Faisal Saeed Al Mutar, an Iraqi-born award-winning human rights activist, writer and counter extremism advocate is the Founder and CEO of Ideas Beyond Borders. He is an advocate for universal human rights, secularism and the free market of ideas and is enthusiastic about the intersectionality of technology and advocacy. In 2015, he received the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama for his special commitment to education.
Dr. Nadia Oweidat, is a Jordanian-born historian of Islamic thought and the Middle East. She is an Assistant Professor at Kansas State University, teaching classes on Islamic thought and history and security of the modern Middle East. She is a Senior Fellow at New America, where she conducts research on countering violent extremism and agents of positive change in the Arab world. Dr. Owediat sits on the Advisory Board of Ideas Beyond Borders.
The panel-discussion focused on how to counter extremist narratives and authoritarian institutions through promoting human rights and the free exchange of ideas through education, partnerships, research, and technology. Faisal and Nadia spent time talking about their history growing up in the Middle East, and how important it is to realize that the ideas and culture which characterized the beauty of the Arab World both during its golden and contemporary ages must be restored while moving toward an further enlightened Middle-East through the sharing of enlightenment values.