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The New Arab Debates - With Tim Sebastian

Your spotlight on the Arab revolutions - your right to speak out, asking the vital questions - insisting on answers. The New Arab Debates invite a new generation to get involved in politics.

The New Arab Debates– Asking the vital questions – insisting on answers.

As the Arab world undergoes rapid and fundamental political change, one programme, based at the heart of the turbulent, ongoing events in Cairo and Tunis – will demand answers to the vital questions surrounding these developments.

What exactly are the new politicians promising and how far can they be trusted? Who will protect human rights including the rights of women? How can a new generation make itself heard – and how far will the old guard block progress?

Revolutionary movements have shown they can overthrow dictators, but can they – now in the runup to free elections - build democratic societies? Who will emerge as the new power-brokers and what experience do they have? Where will the religious parties lead – and how much influence will they wield?

The stakes are at their highest for half a century.

Building on a 7-year track record in Middle East debating, The New Arab Debates are well-positioned to continue promoting free speech in the region and tackling the most controversial issues. Crucially, they will provide the only robust and independent platform of its kind from inside the post-revolution states, designed primarily for young Arabs to question their politics and politicians. The new movers and drivers.

We will be looking for dramatic, passionate, cutting-edge discussions that identify the main currents of opinion in the new Arab societies, even as they begin to form. Where will the new conflicts lie and the new alliances? Essential information for viewers in the Arab and Muslim worlds, as well as around the world.

The Middle East remains one of the world’s riskiest flashpoints, glued together for decades by complex and often secret agreements that no longer hold good. What will take their place? And who will be the key players?

Our format will involve picking a controversial motion, with one speaker on each side, arguing for and against. They will each speak for three minutes and will then be questioned robustly by the chairman before the debate is thrown open to the audience and a final electronic vote from the whole “house”.

Our preference is for speakers to be “players” – politicians or political/military officials, as well as influential thought leaders, ready to engage in tough, uncompromising debate. No flowery philosophy, history lessons or intellectual flights of fancy!

We believe these sessions are an essential exercise in accountability and will help cement the citizen’s right to engage in the political arguments that affect him.
The debates will make full use of social media; they will be translated and streamed in English and Arabic on our website and will actively seek to make regional and international headlines. We are there to make news.