HH The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani inaugurated the US-Islamic Fourm at the Sheraton Doha From 10-12 April



Welcome and Ahlan Wesahlan!

One of the greatest challenges in global politics today is the dangerous tension growing between the United States and the world's Muslim states and communities. This deepening divide is a critical impediment to cooperation on a breadth of vital issues, ranging from dealing with terrorism and radicalism to supporting human development and freedom. The U.S.-Islamic World Forum brings together leaders from politics, business, media, academia, and civil society from across the Islamic world (including Muslim communities in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East) for an annual dialogue with their American counterparts. This institutionalized dialogue, made possible by the vision and support of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, has as its essential purpose the building of bridges between the West and the Islamic world.

The Doha Forum seeks to serve as both a convening body and a catalyst for positive action. Therefore, its focus is not on dialogue for dialogue's sake, but on developing actionable programs for government, civil society, and the private sector. The first meeting of the Forum was in January 2004. Over 165 leaders from the U.S. and 37 states in the Muslim world met over the course of 3 days. Former U.S. President Bill Clinton and Sheikh Hamad delivered the keynote addresses. In addition to the dialogue and debate, among the most heartening aspects of the meeting were the various networks and endeavors that were generated, including the building of schools and other human development initiatives in the region, the formation of a Muslim American foreign policy caucus, and the initiation of “track two” diplomatic talks for certain conflict zones. A summary of the 2004 Forum, including full list of attendees can be found
here.

The 2005 conference is shaping up to be quite an impressive event. Top American and Muslim world leaders, whose backgrounds range from Ministers and CEOs to University Deans and Newspaper Editors, representing over thirty countries will be in attendance.

In addition to regional and international press coverage of the conference, amongst our partners is
America Abroad Media, which will be taping its international affairs show on site, drawing from the events and participants. Its program is broadcast on more than 90 US public radio stations and in more than 100 countries, with the television side scheduled for launch on PBS stations in the Fall.

In addition, the conference will be again partnering with
Soliya, an Internet-based youth educational program, which will connect the conference events to students in both U.S. and Arab universities. If you would like to link this cooperative program with your institution, please contact us and we will work to facilitate.

We would like to express our deep appreciation to the Government of Qatar, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, the Ford Foundation, the Education for Employment Foundation, Haim Saban, and the Brookings Institution, for helping to make the Forum possible. Given ongoing events, its meetings could not have come at a more timely and needed juncture.


Kindest regards,


Professor Stephen P. Cohen
Project Co-Convenor

Ambassador Martin Indyk
Project Co-Convenor

 

Dr. Peter W. Singer
Project Director

Professor Shibley Telhami
Project Co-Convenor


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