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CIC National Capital (Ottawa): Prospects of Peace in Yemen Amid National and Regional Dynamics

February 25, 2020 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST


Join the CIC National Capital Branch’s Middle East Study Group (MESG) at its next event during which we will explore the root causes of the conflict in Yemen, look into the current peace process, and evaluate the prospects for peace in this country, reflecting on the regional and national dynamics.

Background: Yemen has been spiralling in a war for over five years now leading to the escalation of an already existing humanitarian crisis, to become one of the largest in the world. In 2011, Yemen joined the countries of the Arab spring in calling for toppling President Saleh, who had been ruling Yemen for over 33 years. For a highly militarized country, ranking top among countries with the highest numbers of privately owned firearms, the Yemenis were able to limit the conflict and engage in a relatively peaceful transition sponsored by the Gulf countries, mainly the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and overseen by the United Nations. Yemenis engaged in a relatively inclusive national dialogue to discuss the new social contract in the hopes that the process would lead to the adoption of a new constitution to build a new modern civic state of Yemen. Regrettably, the peaceful power transition did not last long and the country slipped into a devastating armed conflict.


Kais Al-Iriani is an international development professional with 15 years of experience. He is a cofounder of the Social Fund for Development, Yemen’s largest development agency. After 10 years in the management of economic and social development programs in which he worked with governments, legislators, and communities, he shifted his focus to community conflict. When his home country, Yemen, slipped into conflict, he moved to the US where he completed a master’s degree in conflict resolution for a thesis entitled “Preventative Diplomacy and Peacebuilding: The Case of UN Role in Yemen Conflict 2011-2016”. He continues his research of the Yemen conflict, with a focus on conflict dynamics, the role of diplomacy, and community peace. In Ottawa, Kais co-founded Friends of Yemen Organization, a Canadian initiative to help Yemenis in need in Canada and around the world.

Rasha Jarhum is a South Yemeni resident in Canada and member of the CIC. Jarhum is co-founder and Director of the Peace Track Initiative, hosted at the Human Rights Research and Education Center, at the University of Ottawa. She is a Gender, Peace, and Security expert. She has more than 15 years experience working to advocate women’s, children’s and refugee rights with international organizations including UNICEF, ESCWA, UNDP, in Yemen and the Middle East and North Africa region. Jarhum has been working to support the peace process and mediation efforts led by the UN Special Envoy. She was invited among seven women by the UN Special Envoy to Yemen to support the peace talks held in Kuwait in 2016 and has briefed the UN Security Council on Yemen and Women’s Rights to push for peace. She is an alumni of the Executive in Residence Fellow at the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP), Switzerland. She is also a 2016 New Voices Aspen fellow at the Aspen Institute, USA. Jarhum holds a master’s degree from the University of Nottingham in International Business Management. Jarhum is an award winner of the Women with Wings Award and Anita Augspurg Award for Rebels against War. She is a member of the Women Alliance for Security Leadership (WASL), Women in International Security Peace and Security in the Middle East: Why Yemen Matters.


While there is no cost to attend this event, we ask that you register in advance at: hjorjani@bell.net

Hamid Jorjani, Ph.D.

Chair, MESG – CIC National Capital Branch


February 25, 2020
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm EST
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Richmond Room, Ottawa City Hall
110 Laurier Avenue West
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 1J1 Canada
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CIC National Capital (Ottawa) Branch