The Forum for Arab and International Relations is an independent think tank based in Doha, Qatar. It was established in 1432H/AD2011 to further cultural and political development, stimulate debate, promote dialogue and forge consensus among different intellectual and political groupings within and outside the Arab and Islamic world. FAIR is committed to the dissemination of information and to the free expression of opinions, views and beliefs that help different communities and social segments understand and come to terms with one another. It is equally committed to empowering citizens and enabling politicians, intellectuals and policy makers to reach better and more informed solutions to local, regional and international problems.
To inculcate this culture of knowledge, dialogue and cross-cultural understanding, FAIR holds symposia, conferences and seminars, introduces influential intellectuals, politicians and academics, publishes and translates seminal studies, books and research material. It will remain faithful to these original principles on which it was founded and which reflect a true image of Qatar’s vibrant cultural and intellectual life.
FAIR believes that more knowledge and better understanding of the realities and root causes of human problems and human tragedies are the first step to averting and resolving national and international crises. As more knowledge and better understanding are also the bases of sound judgment and wise behaviour, FAIR endeavors to disseminate information, explain current crises and suggest well-informed theoretical and practical solutions that serve the public interest and the welfare of humanity. FAIR uses all the cognitive tools, media venues and research facilities at its disposal to create its envisioned culture of knowledge, dialogue and mutual understanding.
FAIR was founded as a platform for political and cultural dialogue and development. It seeks to spread peace and cross-cultural understanding, avert religious, sectarian, national, and international tensions or at least help ameliorate their adverse effects. FAIR operates on the broadest levels possible, addressing ordinary people, elites and all parties interested in civil harmony and tolerance within Arab societies and throughout the world. It calls for a better understanding of different cultural milieux, for more awareness of the particularly complex realities of the Arab world and of the overwhelming need to improve its relations with the rest of the world.
- To further political, intellectual and cultural development, and to promote dialogue among various communities and social groupings within and outside the Arab world.
- To spread and popularize the values of tolerance, openness and pluralism in Arab societies.
- To promote dialogue as the means to find better solutions to local, regional and international problems.
- To invite Arab, Islamic and world scholars, intellectuals and academics to address the Arab public and make known their views in seminars and conferences, and publish and translate the books, studies and research material they produce.
- Conferences and seminars
FAIR holds international symposia, conferences and seminars to discuss current issues in the Arab and Islamic region. Prominent politicians, intellectuals, academics, theologians and policy makers are regularly invited to participate and posit their insights and research projects to these prestigious gatherings. The output is often included in conference proceedings books available to the public in FAIR library and various bookshops. FAIR’s official website provides free videotape recordings of these conferences on YouTube.
- The Cultural Forum
FAIR holds local seminars and discussion groups every fortnight. Writers, intellectuals, academics and specialists in various fields are invited to debate different political, religious, philosophical and/or public issues. FAIR has held hundreds of these meetings since it was established and remains committed to them as a means to raise consciousness and increase awareness of the current issues in today’s world.
FAIR has published many books of interest to both specialist and general readerships. It pays particular attention to publishing studies and research papers presented by academics and specialists in its symposia and seminars, often in the form of conference proceedings books. All FAIR books are made available to the public, free in FAIR’s library and at cost price in bookshops.
It is a priority for FAIR to build intellectual bridges, promote mature interaction and exchange, and develop cross cultural understanding through the medium of translation. FAIR renders into Arabic some seminal socio-economic, political, philosophical and cultural books and articles written in all living languages of the world. It also translates from Arabic some creative cultural tracts that reflect the brilliance of the Arab and Islamic mind and rid it of the unfair distortions and stereotyping stuck to it.
FAIR further promotes translation as a mature act of cultural interaction by holding an international conference under the title of Translation and the Problematics of Cross-cultural Understanding. The annual conference has become a platform for Arab and world translators to meet, interact and honour some prominent contributors to dialogue and understanding across languages and cultures.
FAIR also works on a leading project to translate into Arabic the German Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (2010), published in cooperation with the UNESCO. Tens of translators take part in the project which, FAIR hopes, will enrich Arab intellectual life and stand the model for the significant translation projects it intends to launch in the future.
- Studies and Research
FAIR regularly commissions and publishes studies, articles and research projects on current affairs and public issues. It welcomes and rewards all contributions by writers and specialists of all persuasions.
- The Library
FAIR library provides data and reference material in the fields of politics, socio-economics, history, philosophy, biography and literature. It aims to be one of the most specialized and significant Arab libraries in these areas, offering its free services to the public and all interested researchers. Although most of its book and periodical collections are in Arabic, the library contains substantial reference material in English, French, German and other world languages.
The periodical library collection includes such titles as Al-Mustakbal Al-Arabi, Al-Arabi, Al-Muslim Al-Muaser, Majma’ Al-Lugha and Al-Mujama Al-Ilmi Al-Iraqi. The library’s electronic data base, with sound and videotape recordings, exceeds a thousand gigabyte.
- FAIR Journal
FAIR’s journal, Al-Muntada, is a refereed quarterly for international relations and all related socio-economic, political and cultural affairs. Prominent researchers, academics, journalists, media and international relations specialists regularly contribute to it. The journal complements FAIR’s mission to further cultural and political development and promote dialogue amongst different intellectual groupings within and outside the Arab world. It is a venue open for different intellectuals, academics, politicians and policy makers to air their views and help different communities and social segments better know and understand each other. As such, Al-Muntada is another means to forge consensus in society and reach better solutions to local, regional and international problems.