Pitt-Bradford to hold symposium on Syria Sept. 25

BRADFORD, Pa. – The University of Pittsburgh at Bradford’s Behavioral and Social  Sciences Symposium Series will hold a discussion on “The ‘Syrian Situation’:  Military, Socio-Religious and Humanitarian/Political Perspectives” at 7:30 p.m.  Wednesday, Sept. 25, in Rice Auditorium of Fisher Hall. It is free and open to  the public.

Speakers for the panel are Col. Wes Martin (U.S. Army  — Ret.), former senior antiterrorism/force protection officer for Iraq  Coalition Forces; Dr. Tony Gaskew, associate professor of criminal justice at  Pitt-Bradford; and Dr. Helma de Vries-Jordan, assistant professor of political  science at Pitt-Bradford.

There will be a question-and-answer  session.

“Syria is not an isolated situation,” Martin said. “What  is happening will have long-term consequences for the entire Middle East and the  world. Iran is supporting government brutality while Saudi Arabia is supporting  recently arrived Sunni extremists. The citizens of Syria are picking up the tab.  The United States and Russia have become part of the problem, not part of the
solution.”

De Vries-Jordan said, “The international community  needs to attend to the humanitarian crisis that has emerged in Syria and  bordering states. Millions of Syrians have become refugees or are internally  displaced, with inadequate access to shelter, food, water, sanitation,  healthcare, and security, and are vulnerable to malnutrition, illness, violence  and human trafficking as winter nears. The United Nations Refugee Agency and  international non-governmental organizations are dramatically underfunded and in  urgent need of financial support by states in the international community and  the global public, to help provide appropriate humanitarian relief to displaced
Syrians.”

This is De Vries-Jordan’s first year teaching at  Pitt-Bradford. Previously, she has taught at Gettysburg College, Eastern  Connecticut State University and North Carolina State University School of  Public and International Affairs. Her most recent research interests include  protests surrounding globalization and climate change and media coverage of the  conflicts in Sudan.

Gaskew teaches a variety of courses at  Pitt-Bradford, including International and Global Crime, Terrorism in a  Post-9/11 World, and Islam and Social Justice. He is a Fulbright-Hays Fellow, an  FDD Terrorism Fellow, a Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies Research Team  Member, and board president of the Consortium for Educational Resources on  Islamic Studies. He has conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Egypt and Israel  examining the Muslim Brotherhood and structural and political violence.
For more information, contact Dr. Michael Klausner, associate professor of  sociology and director of the symposium series, at 814-362-7627 or klausner@pitt.edu

For disability-related needs, contact the Office of Disability Resources  and Services at (814)362-7609 or clh71@pitt.edu.

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