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Nour Barakeh

Public Policy Specialist Innovative Presenter

Through her scientific study, artistic work, and academic training in public policy, Nour Barakeh strives to understand society from different viewpoints and to communicate complex topics. She is a talented content and communications consultant and an accomplished playwright aiming at post-conflict peacebuilding and the promotion of human rights.
Nour Barakeh serves as a Sustainability and Communication consultant at the International Forum for Understanding. She was an Agents of Change Youth Fellow at the Wilson Center, a joint fellowship from the Environmental Change and Security Program and the Middle East Program, whereby, her developed project was presented at the COP28 Climate Conference. Nour is especially interested in the nexus of climate change, migration, and human rights.
Her M.A. in Public Administration from Central European University emphasized the Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs) and environmental policies to combat climate change. She previously studied at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus and graduated from the Faculty of Pharmacy at Damascus University.

As a sought-after speaker on the SDGs, refugee, and migration issues, she has spoken on numerous high-profile panels, such as: “Bridging Climate Divides” at the United Nations in Vienna in 2023, Beyond Borders Scotland 2023, a Learning Session for the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development 2022, International Peace Institute (IPI) 2021, UNHCR Austrian 2020, and European Forum Alpbach 2018 alongside former UN SG Ban Ki-moon and former Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

Nour Barakeh has experience ranging from research and strategy to social work and journalism. She aims at supporting the establishment of sustainable educational projects focused on empowering people through raising awareness and counselling governments, NGOs and corporations on policies with a specific focus on the Sustainable Developments Goals. As a Global Citizen, she believes in proactively pursuing the necessary goal of peace.

Jan 24: It was an honor to meet with Ms. Shams Asadi, the Human Rights Commissioner and Head of the Human Rights Office of the City of Vienna. Her career journey serves as inspiration for those of us aiming to work in human rights areas.

Jul 23: Joined the panel at the United Nations in Vienna to launch the Bridging Climate Divides for Agenda 2030 project. This initiative aims to create space for inclusive development of transformative narratives and bottom-up solutions for climate impact.

Mar 22: Chosen to be among 22 high-potential youth globally to participate in a virtual, design-thinking workshop focused on “Building Back Better for SDG 5”. We identified synergies and developed shared solutions.

Sept 21: Participated on a panel together with the head of UNHCR Austria in the Landesgalerie in Lower Austria to discuss over 70 years of the Geneva Refugee Convention.

Aug 19: At the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens. Part of a media team interviewing Dr. Heinz Fischer, former President of Austria on wide-ranging topics. Nour especially appreciated his perspectives on implementing the SDGs.

Jun 19: Part of a panel at the 49th Annual International Peace Institute at the Austrian Ministry for Foreign Affairs under the theme: “Partnering with Young People for Prevention: Sustaining Peace and Addressing Violence, Crime, and Corruption.”

Nov 18: Nour speaking at the RELX Group SDG Inspiration Day in Amsterdam

Sept 18: Nour’s theater piece was performed again at an event hosted by the Second President of the Austrian Parliament.

Sept 18: Nour joined a panel discussion at the Diplomatic Academy (credit: Abdulla Abood)

Mar 18: (German-language) International Women’s Day Talk: ‘I Believe in the New Generation.’ From the (English-language) ‘Then and now: refugee lives in sharp focus‘ series of UNHCR

Jan 24: Met with staff of UNHCR Austria at the United Nations in Vienna. We explored synergies for creating impactful means of promoting refugee rights and female empowerment in the current geopolitical context. We agreed that scaling impact is key.

Nov 23: In my capacity as an Agents of Change Youth Fellow for the Wilson Center’s Middle East Program, I wrote a policy brief on the topic of ‘Solar Power Investment for Vulnerable Populations in Syria.’ I presented this paper in a session of the COP28 Climate Conference (more info).

Jul 22: In London, performed an original dance solo on breaking free from trauma at an event on the World Day against Human Trafficking held by the International Forum for Understanding.

Nov 21: As part of the COP26 Youth Council for the International Forum for Understanding, I provided public policy input on climate change intersectionality.

Dec 19: Contributed to the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens’ online course on Women‟s Empowerment in a discussion video: “Becoming Global Citizens for a Sustainable Society.”

Aug 19: Interviewed Dr. Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, at European Forum Alpbach. Topics ranged from building cooperation between the EU and the MENA region to dealing with global inequalities.

Feb 19: Participating in the 2019 Vienna V-Day performance of ‘A Memory, a Monologue, a Rant, and a Prayer.’

Sept 18: Group photo following the International Day of Peace event at which Nour’s theater piece was presented.

Sept 18: After speaking at the multimedia event on “Global Citizenship in a Time of War” at the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens (credit: Minji Kwag)

Aug 18: At European Forum Alpbach, Nour joined a panel including former UN SG Ban Ki-Moon and former Austrian President Heinz Fischer.

Jan 24: We were invited to the Austrian Parliament to learn about its Demokratiewerkstatt (Democracy Workshop) to teach young people about the basics of democracy, the EU, parliamentary life, and media competence (photo credit: Parliamentary Administration/Bubu Dujmic).

Dec 23: At the invitation of UNHCR Austria, I participated in the Global Refugee Forum in Geneva. The Forum’s goals are to ‘enhance refugee self-reliance, increase access to third-country solutions and improve conditions in countries
of origin.’

Jul 22: Part of a panel for Learning Session 10 of the UN’s High Level Political Forum: a live, interactive, capacity-building and crowdsourcing approach to human trafficking prevention and mitigation

Q1-Q2 22: Co-developer/Artist in this global, anti-polarization project using an interview process to create understanding of the people behind their beliefs.

Jan 20: Participated in an exchange seminar about integration and aspects of social work in cooperation with UNHCR and a delegation of the Turkish Ministry of Family, Labor and Social Affairs.

Aug 19: Interviewed Dr. Ban Ki-moon, former Secretary-General of the United Nations at European Forum Alpbach. We discussed the SDGs in relation to refugee issues as well as the importance of empowering women in achieving sustainable progress.

May 19: Contributed to ISCAN’s training on conflict analysis and intervention strategies with an emphasis on inequalities among groups in Maastricht, The Netherlands.

Sept 18: Shooting a television segment for the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation at the KAICIID Dialogue Centre.

Sept 18: Nour participated in the Migraspectives scientific/artistic collaboration.

Aug 18: At European Forum Alpbach, Nour’s theater piece ‘Not a Fate’ – about peace-building among youth in conflict situations – was performed

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