This November, Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q) will continue to promote dialogue that shapes a sustainable future through its Hiwaraat Conference Series, with two events focused on regional issues that have global impact: the complex challenges facing Afghanistan and the future of water security in Qatar and the Gulf.

The Center for International and Regional Studies (CIRS) at GU-Q will host the “Afghanistan Regional Symposium: Confronting the Impasse” on November 11. Through insightful panels, including discussions on the Afghan peace process, climate change, food security challenges, education, and humanitarian concerns, the symposium aims to foster a nuanced understanding of ongoing challenges and pave the way for informed, impactful solutions.

The symposium will kick off with a panel discussion on systemic challenges to education featuring prominent leaders and practitioners from Afghanistan, international academics, and global advocates for peace including Fatima Gailani, the former president of the Afghan Red Crescent Society and senior negotiator at the Afghan peace talks held in Doha.

She will be joined by Dr. Asmaa Al-Fadala, Director of Research and Content Development at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), and Ambassador Melanne Verveer, Executive Director of the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security and former U.S. Ambassador for Global Women’s Issues. Hameed Hakimi, a non-resident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council and conference co-organizer, will also join the panel. His extensive experience includes serving as an international advisor for policy and capacity development in Kabul during Afghanistan’s political transition from 2014-2015.

“Our Hiwaraat series is designed to provide a diversity of academic and experience-based perspectives on some of the most topical issues affecting millions of people in the region. It facilitates development of appropriate, sustainable solutions to enduring challenges, offering policy-makers and thought leaders invaluable yet realistic insights”, said Dr. Safwan Masri, dean of GU-Q. “The upcoming conferences are set to continue this course of action, enhancing the regionally-embedded dialogue, enriched with the dynamic engagement of experts and open public participation.”

The second conference titled “Sustaining the Oasis: Envisioning the Future of Water Security in the Gulf,” will follow on November 12 and 13, hosted collaboratively by GU-Q and Georgetown University’s Earth Commons Institute in Washington, DC. The influential global gathering of experts, policy-makers, and practitioners will consider the historical and future significance of water in the region, and balancing human and environmental needs in the face of a changing climate.

High-level panels, keynotes, and thematic round tables will discuss links between water, food, and environmental security, stewardship, the experience in Qatar, and the role of Gulf countries in defining a water-secure world. The program also features co-convened breakout sessions, including on climate change risks with QF’s Earthna, and non-conventional water resources in dryland regions with the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute.

Open to the public and held at the Four Seasons Hotel, Doha, the forthcoming conferences build on the achievements of GU-Q’s first two Hiwaraat events, which focused on the 20th anniversary of the Iraq invasion and combating Islamophobia. More information, and full details of the speakers, programs, and registration are available on the Hiwaraat Conference Series website at

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