News Briefs

Green Mountain College to host symposium on Syria

Green Mountain College will host a Syrian Neighbors symposium on Saturday, March 18 to raise awareness and spark dialogue around the Syrian refugee crisis. Free and open to the public, the symposium brings together three national scholars, Dr. Wendy Pearlman, Dr. Clare Gillis and Ms. Mehlaqa Samdani, to discuss the origins and evolution of the Syrian conflict, examine its broader historical and global contexts within refugee and forced migration trends, and explore the integration of Islamic migrants and refugees into American communities.
Panel topics during the symposium will include the challenges and opportunities the Syrians face in rebuilding their food, gardening and agricultural ways in a new land, and also feature local stakeholders to discuss their work in Rutland County. The symposium will take place from 1-5 p.m. in the East Room, Whitey Hall, at Green Mountain College, One Brennan Circle, Poultney
Dr. Wendy Pearlman is Associate Professor and Martin and Patricia Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Professor at Northwestern University, and has studied and conducted research in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She has written two books and more than a dozen articles or book chapters about the Palestinian national movement, focusing on internal politics and the causes and consequences of political violence.
Dr. Clare Gillis is a visiting professor at Marlboro College and lecturer at Dartmouth College. In addition to a doctorate in history, Dr. Gillis spent four years as a journalist in the Middle East and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The American Scholar, Foreign Policy, USA Today, and other magazines and newspapers in the U.S. and abroad. In 2014, she also worked as a researcher for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, reporting on the harsh ordeals of women refugees of the Syrian war.
Ms. Mehlaqa Samdani is the founder and executive director at Critical Connections, an independent organization in western Massachusetts committed to improving understanding of the Muslim world through analysis and outreach. She is also a peacebuilding associate at the Karuna Peacebuilding Center, where she is implementing a project to address sectarian violence in Pakistan. In addition, she is adjunct faculty at the School for International Training in Vermont where she teaches a low-residency graduate certificate program in Conflict-Transformation and Peacebuilding to mid-career professionals from around the world.

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