CEO and Founder
The Munathara Initiative
Belabbes Benkredda is an award-winning social innovator and the founder of the Munathara Initiative, the Arab world’s largest online and television debate forum highlighting voices of youth, women and marginalized communities. Today, Munathara operates in 11 Arab countries and counts a community of some 80,000 members on its online debate platform. Its monthly prime time TV debates are the only civil society-run, independent political talk programs on Arabic television, syndicated across several channels. Previously, Belabbes held roles in the German Foreign Office, the League of Arab States, and the Council for Arab-British Understanding. After moving to Dubai in 2005, Belabbes became a government consultant specializing in public diplomacy in the Arab world, a frequent television commentator, and an op-ed columnist for the region’s leading English daily newspaper. In 2013, he was recognized with the NDI Democracy Award for his work in fostering citizen participation in the Arab public sphere. In 2014, he was named a senior fellow of the Salzburg Global Seminar. Belabbes studied international relations and philosophy of law in Frankfurt, and holds an MA in Middle East politics from Exeter University.