TOMORROW: MCAB Syria Symposium

from the MCAB Syria Symposium student organizing committee:

The year-long project of Go/Refuge, the MCAB Syria Symposium will bring together five Muslim women from academic, activist, and literary backgrounds in a conference fully dedicated to the Syrian Refugee Crisis. Speeches will be delivered, and questions answered by some of the most prominent voices in the Syrian community. The MCAB Syria Symposium thus aims not only to raise awareness of the humanitarian crisis among the Middlebury community, but also to provide examples of effective measures that can be taken in response to it. As previously demonstrated, support for refugees in Middlebury is great – and the symposium serves as a chance to see the many ways in which our community can contribute to concrete positive social change for refugees.


10:00 am Loubna Mrie & Zena Agha (Talks, Panel Discussion, Q & A) — MBH 216  

12:00 pm Lunch and Research Gallery — MBH Great Hall  

1:00 pm “Making a Difference: Effective Responses to the Refugee Crisis” Maya Alkateb & Diya Abdo (Talks, Panel Discussion, Q&A) — MBH 216  

3:00 pm Workshops: 

  1. “Activism and Social Media”, Alaa Basatneh (MBH 104) 
  1. “Misconceptions About the Syrian War”, Loubna Mrie (MBH 219) 
  1. “Syria, Climate Change and the Future of Migration”, Zena Agha & Alex Clark (MBH 220) 
  1. “The Refugee Crisis: Making Your Campus Make a Difference” Diya Abdo & Maya Alkateb (MBH 216) 

6:00 pm Closing Dinner, in Proctor Redfield, with poetry reading by Zena Agha (RSVP to [email protected] )

Speker Biographies:

Alaa Basatneh, Syrian-American famous for coordinating activities in Syria from her house in Chicago starting at the age of 19. She helped activists organize protests, upload their videos and connect them to news outlets, thus using social media to make the voices of the protesters heard across the world. A devoted activist until today, her work is displayed in the 2013 award-winning documentary “#ChicagoGirl”. 

Diya Abdo, founder of the “Every Campus a Refuge” project, which calls for higher education institutions across the U.S. to help Syrian refugee families by providing them with shelter, supplies and integrating them into a community before they can actually start living on their own. The program has been implemented successfully at Guilford College and three other campuses and continues to expand. 

Loubna Mrie, Syrian activist who participated in the initial stages of the Syrian Revolution. She later became a photojournalist with Reuters based in Aleppo, where she covered the ongoing conflict in the Idlib, Aleppo, Latakia, and Hama governorates. She is currently based in New York City where she is completing an MA at NYU. Her work has been published in the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, the New Republic, among other publications. 

Maya Alkateb, co-founder and leader of the United World Colleges (UWC) scholarship program and former director of admissions in UWC U.S. She is currently part of the leadership team in Jusoor, an NGO run by Syrian expatriates supporting the country’s development through programs in education, career development and global community engagement. 

Zena Agha, Palestinian-Iraqi writer, poet, public speaker and activist from London. Her work explores identity, immigration, gender and life in the diaspora. Her poems have been published by El Pais and PRI’s The World and media credits include the BBC World Service and BBC Arabic. She has worked at the Houses of Parliament, the Iraqi Embassy in Paris and UNESCO, and is currently a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University, reading Middle Eastern Studies. 

Leave a Reply