Prince Moulay Hicham's Key Note Speech at Harvard Law School

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The Harvard Arab Alumni Association, the various MENA clubs across campus, and the Arab student body have organizing the seventh Harvard Arab Weekend (HAW), that took place at Harvard University from the 7 – 10 of November, 2013.
As the largest pan-Arab conference in North America, the Harvard Arab Weekend has prided itself on showcasing a mosaic of perspectives and insights on the most pressing issues in the Arab world. We come from a region whose direction is driven by a strong sense of urgency, and rightly so.
A quick look at the past century brings about a multitude of events that had repercussions going beyond the geographic confines of the Arab world: fall of the Ottoman empire, emergence of nation-states, colonization of Arab countries, the Nakba, rise of liberation movements, golden age of pan-Arabism, military dictatorships, Arab-Israeli wars, oil crises, emergence of contemporary political Islam, Iraq-Iran war, first Gulf War, second Gulf War, and the still ongoing Arab uprisings.
The prevalence of a geopolitical component linking together all of the above led to the emergence of a narrative reflecting political, military, and security concerns. Although this narrative captures an essential part of our contemporary history, we strongly believe that a complementary story is waiting to unfold. Indeed, the common narrative has often pictured the political and socio-economic woes as an inexorable reality for the Arab world. We then find ourselves confined in a self-reinforcing cycle of sufferings and resilient issues that seem unavoidable, if only because they have been here with us all the time.
We would like to take the opportunity offered to us through the Harvard Arab Weekend in order to identify the contours of these realities and push ourselves to look for solutions instead of letting despair and complacency reign in our assessment and reflection. Specifically, we would like to draw on the energy of Arab students and professionals to unveil this alternative narrative, which we have anchored around three broad categories: Cherish, Challenge, and Change.
CHERISH is an invitation to celebrate what we love about the Arab world, whether it is Palestine, heritage, arts, women, culture, or the incredible achievements that many of our citizens have accomplished. Central to this category is the sense of pride that we relate to our identity as Arabs.
CHALLENGE is the act of questioning, confronting, and addressing the hard truths that seldom appear on the surface. It includes topics such as poverty, transparency, human rights, civic engagement, and, most importantly, discussing what it means to be Arab in a globalized world.
CHANGE starts from a sense of individual effort and collective exertion combined with an awareness of the difficult work ahead. It starts with a definition of genuine regional priorities and is an invitation to contribute, rise above, engage, and become a better citizen of the Arab world.
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