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Atkin Fellowship for Arab-Israeli Dialogue

The Atkin Fellowship for Arab-Israeli Dialogue, generously funded by the Atkin Foundation, has been based in the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation (ICSR) at the Department of War Studies, King’s College London. The Fellowship has had one fundamental aim: to encourage and promote stability in the Middle East through a profound understanding of ‘the other’.

Between 2008 and 2016, the Atkin Fellowship gave a group of young leaders from the Middle East the opportunity to meet and study together at Kings College London, providing them with a vibrant but politically neutral environment, where they could share their ideas and experiences, whatever their political viewpoint. Each pair – always an Arab and an Israeli – had the unique experience of walking in the other’s shoes and learning the other’s narrative – a narrative they might never have heard, if not for their participation in the Fellowship.

The Atkin Fellowship has brought together people of different professional backgrounds from Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories and Syria, in order to foster respect and trust on all sides of the conflict. Participants have come from government, business, think tanks, academia and the media. All hold positions from which they can shape politics and public opinion in Israel and the Arab world.

It is vital that, once a political agreement is reached, there are people with connections throughout the region and with genuine relationships of trust already built. Reunion events are regularly held to consolidate friendships and give the Fellows the opportunity to meet and share updates and ideas about their work in the region.

Atkin Fellows were based at the ICSR offices at King’s College London. During their Fellowship, they were expected to:

  • Complete an academic paper (approx. 8,000-10,000 words) dealing with one aspect of the current conflict, providing a concise analysis of the problem as well as outlining possible solutions. (The paper will be published by ICSR shortly after the completion of the Fellowship.)
  • Promote information and education about issues in the region by making themselves available for debate and consultation by the media, government, international organisations and NGOs.
  • Jointly organise a series of 3-4 events (roundtable discussions, seminars, panel discussions) dealing with relevant issues in the Middle East.
  • Participate in a Atkin Fellowship network events  – these happen periodically throughout the year. Here Fellows will have the opportunity to present and debate their ideas with other Fellows as well as an informed audience of policymakers, academics, and journalists. Atkin Fellows will thus become part of a network of young leaders, who will continue to be linked to each other and ICSR.

For a list Atkin Fellow Alumni, please click here.

Questions about the programme can be submitted to Katie Rothman, katie.rothman@icsr.info