Moving Forward in the Middle East: Student Summit

middle east summit

Students interested in imagining a world
with the Jewish and universal values of respect for human rights

will LEARN from – and INTERACT with – experts
who have dealt intimately with these issues.

Six breakout sessions with academics
provide the opportunity to seek new ways to promote constructive dialogue
and be actively involved in ensuring a prosperous Middle East for all.

Across America, discussions about minority communities are increasingly entering our daily discourse, whether in the crowded presidential race, through social justice movements like Black Lives Matter, or at Northeastern as we constantly try to find ways to support diversity. Social media and the internet make it even easier to bring marginalized groups into the spotlight, allowing those silenced to have a voice.

As we open up our platforms and experiences to minority communities, it’s important to do the same to our perceptions of other parts of the world. The Middle East as a geographic area is constantly in the news, mostly for the various conflicts that have been born in the region in recent history. With so many groups involved, all divided by religion, ethnicity, and political background, it’s easy to reduce all conflicts in the Middle East to a single story and to ignore key factors and groups that can play a role in peace.

Northeastern University is hosting “Moving Forward in the Middle East: The Future of Minority Communities” to help students take a closer look at the intersectionality of conflicts in the area and how minorities specifically are affected by them. It’s a chance to move beyond generalizations and sound bytes to see the future of the region with fresh eyes, and with the futures of minority groups at center stage.

Lian Najami, a Muslim-Israeli Youth Activist from Haifa, Israel and George Deek, the former Deputy Israeli Ambassador to Norway with be keynote speakers, leading attendees into an afternoon of breakout sessions and networking. Experts in religion, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and other regional minorities will be on hand to connect with students and share their perspectives. It’s the perfect opportunity to be in the same room with students who share an interest in world peace (who doesn’t?), as well as to begin relationships with professionals who have key roles in creating lasting change in the Middle East.

The day begins with Mediterranean lunch and networking at 2pm and concludes with the closing keynote presentation at 5pm. You can register and find more info here:


lian najami

“Stories of Shared Existence”

Lian Najami
Muslim-Israeli Youth Leader
Haifa, Israel


george deek

“Anti-Semitism in the Middle East:
Not Only a Jewish Problem”

​​George Deek
Former Deputy Ambassador of Israel to Norway & Fulbright Scholar
Washington, DC​


nate ramsayer

“Sources from the Torah in the Quran:
​Impact of Ancient Literature Today”

Nate Ramsayer
Brandeis University, M.A., Near Eastern and Judaic Studies


yarden fanta-vagenshtein

“Multiculturalism in the Middle East”
Dr. Yarden Fanta-Vagenshtein
Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard University


larry lowenthal

“Overview of the Arab-Israeli Conflict”
Dr. Larry Lowenthal
Adjunct Professor, Northeastern University


lori sousa

“A Dearth of Religious Freedom:
Civil Society in the Middle East”

Lori Sousa, LCSW
Assistant Professor, Roberts Wesleyan College


druze 1druze 2druze 3

“The Druze Minority: Valiant Heroes of Peace”

Inspector Faten Nasr Aldeen
Ms. Einav Halabi
Captain Hassan Maklada

Please leave a reply, we'd love to know what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s