City of Brass

My apologies for the longer delay between posts of late – but I will have plenty of grist for the blogging mill this upcoming month. I have been honored with an invitation to attend the 2011 US – Islamic World Forum, co-hosted by the Brookings Institution and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the State of Qatar. Normally held in Doha, this year the Forum will be held April 12-14 in Washington DC, making it extremely accessible to a wide range of US-based pundits, diplomats, and scholars. And me. The topics of conversation are sure to be dominated by the status of muslims in America and the Arab democratic wave, so it promises to be quite an informative and stimulating conference.

From my invitation:

The Saban Center at Brookings and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the State of Qatar annually convene this Forum under the auspices of His Excellency Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani. During these three days, the U.S.-Islamic World Forum will address critical issues with respect to the Arab and Muslim world by providing a high-level and visible platform for thoughtful engagement, dialogue, and the development of public private partnerships and initiatives.

Since its inception, the Forum has built a unique network of relationships between leading policy and opinion leaders in the United States and the Muslim world, and has developed a reputation as both the premier convening body for American and Muslim world leaders and a catalyst for positive action. Past participants have included President Bill Clinton; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey; Secretary of State Madeleine Albright; President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan; Commander of the U.S. Central Command David Petraeus; the Grand Mufti of Bosnia-Herzegovina Dr. Mustafa Ceric; Secretary General of ASEAN Surin Pitsuwan; and Secretary General of the OIC Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu.

For the first time in its eight-year history, this annual gathering will be held in Washington, providing a unique opportunity for greater participation by the U.S. administration, leading policy makers and activists, the media, and the American Muslim community.

The 2011 Forum will include plenary sessions on issues critical to the Arab and Muslim worlds, working groups focused on building partnerships on key issues such as civil society, American Muslim engagement, the role of the media and culture, religious minorities, development, and a series of roundtable discussions on topical issues.

I am incredibly humbled to be able to attend this forum and I will be wearing my blogger’s hat! I am really looking forward to this. The only downside is flying into Reagan National, plagued by sleeping air traffic controllers and aborted landings.

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