women in the Middle East in 2011.

She holds a Masters Degree in Business Management, Qatar University, and a Masters Degree in Strategic Planning, HR, American University in Cairo.

Ms. Zoya J. Rouhana   Ms. Zoya J. Rouhana
Director
KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation
Lebanon

Ms. Rouhana is Director of KAFA (enough) Violence & Exploitation, and founding member of the organization, dedicated to help put a stop to women and children exploitation and all kinds of violence based on gender.

One of her major achievements is launching and managing the drafting of laws and campaigns to protect women from family violence.

She is a vehement supporter of women and children, continuously promoting the need to enact new laws and amend and implement fair policies that ensure women and children's rights.

Ms. Rouhana is a winner of the U.S. Secretary of State's International Women of Courage award.

Mrs. Rana Ghandour Salhab   Mrs. Rana Ghandour Salhab
Partner
Deloitte Middle East
Lebanon

Rana Salhab was the first woman to be made partner at Deloitte in the Middle East. She is responsible for talent and communications across 16 countries.

Prior to joining Deloitte, she assumed various leadership positions in the ME and Europe to include Human Resources Director in the Europe, Middle East, India & Africa management team and HR director of the Growing Economies region.

Rana is a frequent speaker and an active champion for the advancement of woman, corporate responsibility, and youth skills building initiatives in the MENA region. She is a member of global councils and NGO boards that work at identifying challenges facing youth and women as well as implementing solutions and networks to address these challenges.

Dr. Tara Vishwanath   Dr. Tara Vishwanath
Lead Economist - Middle East and North Africa Region
The World Bank
USA

Dr. Vishwanath is a lead economist in the World Bank's head quarters in Washington DC.

She is currently technical leader and coordinator of the Poverty and Gender teams in the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management group of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Region of the World Bank.

Prior to joining World Bank, Dr. Vishwanath served as faculty in the department of economics at Northwestern University, at John's Hopkins University’s Department of Economics, and as visiting faculty at Princeton University.

Dr. Vishwanath earned her doctorate degree in economics from Cornell University.

Mr. Ibrahim Muhanna   Mr. Ibrahim Muhanna
Actuary & Managing Director
Muhanna & Co.
Lebanon

Mr. Muhanna is founder of Muhanna & Co. (Actuarial & Consultants), Omnilife Insurance Company in the UK, The Muhanna Foundation, and Muhanna & Co. (Rating Services).

He is Vice-Chairman of the actuarial technical commission of the International Social Security Association (ISSA).

He was the first Chairman of the Cyprus Actuarial Association, and President of the Lebanese Association of Actuaries.

Mr. Muhanna was awarded "The National Order of the Cedar" by the Lebanese President.

Dr. Heba Nassar   Dr. Heba Nassar
Vice President
Cairo University
Egypt

Dr. Nassar is a Professor of Economics at the Faculty of Economics and Political Science (FEPS) and Vice President of Cairo University.

She previously served as Chair of the Economic Department, Vice Dean for Community Development, Vice Chair for all academic centers at FEPS, and Director of the Center for Economic and Financial Research and Studies (CEFRS) at FEPS.

Dr. Nassar has several publications and papers in national and international academic conferences and proceedings in different areas such as labor market, skills development, education, microfinance, MDG’s, structural adjustment, small business and microfinance, women economic participation, Human Resource Development, Poverty, Social Protection, Population studies, Privatization, Migration and Trade, Structural Adjustment, and social policies.

Dr. Mayada Baydas   Dr. Mayada Baydas
Executive Director
Emkan
Lebanon

Dr. Baydas is Executive General Manager of Emkan Finance, a pioneer financial institution engaged in the provision of microfinance services through branches all over Lebanon.

She is also Executive Director of Emkan, a leading Lebanese NGO managing economic development projects in Lebanon.

Additionally, she is a founding partner and board member of the Development Innovations Group where she served as Senior Vice President and Managing Director for five years.

Dr. Baydas previously served as Associate Director for CHF International’s Office of Development Finance and Director for the CHF Training Center.

Mr. Fadi El Halabi   Mr. Fadi El Halabi
Psychotherapist-Counselor for couples
TV talk show host
Lebanon

Mr. EL Halabi is a Psychotherapist/counselor for couples and adults, and an experienced practitioner in neuro-linguistic programming and transactional analysis.

He is also a T.V. talk show host, a frequent guest speaker and a facilitator with an extensive experience in human relations and personal development.

He is mostly passionate about social entrepreneurship and is heavily involved in civil society initiatives. He is the co-founder and executive director of the Ecumenical Disability Advocates Network (EDAN).

Ms. Diana Mokaled   Ms. Diana Mokaled
Program & Production Manager
Future News TV
Lebanon

Ms. Moukalled is currently Manager of Programs & Production at Future News Television.

She started her career as news reporter at Future TV, covering news, political and social issues.

She produced several documentaries that shed light on issues rarely raised by Arab media especially those related to women, minorities and democracy.

“Crimes of Honor in Jordan” documentary (2001) was chosen by Amnesty International as part of its worldwide media campaign to stop violence against women.

Ms. Moukalled has several print articles and reports and is a weekly columnist at Asharq Al Awsat news paper.

Ms. Kinda Mohamadieh   Ms. Kinda Mohamadieh
Program Manager
ANND
Lebanon

Ms. Mohamadieh is Programs Director at the Arab NGO Network for Development (ANND), where she works on social and economic rights, development policies, trade and investment agreements, democratic reforms, and other globalization and governance issues.

She has an academic background in international and European economic law, international development and nonprofit management and economics.

She studied at the University of Lausanne, University of California at Los Angeles, and the American University of Beirut.

Ms. Mona Merhi   Ms. Mona Merhi
Founder and Program Director Sahbeh Readership Initiative , Writer, Producer & Director
Lebanon

Ms. Merhi is Founder and Program Director of Sahbeh Readership Initiative.

She is a writer and has published two books to date: "Festivity under Water - Short Plays" and "Out of service - short stories/flip book".

She has also worked in film and TV production; she directed many short films, participated in film festivals and was the executive producer of “TAWASOL" program on Future TV News.

She has received lately the 2012 Ashoka fellowship for Social Entrepreneurship, which will allow her to dedicate herself to Sahbeh readership initiative for one year.

Ms. Merhi has been an activist on issues related to “citizenship” since the "Arab Spring” uprisings.