Our mission:

Connecting
East and West
Leaders

The Global Diwan is a an international club designed for leaders wishing to develop their business network between Europe and the Arab World, and beyond with Africa and Asia.

Created to boost projects and initiatives through exclusive events, we provide to our members unique opportunities of meeting and networking in Paris, London, Berlin and in the main Arab capital cities, and especially during our Annual Forum in Nice, France.

The club is a non-partisan, independent organisation, a place for discussion and dialogue that follows its own path and will enable the involvement of different actors to better understand the diversity of this vast and complex geographic zone.

Our Objectives

OFFERING to our membership a privileged meeting environment, one of dialogue, exchange and reflection, which cultivates an open-minded and independent outlook.

FORGING a long-term strategic alliance between the European and Arab business communities, particularly vis-à-vis the African and Asian continents, in the context of an ever-evolving multipolar world.

SUPPORTING the emergence of a new generation of Euro-Arab young leaders and encouraging the creation of new initiatives and projects in all sectors.

What we do

A rich and diverse range of services to raise your profile and help you develop your network.

Diwaniyas

 

Diwaniyas are privileged moments where economic and political leaders come across intellectuals, diplomats and members of civil society.

 

At each event, the discussions are held in an interactive manner around a keynote speaker and under the Chatham House rule.

 

 

 

 

Find out more

Diwaniyas

 

Diwaniyas are privileged moments where economic and political leaders come across intellectuals, diplomats and members of civil society.

 

At each event, the discussions are held in an interactive manner around a keynote speaker and under the Chatham House rule.

 

 

Find out more

Annual Forum

 

The 2022 edition, Blue and Green Security, will take place in autumn in Nice, France.

 

This event will offer a unique access to stakeholders and experts, during 2 plenary discussions and 4 round tables that will draw up the current state of affairs of food security and environmental safety in the MENA region.

 

Find out more

Annual Forum

 

The 2022 edition, Blue and Green Security, will take place in autumn in Nice, France.

 

This event will offer a unique access to stakeholders and experts, during 2 plenary discussions and 4 round tables that will draw up the current state of affairs of food security and environmental safety in the MENA region.

 

 

 

Find out more

On-Demand Events | Customised Business Expedition

 

We organise on demand original events as well as customised business expeditions in our area of operation (Europe and Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Asia) for our partners wishing to enter new markets or willing to get more exposure to influential figures.

 

Contact Us

 

 

Newsletters & Webinars

 

Our growing audience benefits from the insights and expertise of our contributors and guests.

 

On a bimonthly basis, we give the floor to renowned authorities in their field but also to young talents on business and cultural issues.

 

 

Find out more :

 

Newsletters     Webinar Series

On-Demand Events | Customised Business Expedition

 

We organise on demand original events as well as customised business expeditions in our area of operation (Europe and Turkey, Middle East, North Africa and Asia) for our partners wishing to enter new markets or willing to get more exposure to influential figures.

 

 

Contact Us

Newsletters & Webinars

 

Our growing audience benefits from the insights and expertise of our contributors and guests.

 

On a bimonthly basis, we give the floor to renowned authorities in their field but also to young talents on business and cultural issues.

 

 

Find out more :

 

Newsletters     Webinar Series

Cultural Events

Bridging the East and the West : The Cultural Factor

"Diwan des Idées"

Our team and partners are developing an offer specifically dedicated to artists, intellectuals, cultural managers, art collectors as well as each one of us interested in arts, culture and heritage.

Our ambitious programme will include private receptions during the year, hosted at prestigious venues, featuring thematic debates and art performances.

Learn more

The Diwan Leadership Program

We wish to play a key role in the creation of cross-regional bonds by discovering and promoting the upcoming leaders of the MENA region.

We will provide exposure to those young talents by activating broad panels of decision and opinion makers in Europe.

Learn more

Women Mentorship

As an extension to our Leadership Programme, mentoring will be implemented to support the growth of youth and women in the corporate world and in entrepreneurship.

Such platform will allow the exchange of career knowledge and advice as well as sharing inspiring stories and entrepreneurship skills between successful women and aspiring young people.

Learn more

Our Advisory Board

Prominent personalities coming from business, diplomacy, civil society and politics joined forces to provide their world-class experience and network to the benefit of our membership.

Chairwoman

Sheikha Intisar Al Sabah is a princess from Kuwait’s Royal Family, highly influential in the Kuwaiti society where she is wholly dedicated to the issues of education, health, child protection, human and woman rights. Founder of Intisar foundation among other initiatives, she has dedicated all her life to philanthropist actions and has always been involved with humanitarian organisations providing education, upliftment and equal opportunities to those who need it most.

Chairman

Maurice Gourdault-Montagne is a French career diplomat who has advised 4 former French Presidents and was appointed Secretary General of the French Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2017 by French President Macron. Maurice Gourdault- Montagne is an accomplished polyglot and was the French Ambassador to China, Japan, the United Kingdom and Germany.

Jack Lang

Board member

Jack Lang is a former French Minister of State and is currently the President of the
Arab World Institute in Paris. Renowned expert of the Arab world, Mr Lang has multiplied the cross-cultural initiatives and dedicated his life to a better understanding and dialogue between cultures. He is the author of many reference books and articles.

Board member

Hervé Novelli is a former French Minister of Commerce, Craftsmanship, Small and Medium Businesses, Tourism and Services under Nicolas Sarkozy’s presidency. He is an accomplished entrepreneur that fostered reform in this sector when he was in office. Among other senior positions, he is the current President of the Franco-Tunisian Exchanges Association.

Board member

Sigmar Gabriel is a German statesman who has a vast experience in the political, diplomatic and business world. He is the former German Vice-Chancellor (2013-2018), Foreign Minister (2017-2018), Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy (2013-2017) and Minister of the Environment (2005-2009). As Foreign Minister, Mr Gabriel strongly promoted the EU’s strategic long-standing interests in the Mediterranean, including North Africa.

Board member

Matthias Fekl, both French and German citizen, was the youngest Home Secretary in recent years and is a former Minister of State for Foreign Trade, the Promotion of Tourism and French Nationals Abroad. M. Fekl used to coordinate France’s trade policy and is a recognised specialist in global trade negotiations. He is now a lawyer practicing in Paris.

Dr. Koichiro Matsuura

Board member

Dr. Koichiro Matsuura was Ambassador to France from 1994 to 1999. After one year as the Chairperson of UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, he then became the ninth UNESCO’s Director-General from 1999 until 2009. He is currently President of the Africa Society of Japan, Honorary President of the Maison Franco-Japonaise and President of the Advisory Board of SGS (Sustainable Gastronomy in Society). Dr Matsuura is the author of many books on education, culture and Japan’s diplomacy.

Our Team

Our team is eclectic in its competences and experiences, our origins are diverse and it is also intergenerational. Some of us are former diplomats, others have a background in public relations, law, lobbying and marketing. We come from Europe, Maghreb, the Middle East and the Gulf. Far from being an empty phrase, Connecting the East and the West is a calling we pursue and practice daily.

Executive Chairman

Eric held positions in various local authorities in France with the mission to promote economic and international growth. Since 2000, he has operated as a lobbyist in Paris and Brussels where he has built cross-border platforms and projects at European and international scales.

General Manager

Karima is in charge of the Diwan Leadership Program for youth and Women. As a former French Diplomat posted in different Arab countries, she has extensive expertise working in Human rights, political analysis and civil societies. She is currently the CEO of Intisar Foundation, a UK registered Charity founded by HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah.

Vincent Tabourdeau

Communications Director

Vincent has a background in business and communication. He has a multifaceted experience of heightening influential reach by crafting engaging messages, developing sales strategy and online initiatives. Ex-military and passionate about economic intelligence and security, the Diwan was to Vincent a fitting opportunity to extend his interests in civil life.

Project Director

Khelil is a staunch supporter of a closer integration between Europe and the MENA region. His diverse work experience encompasses economic diplomacy, development cooperation and public relations. In 2019, he took an active part in the Summit of the Two Shores. Khelil has also been involved in various non-profit organisations.

Middle East Advisor

Shathil is in charge of Middle East affairs for The Global Diwan. He is advising government agencies in the Gulf on issues of international law, cyber law and compliance. In 2017, Shathil was voted Legal Counsel of the Year by LexisNexis. He writes regularly in the literary sections of French magazines.

Civil Society Advisor

Growing-up in Saudi Arabia, Soha is a lecturer at Princess Noura University in Riyadh. Currently living in Paris to finalise a PhD in business law at Assas University, she is particularly well-integrated in the French spheres of influence. Her deep knowledge of the two cultures coupled with her sense of public relations allow her to effectively build East-West bridges.

Partnership Special Advisor
Based in Brussels, Arnaud brings 20 years of experience with a strong international exposure. In 2014, he founded his own company specialised in Public Affairs combining AI solutions, communication, and public relations services. He also co-founded the media Travel Tomorrow.

Middle East Partnership Advisor

Ahmad is a business introducer between French and Saudi companies. He has developed his expertise during his stay in France for almost 10 years. His work experiences in Europe and in Saudi Arabia have given him a unique understanding of both working cultures.

Legal Advisor

Mohamed is a qualified lawyer in France and a doctor in law. He has accumulated experience in French law and in MENA law. He has held various positions in associations, legal information groups, lobbying firms and law firms.

Our Team

Our team is eclectic in its competences and experiences, our origins are diverse and it is also intergenerational. Some of us are former diplomats, others have a background in public relations, law, lobbying and marketing. We come from Europe, Maghreb, the Middle East and the Gulf. Far from being an empty phrase, Connecting the East and the West is a calling we pursue and practice daily.

Eric Schell 

Executive Chairman

Eric held positions in various local authorities in France with the mission to promote economic and international growth. Since 2000, he has operated as a lobbyist in Paris and Brussels where he has built cross-border platforms and projects at European and international scales.

Karima Anbar

General Manager

Karima is in charge of the Diwan Leadership Program for youth and Women. As a former French Diplomat posted in different Arab countries, she has extensive expertise working in Human rights, political analysis and civil societies. She is currently the CEO of Intisar Foundation, a UK registered Charity founded by HH Sheikha Intisar AlSabah.

Vincent Tabourdeau

Communications Director

Vincent has a background in business and communication. He has a multifaceted experience of heightening influential reach by crafting engaging messages, developing sales strategy and online initiatives. Ex-military and passionate about economic intelligence and security, the Diwan was to Vincent a fitting opportunity to extend his interests in civil life.

Khelil Mehenni 

Project Director

Khelil is a staunch supporter of a closer integration between Europe and the MENA region. His diverse work experience encompasses economic diplomacy, development cooperation and public relations. In 2019, he took an active part in the Summit of the Two Shores. Khelil has also been involved in various non-profit organisations.

Shathil Nawaf Taqa

Middle East Advisor

Shathil is in charge of Middle East affairs for The Global Diwan. He is advising government agencies in the Gulf on issues of international law, cyber law and compliance. In 2017, Shathil was voted Legal Counsel of the Year by LexisNexis. He writes regularly in the literary sections of French magazines.

Soha Alharbi

Cvil Society Advisor

Growing-up in Saudi Arabia, Soha is a lecturer at Princess Noura University in Riyadh. Currently living in Paris to finalise a PhD in business law at Assas University, she is particularly well-integrated in the French spheres of influence. Her deep knowledge of the two cultures coupled with her sense of public relations allow her to effectively build East-West bridges.

Partnership Special Advisor

Based in Brussels, Arnaud brings 20 years of experience with a strong international exposure. In 2014, he founded his own company specialised in Public Affairs combining AI solutions, communication, and public relations services. He also co-founded the media Travel Tomorrow.

Middle East Partnership Advisor

Ahmad is a business introducer between French and Saudi companies. He has developed his expertise during his stay in France for almost 10 years. His work experiences in Europe and in Saudi Arabia have given him a unique understanding of both working cultures.

Deputy Middle East Advisor

Mohamed is a qualified lawyer in France and a doctor in law. He has accumulated experience in French law and in MENA law. He has held various positions in associations, legal information groups, lobbying firms and law firms.

Why the Diwan?

The diwan is the place where the Arabs meet and discuss their businesses, but also where they listen to music, poetry and participate in literary exchanges.

A diwan also means a collection of poems. “Poetry is the Arabs’ Diwan” as the Syrian prince and poet Abu Firas al-Hamdani puts it. Each Arab has heard it once in his lifetime.

Poetry is the mirror of the Arab thought. One that allows the Arabs to remember their cherished values to better understand the world and the different lifestyles they have chosen, their ideas of love, pain, pride, honour and pleasure. It represents an immutable part of the history of the Arabo-Muslim civilisation.

“Poetry is the mine of knowledge of the Arabs and the book of their wisdom, the archive of their history and the treasure of their epic days, the wall that defends their traditions, the trench that preserve their glories, the impartial witness for the day of judgement, the decisive argument when the debate arises.” Quoted from the Book of Poetry and Poets, Ibn Qutayba, Irakian author of the 9th century.

Our Diwan is global to reposition the Arab world at the heart of History, the hub around which Europe, Africa and Asia revolve.