Campus News

Making Sense of Syria

By Edita Diunov


Over 5 million Syrian refugees reside outside of their country, more than a quarter million are dead and the situation continues to worsen as more international communities try to resolve and understand the complexity of the Syrian refugee crisis.

The media, consisted of mixed audiences and representatives, may often deliver inaccurate information that can cause uninformed judgement by the global community. William Paterson University’s Gandhian Forum of Peace and Justice (and many co-sponsoring departments) invited Robin Yassin-Kassab, co-author of “Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War,” and Samer Abboud, author of “Syria,” to reverse this judgement and make sense of Syria’s current refugee crisis.

The event, “Making Sense of Syria” took place on Tuesday, March 29 in the University Commons, Ballroom C, and opened with a lecture about the democratic uprisings (Arab Springs) that arose independently and triggered the civil war in Syria, as well as issues that occurred through the leadership of Bashar Al-Asad, president of Syria. However, these weren’t the only integers that led to turmoil. Yassin-Kassab emphasized that the interference of “Imperialistic Russia, the United States and Iran” have caused more disorder than anything else and prolonged the civil war.

“If the United States was the one that caused the war, why aren’t they accepting any Syrian refugees?” asked one of the students in the audience.

Yassin-Kassab and Abboud replied that all three countries are “ashamed” of how immoral the world has become, but both neglected to mention that the Arab States of the Persian Gulf refuse to accept Syrian refugees as well.

While many issues were touched upon and many questions were answered, the Syrian civil war still has yet to come to an end. Yassin-Kassab’ theory is not to resettle the Syrians, but rather allow them to return home to a peaceful country. In order to do that, the Syrian arena requires less political players enter and the country be left alone to conduct its own political agendas.