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 170,000 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 2019 in Tunisia, he initiated and oversaw the Arab world’s first-ever televised presidential debates.
Belabbes Benkredda, the founder of Munathara Initiative, a debating forum in the Arab world, discusses the post-truth era and how to protect the public sphere.