Yesterday and today I’ve had the privilege of meeting with pro-liberty activists from Georgia, Syria, Mauritania, and Iraq. Yesterday my colleagues and I met with Paata Sheshelidze and Gia Jandieri of the New School of Economics of the Republic of Georgia to discuss undertaking a program to promote liberty, commerce, and peace in the Caucasus and Central Asia. Today I met with a group that was brought together and introduced to Cato by Jesse Sage of the American Islamic Congress: Abdel Nasser Ould Yessa, Foreign Secretary of the anti-slavery group, S.O.S. Slaves Mauritania, Nasser Weddady, North America coordinator for S.O.S. Slaves Mauritania, and Ammar Abdulhamid, currently a Visiting Fellow at the Brookings Institution and a prolific blogger in English and in Arabic. We discussed a wide variety of issues and agreed to collaborate on publication of a volume of personal accounts by Arabic liberals of how they had come to appreciate individual liberty, toleration, the market economyh, and the rule of law. Then this afternoon and early evening I met with friends from Iraq to plan my itinerary for my upcoming trip.
It’s an inspiration to meet people so dedicated to freedom and willing to risk everything to promote it in perilous places.