Salma Elloumi-Rekik, founding member of the Tunisian liberal opposition party Nidaa Tounes, and Basma Khalfaoui, the widow of assassinated Tunisian opposition politician Chokri Belaïd, will participate in a panel discussion to consider the status of the democratic transition in Tunisia on Sept. 26.
Elloumi-Rekik and Khalfaoui will be joined by Ambassador Frank Wisner, former U.S. Ambassador to Egypt. The discussion will be moderated by Professor Mustapha Tlili, founder and director of the NYU Center for Dialogues: Islamic World – U.S. – The West, the sponsor of the event.
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Elloumi-Rekik and Khalfaoui are two of the pre-eminent voices of the united opposition in Tunisia. Elloumi-Rekik, who has been a guiding force in Nidaa Tounes and is a current member of its Executive Board in charge of International Affairs, will highlight the role of the primary opposition party in the Tunisian political system. Nidaa Tounes arose in the spring of 2012 as a unifying party for Tunisian secularists and democrats, seeking to pressure the ruling Islamist party, Ennahda, to maintain democratic accountability and human rights.
Khalfaoui has played a vital role in the formation of the popular movement that emerged as a legacy of her husband following his assassination in February. The popular movement has sought to unite Tunisians around a clear set of democratic principles that move the political transition beyond zero-sum politics.
Wisner, who brings over three decades of experience in the U.S. Foreign Service to the conversation, will share his insights on the trajectory of the “Arab Spring,” especially in view of the dramatic changes that shook Egypt recently and considering the current U.S. debate on possible military involvement in Syria. Together, the three panelists will provide a new look at the ongoing transition in Tunisia as potentially the last opportunity for the success of the “Arab Spring”.
New York University’s Center for Dialogues: Islamic World-U.S.-The West emerged from the tragedy of September 11th, which highlighted the need for greater communication among and about the United States, Europe, and the Muslim world. The Center was founded as a forum for constructive debate among the various religious, intellectual, economic, and political sectors of American, European, and Islamic societies. It brings contentious issues between the Islamic world and the West into a more rational plane and promotes this approach to a wide audience, including important constituencies of policy and decision-makers, policy analysts, the media, and educational institutions. For more information, go to www.centerfordialogues.org.