The Third Yemen Exchange

The Third Yemen Exchange

26 Jun 2018
    09:00 AM - 04:30 PM
    This event is passed

    The Third Yemen Exchange:
    An Intensive Course on Yemen

    June 26th – July 1st, 2018

    Applications Open

    The Yemen Exchange is an intensive course offered by the Sanaa Center for Strategic Studies in partnership with Held in Beirut, Lebanon, the course is designed to provide unique access to information and analysis on Yemen for both those seeking to develop a working background on the country and to those already well versed in Yemeni dynamics. During the six-day program participants from around the world will listen and engage with Yemeni politicians, bureaucrats, civil society actors, tribal figures, business leaders, academics and various Yemen experts to gain insights and in depth knowledge on the country from a wide range of perspectives. This comprehensive course covers Yemeni socio-political dynamics, internal divisions within various parties to the war and possible Southern secession, military developments on the ground and the regional proxy struggle, local, regional and international diplomatic efforts, the humanitarian crisis and response, economic and state collapse, the rise of the war economy, the status of energy exports and the country’s port facilities, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and other extremist groups, human rights and war crimes, as well as historical, archeological and cultural overviews.

    The course rests on two tracks:

    Professional & Academic – Participants will attend a series of lectures led by prominent academics, analysts and experts from Yemen and the wider region.

    Dialogue with Leaders – Participants will have the opportunity to meet, listen to and engage with leading social, political, and economic actors from across the spectrum in Yemen.

    To apply, request a registration form via

    Conference location and date: Beirut, Lebanon, June 26th until July 1st, 2018

    First Application Deadline: May 20th, 2018

    * 25 slots only/rolling acceptance

    Invited Individuals & Institutional Speakers
    ( Partial List Only):

    Note: Accepted applicants will receive the full list of confirmed speakers prior to the opening of the Exchange, as well as readings pertinent to the sessions

    Introduction and expert overview

    • Farea Al-Muslimi & Adam Baron – Introduction
    • Maged Al-Madhaji – Who is fighting who, where, and why?
    • Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani – Status of AQAP in the Yemen War
    • Maysaa Shuja Aldeen – The case of the Houthis
    • Mustapha Noman – Gulf dynamics in Yemen


    • Jamila Ali Raja – Overview of economic & diplomatic negotiations
    • Mansour Rageh – Economic overview
    • Mohammed Shihab – The private sector during war
    • Ismail Al-Ganad – Yemen’s natural resources
    • Daniel Martin – Yemen’s water crisis, climate change and declining biodiversity


    • Ammar Al-Aulaqi – Political mapping
    • Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi – The GPC’s future after Saleh
    • Ali Ashal – Islah perspective
    • The Houthis – Representative
    • Human rights case study

    The South

    • Abdulrahman Al-Sakkaf – General Secretary of the Yemeni Socialist Party
    • President Ali Nasser – Former head of state of South Yemen
    • Sheikh Saleh Bin Fareed – Southern Transitional Council
    • Dr. Abdulkader Bayazid – Hadramawt Collective Conference
    • Ghaidaa Alrashidy – Findings from field studies in Aden, Lahj, Abyan, and Al-Dhalea

    Special topics

    • Naser Shuraif, Vice Minister of Transportation – Status of Yemeni ports
    • Office of the Governor – Mareb case study
    • Sheikh Abdulkareem Al-Maqdshi – Tribal case study
    • Abdu Salim Al-Qubati – Yemen and the Horn of Africa
    • Najwa Adra – Tribal mediation and conflict resolution


    • Nabil Munassar – 1,000 years of Yemeni civilization
    • Abdulrahman Al-Ghaberi – Yemen’s last 50 years in 50 pictures
    • Abdulfatah Al-Qubati – Singer (collection of Yemeni music/songs)
    • Yemeni cuisine and presentation – A Taste from Yemen


    Farea Al-Muslimi

    is chairman and co-founder of the Sana’a Center, and will be the facilitator of the Yemen Exchange. In the past he has worked on Yemen for the Carnegie Middle East Center and the Middle East Institute in Washington, D.C.

    Adam Baron

    is a co-founder of the Sana’a Center and a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations. Between 2011 and 2014 he was the Yemen correspondent for The Economist, the Christian Science Monitor and McClatchy Newspapers. He will be co-facilitating the course.

    Maged Al-Madhaji

    is the executive director and co-founder of the Sana’a Center, a regular commentator on Yemeni affairs for Arabic media, and a former appointee to the Preparatory Committee for Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference (NDC). His presentation will offer an overview on “Who is fighting who, where, and why?”

    Maysa Shujaa Aldeen

    is a non-resident fellow to the Sana’a Center. Her research and analyses are regularly featured in Arabic media outlets. Her master thesis at the American University in Cairo focused on the radicalization of Zaydism, and her presentation will discuss the rise of the Houthis in Yemen.

    Mansour Rageh

    is chief economist at the Sana’a Center and has held various managerial and policy positions at the Central Bank of Yemen since 2003. His presentation will offer an overview of Yemen’s current economic status.

    Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani

    is a political and development consultant who is currently working with the UN Special Envoy for Yemen. His presentation will focus on the origins and development of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the rise of armed militias.

    Jamila Ali Raja

    is a career civil servant and policy advisor who has held senior posts in the Yemeni diplomatic corps and various government ministries over the last three decades. In recent years, her work focused on Yemen’s transitional period. Her presentation will discuss the deadlock in political and economic negotiations between the various parties in Yemen.

    Mustapha Noman

    is a former Yemeni diplomat and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs. His presentation will focus on the Gulf dynamics in Yemen.

    Ammar Al-Aulaqi

    is the Government of Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Water. He has an educational background in engineering, environmental management and executive management. His presentation will provide a stakeholder mapping of current political players.

    Ali Nasser Mohammed

    is the former President of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (PDRY). His presentation will focus on the history of South Yemen.

    Dr. Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi

    was Yemen’s Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2001 to 2014. He was also a member of the General People’s Congress (GPC) negotiation team in the last two rounds of UN-led peace talks. In his talk, Dr. Al-Qirbi will discuss the GPC perspective post-Saleh and the search for new leadership.

    Abdulrahman Al-Sakkaf

    is General Secretary and one of the most senior leaders of the Yemeni socialist party. In his talk, he will discuss the Socialist Party’s perspective on the war and its vision for the future of southern Yemen.

    Sheikh Saleh Bin Fareed Al-Aulaqi

    is a member of the Southern Transitional Council (STC). He is also one of Shabwa governorate’s most powerful tribal leaders. His presentation will be an overview of the status and outlook of the STC.

    Ali Ashal

    is a member of the Islah parliamentary bloc. He attended the National Dialogue Conference and was a member of the southern sub-committee at the NDC. In his presentation, Mr. Ashal will present the Islah perspective on current developments in the conflict and the dynamics of Islah’s relationship with Gulf countries.

    Naser Shuraif

    is the Government of Yemen’s Deputy Minister of Transportation. His presentation will discuss the current status of Yemen’s land borders, sea and airports, and the movements of goods and individuals into, out of, and within Yemen.

    Mohammed Shihab

    is a prominent member of the Yemeni private sector. He maintains business relationships with numerous multinational companies, and a warehousing, distribution and logistics network across Yemen serving thousands of wholesalers and retailers. His presentation will focus on the role of the business community in the current conflict.

    Abdulkareem Al-Maqdshi

    is a prominent tribal figure who has played a key role in mediating and facilitating local ceasefires, prisoner exchanges, and other negotiations between Yemeni tribes, and between tribes and foreign stakeholders. His presentation will cover the potential for tribes to facilitate a peace process in Yemen.

    Dr. Abdulkader BaYazid

    is the General Secretary of the Hadramawt Inclusive Conference and a rising figure in Hadramawt governorate, in which his presentation will focus.

    Ghaidaa Alrashidy

    is a southern activist. Her presentation will focus on the situation in southern provinces.

    Dr. Ismail Al-Ganad

    is a former head of the General Authority for Mineral and Geological Resources in Yemen. He has more than four decades experience in Yemen’s natural resources and oil sectors where he took various senior posts. His presentation will focus on the water and natural resources in Yemen.

    Abdo Salim Al-Qubati

    is a Yemeni researcher who published various studies focusing on Yemen and the Horn of Africa. His presentation will cover “Yemen and the Horn Africa”.

    Abdulrahman AlGhaberi

    is one of Yemen’s most celebrated photographers. In his presentation he will discuss and present his photos documenting historic moments, public figures and daily life in Yemen over the past three decades.

    Nabil Munassar

    is the Vice Chairman of the General Organization for the Preservation of Historic Cities in Yemen. His presentation will offer an overview of Yemen’s rich historic and cultural heritage, and the threats to its preservation presented by the current conflict.

    Abdulfatah Al-Qubati

    is a Yemeni singer who will play various songs and instruments at the exchange, specifically the aoud.

    Daniel Martin

    Dr. Daniel Martin Varisco is President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies. He has studied water resource use, agriculture and the environment in Yemen for more than three decades, working with groups such as USAID and the World Bank. His presentation will discuss future development in Yemen given the environmental challenges.

    Najwa Adra

    Dr. Najwa Adra is a cultural anthropologist who has studied tribal identity and customary law in Yemen’s Central Highlands as these have changed over the past 30 years. Her presentation will discuss potential contributions of tribal mediation, conflict resolution and cooperative systems to national development.

    Participation Costs:

    All costs related to The Yemen Exchange are funded by participant fees. There is no supplementary government, private sector or non-profit support, a fact that allows us to assure participants a relatively neutral platform for dialogue and understanding.

    In order to promote small group dynamics, the number of participants will be capped at 25. Sessions themselves will be conducted on an individual rather than a panel basis for all speakers and will allow ample opportunity for question time (translation into English will be provided when necessary). All sessions will also be held under strict Chatham House rules, although we customarily work with our speakers to approve any quotes/references that participants may need for their own work.

    Participation fees : 1000.00 USD (Airfare and accommodation not included)

    Apply now by requesting an application from