On January 21, 2009, the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at
the John F. Kennedy School
of Government at Harvard University and the Hariri Foundation-USA announced the creation
of the Gebran G. Tueni Human Rights Fellowship Program.
The gift of US$330,000 establishing the program comes from the Hariri Foundation-USA in honor
of Gebran Ghassan Tueni, a politician, journalist, and editor of the daily newspaper An-Nahar
in Beirut, Lebanon, who came to international prominence in March 2000 when he forcefully
advocated a Lebanon free from the control of outside forces. His call for tolerance between
Muslims and Christians and his denunciation of crimes against humanity cost him his life,
as he was assassinated by a car bomb in Dec. 2005. Tueni was one of more than 15 journalists,
activists, and Members of Parliament who were assassinated or targeted since the Feb. 2005
assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
His famous phrase "In the name of God, we, Muslims and Christians, pledge that united we
shall remain to the end of time to defend our Lebanon" has been his best known epitaph.
“Gebran Tueni represents the values and goals which we are trying to promote through
this Fellowship,” said Carr Center Director Rory Stewart.
Beginning in Sept. 2009, the Hariri Foundation gift will
support two 10-month fellowships
per year during a three-year period for scholars, journalists, writers, and human rights
activists from Lebanon or Iraq to conduct research in residence at the Carr Center. In
the event that eligible candidates from Lebanon or Iraq cannot be identified, fellowships
may be awarded to candidates from other Middle Eastern countries.
Each of the Gebran G. Tueni Fellows will undertake a major research project focusing on
the areas of freedom of speech, arbitrary detention, or discrimination against minorities,
displaced populations, or other vulnerable groups in one or more countries in the
Established in 1985, the Hariri Foundation-USA works to develop the human resources of
Lebanon through education. In support of this mission, it has sponsored over 3,000
Lebanese students at more than 300 universities and colleges in North America. Currently
it works to enrich the education of students attending schools in Lebanon.
The preceeding article was written by Doug Gavel, Harvard Kennedy School News Office.
It originally appeared on-line in January of 2009.
Shoubo Rasheed Jalal and Zeena Zakharia, the 2010 Teuni Fellowship Recipients.
Shoubo Rasheed Jalal is an Iraqi health care professional who has
spent more than 10 years coordinating and managing humanitarian and development
programs in both the government and UN sectors. With a special interest in child
and women's rights, Jalal has trained more than 1000 government, media, and NGO
personnel in this area. Working with the UN Gender Task Force, she has provided
technical guidance to the UN country team supporting gender equality in their work
in Iraq. Jalalís current research work, which will be the focus of her fellowship
year, involves the investigation of the social and protection status of the girl-child
within the humanitarian context of Iraq. This topic is especially significant, in light
of the ongoing deprivation, violence and inadequate rule of law, so pervasive in Iraq
today, an environment of deprivation whose toll has fallen disproportionately, Jalal
contends, on that society's women and girls. For adolescent girls in Iraq are
systematically deprived of autonomy, mobility and the opportunity for safe, stimulating,
and positive social life. Jalalís goal is to produce an analysis which can be used to
prepare a set of recommendations that can influence policy, programming, and
documentation at the regional, national and international levels and that will, in
turn, address this appalling situation and improve the lives of Iraqi youth generally
and adolescent girls specifically.
Zeena Zakharia is a Lebanese social scientist, educator and
activist of Palestinian origin. She holds a Master of Education degree from Harvard
University and a Doctorate in International Educational Development from Columbia
University Teachers College. Her scholarly, professional, and personal interests
converge at the intersection of human rights and educational development with special
emphasis on the rights and needs of children and youth, particularly in the Middle
East. She has over 15 years of experience as an educator and scholar, including ten
years in conflict management, institution-building, curriculum development and teacher
training in post-civil war Lebanon and, more recently, during the summer 2006 war and
its aftermath. Her dissertation research entailed a large-scale study of language
policy, security and rights in Greater Beirut. Her current research, which she will
continue during her fellowship year at the Carr Center, explores the social impacts
of Human Rights Education and its implications for peacebuilding and human rights
policy within and beyond the school space. By looking at how differing
conceptualizations of human rights are implemented through educational policy,
curriculum, and practice, her study seeks to understand how human rights knowledge
is gained, enacted, and understood within contemporary youth discourse across
different religious, socioeconomic and geographic contexts in Lebanon.
2010-2011 Events and Publications by the Tueni Fellows:
Rima Merhi and Ali Allawi, the 2009 Teuni Fellowship Recipients.
Ali Allawi, served as the Interim Minister of Trade in the new Government of
2003-2004 until he was appointed the first Interim Minister of Defense of Iraq. In April
2005 Mr. Allawi was appointed Minister of Finance in the Transitional Iraqi Government.
Born in Baghdad, Iraq, Mr. Allawi graduated from MIT with a BSc in Civil Engineering and
continued his postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics. In 1971 he received
his MBA from Harvard University. He has just published “The Crisis in Islamic
Civilization” (Yale University Press) and is working on another book that will be a
comprehensive political biography of Faisal I of Iraq, set against the fall of the Ottoman
Empire and the formation of the modern state system in the Middle East and Iraq.
Rima Merhi is a researcher, human rights activist, and freelance journalist with
publications in leading newspapers and other media outlets. She recently conducted
research at the Middle East Institute and the Library of Congress in Washington DC.
Rima has a BA in public administration from the American University of Beirut (AUB)
and an MBA from the Lebanese American University. In July 2005 she testified before
the U.S. Congress on youth aspirations for political, economic, and social reform in
Lebanon. Rima then worked for the UN to improve the humanitarian situation of
Palestinian refugees in Lebanon and participated in media and relief committees relating
to the crisis at Nahr el Bared Palestinian camp in May 2007. Rima holds numerous
certificates related to the field of human rights and has participated in numerous seminars