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09/08/2016

Winthrop Events Help Put a Face on Syrian Refugees

Quick Facts

 A community-wide committee has worked over the past few months to coordinate lectures, exhibitions and other free, public events to focus on the Syrian Crisis.
 Ginger Williams, organizer and Winthrop history professor, said the series’ purpose is to raise awareness and to help raise money for the education of Syrian refugee children both in Syria and in Lebanon.

/uploadedImages/news/Articles/Syrian-Refugee2.jpg

This is Tina Manley's photo of Sara, 9, a Syrian refugee
from Aleppo, who is learning to speak Turkish at the Olive
Tree School in Istanbul, Turkey.  

 

ROCK HILL, SOUTH CAROLINA – To help understand Syria’s civil war, Winthrop University has joined with the Rock Hill community in a series of events called “Putting a Face on Syria: Hope Through Education.”

A community-wide committee has worked over the past few months to coordinate lectures, exhibitions and other free, public events to focus on the Syrian Crisis. Ginger Williams, organizer and Winthrop history professor, said the series’ purpose is to raise awareness and to help raise money for the education of Syrian refugee children both in Syria and in Lebanon.

Syria has been torn apart after almost five years of civil war. More than 250,000 Syrians have died in what started as anti-government protests. More than 11 million others have been forced from their homes as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those opposed to his rule battle each other - as well as jihadist militants. The refugees’ movement to Lebanon and to Europe and America to find them new homes has sparked conflict in how to handle their numbers.

Two of the seven Winthrop events are fundraising events, and the other five events are intended to educate the public about the causes of the current crisis, as well as the larger context of the crisis.

One way to humanize the Syrian Crisis is a photo exhibit by Tina Manley, who has taken photographs of Syrian refugees throughout the world. Her award-winning photographs have appeared in National Geographic, Newsweek and the Charlotte Observer. In this exhibit, each of Manley’s photographs tell a compelling story of their own.

Her exhibit will be on display in the Lewandowski Student Gallery in McLaurin Hall from Sept. 13-26. Manley will give a public lecture at 11 a.m. Sept. 13 in 119 Rutledge Building about traveling to Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, and other countries to take photographs and about her encounters with the refugees.


The other six events are:

Sept. 15, 11 a.m., West Center Lounge
"The Syrian Refugee Crisis,” A New York Times Talk
Participants will discuss a recent article about Syria from the New York Times. The article will be made public in advance.

Oct. 15, 5-7 p.m., Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, Activities Center, 421 Oakland Ave.
Barbeque Benefit for Syrian Education
Tickets are $20 in advance or at the door. All proceeds will go to the Syrian refugee education project.

Oct. 18, 7 p.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
The Syrian Refugee Crisis Today
Mary Mikhael, a Presbyterian born in Syria to Greek Orthodox parents, will address the on-going crisis in Syria. She is the past president of the Near East School of Theology (NEST) in Beirut, Lebanon.

Oct. 20, 6:30 p.m., Galilee Center, Charlotte, North Carolina
The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Context
Mikhael will repeat her lecture about the on-going crisis in Syria while in Charlotte.

Nov. 15, 11 a.m. Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
“Welcoming the Stranger in Our Midst”
Bedrija Jazic fled her native Bosnia after the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1996. As the director of Refugee Services for Lutheran Services Carolinas, she brings to the position first-hand knowledge of a refugee crisis.

Nov. 17, 11 a.m., Dina’s Place, DiGiorgio Campus Center
“Environmental Roots of the Syrian Crisis: Quantifying the Worst Drought in Centuries”
Bryan McFadden, a Winthrop instructor of geography, talks about some of the important environmental causes of the current Syrian Crisis.

Support for the Syrian Series comes from Winthrop’s Peace, Justice, and Conflict Resolution Studies Program, Providence Presbytery, Winthrop’s Global Learning Initiative, and the Winthrop Departments of History, Political Science, Interdisciplinary Studies, and Philosophy and Religious Studies.

For more information, contact Ginger Williams at williamsv@winthrop.edu or Judy Longshaw, Winthrop news and media services manager, at longshawj@winthrop.edu.


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