The Gebran G. Tueni Human Rights Fellowship

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 Middle East.

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.

2010 Teuni Fellowship Recipients: Shoubo Rasheed Jalal and Zeena Zakharia.

Shoubo Rasheed Jalal 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. Jalals 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. Jalals 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.


Shoubo Rasheed Jalal 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:
24, 2010
“Negotiating Language Policy, Security and Rights in the Classroom During and After Violent Conflict”
Zeena Zakharia
12, 2010
Journal Article:
Language and Vulnerability: How Educational Policies Exacerbate Inequalities
Zeena Zakharia
10, 2010
“Meeting Development Goals: Challenges Facing Iraq in Attaining Health Rights”
Shoubo Rasheed Jalal

2009 Teuni Fellowship Recipients: Ali Allawi and Rima Merhi.

Ali Allawi, served as the Interim Minister of Trade in the new Government of Iraq from 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.

More on Ali Allawi >

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 and workshops.

More about Rima Merhi's work as a Fellow >

2009-2010 Events Sponsored by the Tueni Fellows:
22, 2009
“The Price for Democracy in Lebanon: Reflections and Human Rights Concerns” Rima Merhi and
Loubna Freih
23, 2009
The Goldstone Report: Should Israel and Hamas be investigated for war crimes? Rima Merhi
28, 2009
“The Evolution of the Idea of Human Rights and Duties in Islam” Dr. Ali A. Allawi
18, 2009
“An Alternative Perspective - An Ethical Reading of Human Rights in Islam” Dr. Ali A. Allawi
20, 2010
Why they died. Investigating Violations of Humanitarian Law
During the July 2006 war between Israel and Hezbollah
Rima Merhi
17, 2010
The Foundation of Ethical Values in Islam” Dr. Ali A. Allawi
9, 2010
“Hope for a Desperate Palestinian Refugee Population in Lebanon Rima Merhi
28, 2010
The Druze Minority and Challenge of Survival in Modern Times Rima Merhi