The Brookings Doha Center was officially inaugurated on Monday, February 17, 2008 in a ribbon-cutting ceremony lead by H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim Bin Jabr Al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the State of Qatar. A project of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy in Washington, D.C., the Center represents the first Brookings Institution research facility located in the Muslim world.
The Brookings Doha Center undertakes research on socio-economic and geopolitical issues facing the Muslim world and also seeks to encourage greater understanding between policy makers from the United States and Muslim nations. Further, the Center contributes to scholarship and dialogue between the U.S. and Islamic countries through a partnership between one of America’s oldest and largest think tanks, Brookings, and a forward-looking Muslim state, Qatar.
Speaking to the gathering, H.E. Sheikh Hamad Bin Jassim emphasized the role of the Brookings Doha Center in relaying ideas and promoting discussion between America and the Muslim World. He said, “You will hear maybe what you cannot hear in Washington, views not only from Qatar and the region, but from all over Asia.”
The audience was also addressed by Carlos Pascual, Brookings Vice President for Foreign Policy Studies and Martin Indyk, Director of the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings. The session was moderated by Hady Amr, Director of the Brookings Doha Center and Fellow at the Saban Center for Middle East Policy at Brookings.
The inauguration of the Brookings Doha Center was attended by H.E. Mohammad Al Rumaihi, Assistant Foreign Minister for Follow Up Affairs, H.E. Michael Ratney, American Charge d’Affairs in Qatar, Dr. James Thomson, CEO and President of the RAND Corporation and other dignitaries representing partner institutions in Doha.
Also on hand for the event were Former National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, Brookings Trustee Vishakha Desai, Ambassador Marc Ginsberg, Professor Francis Fukuyama, Brookings Doha Center International Advisory Council Member Rami Khouri, and a dozen Brookings fellows including Susan Rice, Peter Rodman, and conveners of the U.S. Islamic World Forum Stephen Grand, Director of the Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, Bruce Riedel, Peter Singer, and Shibley Telhami.
My biggest concern is that Washington is signaling to Russia that it’s OK to meddle in the politics of sovereign nations which are your neighbors. Meddling is going on from Paris to Ukraine, from east to west and north to south, within Europe and at its borders, and always with the intent of undermining the credibility and effectiveness of democratic institutions. And it is being either denied or downplayed.