NEWS 

Our experts participate in a variety of events around the world.  The news posts featured in this section keep readers informed of our team’s latest activities. 

Date:  23-24 May 2024

We speak at the "Economic Empowerment and Sustainability Conference in Syria" in Istanbul, emphasizing the importance of microfinance in fostering economic resilience and sustainability in Syria, highlighting its role in early recovery and in creating employment and leveraging local resources.

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Date:  08 May 2024

We speak at a closed regional consultation held by UNDP. The presentation focused on the role of post conflict recovery in ushering development and stability in the Arab region. The regional consultation event aimed to inform the upcoming Arab Human Development Report 2025, focusing on sustainable development through improved governance, regional cooperation, and equitable policies.

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Date:  02 May 2024

We facilitate an event at the UN House in Brussels that discusses the dual roles of Syria's private sector in economic recovery and civic engagement. Organized by the UNDP, London School of Economics and partners, this gathering aims to enhance the sector's impact on Syria's societal and economic development.

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Date:  29-30 April 2024

We speak at the UN ESCWA workshop addressing strengthening public governance in post-conflict Arab regions. We discuss effective local governance frameworks, drawing on case studies from conflict situations, and emphasizing the critical role of bottom-up reforms and municipal empowerment in service delivery.  

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Date:  31 January 2024

We present at a UN organized meeting about Syria's decentralization, highlighting the need for normative parameters across four reform pillars. The event aimed to unify diverse perspectives on Syria's governance, promising to shape future reforms and peace efforts.

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Date:  January 2024

We join a closed strategy meeting on Syria to address multiple pressing issues, such as the war in Gaza and regional conflicts, and their impacts on Syria.  Discussions also included an assessment of the situation in Syrian regime-controlled areas, the future of autonomous regions, civil society, and grassroots initiatives.

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Date:  16-17 December 2023

We participate in The International Conference on Combating Violence Against Women and Girls in Syria, held in Brussels, and organized by the EuroMed Feminist Initiative and funded by SIDA. The conference focused on strategies to address VAWG in Syria, highlighting the need for legal reforms and women's participation in reconstruction efforts.

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Date:  14 November 2023 

At the "Structured Chaos" webinar, experts including Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj discussed not-for-profits in conflict zones, focusing on Syria. They explored the economic impact of these organizations, emphasizing the need for a shift towards sustainable development and recovery, and critiqued current aid models for their focus on short-term relief.

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Date: 26 October 2023

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, a Partner at LUGARIT, led a session on decentralization in post-conflict settings at Swiss Peace's course in Basel, Switzerland. He focused on types of decentralization, and engaged participants in critical discussions and simulations to understand decentralization's role in peacebuilding.

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Date: 27 September 2023

At a workshop in Berlin celebrating the Syrian Heritage Archive Project's decade-long efforts, Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj from LUGARIT started the opening session, discussing the challenges in rehabilitating the old city of Aleppo. The event included diverse sessions on heritage recovery, traditional architecture, and community outreach, aimed at preserving Syrian cultural heritage.

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Date:  12-13 July 2023

In preparation for the Rome MED conference, we participate in a regional meeting titled "Track II: Exploring Positive Measures for A Sustainable Solution in Syria," focusing on developing strategies for US and European engagement on Syrian policy. Key discussions included minority issues, regional priorities, and leveraging Arab rapprochement with Damascus for a constructive approach.

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Date:  13 June 2023

A discussion on "Effective Early Recovery in Syria and the Role of Civil Society" was held in Brussels, organized by NAFS at ESCWA. We join key figures to discuss rebuilding Syria, alongside the Brussels VII Conference, focusing on humanitarian aid and political solutions for the Syrian conflict.

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Date:  30 May 2023

We participate in the "Peacebuilding in a Changing Risk Landscape" Expert Group Meeting, held on May 30, 2023 and organized by ESCWA, focused on risk interplay in the Arab region, discussing risk assessment and prevention strategies, with emphasis on conflicts, climate change, and governance, reflecting on the World Bank report "Pathways for Peace”.

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Date:  2-4 May 2023

We join the Civil Society Support Room’s working group in Geneva to conclude the work on local governance in Syria. The group, after months of collaboration, presented key recommendations, focusing on legal reforms and decentralisation strategies.

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Date:  16 February 2023

We join a policy meeting in Brussels, titled "Enhancing EU Stabilisation Practice." Organized by EPLO, the event focused on improving EU stabilization efforts in conflict areas, emphasizing transparency, inclusive civil society engagement, and adaptable, human-centered strategies, with key recommendations from global experts.

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Date:  18-20 January 2023

The EuroMed Feminist Initiative hosted a three-day meeting  in Paris, reviewing guidelines for gender-sensitive reconstruction in Syria.  We joined with participants to advise on economic reforms. The meeting focused on integrating gender mainstreaming in Syria's reconstruction, covering economic, legal, social, and political aspects, setting a precedent for future initiatives.

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Date:  12 October 2022

The "MENA FUTURES 2032" project explores future scenarios for the MENA region. Commissioned by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, it examines potential outcomes in a volatile world, focusing on five thematic sectors: Political Factors and Governance, Economic Development (including Technology), Social Development, Peace and Security, and Natural Living Conditions.

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Date:  10-14 July 2022

At the 24th International Symi Symposium in Greece, we discuss the impacts of the Ukraine war on Syria.  We highlight the country’s dilemmas; aligning with Russia and financial dependence on Iran. And we emphasize constitutional debates and link development aid to human rights progress.

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Date:  5-6 April 2022

The GIZ organizes the first meeting of a working group on housing rights for Syrian refugees and internally displaced persons, focusing on a new GIS-based Informal Settlements Observatory to monitor and advocate for housing, land, and property rights in Syrian informal settlements.

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Date:  5-7 October 2020

At the high-level virtual conference "The Elders in conversation on women in mediation in the Arab world," held in Wilton Park, UK, over 60 participants discussed the critical role of women in Arab peace processes. Key themes included addressing systemic gender inequalities and enhancing women's roles in high-level mediation.

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Date:  25 February 2020

In an interview with Felm, Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj emphasized the need for community-based aid and cooperation in Syria, moving beyond traditional material support. He highlighted the importance of community capital and shared inspiring examples of communal initiatives fostering unity and peace. 

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Date:  21 February 2020

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, in an interview with Ilta-Sanomat, warned of a potential ISIS resurgence in Syria due to deteriorating conditions and inadequate focus on humanitarian aid. He highlighted the radicalization risks in camps like al-Holi and urged European countries, including Finland, to play a more significant role in mediating and aiding Syria's development.

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Date:  18-19 June 2019

Our expert joins the Oslo Forum 2019, co-hosted by the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Focused on innovative conflict mediation, the forum addressed challenges in cyberspace, climate change, inclusive peace processes, and conflicts in Afghanistan, the Korean Peninsula, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and other regions.  

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Date:  03 June 2019

The London School of Economics hosted a significant event unveiling a report on Syria's political economy and governance. It highlighted the country's structural transformations amid conflict. Experts discussed the evolving political landscape, the impact of constitutional changes, and the need for a shift in the development approach in post-conflict Syria.

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Date:  8-9 April 2019

At the UN-hosted EGM in Beirut, we participate in a session to discuss fostering peace and development in the Arab region through inclusiveness, empowerment, and equality. The session focused on post-conflict rebuilding, social cohesion, and addressing challenges in conflict-affected areas like Yemen and Palestine.

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Date:  1-3 April 2019

The 2019 City Debates Conference, organized by the American University of Beirut, focused on urban recovery at the intersection of displacement and reconstruction. Chaired by Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, the Special Session on Syria featured discussions on women's roles, heritage, and city development, highlighting interdisciplinary perspectives on displacement and urban reconstruction.

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Date:  17-18 October 2019

An EGM, organized by ESCWA, focused on developing a risk assessment framework for the Arab region. Keynote speaker Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj presented future scenarios, emphasizing regional challenges and their impacts on achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, highlighting the critical need for comprehensive strategies in conflict-affected areas.

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Date:  29 November 2018

At the "Civic Perspectives on Conflict" event at LSE, Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj presented on Syria's post-conflict challenges and local elections, highlighting issues in property rights and political economy. Joined by distinguished intellectuals, the event addressed enduring global conflicts, emphasizing the role of independent voices in conflict analysis and resolution.

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Date:  21-22 November 2018

Our expert participates in the Policy Planner’s Forum on Strategic Stability in the MENA in Rome, discussing critical issues like the future of the Iran deal post-U.S. withdrawal and the endgame in Syria. The event, part of the 2018 Rome MED, aimed to foster dialogue for regional stability.

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Date:  30 October 2018

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj joins the advisory board of LSE's Conflict Research Programme (CRP). The CRP, running from 2017 to 2021 with a £6.68m grant, focuses on understanding contemporary conflict and violence, particularly in regions like the Middle East and Africa, to inform policy and identify effective interventions.

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Date:  19-20 June 2018

Our expert joins the 16th Oslo Forum, which brought together over 100 global peacemakers to discuss the evolving nature of conflicts. Focusing on innovative mediation strategies, the forum emphasized the need for coordinated efforts in addressing fragmented conflicts in regions like Syria, Libya, and Yemen.

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Date:  4 June 2018

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj spoke at Leiden University on the use of siege warfare in the Syrian conflict. The event explored the tactic's impact on civilians and Syria's socio-political landscape, highlighting the gravity of siege as both a war strategy and its significant consequences for affected communities.

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Date:  24-26 April 2018

The 2018 Arab Forum for Sustainable Development in Beirut, organized by ESCWA, focused on implementing the 2030 Agenda in the Arab region. Highlights included discussions on sustainable urban planning and enhancing local governance, with Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj contributing to the discourse on resilient and inclusive city development.

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Date:  13-14 June 2017

The Oslo Forum 2017 convened over 100 global peacemakers and experts, including our expert Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj, to discuss the challenges of conflict resolution in a new geopolitical era. Focusing on the impacts of major power rivalries on mediation, the forum emphasized the need for adaptive strategies and UN reforms.

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Date:  30 January 2017

The Arab Climate Change Assessment Report, published by the UN ESCWA, reveals significant impacts of climate change on the Arab region's water resources and socio-economic vulnerability. Funded by Sweden and implemented through a collaborative partnership involving 11 organizations, the report informs policy dialogue and enhances regional decision-making capacity in climate adaptation.

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Date:  23 January 2017

The Helsinki seminar, "How To Support Bottom-Up Community Resilience In Syria," convened experts, including Pre-LUGARIT's Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj and Zedoun Al-Zoubi, focusing on local-led approaches for Syrian community resilience, aligning with the upcoming UN 3RP launch. It emphasized civil society's pivotal role in Syria's stability and resilience planning.

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Date:  25 March 2016

The “Scales of Syria” symposium at Harvard Graduate School of Design, co-sponsored by notable organizations, focused on the Syrian crisis and refugee displacement. Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj and others discussed the impact on the Syrian diaspora and countryside, highlighting the need for global attention and collaborative recovery efforts.

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Date:  16 December 2015

Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj discusses Syria's complex conflict and peace efforts with MTV Uutiset. Emphasizing grassroots activism and the need for Syrian-led dialogue, he highlighted the importance of international support and acknowledged the challenges ahead, maintaining a hopeful outlook for Syria's path to peace.

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