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February 28 - March 11, 2022

Online via ZOOM
The Eighth Yemen Exchange – An Intensive Online Course on Yemen
Summary Agenda Details Fees Partners
Summary Agenda Details Fees Partners

The Eighth Yemen Exchange is an intensive online version of the Yemen Exchange organized by the Sana’a Center and The Exchange Foundation. The course is designed to provide unique access to information, perspectives, updates and analysis on Yemen for both those seeking to develop a working background on the country as well as those already thoroughly versed in its dynamics. During the ten-day program conducted online, participants from around the world will listen to Yemeni analysts, academics, politicians, bureaucrats, business leaders and international experts to gain insight and rare first-hand knowledge about the country from a wide range of perspectives. Participants will have the chance to both virtually engage with speakers during the sessions and connect with speakers individually after the Exchange.

The sessions themselves – totaling more than 30 hours – will dive into several specific areas, including but not limited to: Yemen’s multifaceted conflicts, socio-political dynamics, internal divisions and alliances among parties to the conflict, developments in the southern governorates and the Red Sea, military and political developments on the ground, the status of various armed groups, gender issues, the Yemeni diaspora, the regional battle for Yemen, the humanitarian response, the state of the economy, the UN-led peace process and a variety of other topics.

Optional Day: Sunday, February 27
  • 18:00 - 21:00 Sana’a / 10:00 - 13:00 EST
    Yemen for Beginners
    Sana’a Center researchers
Day One: Monday, February 28
  • 16:00 - 17:45 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:45 EST
    Welcome, introduction and course rules
    The Exchange team
  • 18:00 - 19:30 Sana’a / 10:00 - 11:30 EST
    Who is fighting whom, where, and why?
    Via maps and other visuals, this session will be a deep dive into political alliances, divisions and conflicts within Yemen. Analysts will elaborate on current frontlines, armed groups and local and regional actors as well as other stakeholders and unexplored roots of the war.
    The panel will be further refined based on the input and needs of accepted participants.
    Maged Al-Madhaji
    Co-founder and executive director of the Sana’a Center and regular commentator on Yemen for Arabic media.
    Abdulghani Al-Iryani
    senior researcher at the Sana’a Center. Prior to joining the Sana’a Center, Al-Iryani was a political and development advisor for many INGOs and international organizations in Yemen, including the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, UNDP and the World Bank.
    Ghaidaa Al-Rashidy
    Researcher and visual data specialist at the Sana’a Center.
Day Two: Tuesday, March 1
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    The Houthis from an academic perspective
    Maysaa Shujaa Al-Deen
    Non-resident fellow at the Sana’a Center, where her research focuses on religious sectarianism, political transformation and Yemen’s geopolitical role in the region.
    Emanuel Schaeublin
    Anthropologist for the Mediation Support Team at the Center for Security Studies (ETH Zurich) and member of the Sana’a Center Geneva Association.
  • 17:15 - 18:15 Sana’a / 09:15 - 10:15 EST
    The Salafis from an academic perspective
    Laurent Bonnefoy
    Research fellow at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) and author of Salafism in Yemen: Transnationalism and Religious Identity, (London: Hurst, 2011).
    Amjad Khoshafa
    A journalist and researcher focusing on Salafist groups in Yemen.
    Abubakr al-Shamahi
    Researcher and deputy chief editor at the Sana’a Center.
  • 18:30 - 19:30 Sana’a / 10:30 - 11:30 EST
    AQAP & the Islamic State in Yemen
    Using maps and other visuals, this session will cover the status and activities of non-state armed groups currently active in Yemen’s civil war, including Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, and their role in post-war Yemen as well as foreign counterterrorism operations inside Yemen.
    Elisabeth Kendall
    Senior Research Fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Pembroke College, Oxford University, and member of the Sana’a Center’s Advisory Board.
    Yemeni Researcher
    A Yemeni journalist and researcher specializing in Al-Qaeda in Yemen
    Yasmeen al-Eryani
    Director of Research at the Sana’a Center and a Ph.D. candidate in Social Anthropology at Tampere University.
Day Three: Wednesday, March 2
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    Status and reserves of the Yemeni rial
    Mansour Rageh
    Deputy Governor of the Central Bank of Yemen.
    Osamah al-Rawhani
    Deputy Executive Director of the Sana’a Center and expert in the field of peace and conflict resolution.
  • 17:15 - 18:45 Sana’a / 09:15 - 10:45 EST
    The state of the economy
    This session will examine current and post-war challenges facing Yemen’s economy, analyze how this war is in many ways an economic one, and introduce possible economic frameworks for post-war Yemen.
    The Sana’a Center economists
Day Four: Thursday, March 3
  • 16:00 - 16:45 Sana’a / 08:00 - 08:45 EST
    Yemen's power sector.
    Rafat al-Akhali
    fellow at Oxford University’s Blavatnik School of Government and former minister of youth and sports in Yemen.
    Magnus Fitz
    Researcher and project officer at the Sana’a Center.
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Sana’a / 09:00 - 10:00 EST
    Yemen’s petroleum company
    Ammar al-Aulaqi
    Executive General Manager of Yemen Petroleum Company.
    Holly Topham
    Program manager at the Sana’a Center.
  • 18:15 - 19:15 Sana’a / 10:15 - 11:15 EST
    Yemen’s natural resources
    Ismail al-Janad
    Former Chairman of the Public Authority for Geological Survey and Mineral Wealth.
    Faryal Al-Naseem
    Civil engineer and activist in the community in several youth and cultural initiatives.
Day Five: Friday, March 4
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    Yemeni diaspora perspectives
    Zaid Nagi
    Community organizer and vice president of the Yemeni American Merchants Association.
    Baligh al-Mekhlafi
    Yemeni diplomat to Cairo.
    Solenn al-Majali
    Non-resident fellow at the Sana’a Center, focusing on the Yemeni diaspora.
  • 17:15 - 18:15 Sana’a / 09:15 - 10:15 EST
    Humanitarian aid in Yemen
    Sarah Vuylsteke
    Researcher and former Access Coordinator for the World Food Programme. She recently authored the Sana’a Center report series “When Aid Goes Awry.”
    Nawal al-Maghafi
    BBC correspondent and award-winning filmmaker.
  • 18:15 - 19:00 Sana’a / 10:15 - 11:00 EST
    Water and qat
    Helen Lackner
    Research associate at SOAS University of London and visiting fellow at the European Council for Foreign Relations.
    Musaed Aklan
    Civil engineer and scientific researcher on water and the environment.
    Hadil al-Mowafak
    Research Fellow at the Yemen Policy Center.
Day Six: Monday, March 7
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    UAE policy in Yemen
    Ebtesam al-Ketbi
    President and founder of the Emirates Policy Center.
    Thuraya Dammaj
    Journalist, prominent activist and founder and director of the Future Media Foundation.
  • 17:00 - 18:00 Sana’a / 09:00 - 10:00 EST
    Saudi policy in Yemen
    Mohamed al-Jaber
    Saudi Ambassador to Yemen.
    Jamila Ali Rajaa
    Chair of the Sana’a Center advisory board. he is a former Yemeni diplomat and has worked as an ambassador, senior analyst, lecturer and policy consultant for the UN and European foreign agencies.
  • 18:15 - 19:30 Sana’a / 10:15 - 11:30 EST
    The regional fight for Yemen
    Mustapha Noman
    Former Yemeni diplomat who served as an ambassador in several countries and as Deputy Foreign Minister.
    Thomas Juneau
    Non-resident fellow at the Sana’a Center and assistant professor at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Ottawa, focusing on Iran and Yemen.
    Sama’a al-Hamdani
    Non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute and analyst for several Arab and Western media outlets and think tanks, focusing on political dynamics in Yemen.
Day Seven: Tuesday, March 8
  • 16:00 - 17:15 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:15 EST
    The UN-led peace process
    Office of the Special Envoy for Yemen (OSESGY)
    Waleed al-Hariri
    Director of the Sana’a Center’s US office and fellow-in-residence at Columbia Law School Human Rights Institute.
  • 17:30 - 18:45 Sana’a / 09:30 - 10:45 EST
    Yemen and the EU
    EU Ambassador to Yemen
    Jean-Marie Safa
    French Ambassador to Yemen.
    Peter Derrek Hof
    Dutch Ambassador to Yemen.
    Shams Shamsan
    Project manager at the Sana’a Center.
Day Eight: Wednesday, March 9
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    Developments in Shabwa
    Sana’a Center researchers
  • 17:15 - 18:15 Sana’a / 09:15 - 10:15 EST
    Update from Aden
    Hussam Radman
    Sana’a Center researcher, focusing on southern politics and armed groups.
    Ghaidaa al-Rashidy
    Researcher and visual data specialist at the Sana’a Center.
  • 18:15 - 19:15 Sana’a / 10:15 - 11:15 EST
    Local and tribal politics in Mahra and Socotra
    Ahmed Nagi
    Non-resident scholar at the Carnegie Middle East Center.
    Casey Coombs
    Researcher at the Sana’a Center and independent journalist. He was based in Yemen between 2012 and 2015.
Day Nine: Thursday, March 10
  • 16:00 - 19:15 Sana’a / 08:00 - 11:15 EST
    Political representatives day
Day Ten: Friday, March 11
  • 16:00 - 17:00 Sana’a / 08:00 - 09:00 EST
    The role of tribal women in mediating conflict
    Rim Mugahed
    Sana’a Center researcher and project manager, focusing on tribes and political parties.
    Ahmed al-Arami
    Director of the Arabia Felix Center for Studies.
    Bilqees al-Lahabi
    Researcher at the Sana’a Center, focusing on political and social developments in Yemen. Al-Lahbi has more than 15 years’ experience in research, civil society, development and project management.
  • 17:15 - 18:15 Sana’a / 09:15 - 10:15 EST
    The current state of Yemen’s tribes
    Sheikh Hussein al-Awadhi
    Tribal sheikh and former governor of al-Jawf.
    Nabil Al-Basha
    Tribal sheikh and member of Parliament.
    Nadwa al-Dawsari
    Conflict analyst and non-resident scholar at the Middle East Institute, focusing on Yemen’s tribes.
  • 18:15 - 19:00 Sana’a / 10:15 - 11:00 EST
    Evaluation and Q&A
    Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies

All costs related to The Yemen Exchange are funded by participant fees, except for scholarships provided by both organizations (see below). There is no supplementary government or private sector support, a fact that allows us to assure participants of a relatively independent platform for the exchange of information, open dialogue and understanding.

All sessions are held under the Chatham House Rule, with some sessions consisting of only one speaker in order to assure as open and unfiltered a discussion as possible in the context of sensitive topics. Simultaneous translation to English and Arabic will be provided.

Prior to the beginning of the course, accepted participants will receive a course syllabus and the final agenda. Throughout the course, necessary agenda updates will be communicated with the participants on a daily basis. Those interested will also be connected with the experts and speakers to follow up with them for their own work and research, subject to the latter’s approval.

Applying for a scholarship – The Yemen Exchange currently has five scholarships (covering the conference fee) available for researchers who will deepen the social, political and geographic diversity of the Exchange and who can demonstrate both a lack of institutional or self-funding ability and a deep interest in Yemen. For any questions related to scholarships, email [email protected].

Participation Fees
1500 $
For governments & for-profit companies
1000 $
For NGOs, non-profit & UN organizations
500 $
For freelance journalists, unaffiliated researchers & academics
Free for the recipients of five available scholarships