InterCommunity 2017 Interactive Regional Nodes

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BEIRUT, Lebanon

19 September 2017, 12:00 – 13:00 (EEST/UTC+3)

ISOC Lebanon Chapter
12:10 – 12:45: Live Panel: Personal Freedoms and Rights

With the growth and ubiquity of the ever more connected Internet, the impact on personal freedoms and human rights is far from clear. Some predict a gloomy future: surveillance prevails and there is a loss of privacy and control over ones data by governments and businesses alike; and with the advances of AI and machine learning, decision-making is taken away from individuals. But others see the future Internet growing in its value as a fundamental enabler of free expression, organization, and positive social empowerment.

The panel will discuss the key challenges facing Lebanon and the Middle East from a regional perspective, and hopes to come up with relevant actions and/or solutions. The panel will be conducted in English.

Moderator: Salam Yamout, Regional Director Middle East, Internet Society


  • MP Ghassan Mokhayber, Head of Human Rights Parliamentary Committee
  • Charbel Kareh, Head of IT Committee, Bar Association
  • Layal Bahnam, Program Officer, Maharat Foundation
  • Jessica Dheere, Director, Social Media Exchange (SMEX)

Find panelist biographies and the full day programme below.

Beirut Digital District 1280
Bechara Khoury Street, Bachoura
Beirut, Lebanon

Panelist Biographies
MP Ghassan E. Moukheiber

Member of the Lebanese Parliament since 2002. Member of the parliamentary Law and Administration committee and Rapporteur of the parliamentary Human Rights committee and member of the parliamentary Environment committee. Chairman of the “Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption” organization and Chariman of the Lebanese Chapter “Lebanese Parliamentarians Against Corruption” and Member of the “Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption (“GOPAC”).

Lawyer, (U.S.J. Law Lic. ’81 and Harvard Law School LL.M. ’83).

A long time activist in a number of Lebanese civil society organizations dealing with the areas of human rights, anti-corruption, democratization, the rule of law and conflict resolution. Board member of the Association for the Defense of Rights and Liberties (“A.D.D.L.”).

Charbel El Kareh, PhD

Charbel is a practicing Attorney At Law and Managing Partner of e-lawyer Assistance Law Firm.  He is the President Of the Beirut Bar Association ICT Center and a board member of the ISOC Lebanon chapter.  Charbel is an active defendant of online rights and a specialist in Internet and Intellectual Property law.


Layal Bahnam

Layal Bahnam is a program manager at Maharat Foundation, a watchdog organization with the mission to defend freedom of expression in MENA by developing the media sector, advocating for legal reforms, building knowledge and awareness, disseminating information and building capacities of diverse social, media, culture and civic actors. Bahnam is a journalist and a legal expert by profession. She has been working as a reporter, producer and presenter in the Lebanese public broadcast and other satellite TVs. Her educational background is law. Bahnam’s work in Maharat also includes resource production and regular training workshops for young and professional journalists and activists in areas related to journalism and communication.

Jessica Dheere

A former journalist, Jessica is co-founder and co-director at SMEX. In addition to day-to-day management of the organization, she has led the design and delivery of innovative media development programs in strategic social media, digital advocacy, and digital journalism. Currently, she researches the emerging legal framework for internet rights in the Arab region and its contribution to the rising tensions between states, corporations, and citizens, security and human rights. She is a member of the Digital Development and Openness working group of the Freedom Online Coalition.

She has a master’s degree in media studies from the New School in New York City and a bachelor’s degree in art history from Princeton University. In 2014 she was a Kathryn Davis Fellow for Peace at Middlebury College’s Arabic Language School. She tweets at @jessdheere.

Full Day Programme
11:00 – 11:30 Guest arrivals and registration
11:30 – 11:40 Final preparation to join InterCommunity & Shared Celebration
Agenda Intro from Host (N. Rouhana)
11:40 Node joins InterCommunity: listening mode to Egypt node
11:50 – 12:00 Shared Celebration with adjacent Node:
“Are you optimistic about the internet in North Africa?, etc” by Host (N. Rouhana)
12:00 Session Ownership transfers to Lebanon
12:00 – 12:04 Welcome, Introductions from Host (N. Rouhana)
12:04 – 12:10 Context and Overview of topic by Moderator (S. Yamout)
12:10 – 12:45 Live panel: Personal Freedoms and Rights
12:45 – 12:50 Conclusions and Highlights by Moderator (S. Yamout)
12:50 – 13:00 Shared Celebration with adjacent Node Turkey:
Recap how do you see the future of internet in the region by Host (N. Rouhana)
13:00 Session Ownership transfers to Turkey
13:00 – 14:00 25th Anniversary Celebration: Networking luncheon
14:00 Guest departures
Date and Time

Monday 20 May 2024