|Wednesday, March 21, 2018||5:00PM - 7:00PM||The Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility, Vivian and David Campbell Conference Facility|
1 Devonshire Place, Toronto
As the Syrian government intensifies its assault on rebel-held territories, tens of thousands of civilians are caught in the crossfire and are trapped inside targeted neighbourhoods. Air bombings, road blockages, and extreme shortages of food and aid have resulted in thousands of casualties in the past month alone. After nearly seven years of conflict, why is the Syrian civil war escalating now? And why is the humanitarian crisis worsening, despite so much international aid being sent to the region? Is there any foreseeable resolution to this brutal civil war?
The cities of Damascus, Ghouta, and Idlib have become a great power game for control of the Middle East. On one axis, Russia, Iran, and groups like Hezbollah have supported the Syrian government of Bashar Al-Assad. On the other side, the USA and its international allies, including Turkey and neighbouring Arab states, have supported a variety of anti-Assad rebel groups. Even within these alliances, betrayals and secret intrigues have turned the Syrian conflict into one of the most complicated civil wars in the history of modern warfare.
This Munk School feature event brings together a dynamic team of experts to explain the powerful interests behind the crisis. To make sense of the chaos, our internationally-renowned panelists will unpack exactly how these great power politics have affected war dynamics on the ground, and set in motion one of the most extreme humanitarian crises in the world today.
Why is the Syrian war worsening, and what hope is there for peace? Join us for a dynamic discussion to address these urgent global questions.
Hassan Hassan is an internationally-renowned Syrian writer and a senior fellow at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy. He is the co-author of the New York Times bestseller ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, which was chosen as one of the Times of London Best Books of 2015 and the Wall Street Journal’s top ten books on terrorism. Hassan specializes in both Sunni and Shiite movements in the Middle East, with a particular focus on Islamist insurgencies in Iraq and Syria.
Bessma Momani is an award-winning expert on Middle Eastern politics, a Professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Waterloo and the Balsillie School of International Affairs, and a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI). She is the author and co-editor of eight books and over 70 scholarly articles and book chapters. Momani specializes in the economics and geopolitics of the Middle East.
Noel Anderson is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, Mississauga, and a specialist in great power interventions in complex civil wars. His research has been published in Political Science Research and Methods and Studies in Conflict and Terrorism. Anderson examines how international interventions affect civil war duration and intensity, with implications for counterinsurgency strategy.
Lama Mourad is a Research Associate at the Munk School Global Migration Lab and PhD candidate in Political Science at the University of Toronto. Mourad has published her research in Forced Migration Review, Journal of Refugee Studies, and Middle East Law and Governance. She specializes in migration and local governance in the Middle East, and has conducted extensive in-depth fieldwork on Syrian refugee populations in Lebanon.
Aisha Ahmad (moderator) is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at the University of Toronto, the Director of the Islam and Global Affairs Initiative and a Senior Researcher at the Global Justice Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, and a Senior Fellow at Massey College. She is the author of Jihad & Co.: Black Markets & Islamist Power, the 2018 recipient of the Northrop Frye Award of Excellence in research and teaching, and the 2017 recipient of the Best Security Article Award from the International Studies Association.
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