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Public Events & Outreach

BCARS sponsors and participates in public outreach through connecting and sharing knowledge with regional experts across various forms of media, supporting and promoting public events on the Arab Region, and interaction with university student groups.
For events before Spring 2016, please click here.
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Film Screening: Human Flow

February 2018: A film screening event sponsored by BCARS and Northeastern's Refugee Empowerment and Awareness Campus Taskforce (REACT).

Captured over the course of an eventful year in 23 countries, the film follows a chain of urgent human stories that stretches across the globe in countries including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, France, Greece, Germany, Iraq, Israel, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, and Turkey. Human Flow is a witness to its subjects and their desperate search for safety, shelter and justice: from teeming refugee camps to perilous ocean crossings to barbed-wire borders; from dislocation and disillusionment to courage, endurance and adaptation; from the haunting lure of lives left behind to the unknown potential of the future. Human Flow comes at a crucial time when tolerance, compassion and trust are needed more than ever.

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Podcast: HHI's Humanitarian Assistance Podcast

October 2017: BCARS Director Denis Sullivan and BCARS Assistant Director for Policy & Practice Amira Mohamed were featured on the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative's Humanitarian Assistance Podcast. The panel also featured Her Excellency Reem Abu Hassan, a lawyer, human rights advocate, civil society activist, and Jordanian Minister of Social Development (2013-2016), and Kate Akkaya, a Refugee Rights Turkey Legal Fellow at Harvard. 

The podcast explored how the Syrian refugee crisis is re-shaping host communities in the Middle East, what challenges remain for the protection of vulnerable populations, and opportunities for advancing humanitarian protection and the integration of refugees into host communities. 

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Presentation: Syria's Expanding Crisis: From Aleppo to New England 

January 2017: BCARS Director, Denis Sullivan, participated on a panel with presenters from the International Institute of New England exploring how governments and humanitarian partners are responding as the crisis expands across Syria and further into the Middle East and Europe. Discussed were the long-term impact for displaced Syrians and their host communities, including cities in New England, where refugee families are rebuilding their lives. 

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Refugee Fieldwork: Experiences from Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Serbia and Germany 

January 2017: Sponsored by BCARS and the Minda de Ginzburg Center for European Studies at Harvard University,  this panel brought  together a research team fresh from refugee fieldwork in the summer of 2016 to share their experiences and advice. With his colleagues at the Boston Consortium for Arab Regional Studies (BCARS) and a grant from the Carnegie Corporation, Dr. Danilo Mandić and his team have conducted an international study of Syrian refugees in Jordan, Turkey, Greece, Serbia, and Germany. With in-depth interviews, expert testimonials, and surveys, researchers have sampled hundreds of refugees across dozens of sites. The panel aimed to share fieldwork advice with researchers or practitioners engaged in similar data collection. The team will reflected on their experiences interviewing and surveying sensitive populations, building trust, gaining access, dealing with fear and trauma, navigating refugee camp politics, avoiding dangers (including after the Turkish coup), methodological difficulties with questionnaires and other instruments, logistical difficulties with travel and ethnography, as well as moral dilemmas. 

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Presentation: Impossible Journeys from Past to Future and Back Again

April 2016: A discussion and presentation by Professor Resat Kasaba. The 2016 Campagna-Kerven Lecture on Modern Turkey, The Boston University College of Arts and Sciences, The Institute for the Study of Muslim Societies and Civilizations, The Institute for Iraqi Studies and the Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies presents:

Resat Kasaba

Director of the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington

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Presentation: Syrian Refugees and the Limits of Turkey's 'Open Door' Policy 

April 2016: The Initiative on Forced Migration and Human Trafficking (FMHT), a research initiative at the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, hosted an April 15, 2016 discussion on Turkey’s policy toward Syrian refugees.

The talk, entitled “Syrian Refugees and the Limits of Turkey’s ‘Open Door’ Policy,” was led by Dr. Cigdem Benam of Boston College, and focused on how Turkey opened its doors to refugees and in a couple of years became the number one refugee hosting country in the world — a surprising move since Turkey has not always been that welcoming towards mass refugee movements.

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Presentation: Dynamics of Escalation in the Syrian War

April 2016: A seminar with Jonah Schulhofer-Wohl, Joint Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Middle East Initiative and International Security Program, and Professor of Political Science, University of Virginia (UVA). Part of the Middle East Initiative Research Fellow Seminar Series.

Moderated by Tarek Masoud, Sultan of Oman Associate Professor of International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School.

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Panel Discussion: The Nature of Conflict and teh Prospects for Peace in Yemen 

April 2016: A panel discussion featuring Husam Al-Sharjabi, former Acting Minister of Finance, Yemen and Khlood Al-Hagar, Brandeis University and former Social Fund for Development in Sana’a.

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Presentation: Managing refugees through economic integration? Some case studies from the Middle East 

April 2016: Dr. Oroub el-Abed discussed her research on the economic integration of refugees in the Middle East.

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Presentation: Reflections on the Egyptian Revolution

April 2016: Khaled Fahmy is a Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. Fahmy taught for five years at Princeton University, then for eleven years at New York University before joining AUC in Sept 2010. He is currently the Shawwaf Visiting Professor of Modern Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. His research interests lie in the social and cultural history of modern Egypt. Since the outbreak of the January 25 Revolution, he has been a regular contributor to local and international media.

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Presentation: "Fail Better: The United Nations and Syria

March 2016: A seminar with Mouin Rabbani, Former Head of Political Affairs, Office of the UN Special Envoy for Syria.​

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Book Talk: Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War

March 2016: A seminar with Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami on their book Burning Country, which explores the complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists. Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami expertly interweave these stories with an incisive analysis of the militarization of the uprising, the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of Syria’s government in exacerbating the brutalization of the conflict.​


Presentation: Remittances, Forced Displacement, and Human Security

March 2016: Hundreds of billions of dollars are transmitted as migrant remittances every year. The ongoing global refugee crisis has resulted in millions of newly displaced. Although remittances are crucial for the livelihoods of those living in conflict-affected countries, very little is known about the dynamics of refugee remitting. The seminar discussed remitting patterns and channels among forced migrants and IDPs and the profound impacts of these resource flows to the survival of those left behind.​

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Film Screening: Salam Neighbor (Boston Premiere)

March 2016: Two Americans head to the edge of war, just seven miles from the Syrian border, to live among 85,000 uprooted refugees in Jordan's Za'atari camp. As the first filmmakers allowed by the United Nations to register and set-up a tent inside a refugee camp, Zach and Chris plunge into the heart of the world's most pressing humanitarian crisis. From meeting Um Ali, a woman struggling to overcome personal loss and cultural barriers, to the street smart, 10-year-old Raouf, whose trauma hides just beneath his ever present smile, Zach and Chris uncover inspiring stories of individuals rallying, against all odds, to rebuild their lives and those of their neighbors.

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