HRH Princess Ghida Talal Delivers The Opening Speech at The Annual Harvard Arab World Conference
Amman, 11 March 2017: Under the patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II, The 12th Annual Harvard Arab World Conference (HAWC) has launched its activities on Saturday 11 March at the Dead Sea. Organized under the theme ‘Building Tomorrow’ - the HAWC is the flagship conference of the Harvard Arab Alumni Association (HAAA).
The HAWC was attended by a host of respected local and regional community and political leaders, as well as renowned influencers, professionals and academics who took part in nine discussion panels aimed at creating positive change throughout the Arab World.
In her opening speech, Her Royal Highness Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the King Hussein Cancer Foundation and Center thanked HAWC Co-Chair Dr. Mohammad Hajjiri for his key role in organizing the event, and added: “By fostering local talent, the King Hussein Cancer Center (KHCC) has emerged as a prime Jordanian and Arab success story, growing in only two decades from just two doctors to encompass over 200 doctors who work on par with international qualifications and standards. Today, KHCC provides patients throughout Jordan and the Arab World with holistic comprehensive treatment, achieving survival rates that surpass recorded global numbers.”
In turn, the HAWC Organizing Committee - headed by Carine Abi Akar and Dr. Mohammad Hajjiri - emphasized the importance of cultural diversity, stating: “The strength of our Arab communities lies in their diversity. As such, the HAAA strives to further build on this by shedding light onto the rich culture and outstanding individuals of the Arab World.”
The HAWC kicked off its activities with a plenary entitled ‘Building Arab Healthcare: Sustainable Delivery of Quality Care’ headed by Dr. Mohammad Hajjiri with the participation of Jordan Minister of Health H.E Dr. Mahmoud Al-Sheyyab. The panel discussed several success stories within the Arab World and methods to share these experiences with other healthcare institutions, as well as cooperation with the pharmaceutical industry.
Furthermore, the panel presented insights and techniques on establishing an Arab medical task force that implements international guidelines for more consistent healthcare service delivery in the areas of treatment and disease management.
The second plenary entitled ‘The Future of Arab Diplomacy’ was headed by Farah EL-Sherif, with the participation of United Nations and Arab League Special Envoy to Syria and former Algeria Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Lakhdar Brahimi, in addition to Vice President for Studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and former Jordan Minister of Foreign Affairs, H.E Marwan Muasher. Both veteran diplomats offered their views, solutions and ideas on the future of diplomacy in the Arab World, and practical methods in which diplomacy can continue to be a space of constructive bridge-building and cross-cultural communication.
The third panel entitled ‘Building Arab Education: Preparing Our Youth for the Jobs of the Future’ focused on preparing young Arabs for today’s workforce and developing an effective model than can be implemented in Jordan and other countries throughout the region. The panel was headed by Hassan Al-Damluji, with the involvement of Jordan Minister of Education H.E Dr. Omar Razzaz.
The HAWC comprised several other panels including: ‘Building after Conflict’ headed by Mohammad Dahshan; ‘Fostering a Sustainable Middle East from the Ground Up: Commercial Law Reform to Ensure Private Sector Growth’ headed by Hamada Zahawi; ‘Unlocking the Talents of Refugees’ headed by Alexandra Chen; ‘Tasawurat: Arab Art at a Time of Turmoil’ headed by Mohammed Khalil Harb; ‘Entrepreneurship: Vehicle for Change, or Just a Buzzword?’ headed by Nicole Abi-Esber and Abdul Mohsen Al Husseini; as well as ‘The Civics Lab’ headed by Hafez Ghanem, which looked into initiatives that develop and help societies enhance existing means of communication.
The HAWC concluded its activities with a competition for startups from across the region, underscoring active HAAA efforts to support and grow such companies. Five startups qualified to the final round, receiving cash prizes starting from USD 5,000 and USD 15,000.
The HAWC has garnered the support of leading international and regional organizations including Misk Foundation as Strategic Partner, Zain as Strategic Telecom Partner, Bank Audi as Platinum Sponsor, Strategy& as Gold Sponsor, Hikma Pharmaceuticals and Bank al Etihad as Silver Sponsors, Pharmacy1, the King Abdullah Fund for Development, Ali Sharif Zu’bi Advocates and Legal Consultants, Abd Al Hamid Shoman Foundation, MS Pharma, Dr Saud Al-Ammari Law Firm in association with Blake Cassels & Graydon LLP as Bronze Sponsors, among others.