Arab American Delegate Sam Rasoul Celebrates Diversity Over Bigotry in Roanoke

Posted by Joan Hanna on November 23, 2015 in Blog

Delegate Sam Rasoul (D-VA), along with over 250 people, came together over the weekend to celebrate Roanoke, VA’s diversity and the city’s welcoming nature, using the hashtag #RealRoanoke to spread their message over social media. The event was organized as a direct response to recent hateful rhetoric and actions by elected officials, not only by many governors who oppose resettlement of Syrian refugees, but also by the current Roanoke Mayor, David Bowers. On November 18th, Mayor Bowers released a statement on Syrian refugees which appear to give his approval to the detention of Japanese...

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Responding to the Challenge of Russia in Syria

Posted on October 10, 2015 in Washington Watch
No one should have been surprised that Russia committed their military to the task of saving their ally in Syria from defeat.
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Rethinking Syria

Posted by Eddie Bejarano on September 23, 2015 in Blog

“The central problem in Syria is that Sunni Arabs will not be willing partners against the Islamic State unless we commit to protect them and the broader Syrian population against all enemies, not just ISIS,” according to former Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and military officer Gen. David Petreaus. Gen. Petreaus made this assertion, among others, during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on U.S. policy in the Middle East on September 22, 2015. In his first public appearance on Capitol Hill since disclosing classified information during his...

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Syria refugee crisis a no-win for Obama

Posted by Washington Times on September 13, 2015 in News Clips

By Stephen Dinan

Human rights groups say President Obama's opening bid of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees next year is far too timid in the face of the humanitarian catastrophe playing out in the Middle East, and even his own party colleagues in Congress are preparing to raise him tenfold, calling for the U.S. to take in 100,000 Syrians.

Republicans in Congress, meanwhile, warn that the U.S. isn't nearly prepared to vet the refugees, and say radicalized Muslims are certain to use the program to try to gain a foothold in the U.S.

Trapped in the middle is Mr. Obama, who...

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Finding a Way Forward for Syria

Posted on August 10, 2015 in Washington Watch
A flurry of recent bilateral and multilateral discussions involving Americans, Russians, Saudis, and others have provoked speculation that there may be a renewed push for negotiations to end the conflict in Syria.
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Syria: The Way Forward, Without Illusions

Posted on January 12, 2015 in Washington Watch
It should be clear after four bloody years in Syria that if we are to make any progress moving forward, it is necessary to shed illusions and fantasies that have shaped too much of the discussion about the conflict. From the beginning, it was inevitable that this conflict, however it began, would morph into a proxy war between Iran and those who were deeply concerned by Iran's hegemonic ambitions.
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Reclaiming Culture: Syria Relief and Development Discusses Upcoming Event, “Art in Exile”

Posted by on October 08, 2014 in Blog

By Kristyn Acho Fall Intern, 2014

In times of conflict, individuals have often found art to be an effective device to document experiences and to address political and social grievances.

The artists and filmmakers featured in the Syria Relief and Development’s upcoming event in Washington, D.C. on October 13 and 14, called “Art in Exile,” are no different. Each artist included in the affair will present a piece that revolves around political themes and discussions of political events and exile.

However, perhaps more interestingly, the event will provide attendees with a human perspective on...

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Bronzing Over Depictions of a Divided Syria

Posted by on July 18, 2014 in Blog
By Emily Cooke Summer Intern, 2014 In war torn Syria, artillery shells litter the rubble of destroyed homes and cultural heritage sites; but in an art studio in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, the beginnings of the bronze bust of late Syrian poet, Nizar Qabbani, sits waiting to immortalize this Syrian history now vulnerable to the destruction of war.
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Late to the Game: U.S. Policy in Lebanon and Syria

Posted by on June 17, 2014 in Blog
It has been one month since the Syrian Opposition Coalition (SOC) visited Washington in hopes of receiving military assistance in their fight against the Bashar al-Assad regime and extremist forces in Syria. Since then, if U.S. policy on Lebanon and Syria are viewed together, there were three important “windows of opportunity” in which the United States could have further engaged on Syria while addressing the internal divisions and instability in neighboring Lebanon.
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Obama’s Latest Strategy on Syria: Adding Fuel to the Fire

Posted by on June 06, 2014 in Blog
By Nora Chamma Summer Intern, 2014 According to the Wall Street Journal last week, the Obama administration is now not only seeking to ramp up arms support to the Syrian rebels, but is also working on authorizing a U.S. military-led mission to train the moderate factions involved in the conflict. The operation’s aim is to not only combat Syrian government forces, but to also fight off the increasing number of extremist groups running rampant in the country. Sounds reasonable? Not in the least bit.
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