Meet the Speakers
Mishaal is an Emirati consultant and current affairs commentator. Holding a BA and an MSc. in finance, he began his career as an investment banker, shortly afterwards he helped his family set up a building materials business which he would later be named CFO. After maintaining a popular weekly opinion column in the local papers, he was asked to join to the Dubai government to establish its contemporary cultural projects strategy. Mishaal continues to write a column with specific focus on the GCC region. He analyses the challenges and opportunities of the region, its member states and cities from geopolitical, economic and socio-cultulral considerations. Mishaal also provides advise and support to groups interested in setting up in the Gulf.
Amira Yahyaoui is a 27 year-old Tunisian human rights activist and blogger who has been working for the past decade to promote rights in Tunisia. Following the revolution in early 2011, she continues to focus on freedom of expression, with an emphasis on anti-censorship. Amira was Sawt Mostakel candidate in the Tunisian election earlier this fall, as a head of an independent youth list. She is currently working to create the Tunisian Parliament Monitor, an NGO that will supervise the Tunisian parliament structure to monitor the deputies, advocate for the respect of human rights in the constitution, and educate people to take part in the political life of the country. She participated in the World Economic Forum in Jordan, held in the fall of 2011, as part of the newly-founded Global Shapers Community.
Dr Ebtisam Al-Ketbi is an assistant professor of Political Science at the Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, UAE University. She attained her Ph.D. in Political Science at the Faculty of Economics and Political Sciences, Cairo University. She is Secretary General of Gulf Development forum and also Board member of Association of political sciences beside she is a trustee’s board member of Arab Unity Studies Center and trustees board member of Arabic Organization for Transparency plus a Consultative board Member of Arabic Thought Foundation and a trustees board member of Arabic council for social sciences. She served as a member of Consultative committee of the UAE Center for Strategic Studies, director of woman program in Gulf research Center 2005 and Member of core team of Arabic Human Development Report 2006. She has published a number of papers including Women’s Issues in the GCC Countries, Democratic Transformations in GCC Countries, and Citizenship concept in the GCC countries. The security dimensions of military relations between GCC countries and USA, The global community and the war on terrorism: threat or opportunity?
A Syrian activist, Sumaya was born in Homs in 1977. After graduating in 1999 she left Syria in 2000 to work in the UAE. In addition to her artistic talent and architectural skills, she has a passion for philosophy writing and an interest in the public affairs, including defending human rights, free expression, as well as women and children’s rights. Sumaya took part in the peaceful revolutionary movement and is the author of numerous articles and blogs. She has led campaigns for the Syrian human rights proclamation and has been critical of the Syrian regime’s use of excessive violence against the opposition. Her father, also a human rights activist, was arrested at the beginning of the Syrian revolution by the regime forces and remains in custody.
Mohammad Abu Obeid is one of the most prominent TV presenters in the Arab world today. In addition, he is well known across the Arab world for his Twitter and Facebook pages followed by several thousands fans across the region. Since 2005, Abu Obeid has been presenting the Morning Show, "Sabah Al Arabiya" on Alarabiya TV. Mohammad also is a poet, an author, and a calligrapher and he acted in two stage plays. His articles defend women rights strongly. Views expressed on DubaiDebates.com reflect his own.