Last month, the Chapters Advocacy Workshop for the Middle East, took place in Beirut Lebanon. The two-day event hosted Chapter leaders and representatives from Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Palestine, Somalia, Syria, United Arab Emirates, and Yemen. While the focus was on MANRS (Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security), it also included representatives from the Blockchain SIG (Special Interest Group).
During the two days, we discussed many issues related to the Middle East Chapters and their concerns, the 2019 plan of the Middle East Bureau, the strategic vision for the Internet Society, and the 2020 planning process. We acquired feedback from the delegates on our plans and community facing processes. We had ample staff representation that contributed immensely to the workshop, including, Sally Wentworth, Salam Yamout, Konstantinos Komaitis, Sally Harvey, Nermine El Saadany, and Aftab Siddiqui.
Aftab initiated the workshop with an introductory session on MANRS. He gave a technical breakdown on what MANRS is about before moving onto a hands-on workshop. The second day opened with an introduction to the 2020 Strategic Plan, followed by a PEST analysis led by Sally. Participants gave feedback on what’s important to their Chapters and to themselves as members of the community. We then discussed the policy aspect of the work of the Internet Society, and the Middle East Bureau in particular. Finally, we discussed the Internet Society’s funding opportunities and the Internet Society Foundation resources available to Chapters and members.
The workshop concluded in the afternoon of April 6. A follow up to the plans produced by the delegates is on route. We look forward to next year welcoming new faces into our workshop!