The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy
1140 Connecticut Ave NW
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy is a nonpartisan, non-profit organization dedicated to understanding and supporting the development of new and emerging democracies in the Middle East, and to informing U.S. policymakers and the public to this end.
Our mission is to cultivate and support initiatives and voices – wherever they may be – that call for the following in the region:
- Restoration and primacy of the rule of law; equality of all citizens before the law and access to fair and swift justice; respect for human rights including the freedom of expression and religion; protection of civil and political liberties; upholding and advancing women’s rights; freedom of the media; the balancing of power among the branches of government; elections for public office that are free, fair, and contested openly in an environment of political pluralism.
- Adoption of economic policies that foster, instead of stifle, the human, natural and capital resources of the region’s countries.
The Tahrir Institute seeks to amplify and support the multitude of voices that filled public spaces across the Arab World following the uprisings that began in late 2010 demanding that genuine democracy replace decades of political stagnation, corruption and repression. We believe that supporting genuine democratic transitions is essential for unlocking the creative and productive potential of the region’s peoples, therein enhancing U.S. and global interests in a peaceful and stable Middle East.
This pivotal opportunity in the region, however, is at risk of being derailed. Specious “democratic” processes are being used to override fundamental reforms based on consensus, essential to a sustainable and prosperous body politic. Already, most countries are showing signs of a return to political repression, while others remain steeped in a seemingly intractable quagmire.
Such difficulties are interpreted by some as growing pains on the path to democracy, with the holding of elections a key positive factor in such a determination. However, we believe that electoral processes are not the only indicator of successful democratic transitions, but rather the institutionalization of a full democratic process and principles.
Emerging from the stifling political climates that dominated prior to the region’s uprisings, people are struggling to find their voice and to sustain effective programs that address their respective countries’ pressing economic, social, and political needs. Meanwhile, freedom, transparent and accountable government, and justice remain elusive for many, resulting in growing instability and discontentment.
Through research, advocacy, and dialogue, we aim to bring together diverse voices in the region, the United States and elsewhere for more effective advocacy for democratic values and institutions and the creation of strong, pluralistic, economically sound countries throughout the Middle East.