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Belabbes Benkredda

Belabbes Benkredda is an Algerian-German social innovator, writer, television commentator, and government consultant who specializes in public diplomacy.[1][2] He is the founder of The Munathara Initiative, an Arab online and television debate forum that promotes the voices of youth, women and marginalized communities in the Arab public.[2] He was a recipient of the 2013 Democracy Award of the National Democratic Institute, and is a Fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar.[3] In 2016 he was named a World Fellow by Yale University.[4]

Belabbes Benkredda
2014 03 22 Belabbes Benkredda.jpg
EducationGoethe University, University of Exeter, Yale University
OccupationFounder of the Munathara Initiative


Education and careerEdit

Benkredda received an undergraduate degree in Frankfurt, at Goethe University. He studied international relations and philosophy of law, graduating with an MA in Middle East Politics from the University of Exeter. He worked for the German Foreign Office in Berlin, the Council for Arab-British Understanding in London, and for Zenith Magazine in various cities in the Middle East.[5] He has also worked for the League of Arab States and the Peace Research Institute Frankfurt. His articles on media and democracy in the Arab world have appeared in Gulf News, Khaleej Times, The National and the European Magazine. He has contributed commentary on Arab affairs to a number of international media, including Aljazeera TV, Spiegel Online, and the New York Times.[6]

Dubai DebatesEdit

In January 2011, Benkredda founded the Dubai Debates, intending for it to be an independent platform for discussing important issues facing the Arab world.[6][7][8] The project was supported by groups such as KAS (Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung),[9] Vital Voices, and CNN International.[10] In the spring of 2012, he suspended the project and created a sister organization in Tunis, Tunisia.[6]

The Munathara InitiativeEdit

The Dubai Debates ceased its operations and Benkredda founded The Munathara Initiative in 2012. This successor program is set up in a similar way and takes a three-pronged approach to debates: community outreach, online and social media participation, and a live debate event.[11] Live television debates have been held in Tunis, Sanaa, Amman and Istanbul.

Awards and recognitionEdit

Belabbes Benkredda and Secretary Madeleine Albright during the 2013 NDI Democracy Awards in Washington, DC
  • Recipient of the 2013 Democracy Award of the National Democratic Institute[12][13][14][15]
  • He is also an alumnus of the Sessions of the Salzburg Global Seminar, referred to as a Salzburg Global Fellow.[2]
  • He also received the Nazi Ayubi Memorial Award in 2004.[13]

External linksEdit


  1. ^ "Elections do not matter if people lack real choice". Retrieved 16 Oct 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Belabbes Benkredda: "The Arab Spring is on life support"". Retrieved 16 Oct 2014.
  3. ^ "15 Faces for the Future". Retrieved 19 Dec 2015.
  4. ^ "World Fellows Class of 2016". Retrieved 21 Oct 2016.
  5. ^ "The European: Belabbes Benkredda". Retrieved 16 Oct 2014.
  6. ^ a b c "New York TImes: Gulf States Cast Dim Eye on Reform After Tumult". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  7. ^ "Dubai Debates". Retrieved 16 Oct 2014.
  8. ^ "(The National UAE) Dubai Debates: the word is out there". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  9. ^ "Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung: Regional Office Gulf States". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  10. ^ "Dubai Debates: Women, Civil Society and Leadership in a New Arab World". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  11. ^ "The Munathara Initiative: About". Archived from the original on 30 April 2013. Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  12. ^ "The Civic Innovator: A Conversation with NDI's 2013 Democracy Award Recipients". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  13. ^ a b "University of Exeter: International democracy award for graduate". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  14. ^ "National Democratic Institute: Award Recipients Discuss Technology's Role in Democracy". Retrieved 18 Oct 2014.
  15. ^ "The W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award". Retrieved 17 Oct 2014.