At the CodePink Saudi Symposium

On the 5th and 6th of March, I attended the CodePink Saudi Summit at David A. Clarke School of Law in Washington DC.    Saturday was jam packed with interesting speakers.   Sunday we put our heads together to work out ways to address the multiple issues currently swirling around Saudi Arabia and the House of Saud. You can learn more about what is going on at End the US Saudi Alliance.

Rather than attempt to summarize an incredibly complex and nuanced conversation, I am going to post some recordings of the panel discussions.   Rather than post the second rate videos from my Flip, I have posted my audio recordings, for those of you who would like to listen as you go about your day, at the end of this page.

If you have the time and the interest, CodePink has the entire set of recordings on the RealNews website.   RealNews did an outstanding job of livestreaming the entire days worth of panels on Saturday and posting the reasonably high quality recordings on their website:

2016 Saudi Summit: Understanding The Saudi Kingdom and Its Global Role

To go with the audio recordings below, I’ve pulled in the excellent, wonderful, brilliant Keynote by Vijay Prashad:

The Foreign Policy of the 1%

And, I grabbed Chris Hedges Lecture at UDC Law/Code Pink Saudi Summit from Youtube for you as well:


Panel 1, Saudi Politics and Overview:

  • Ali Al-Ahmed, Director of the Institute of Gulf Affairs
  • Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Hussan, a Saudi lawyer and human rights defender
  • Moderator: Medea Benjamin, CodePink

Panel 2: Women in Saudi Arabia

Sadly, this recording failed.  You can watch the video on the RealNews Site

  • Ebtihal Mubarak, Saudi Journalist, born and raised in Jeddah
  • Kristine Beckerle, Human Rights Watch
  • Moderator: Jodie Evans, CodePink

Panel 3: Human Rights in Saudi Arabia

  • Sanjeev Bery, Amnesty International
  • Sharat G. Lin, Scholar with expertise in Middle Eastern migrant labor
  • Julienne HIll, US Legal Fellow with Reprieve
  • Moderator: Andrea Miller, People Demanding Action

Vijay Prashad, Professor of Foreign Policy at Trinity College, Author of several books > my favorite is The Darker Nations, which opened my eyes to a world of history (history of the world) I had not known before

The Foreign Policy of the One Percent

Panel 4: Saudi Foreign Policy

  • Matar Ebrahim Matar, former member of Parliament in Bahrain, now in exile in the US
  • Mohamad al-Shami of Yemen is an independent scholar with the Wilson Center
  • Jamal Abdi, National Iranian American Council
  • Moderator: Joanne Landry, Campaign for Peace and Democracy

Panel 5: Oil, Weapons Sales and US-Saudi Ties

  • William Hartung, Center for International Policy
  • Raed Jarrar, American Friends Service Committee
  • Robert Vitalis, Author and Professor at University of Pennsylvania
  • Moderator: Phyllis Bennis, Institute for Policy Studies

Panel 6: Supporting Change in Saudi Arabia

  • Mohammed al-Nimr, Son of executed Saudi civil rights activist Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr
  • Daniel Arsback, Lawyer for imprisoned attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair
  • Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Executive Director International Civil Society Network (ICAN)
  • Moderator: Nada Khader, WESPAC Foundation

Chris Hedges Lecture on Sunday

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