2017 Year in Review
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A Message from the CEO

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Aida Araissi

  Dear members, partners, and friends:

I wish to wholeheartedly express a message of gratitude and appreciation as I reflect back on 2017, a year that marked the 20th Anniversary of the Chamber.

The story of the past 20 years can be summed up as a collection of determined stakeholders that believed in growing and building commercial ties between the U.S.,the Middle East and Africa; based on the shared principal of mutual respect and understanding. That vision has attracted a continuous and ever growing network of members, partners, volunteers and friends.

Each of you has contributed to the reputation of the Bilateral Chamber as a world-class convener of credible global business decision-makers. Our success as an organization is a reflection of your active participation in the programs. 

Please join me as we look back on a few highlights from the past 12 months. It's a snapshot view of the people and places in our network. 

On behalf of the entire team at the Bilateral Chamber, we wish you a joyous and prosperous New Year.

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Aida Araissi

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A Look Back at 2017 Featured Global Dignitaries
We started 2017 with strategic partnerships with EGYPS in Cairo, organized by DMG Events Global Energy, and Kallman Worldwide's USA Partnership Pavilion at Arab Health in Dubai.

Access to decision-makers in trade, policy and advocacy is what we do. The opportunity to meet these thought leaders in intimate gatherings is what distinguishes our platform and gives members the first-hand and impactful information necessary to initiate, develop and sustain business ventures.

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 February 14-16, 2017

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The official ribbon cutting at the EGYPS 2017 inauguration included the attendance of:

  • H.E. Abdel Fattah El Sisi, President, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • H.E. Sherif Ismail, Prime Minister, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • H.E. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Arab Republic of Egypt
  • H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State & Group CEO of ADNOC
"Amazing accomplishments in 2017, lots of very happy moments when connecting the East with the West for the benefit of the countries, companies and people."
Maurice Nessim
President, WesternGeco

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January 29 - February 1, 2017

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T.H. Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, showcases the U.S. International Pavilion to H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai, UAE Minister of Finance and the President of the Dubai Health Authority.

 "This was my first Arab Health conference. Without Lucy Girgawy patiently helping me navigate the exhibition, I wouldn't have been able to experience it fully. It's a pleasure working with the Bilateral Chamber team!" 
John Payne
Chairman & CEO
PURELIFE Health Sciences Group, LLC

We look forward to actively participating in and supporting EGYPS 2018 and Arab Health 2018. 

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International Energy Leaderships
Convene at Annual OTC and ADIPEC Programs

Insight to MENA at OTC Welcome Reception
May 1, 2017

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Amin H. Al Nasser The Honorable Sylvester Turner
President & CEO
Saudi Aramco
City of Houston
Featuring messages from Saudi Aramco's President & CEO, Amin Al Nasser, Harris County Commissioner, T.H. Rodney Ellis, and City of Houston Mayor, T.H. Sylvester Turner, the evening’s theme centered on paying tribute to the three former Houston Mayors that have been instrumental in advancing and preserving trade relationships between the City of Houston and MENA region.

T.H. Lee P. Brown, T.H. Bill White and T.H. Annise Parker were honored as co-recipients of the 2017 Visionary Leadership Award.
Additionally, Nasir Abbasi, Counselor for Commercial Affairs to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Yemen, was recognized with the 2017 Excellence in Commercial Advocacy Award.

"I want to thank Tom Kallman for his wonderful heartfelt introduction and thank the Bilateral for the recognition. Let's make 2018 another year of giving back to our communities."

Nasir Abbasi
Counselor for Commercial Affairs to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Yemen
U.S. Embassy, Riyadh

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20th Annual Private VIP Board of Advisors Dinner at ADIPEC
November 14, 2017

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The Bilateral Chamber was pleased to host its annual VIP Private Board of Advisors Dinner alongside ADIPEC Week 2017.

This exclusive function brought together distinguished CEOs from leading IOCs, NOCs & service companies, U.S. and Foreign Ambassadors, and other dignitaries and key global executives from the energy sector.

David L. Phillips, Chairman of the Bilateral Chamber Advisory Board, was joined by H.E. Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State & ADNOC Group CEO, along with T.H. Marcelle Wahba, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE (2001-2004), T.H. Douglas Silliman, U.S. Ambassador to Iraq (2016-Present), and T.H. Michael Corbin, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE (2011-2014) to recognize T.H. Barbara A. Leaf, U.S. Ambassador to the UAE, with the 2017 Visionary Ambassador Award for her countless and impressive diplomatic accomplishments over her distinguished career.

"Thank you for all the support during the conference, it was one of the most productive ADIPEC conferences for me."

Hossam Elbadawy
O&G Technologies


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Highlights from Country-Focused Programs in 2017

Leadership Insight Series: The Libya Dialogue

Special Keynote Address by Mustafa Sanalla, Chairman, National Oil Corporation, Libya
May 2, 2017

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Leadership Insight Series: The Iraq Dialogue at OTC & ADIPEC

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Moderated by John Brantley, Partner at Bracewell LLP and Bilateral Chamber Advisory Board Member, the Iraq Dialogue at OTC 2017 featured a panel discussion focused on the current opportunities in Iraq’s oil and gas sector. Esteemed panelists included:
  • U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, The Honorable Douglas A. Silliman
  • Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq to the the U.S, His Excellency Fareed Yasseen
  • Deputy Chief of Staff to the Minister of Iraq’s Office, Dr. Naufel Alhassan
  • Deputy Minister for Natural Gas AffairsHis Excellency Hamed Al Zobaie

The Iraq Dialogue at ADIPEC 2017 featured T.H. Douglas A. Silliman, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Iraq, and H.E. Jabbar Al Luaibi, Iraq's Minister of Oil,who offered opportunities for investment in Iraq's downstream sector. Additional panelists included:
  • Fayadh al-Mossawi - Deputy Minister for Refineries Affairs
  • Ihsan Ismael - Director General of Basrah Oil Company
  • Housam Walli - Director General of South Refinery Company
  • Majeed Jbaiyer Taayeeb - Deputy Director General of Middle Refineries Company
  • Adel Abid-Ali - Director of Investment & Studies

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   "As always, the Bilateral Chamber put on a great event, with meaningful networking
    opportunities with the who's who of the regional oil/gas sector. We look forward to partaking
    in and supporting future events."

Subhi Khudairi  
Khudairi Group  

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 GCC Insight Series: The Vision Behind the Numbers
May 2, 2017

Featured Special Guest: H.E. Altaher Musabah Al Kendi Al Mara, Second Vice Chairman,
Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry

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Roundtable with H.E. Sheikh Meshal Al Thani,
Ambassador of the State of Qatar to the U.S.
August 8, 2017

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Bilateral Chamber - Official Contractor for the
United States Trade & Development Agency

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​As a part of USTDA’s network of contractors and partners, the Bilateral Chamber organized and executed a reverse trade mission to the cities of Washington D.C., Houston, and Lafayette. The delegation consisted of high-ranking public and private sector officials from Turkey's Energy Sector including:
  • Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources (MENR)
  • Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS)
  • Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA)
  • Turkish Oil and Gas Association (PETFORM)

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October 27, 2017 - The Turkey Gas and Trading Hub Business Briefing featured presentations from the delegates as they shared the Ministry's plans to invest more than $110 Billion of Gas Infrastructure Projects.

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Building Cultural Bridges Through Education

Teachers Educating Across Cultures in Harmony (TEACH) Fellowship
November 16-22, 2017
Kingdom of Bahrain

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The 2017 TEACH Fellowship agenda included site visits to: GPIC, INJAZ Bahrain, Bahrain Bayan School, St. Christopher's School, Bahrain Fort, Sheikh Ibrahim Center for Culture and Research, U.S. Embassy, Bahrain Economic Development Board, BAPCO, and much more.

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 "A huge thank you to the Bilateral U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce for making the TEACH Fellowship possible. Although brief, our trip was packed with memorable, teachable experiences."

Sara Elizabeth Damon
Stillwater Area High School

Bahrain: Two Seas
A Film by 2017 TEACH Fellow, Matthew Cottone
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Education Insight Series: 10th Annual Model Arab League

February 17-19, 2017

In Partnership With

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Represented countries at the Bilateral MAL 2017 included: Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestine, Syrian National Coalition, Bahrain, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya, Lebanon, Iraq and Oman.

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“I study Middle Eastern politics so MAL was a lot of fun. I learned how to use my knowledge, present it, and speak with confidence.”

Hannah Mitchell
Louisiana State University

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