Our mission:

Connecting
East-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.

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.

What we do

The Global Diwan builds bridges between cultures and facilitates business by connecting leaders. In our globalised world, cultural empathy, cross-cultural communication skills and global but individually aimed and tailored contacts are essential for business.

Networking Events

 

Our objective is to play a key role in the creation of cross-Mediterranean bonds, while bringing together companies, banks, institutions and NGOs around our vision.

 

For this purpose, The Global Diwan will hold a yearly forum in Nice, France and afterwork meetings on a regular basis in Paris and other European and Arab capital cities.

 

 

 

 

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Networking Events

 

The Nice Forum is the first face-to-face Global Diwan event. Foreseen as a yearly gathering, it will bring together, for two days, European and Arab business leaders, experts and decision makers to reflect on topical themes of common interest.

 

Our objective is to play a key role in the creation of cross-Mediterranean bonds, while bringing together companies, banks, institutions and NGOs around our vision.

 

Find out more

Leadership Programme

We created a Young Leaders Programme introducing the coming generation of leaders in the MENA region to the business, political and cultural environment in Europe thus allowing the candidates to build lasting and practical working ties with their European counterparts.

Our initiative gained ground in Koweit which will experiment it first followed by Saudi Arabia.

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Leadership Programme

 

We created a Young Leaders Programme introducing the coming generation of leaders in the MENA region to the business, political and cultural environment in Europe thus allowing the candidates to build lasting and practical working ties with their European counterparts.

 

Our initiative gained ground in Koweit which will experiment it first followed by Saudi Arabia.

 

 

 

Find out more

“ 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 by arts, culture and heritage.

 

Our ambitious programme will include three to four private receptions per year, hosted at prestigious venues, featuring thematic debates and art performances.

 

 

Find out more

“ 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 by arts, culture and heritage.

 

Our ambitious programme will include three to four private receptions per year, hosted at prestigious venues, featuring thematic debates and art performances.

 

 

 

Find out more

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.

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.

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.

Deputy Middle East 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.

Project Coordinator

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.

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.

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.

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.

Soha Alharbi

Deputy Middle East 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.

Khelil Mehenni 

Project Coordinator

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.

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.