"How can we progress as a nation when those offering constructive feedback and (often humorous) dissent are banished?"

- Jamal Khashoggi

Who started DAWN?

Jamal Khashoggi, together with his friends and associates, started Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) in February 2018; Jamal formally became the Executive Director in June 2018.  He intended to build a robust organization to promote democracy and human rights throughout the Middle East and North Africa, highlighting, in particular, the important role that the United States plays in the region. Before he could publicly launch the organization, Saudi Arabian officials murdered him on October 2, 2018, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. For more information, see About Us  and Founder.

What is DAWN and what is its mission?

Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit organization focused on advancing democracy, human rights, and the rule of law in the Middle East and North Africa.  For more information, see About Us.

How does DAWN research human rights abuses?

An important part of DAWN's work is investigating and documenting human rights abuses in the Middle East and North Africa. DAWN researchers rely on a wide array of primary and secondary sources to conduct investigations, including information obtained from victims, family members, witnesses, lawyers, government officials, journalists, public records, and various news sources we deem to be credible and reliable.  DAWN publishes the resulting accounts of human rights abuses in English and Arabic on our website.

How do you decide which countries to focus on?

DAWN currently focuses its democracy and human rights reporting and advocacy on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Israel-Palestine. DAWN has selected these four countries because of their close political, military, and economic relationships with the United States.  As a US-based organization, DAWN has a special responsibility to spotlight US support for abusive governments, which undermine democracy and human rights.  As additional resources become available, DAWN will seek to increase the number of covered countries until we are able to report on all countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Who funds DAWN?

DAWN is an independent, non-governmental organization that seeks contributions from private individuals and foundations worldwide. Many of DAWN's donors remain anonymous in light of security risks associated with the work of DAWN, and the recent murder of our founder, Jamal Khashoggi. If you'd like to contribute to DAWN, see support us. If you wish to donate anonymously, you may do so.

Does DAWN advocate for regime change?

No. DAWN advocates for governments in the Middle East to undertake reforms in order to respect human rights, abide by the rule of law, and allow people to elect their leaders in free and fair elections. In many countries, that will require constitutional and statutory changes, including transforming the way the government is selected and constituted. Every government in the Middle East can and should undertake these reforms.

Is DAWN affiliated with particular political parties or movements, in the Middle East or elsewhere?

No. DAWN is proud to serve as a platform for discussion among a diversity of democracy activists, political exiles, scholars and journalists from the Middle East and beyond. Some of DAWN's fellows, staff members and contributors belong to or even lead political movements or parties, and DAWN advocates for creating a safe space in which they can engage in robust and peaceful political activity. The diversity of opinions and affiliations with DAWN, as well as our commitment to rigorous, impartial research and international law, help us maintain high standards of integrity in our publications while promoting robust discussion and exchange of ideas. DAWN does not advocate for any particular political movement or party, but rather for governments to be democratically elected, to respect human rights and to abide by the rule of law.

How can I help?

You can help us by making a one-time or monthly donation to support and expand our work. One-hundred percent of your donation will go to support DAWN programs that seek to promote democracy and human rights in the Arab world and unmask those who undermine democracy and rights in the region.  You can make a donation online by clicking here or pressing the DONATE NOW button on our webpage. 

In addition, you can share our work on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, blog posts, and other platforms. The more that people know about the situation of human rights and democracy in the Middle East and North Africa, the identities of the abusers, and the role of foreign governments and businesses, the more pressure we can exert on each of them to change their abusive policies.

Are my donations tax deductible?

No.  Donations to 501(c)(4) nonprofit organizations are not tax deductible.

What security measures do you take to ensure the safety of those who communicate with or provide information to DAWN?

DAWN employs top-tier communications service providers and requires two-factor authentication for all accounts where we maintain confidential information. In addition, we train all staff on maintaining the confidentiality of sources and communications.

How do I join the DAWN community of democracy exiles from the Middle East and North Africa?

DAWN provides a network and platform for the diaspora community of democracy exiles from the Arab world, many of whom left their countries following the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings.  Arab exiles can contribute analysis and commentary to the DAWN platform, Democacy in Exile featuring discussions of a range of issues impacting the region. We will also seek to host and partner with organizations hosting networking and training events for democracy exiles.

What is DAWN's fellowship program?

In addition to its staff, DAWN has established a group of non-resident fellows, including activists, scholars, journalists, and policy experts who will share their expertise and analysis in articles published on our website. You can see these on the DAWN Journal, Democracy In Exile.

How can we receive DAWN's latest updates?

Sign up on our website to receive updates on the work of DAWN.

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