The conference was held at the Middle East Forum of the American University where the situation in the Middle East in the light of Arab Spring was at the center of discussion .
The current situation in Iraq, Syria and Yemen and the peaceful alternatives available to address the rights of ethnicities living in Middle Eastern countries was debated during a two day period from 23-24th April in Cairo .
Speakers included , professors, researchers , directors of study centres and representatives of ethnic groups from Middle Eastern countries . Representative of Ahwazi Arabs, Amazigh , Yezidis , ethnic groups of Sudan shared their experience and expertise with the attendance .
The conference was also attended by delegates from various countries of the region including Egypt, Sudan , Tunisia, Lebanon, Turkey, Yemen and Ahwaz .
In the panel “national diversity in Iran “ ,Dr. Karim Abdian, Executive Director of Ahwaz Human Rights Organization presented a study “internal Self-Determination as a crisis management tool in resolving ethnic conflicts “.
Abdian presented Iran as a model of a multi-ethnic state , and suggested peaceful approaches to resolve the conflict of ethnicities , according to which indigenous, native population constituting the majority in their own regions , run their internal affairs without the interference of the central government ,this can be obtained through internal self determination.
In this study Abdian underlined the suppression the Iranian government exercises against different non-Persian ethnicities especially Arabs in Ahwaz such as ban on education in mother tongue , lack of political and administrative representation on both local and national level , extrajudicial execution , demographic changes , wide spread poverty among indigenous population despite the wealth of the region etc.
The study presented a peaceful solution for the problem of ethnicities in Iran.
It is expected that the recommendations in this conference be presented to the relevant decision making levels .
AHRO 24 April 2017