University of Regina holds discussion on the Syrian crisis

By Dale Johnson Posted: December 3, 2015 3:00 p.m.

Michelle Stewart (left) and Fartun Mohamud will be among the speakers Friday at noon.
Michelle Stewart (left) and Fartun Mohamud will be among the speakers Friday at noon. Photo courtesy of Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography.

The impacts of the crisis in Syria are being felt right here in Regina, and will be discussed at a public event on Friday, December 4 at the University of Regina.

“We will be putting the Syrian conflict in context, talking about the refugee process, explaining how to volunteer on local projects, and we will also be talking about Islamophobia on campus,” explains Dr. Michelle Stewart, Associate Professor in the Department of Justice Studies at the University of Regina, and one of the organizers of the event.

Four speakers will make presentations on different aspects of the Syrian crisis:

  • The Syrian conflict in context will be presented by Amir Aboguddah, a political science student and the president of the Muslim Students’ Association at the U of R. He is a Canadian-Syrian and a supporter of democratic movements in the Middle East.
  • The experience of refugees and criteria for entry will be discussed by Patience Umereweneza, a recent U of R graduate, who was just three years old her family fled from Rwanda in 1992 and made their way to Thailand, where they were refugees. Patience came to the U of R  through the student refugee program of the World University Service of Canada (WUSC), sponsored in part by the U of R Group for Refugees (URGR).
  • How to get involved in local efforts will be presented by Michelle Stewart, an associate professor in the Department of Justice Studies and Director of the Community Research Unit who teaches in the area of social justice.
  • Islamophobia on campus and responses will be the topic addressed by Fartun Mohamud, a second-year International Studies and Political Science student at the U of R.
“It’s important for the U of R to provide an opportunity for discussion on current world issues like this because there is a lot of confusion and misinformation floating around which has direct impact on our students, faculty and staff. The teach-in provides a space for challenging discussions so we can think together as a campus community,” says Stewart.

She says there are numerous agencies in Regina that have programs in place and need volunteers, as well as community groups that are meeting regularly to work on the Syrian issue. The discussion will include ways that people can get involved in local efforts.

The event is co-sponsored by the Regina Public Interest Research Group (RPIRG) and the U of R’s Department of Politics and International Studies.

Event:         Discussion on Syrian Crisis
Date:           Friday, December 4
Time:           Noon to 1:00 p.m.
Location:     Rainbow Pit, first floor, Education Building, University of Regina

This is a free event and open to the public. A discussion will follow and light refreshments will be provided.