Friday, June 28th at 7PM
University Temple United Methodist Church, Fireplace Room (downstairs)
1415 NE 43rd Street, University District, Seattle
Rita Zawaideh, Arab-American humanitarian relief activist
Richard Silverstein, author, Tikun Olam blog
The Syrian crisis nears the end of its second year. The UN reports that more than 93,000 have been killed. Syria’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad has renewed his bloody campaign to retain power with the help of regional proxies like Iran and Hezbollah. Though he no longer has a popular mandate, the Opposition has continually failed to unite behind a common strategy or leadership. The U.S. government has decided to supply the rebels with military weapons, a troubling prospect without a coherent political-military strategy.
This event will outline the ethnic forces and rivalries within Syria which have fueled the conflict and the great powers seeking to exploit it. It will offer an update on the current situation within Syria and the refugee/humanitarian crisis facing Syrians inside the country, and those who’ve been forced to flee. We will also examine the outlook for resolution of the crisis.
Humanitarian activist, Rita Zawaideh, was born in Jordan and lived for ten years in Syria. She has led a massive effort to provide aid to some of the millions of Syrians who’ve fled the country and sought refuge in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. She regularly brings equipment and medical staff to the camps to offer critical aid. She will report on her latest mission of mercy from which she returns the day before this event.
Richard Silverstein writes the Tikun Olam blog, which addresses Israel’s relations with the Arab world. He has written extensively about the Syrian conflict and the role of major powers and their proxies like Iran, Hezbollah, Russia, Israel, Turkey and the U.S. in deepening the crisis.
Sponsors: Salaam Cultural Center, United Nations Association of Greater Seattle, Arab-American Community Coalition, Episcopal Bishop’s Committee for Israel-Palestine, Mideast Focus Ministry at St. Mark’s Cathedral, University Temple United Methodist Church