The Arab Thought Forum (ATF) is committed to the belief that state structures must be developed to serve and be responsive to an active and critical public, which is conscious of its obligations and duties, as well as its rights and entitlements

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Public Debates convened in 2002

The ATF has held, during the course of the year, a number of seminars over issues of concern to the general Palestinian situation. Participation by officials and those who are concerned was satisfactory. Each Public Debate was followed by an analytical report and the summary of recommendations. Some of the reports are published in Shu un Tanmawiyyeh (the quarterly issued by the ATF).

A total of 12 public debates were held during the year, dealing with various issues: political, legal, communal, health and human rights with the attendance of around 350 persons.

In particular, the following topics were on the agenda: health services, civil services, Jerusalem institutions, the private sector, democratic formation, emergency needs, municipal and local council elections as well as Israeli elections and its impact on Palestinians.

In addition, a session was held for a lecture delivered by the University of Maryland s Professor Shibli Talhami to address the issue of the current political situation in the Middle East . A number of prominent political and intellectual figures from Jerusalem attended the event and the ensuing lively discussion.

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