Available in العربية
Organization's research and publications to appear entirely in Arabic and English
(Washington D.C., January 6, 2021) – Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), a non-profit organization based in Washington DC, officially launches its Arabic website www.dawnmena.org/ar today.
DAWN's work, now published in both Arabic and English, includes investigative work, advocacy, and a premier publication, "Democracy in Exile," and is focused on promoting democracy and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa.
The organization, founded by Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, just months before his murder by Saudi officials, was launched on September 29, 2020. Sarah Leah Whitson, formerly of Human Rights Watch, assumed the position of Executive Director on April 1, 2020. DAWN's board consists of Nihad Awad, Dr. Esam Omeish, Asim Ghafoor, Sahar Aziz, and Nobel Peace Laureate Tawakol Karman.
"Today our Arabic website will be available to millions of people reading in Arabic who have supported Khashoggi's pursuit of freedom and democracy for many years," said Whitson. "We aim to magnify the voices of Arab political exiles like Jamal who have paid a heavy price for urging their countries to offer fairer, freer, and more representative governance for their fellow citizens."
To learn more about DAWN please watch the organization's introductory video here.
DAWN's staff includes a dedicated group of analysts, researchers, lawyers, and activists who aim to fulfill Kashoggi's vision of promoting democracy and human rights in the Middle East and North Africa.
As a U.S.-based organization with a heightened responsibility to address abuses of governments supported by the United States, DAWN is initially focusing its research and advocacy on U.S. allies Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Egypt. DAWN provides comprehensive documentation of prominent prosecutions in each of these countries, revealing details of the inner workings of the apparatuses of prosecution, detention, and injustice. The organization also exposes the identities of government officials working in the shadows — the guards, the interrogators, the torturers, the prosecutors, the judges — who enable the abuses of their governments but are otherwise unknown to the international community.
"There's a great demand for uncensored, independent, critical information in Arabic about what's actually happening to the human rights of people in the Middle East and North Africa, and DAWN aims to supply it through its Arabic website," said Abdullah Alaoudh, Research Director for the Gulf Region.
Democracy in Exile, DAWN's new platform for opinions, ideas, and analysis for a new vision for the Middle East and North Africa, will also publish in both English and Arabic, accepting submissions in both languages. It seeks to bring the voices of political exiles from the MENA region to a global audience, engaging them in continued efforts to build democracy and respect for rights in the region, with DAWN's own Non-Resident Fellows, a distinguished group of academics and practitioners, as well as MENA experts from around the world.
One of the highlights DAWN is planning for 2021 will be a newly created index, called the "Khashoggi Index," named after the group's founder. The Index will measure the role of foreign governments and the extent to which they promote — or undermine — human rights and democracy in each country in the region. DAWN is focusing its advocacy primarily on exposing the role of foreign governments, businesses, and institutions in supporting despotic governments in the region and urging them to end their complicity in abuses.
"While many governments in the Middle East fear the free flow of information and the stifling independent voices, DAWN provides a clear voice on issues of serious concern to those focused on the Middle East and North Africa," said Fadoua Massat, DAWN's Arabic Media Director. "While authoritarian governments in the region suppress discussions and writings on freedom of expression, human rights, rule of law, and democracy, at DAWN these issues will be our primary focus."
DAWN's funding comes from the contributions of individuals and institutions. DAWN has received no government or government-linked funding.