News & Highlights

  • MAY 2023

Alumni Event in Egypt

On May 31st, the Center partnered with the HBS Club of Egypt to host an intimate gathering in Cairo featuring Professors Michael Chu, a Senior Lecturer in the General Management Unit, and Alvaro Rodriguez-Arregui, a Senior Lecturer in the Entrepreneurial Management Unit. The Professors focused their discussion on the rationale behind using business as a tool to respond to some of society’s most pressing problems, drawing examples from the cases they have taught in MBA courses. The event was attended by 20 alumni and friends of HBS.
  • MAY 2023

Alumni Event in Turkey

On May 11th, the MENA Research Center hosted an alumni event in Istanbul in collaboration with HBR Türkiye. Professor Prithwiraj (Raj) Choudhury, the Lumry Family Associate Professor at HBS, delivered a keynote presentation on the ‘future of work,’ and led an interactive discussion among alumni and friends of HBS. The conversations provided insights about the future of work, the benefits that come with it, and the management practices needed to best realize this new model of work. Over 50 people attended.
  • MARCH 2023

MBA Admissions Events in the Middle East & North Africa

On March 14th, MBA Admissions held a virtual event titled “The HBS MBA Experience: Student Perspectives from the Middle East and North Africa” catered to prospective applicants interested in pursuing an MBA at HBS. Yasemin Caglar, Assistant Director for Educational Programs at the Middle East and North Africa Research Center, started by providing an overview of the Center, and then Vai Schierholtz, Director of Marketing and MBA Admissions Board Member, led a panel discussion among five current MBA students about their experiences at HBS. MBA Admissions and the MENA Research Center continued their efforts in the MENA region and co-hosted a series of information sessions about the MBA Program. The sessions were held between April and May in five cities: Istanbul, Beirut, Riyadh, Dubai, and Cairo. The events were designed for prospective applicants to learn more about the MBA Program and life at HBS as well as to get the opportunity to meet with alumni from their cities. Over 300 prospective applicants attended those events.
  • MARCH 2023

Alumni Amal Enan’s (MBA 2014) Investment Impact in Egypt

Amal Enan (MBA 2014) has been making a difference in the Egyptian startup scene with her thoughtful and strategic investments. As Executive Director of the Egyptian-American Enterprise Fund, Enan works to promote financial inclusion, job creation, and private sector development in Egypt, with a strong focus on supporting female entrepreneurs. She says, “we need to build sustainable businesses and create a competitive track record for the country, if we’re going to improve opportunities for the next generation.” Learn more about the work she is doing in the MENA region through her alumni story here.

New Research on the Region

  • 2023
  • Working Paper

The Irredeemability of the Past: Determinants of Reconciliation and Revenge in Post-Conflict Settings

By: Kristen Kao, Kristin Fabbe and Michael Bang Petersen

In the aftermath of violent conflict, identifying former enemy collaborators versus innocent bystanders forced to flee violence is difficult. In post-conflict settings, internally displaced persons (IDPs) risk becoming stigmatized and face difficulties reintegrating into society. This work considers the role of moral disapproval and future social value in processes of post-conflict reconciliation with stigmatized IDPs. We run two conjoint experiments embedded within a large-N face-to-face survey across three areas of Iraq (n=4,592) experiencing the return of stigmatized IDPs, many of whom are suspected of having collaborated with the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Immutable factors related to a stigmatized IDP’s past behavior, namely the severity of a transgression and the volition behind it, are the strongest predictors of both reconciliation and revenge. Transitional justice mechanisms signaling the IDP’s present and future redemption have little to no impact. Analyses employing cognitive and emotional statistical mediators further demonstrate that past behavior shapes justice intuitions because it simultaneously activates a past-oriented moral condemnation and a future-oriented heuristic assessment of the value and risks of associating with the stigmatized individual. This orientation towards past behavior is consistent irrespective of major individual differences including trust in the involved institutions, ISIS victimization, and ethnic identity. These findings highlight the mounting challenges involved in transitional justice in the aftermath of violent conflict and suggests that fact-finding missions are key to re-integrating the millions of displaced persons currently in Iraq and elsewhere.

  • August 2023
  • Case


By: Krishna Palepu and Namrata Arora

In 2022, Abdulaziz B. Al Loughani, CEO and co-founder of Floward, an online flower and gifting company established in Kuwait in 2017, contemplated the firm's growth trajectory. Floward, an e-commerce enterprise that offered fresh-cut flowers sourced directly from global growers and had control over the entire delivery chain, had expanded its footprint to 32 cities across nine MENA countries and had ventured into the UK. Witnessing a remarkable CAGR of over 160% between 2020 and 2022, Floward was valued at $152.5 million during its Series B investment round in 2021. Having served over 400,000 customers and recently diversifying into the broader gifting sector, Al Loughani faced pivotal decisions: Should Floward pursue further global expansion or solidify its gifting vertical in the Gulf? And, considering its aggressive growth aspirations, should the company opt for an IPO, and if so, which stock exchange should they target?

  • August 2023
  • Case

Money Fellows: The Quest for Expansion

This case explores the opportunities and challenges associated with expanding the operations of a complex entrepreneurial business model. It highlights how cultural aspects of different geographies impact a startup's operational and economic models. The case also debates the considerations of expanding operations internationally versus penetrating new customer segments within a company's existing market. Lastly, the case presents the tensions that may exist between investors and entrepreneurs in deciding the desired course of action.

See more research

Dubai Staff

Alpana Thapar
Executive Director
Sadika El Hariri
Research Associate
Fares Khrais
Senior Researcher

Cairo Staff

Ahmed Dahawy
Research Associate

Istanbul Staff

Yasemin Çağlar
Associate Director, Educational Programs
Zeynep Mağgönül
Assistant Director, Administration

Tel Aviv Staff

Orna Dan
Senior Researcher