The 24th Arab-U.S. Policymakers Conference, "U.S.-Arab Relations at a Crossroads: What Paths Forward?," was held October 14-15, 2015, at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in Washington, DC. In attendance were eight first-year MBA students, four of whom were from the region, two US Army officers who had served in Iraq, and two who have goals to visit the region. Lois Critchfield, long time friend of both the NCUSAR and W&M, arranged for the students’ attendance. While at the meeting, the students met people from both the US and the Middle East who are currently deeply involved in events there, both in political and economic activities.
There were two days of talks on the future of the region, which not surprisingly brought about intense debates and discussions. A highlight was meeting and listening to His Royal Highness Prince Turki al Faisal from Saudi Arabia. Students will remember Prince Turki’s visit to the W&M campus in 2014. His Highness highlighted the need for unity, stability and responsibility among the nations of the Middle East, who are faced with the awesome dilemma of defeating ISIS and building a stable future for the burgeoning young population, two-thirds of whom are under the age of 30. For those who wish to read more about his comments, they are on the NCUSAR website along with transcripts from talks by other speakers.
Photo L-R: Captain Andrew Boyd, Cody Rose, Abdulmohsen Alkhulayfi, Nour Al Aameri, Lois Critchfield, Major Travis Reinold, Abdulla Foolath, Majed Al Ansari, Brett Weyman