The Syrian Revolution: Context, Conflict, and a Call to Action

March 2, 2012

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Northwestern University's Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) presents "The Syrian Revolution: Context, Conflict, & a Call to Action."

As we approach the first anniversary of the Syrian uprising, there appears no end in sight to the violence and the situation only continues to deteriorate with the country on the verge of civil war.

More than 7,000 Syrians have lost their lives in the struggle to remove the tyrannical Assad regime from power, and that number increases every day. Further complicating the crisis is the drama unfolding on the world stage with the international community unable to come to a consensus on how to respond.

The ongoing crisis compels us to ask several questions: For how much longer can the uprising sustain itself? What can the world do to aid the people of Syria in this critical hour? What are the larger geopolitical implications of this uprising?

This panel discussion addresses these questions and more. Our speakers include Nadim Audi, Brent Huffman, Elizabeth Shakman Hurd, Bara Sarraj, and Yaser Tabbara.

Nadim Audi is a seasoned journalist who has been reporting for The New York Times since 2007. The uprisings of the Arab Spring have taken him across the Middle East, from Egypt to Bahrain to Syria, where he was imprisoned by authorities. He is currently an adjunct lecturer at Northwestern Medill School of Journalism.

Brent Huffman is an assistant professor at the Medill School of Journalism. As an award-winning documentary filmmaker, he has traveled the globe and made a number of films on social issues and the environment. As part of the RefugeeLives project, he recently produced a short documentary on the plight of Syrian refugees in Jordan.

Elizabeth Shakman Hurd is an associate professor of political science at Northwestern’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. She has traveled to Syria in recent years and studies international politics, international law, and the relationship between religion and politics, with a focus on the Middle East and North Africa.

Bara Sarraj is a Syrian-American activist based in the Chicago area. He was a prisoner of the Assad regime for twelve years, nine of which were spent in the notorious Tadmor prison where he was tortured almost daily. He is currently a transplant immunologist at Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine.

Yaser Tabbara is a Syrian-American human rights lawyer and a prominent activist in Chicago’s Muslim, Arab, and Syrian communities. In recent years, he has taught international human rights law at the University of Kalamoon in Damascus and worked to promote education reform in Syria. He currently serves as a member of the Syrian National Council.

Recorded Thursday, March 1, 2012 at Swift Hall, Northwestern University.