About us

The Middle East remains one of the world’s riskiest flashpoints, glued together for decades by complex and often secret agreements that no longer hold good. What will take their place? And who will be the key players?

After seven years debating in the Arab world, Tim Sebastian has launched The New Arab Debates, a new project to concentrate on the people driving change in the region. Tunis led the way and Cairo followed, so we base ourselves in both capitals to monitor the new politics. The New Arab Debates invite a new generation to get involved in politics – to discuss the issues that affect their lives, suggest solutions, hold politicians to account and help shape history.

Our format involves picking a controversial motion, with one speaker on each side, arguing for and against. They each speak in front of a live audience for three minutes and are then questioned robustly by the chairman before the debate is thrown open to the audience for questions and a final electronic vote is taken from the whole “house”.

The debates also make full use of social media; translated and streamed in English and Arabic on our website. The New Arab Debates actively seek to make regional and international headlines. We are there to make news and enact change.