- News and Notes
Sakharov Archives Established in Moscow
On May 21—the date that would have marked the 73rd birthday of the great Soviet dissident Andrei D. Sakharov—several dozen reporters and international guests gathered in Moscow for a press conference marking the official opening of a library dedicated to the memory and writings of the late author, scientist, and human rights activist. Organized by his widow Yelena Bonner, the archives are located in the newly remodeled three-bedroom apartment where Sakharov spent much of his life.
Featured in the exhibit are all of Sakharov's published works—in both Russian and various other languages—as well as an extensive collection of letters, photographs, audio and video recordings, unpublished manuscripts, and materials from secondary sources. Also included in the collection are 62 KGB documents, personally donated by the head of Russia's Federal Counterintelligence Service, the post-Soviet successor to the KGB, at a government-sponsored forum that followed the press conference. These records track Sakharov's "anti-Soviet activities" between 1968 and 1989, as recorded by the secret police. President Boris Yeltsin, although not present at the government forum, also contributed a small folder of records pertaining to Sakharov from the presidential archives.
At the press conference, Dr. Bonner announced that plans were already underway to open an international human rights museum in Moscow in 1996 that will be named after her late husband.
Conference Looks at Future of American-Arab Relations
On May 26-28, the Foundation on Democratization and Political Change in the Middle East (FDPCME) held a conference in Washington, D.C., entitled "American-Arab Relations: A New Beginning?" The conference, funded by a grant from the National [End Page 138] Endowment for Democracy (NED), brought together Arab intellectuals from the West Bank, Kuwait, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, and Iraq, who articulated a broad range of ideological perspectives ranging from Islamic and secular liberalism to socialism.
The conference explored a host of economic, political, strategic, and cultural issues that must be addressed if cooperation between American and Arab NGOs on political and economic development is to proceed. The premise of the meeting was that such a dialogue was mandated by the end of the Cold War and the ensuing events in the region, including the Gulf War and the Palestinian-Israeli peace process. After two days of unusually open and constructive discussions, almost all participants agreed that the conference had offered a unique opportunity for Arabs and Americans to explore their differences as well as their common concerns. It was also agreed to hold a follow-up conference next year focusing on democratization in the Arab world.
The Arab participants included Fatima Mernissi, Laith Kubba, Mahmoud Abdel-Fadil, Sari Nusseibeh, Fawwaz Trabulsi, Raghid EI-Solh, Asma Khader, Jamil Mroue, Rami Khouri, Isam AI-Khafaji, Mohamad A1-Rumaihi, Hichem Djait, and Ahmed M. Abdal Halim. Among the American participants were William Maynes, James Zogby, Henri Barkey, Carl Gershman, Ellen Laipson, Joshua Muravchik, I. William Zartman, Khalil Jahshan, William Quandt, PauI Wolfowitz, and Marvin Zonis. Morton Halperin of the National Security Council was a featured speaker.
Conference proceedings will be published this summer. For more information, write to: FDPCME, 1301 33rd Street, N.W., Suite 6, Washington, DC 20007.
Open Society Institute to Fund New Research Facility
At a May 31 press conference in Washington, D.C., the Open Society Institute (OSI), a New York-based foundation established by international philanthropist George Soros, announced the founding of a new research institute in Prague that will serve as a resource center for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) broadcasters, journalists, government officials, historians, and other scholars seeking information on current and historical developments in Central and Eastern Europe, including the former Soviet Union. The new institute will in part carry on the work of the current RFE/RL Research Institute. It will also, in association with the Central European University (CEU), take over as curator for the historical archives of the RFE/RL Research Institute following the closing of that organization's Munich offices in December 1994.
Members of the Board of Directors of the new center include George Soros, Karen Greenberg, Aryeh Neier, Daniel A. Mica...