Islam & Liberty Summer Workshop Tunisia

17-19 July 2019

Report

Tunisia is the only ‘Arab Spring’ country which has graduated from the tumultuous revolution to a more stable democracy and its recent experience suggests that Islam and democracy are compatible, provided political leadership demonstrates a pluralist approach. It is also a country which is facing economic challenges as the economy is dominated by the state and labour unions. 

On 17-19 July, 2019, Islam & Liberty Network organized its second Summer Workshop in Tunisia, supported by the Network for Free Society in collaboration with the Center for Islam & Democracy Tunisia. It was attended by 14 participants from Tunisia, Morocco and Algeria, affiliated with universities, civil society and political parties. This batch was selected from a pool of 82 applications, including 63 from North Africa and 19 from other regions. The faculty included Ali Salman, CEO of Islam & Liberty Network, Dr. Bican Sahin, Professor at Hacettepe University Ankara and Dr. Husnul Amin, Associate Professor at the International Islamic University Islamabad.

The programme included two full days of moderated discussions based on the pre-distributed reading material. The topics included Islam and democracy, secularism, religious freedom and economic freedom with readings drawn from diverse sources. Special sessions were held discussing the economic development and challenges in Turkey and Malaysia.

Some comments from the participants:

Ferdaous Ismaili

“Overall, the workshop was intellectually stimulating, I enjoyed the discussion without political filters. The participants and the speakers were very easy-going. Thus, the debate was healthy and enlightening.”


Hatem Ben Romdhane

“In this workshop, we dealt with controversial issues that need a lot of debate/discussions/seminars and at the same time more reflexions & deeper research, interesting articles & different short or long writings are always demanded. This will be my way.”


Meriem Boumerzak

“The liberal thought was something new for me. I have learned a lot from the workshop; thank you so much. A lot of topics need to be taken into consideration mainly democracy and tolerance. The insertion of the youth especially women in the working life is also important.”


Kamal Akaya

“The content made me curious to deepen my readings in this field and discover the academic articles that were published about it.”


Tasnim Idriss

“The best part of this program was definitely the exciting discussions about politics, theology, Islamic liberalism and democracy not only during the workshop sessions but also during coffee breaks and meals time. 
Going back home richer in spirit! ”


The summary of the feedback received by 14 participants is as follows:

How knowledgeable were the speakers?
Not (1) – Very (5)
How engaging were with participants?
Not (1) – Very (5)
How relevance is the course with your work?
Not (1) – Very (5)
How much likely you will use these contents in future?
Not (1) – Very (5)
How satisifed are you with the logistical management (logistics, planning etc)
Not (1) – Very (5)
The time duration of Summer Workshop was?
Short (1) – Long (5)
The contents of the course were?
Easy (1) – Complicated (5)
4.574.644.214.214.503.072.85

The workshop was followed by an open seminar discussing economic development in Malaysia and Turkey, which was attended by about 40 participants drawing from the private sector, civil society and media in Tunisia.

You may find pictures in the gallery by following this link.

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