The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) cordially invites you to join us for a panel discussion on Tuesday, June 28 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. at the SEIU Headquarters and Conference Center.
The distinguished panel will offer nuanced perspectives on the ongoing conflict: Dr. Nancy Okail will provide remarks from her recent one-month research and dialogue trip to Europe and the Turkish border cities of Gaziantep and Kilis, where she spoke with key stakeholders in the conflict; Mr. Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff is based in Gaziantep and will offer insight into how NGOs can develop effective aid strategies when working inside Syria; Mr. Hassan Hassan, an expert on the Islamic State and extremist organizations in Syria, will provide an analysis of their roles in the conflict; and Mr. Kenan Rahmani, who possesses a deep knowledge of the key Syrian opposition groups, will discuss these groups’ views on the viability of a political solution and what to expect in the next few months. There will be an opportunity for questions following the discussion.
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Kenan Rahmani is the Policy Coordinator at Students Organize 4 Syria (SOS). As policy coordinator, Kenan proposes advocacy campaigns that assist the Syrian people in their effort to build a self-determined, pluralistic society by standing in solidarity with them, raising awareness of their cause, and helping to alleviate the current humanitarian crisis in Syria. He maintains deep knowledge of the active Syrian opposition groups through his role as an integral member of Syrian civil society and continued advocacy for Syrian refugees. He was one of nine individuals sponsored by the Syrian American Council to travel to Syria to assist in distributing aid to refugees in 2013. Kenan is currently pursuing a J.D. and M.A. in international law and foreign policy from American University in Washington, DC.
Sasha Ghosh-Siminoff is the President and Cofounder of People Demand Change LLP. He is based in Gaziantep and works with an extensive network of Syrian activists, human rights defenders, grassroots media, and opposition figures both inside and outside of Syria. He has been working to map out the Syrian conflict visually through mapping tools to help better explain to the international community the complexities of the Syrian conflict and how NGOs can develop effective aid strategies when working inside Syria. Sasha has been a guest analyst discussing Syria on a number of international media outlets and has also published several articles on the topic. He is the former Executive Director at the Syrian Emergency Task Force and journalist with Congressional Quarterly. Sasha completed his M.A. in Middle East studies at the University of Exeter and conducted fieldwork in Israel and in the West Bank.
Hassan Hassan is a resident fellow at TIMEP focusing on Syria and Iraq. He is the author, with Michael Weiss, of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, a New York Times bestseller, and was previously an associate fellow at Chatham House’s Middle East and North Africa Program in London and a research associate at the Delma Institute in Abu Dhabi. He is a columnist for the National in Abu Dhabi, where he previously worked as deputy opinion editor. Working in journalism and research since 2008, he focuses on Syria, Iraq, and the Gulf States, and he studies Sunni and Shi’a movements in the region. His writing has appeared in the Guardian, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and the New York Times, among others. He has also written for the European Council on Foreign Relations on the Gulf states. Mr. Hassan received an M.A. in international relations from the University of Nottingham.
Dr. Nancy Okail is the Executive Director of TIMEP, and has more than 15 years of experience working on issues of democracy, rule of law, security and extremism in the Middle East and North Africa region. She analyzes these issues advocates in favor of human rights through her testimony to legislative bodies, providing policy briefings with senior government officials, speaking at public and private events, and writing for academic and popular publications. Prior to joining TIMEP, Dr. Okail was the director of Freedom House’s Egypt program. She has also worked with the Egyptian government as a senior evaluation officer of foreign aid and has also managed programs for several International organizations.
Dr. Okail was one of the 43 non-governmental organization workers convicted and sentenced to prison in a widely publicized 2012 case for allegedly using foreign funds to foment unrest in Egypt. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Sussex; her dissertation examined the power relations of foreign aid.