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About CDHR

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Mission Declaration:

The Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia (CDHR) is a (501)(c)3 non-profit educational organization established in 2004 to promote institutionalized democratic reforms through restructuring of all Saudi state institutions to accommodate growing and irrepressible public awareness of their rights and to meet global demands as necessitated by globalization of goods, languages, values and information. Due to its centrality to Islam and as a major exporter of petroleum, as well as the state’s austere religious doctrine, Saudi Arabia plays major roles in Muslims’ and non-Muslims’ lives worldwide; consequently, its policies and practices are of major concern to its people and to the international community.

What We Do:

CDHR gathers information from a wide range of sources about current events in Saudi Arabia and analyzes and interprets their impact on Saudi society, the Greater Middle East and the international community. These unique findings are disseminated to policy makers, the public, media, educational institutions and a variety of nongovernmental organizations. The distribution of CDHR’s information is widely dispersed via our newsletter, website, Blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts. In addition, CDHR’s staff organize educational conferences, Congressional briefings and participate in a multitude of public and official events. CDHR promotes: freedom of worship and expression, transparency, accountability, empowerment of women, protection of migrant workers, establishment of and adherence to non-sectarian laws and compliance with all international declarations on human rights. CDHR rallies support for Saudi democratic reformers, highlights their initiatives and exposes the Saudi government’s heavy-handed responses to them.

CDHR Promotes:

Political Reform: Concrete transformation of Saudi political structure from its current autocratic one-family-rule to a representative political structure, including constitutional monarchy, where all citizens’ and expatriates’ liberties and full rights are protected under the rule of non-sectarian laws where citizens are constitutionally empowered to participate in the state’s decision-making processes.

Freedom of the Press and Flow of Uncensored Information: Elimination of all forms of censorship, institutionalized free expression and uncensored flow of information into and out of the country.

Religious Freedom: Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of worship for all citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia, regardless of religions, ethnicity and orientation.

Women’s Rights: Removal of the male guardian system; institutionalize women’s right to drive, work and travel, the right to full employment; eradication of child and forced marriage systems, ban honor killings, genital mutilation, pleasure marriage (mut’ah) and de-legitimatize the four wives system and gender segregation.

Minority Rights: Full and equal rights for Muslim and non-Muslim ethnic and religious minorities.

Economic Reform: Privatization of government industries, public utilities and a creation of a share-holder public financial industry.

A Non-sectarian Judicial System: Independent court system staffed by qualified non-sectarian jurists who are accountable to the people not the system.

Transparency and Accountability: Independent national treasury where all national income and disbursements are accounted for and open to public scrutiny.

Reform Education and Religious Institutions: The management of all educational institutions should be turned over to non-governmental bodies. As required by the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Dec. 10, 1948, courses about women, human rights and other religions must be part of all educational curricula at all levels in public and private learning institutions.

CDHR's Activities:

1) Provides thought provoking and accurate information and analysis of Saudi events and policies via its widely read website and 5,000 strong newsletter recipients worldwide. CDHR’s director analyzes current Saudi news and policies for the benefit of the readers who would otherwise take the highly censored Saudi news for face value. 2) Operates a Blog, Twitter and Facebook accounts to spread information and engage readers in open discussions about issues that affect them, but which they cannot initiate from or discuss openly in Saudi Arabia.

3) Organizes in-depth public and official conferences and round table discussions in which qualified speakers present current different prospective and analysis about Saudi policies, US-Saudi relations and the Saudi role in the financing and spread of its austere brand of Islam, Wahhabism.

4) Monitors and conducts research on human rights, women’s and minority rights, rights of expatriates, religious tolerance and freedom of worship and expression.


5) Networks with other groups, think tanks and Congressional staffers in Washington, to provide them with current information about Saudi Arabia as it relates to the US and its interests.


6) Networks with pro-democracy and human rights groups in the US, Europe and individuals in the Arab and Muslim communities.


7) Provides presentations at conferences and other events, utilizing the knowledge of the Executive Director as a native of Saudi Arabia and an expert intimately familiar with its history, composition, and peoples.

 

Subscribe to Our Newsletters:

CDHR sends out regular newsletters twice a month to our readers with analysis of events in Saudi Arabia, upcoming CDHR events, and reports on the progress of our ongoing campaigns. Subscribe Now!


Board of Directors:

Dr. Ali Alyami, Executive Director

Phone: 202–413–0084
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Curriculum Vitae

Dr. Ali Alyami is a native of Saudi Arabia. He has lived in the United States for many years and has been an avid advocate for political reforms in Saudi Arabia most of his life. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from the Claremont Graduate University in Southern California, and a Master’s Degree from California State University in Los Angeles. Ph. D. doctoral theses: The Impact of Modernization on the Stability of the Saudi Monarchy. He has worked for and with different groups and organizations, including the Arab Organization for Human Rights based in Cairo, Egypt, the Saudi Institute in Washington, DC, and the American Friends Service Committee in San Francisco, among others. Dr. Alyami provided expert testimony regarding human rights in Saudi Arabia before the Congressional Human Rights Caucus. He also organized and participated in many conferences and discussions about Saudi Arabia, its policies and their impact on the Saudi people, the Middle East, and the international community. Alyami has spoken at conferences in the United States, London, Egypt, Sudan, and Israel.

Jack Pearce, Chairman

Mr. Pearce worked at USAID and served as Assistant Chief of the United States Justice Department Antitrust Division. He also held the position of Deputy General Counsel of the White House Office of Consumer Affairs. In private law practice, he helped found and coordinate coalitions of commercial transportation buyers, consumer groups, economists, and environmental groups supporting the successful reform of transportation regulation in the United States. He and his partners also served clients in the computer, agriculture, and electricity segments of the economy, in activities consistent with U.S. antitrust policies. Mr. Pearce founded and is President of O.S.I. Management, Inc., servicing attorneys and others in Washington, DC, and has served on the boards of several civic organizations.

Mansour Al-Hadj

Mr. Al-Hadj is Director of the Reform Project at the Middle East Media and Research Institute (MEMRI). He was born and raised in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, and immigrated to the U.S in 2005, and has a degree in Sharia and Islamic Studies from The International University of Africa in Khartoum, Sudan. Born and raised in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Al-Hadj has first-hand experience of radicalization tactics used to recruit and mobilize Muslims worldwide. His research and writings in Arabic and English have focused on understanding the root causes of violent extremism in Arab and Muslim lands. He promotes freedom of expression, religious freedom, social justice, and equality for women and minorities. Mr. Al-Hadj has testified before the U.S. Congress on the development of strategies to counter jihadist websites.

Wayne Quist

Colonel Quist has advanced degrees from the University of Southern California and The National War College in Washington, DC, specializing in the Middle East. While serving in Washington, DC, he worked in The Pentagon, later directed the Air Force AWACS program, and led the first deployment of AWACS into Saudi Arabia in 1980 following the Iranian revolution. After retiring from the Air Force as a full colonel (O-6), he headed a Fortune 500 company’s Europe and Middle East operations from Brussels, Belgium. Colonel Quist is the author of several publications and articles in the field of radical, militant Islamism, national security policy, and American history, and coauthored Winning the War on Terror: A Triumph of American Values with Dr. David Drake in 2005 and The Triumph of Democracy Over Militant Islamism in 2006. Colonel Quist has been featured as a popular speaker on the ideology of al Qaeda and has also lectured at a Nobel Peace Prize Forum.

Please donate online or by mail

The Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered in Washington, DC. Your donation is tax deductible and will help CDHR continue its democratic, nonviolent activities. Donate easily online to CDHR using PayPal or send a donation by mail to:

The Center for Democracy & Human Rights in Saudi Arabia
1050 17th Street NW
Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20036 USA

 

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