Gilbert Doumit

Founder and Managing Partner of Beyond Reform & Development

"Being free means to be able to make social, economic or political choices without fearing the consequences. It is in our human nature, anchored in our collective conscience, and translated into a practice embraced by society. My perception of freedom was shaped throughout my childhood as I was deprived from it for a long period. At first during the civil war, when freedoms were completely suppressed and afterwards during the years of Syrian occupation. Today, I am afraid that freedom is at risk in Lebanon, as we are manipulated by our basic needs. We are willing to give up our sovereignty for the sake of safety and security. I am convinced that, if there is only one thing that should be protected in our country, it is freedom.

We are committed to achieving it regardless of the pace, the process or the challenges. How am I contributing to protecting freedom? Well this is what I am doing for a living, together with a group of dedicated activists. I founded Beyond Reform and Development. Our purpose is to build inclusive, innovative and responsive governance systems through policy research, public management reform, people development, and partnership building. We work with governments and stakeholders in 24 different countries, mainly in the Middle East. We can only achieve change, when we have people in power who have the will and institutions capable of finding and implementing solutions. This is why we want to stop demanding change but rather supplying it. The choice is to redefine politics and provide an alternative to traditional politics."