07 Dec

Exchanges on the Middle East - Libya: Prospects for Peace and Reconciliation

Organized by:Van Vollenhoven Institute

Six years after the 2011 February uprising that ended Qadhafi’s rule, Libya has become a deeply divided country facing many challenges. Yet, both the Libyan people and the international community have a vested interest in Libya’s transition to a peaceful, secure, and just state. Motivated by this belief, and as part of their series: Exchanges on the Middle East, the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Governance and Society (VVI), Leiden University Centre for the Study of Islam and Society (LUCIS), and the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, are organizing three events focusing on the ongoing instability in Libya and the prospects of ending it and building reconciliation in the country. These events have as their umbrella title: Libya: Prospects for Peace and Reconciliation.

  • The first is is a public lecture and debate at De Rode Hoed, Keizersgracht 102, 1015 CV Amsterdam. Thursday 7 December 2017, 20:00-21:30 hours.
  • The second is a workshop with students on Friday 8 December 11:15-12:45 at the Kamerling Onnes Builiding, room B013, Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden.
  • The third is a meeting with experts on Friday 8 December, 14.30 - 16.30 hours at the Kamerling Onnes Builiding, room B013, Steenschuur 25, 2311 ES Leiden.

Three distinguished speakers will present their perspectives and discuss them and other perspectives in the three events:

  • Claudia Gazzini

Claudia Gazzini holds a PhD in Middle Eastern History from Oxford University, and was a researcher at the European University Institute in Florence and a visiting fellow at the Northwestern University. Her academic research on Libya has been published in various outlets, including the Middle East Report and the Arab Media and Society journal. She served as senior analyst for Libya for the International Crisis Group from 2012 to 2017, before joining United Nations Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL) as policy advisor to the current Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General, Ghassan Salamé.

  • Tarek Mitri

Tarek Mitri received his PhD in political science from the University of Paris X, and was a lecturer at Saint Joseph University in Beirut. His main areas of interest include the history and sociology of Christian-Muslim relations. He held several ministerial positions in Lebanon, including Minister of Culture and Minister of Foreign Affairs. From 2012 to 2014, he was the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General and Head of UNSMIL. He currently serves as the Director of the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Relations at the American University of Beirut.

  • Youssef Sawani

Youssef Sawani is Professor of Politics and International Relations at Tripoli University. He was Director of the Qadhafi Foundation before resigning in February 2011 to join the uprising. He is a member of the board of trustees of the Institute for Arab Unity Studies, and editor of the journal Contemporary Arab Affairs. His publications include ‘The February 17 Intifada in Libya: disposing of the regime and the issues of state-building,’ in Ricardo Laremont (ed), Revolution, Revolt and Reform in North Africa (Routledge, 2013).


To register for the public lecture on Thursday 7 December 2017, please send a written confirmation of your attendance to DAM-lezingen@minbuza.nl, under the subject heading ‘Lecture December 2017’, indicating the number of attendees.


As for the student workshop and the expert meeting, these two links can respectively provide all the information needed:



Keizersgracht 102 1015CV Amsterdam Netherlands