Highlights: RN Board Members and Constitutional Advocates in the News


RN Advisory Board – ­Carlos Eddé, Head of the Lebanese National Bloc commented on the ongoing intransigence in Lebanon among key parties to the electoral law discussion in an op-ed 18 May 2013 in L’Orient Le Jour, Le Bouc du Rabbin”, and in Now Lebanon,  “The Rabbi’s Ram”. Calling Lebanon not a democracy but a “plutocratic oligarchy”, Eddé highlighted the absence of any serious reform effort and an electoral process including political party ‘lists’ focused exclusively on maintaining the existing power structures.   


YANG Jianli, founder of Initiatives for China and prominent activist received a 2013 Alumni Achievement Award from Harvard Kennedy School in a ceremony 11 May 2013. Recognized for his advocacy for democracy in China, the awarding committee noted that Dr. YANG Jianli’s “commitment to nonviolence is a commendable example for us all, and his voice for democracy and human rights in one of the largest countries in the world must be recognized and amplified.”


Justice Adel Omar Sherif, Deputy Chief Justice of the Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court, was guest speaker 25 April 2013 for “The Rule of Law and the Courts in the New Egyptian Constitution”, an event organized by the Working Group on Arab Transformative Movements of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES) at Harvard. 


Ishac Diwan of the Center for International Development at Harvard Kennedy School served as guest editor for a Special Issue (March 2013) of the Middle East Development Journal on Political and Economic Transformations in the Arab World. A publication of the Economic Research Forum, the special issue includes contributions from leading international including Prof. Diwan’s analysis “Understanding Revolution in the Middle East: The Central Role Of The Middle Class”. 


RN MENA Constitutional Advocates 

Judge Yussef Auf argues in “The Morsi Government’s Faltering Steps” 20 May 2013 for the Atlantic Council’s Egypt Source, that recent appointments and actions by President Morsi raise conflict of interest and other issues that potentially weaken the independence of the judiciary and lessen the competency of the institutions involved. The op-ed is available in Arabic here and in English here.  


Farea al-Muslimi, Yemeni writer and activist, gave a poignant yet powerful testimony 23 April 2013 before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on drone warfare that went viral online leading to widespread mainstream media coverage and mentions including in the Guardian,  the Independent, Mother Jones, NPR, and the New York Times, and exclusive interviews on All In with Chris Hayes and with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now among others.

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