Speakers

Anand Gopal

Anand Gopal is an award-winning journalist and assistant research professor with the Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict and the Center on the Future of War at Arizona State University.

Loubna Mrie

Loubna Mrie is a Syrian photographer, journalist, and writer. She covered the Syrian war as a photojournalist for Reuters from 2012 to 2014. Her work has been published in The Nation, Time Magazine, Vice, and The New Republic. She is currently writing her first book, about the war in Syria, for Penguin Random House.

Yasser Munif

Yasser Munif is a Sociology Assistant Professor in the Institute for Liberal Arts at Emerson College. He is the author of “The Syrian Revolution: the Politics of Life and the Geopolitics of Death.” He is the co-founder of the Global Campaign for Solidarity with the Syrian Revolution and a member in the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.

Shireen Akram Bosha

Shireen Akram-Boshar is a socialist activist and alum of Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP). She has organized around the question of the Syrian uprising and the relationship between Syrian and Palestinian struggles for liberation, as well as on anti-imperialism and solidarity with the revolts of the Middle East/North Africa region. Her writing has covered the repression of Palestine solidarity activists in the US, revolution and counterrevolution in the Middle East, Trump’s war on immigrants, and the fight against the far right. 

Lara el-Kateb

Lara al-Kateb is a Syrian gender studies researcher who works on the #MeToo Movement and the liberation of political prisoners in the MENAregion. She is a member of the Alliance of MENA Socialists. 

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith is the Managing Editor of Spectre Journal and is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America in Burlington, Vermont. He has written in numerous publications including Truthout, Jacobin, New Politics, Harpers, and many other online and print publications. He is currently working on a book for Haymarket Books entitled Socialism and Anti-Imperialism.

Yassin Haj-Saleh

Yassin Haj Saleh is a writer, former political prisoner 1980-1996, author of seven books on Syria, prison, contemporary Islam and culture, founding member of aljumhuriya.net, and Hamisch, the Syrian cultural house in Istanbul. He is the husband of the former political prisoner Samira Al Khalil who was ” disappeared” in Douma in late 2013.

Sara Ajlyakin

Sara Ajlyakin, Syrian Marxist activist exiled in Brazil, São Paulo since 2013. Researches the intellectual history of the Syrian left. Sociologist. Member of the Alliance of MENA Socialists.

Razan Ghazzawi

Razan Ghazzawi is a Syrian Palestinian scholar-activist and a doctoral researcher in Gender Studies at the University of Sussex. Her thesis focuses on checkpoints, queer incarceration, and imagining a military/prison abolitionist future in Syria. Ghazzawi is a formerly incarcerated person by the Syrian state during the uprising. She is the founder of the Syrian Feminist ArQives and a co-founder of Karama Bus. She received the Front Line Defender award in 2012.

Maria al-Abdeh

Maria Al Abdeh is Executive Director of Women Now For Development (WND). Maria has a PhD in Microbiology and a Master degree in project analysis and sustainable development. She joined Women Now for Development in November 2013  and since then she accompanied the growth of the organization to become the largest network of women empowerment centers inside Syria and the neighboring countries and participated in many campaigns and conferences to reach out the voices of the most vulnerable women to the media, activists and decision makers, and focuses on Islamic feminism and women rights in the MENA region. In March 2016 Maria received the Award of Feminine Success in France, and together with WND received in May 2016 the Award of ‘Delivering Lasting Change’ for commitment to Justice and Dignity from CARE international.

Ziva Gorani

Ziva Gorani is a Kurdish Syrian queer feminist who started her journey as a humanitarian worker soon after the Syrian revolution in 2011. Her Kurdish queer identity, refugee status, and feminist beliefs opened her eyes to the value of social activism in the Middle East. Ziva has worked with many international media platforms, including Aljazeera, National Radio of France, and CBC to highlight the depth and the resilience of the queer community in the Middle East against multilayers of discrimination. 

Frieda Afary

Frieda Afary is an Iranian American librarian, writer and translator. She is the co-founder, with Joseph Daher, of the Alliance of MENA Socialists and the producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation.

Khury Petersen

Khury Petersen-Smith is the Michael Ratner Middle East Fellow at IPS. He researches U.S. empire, borders, and migration. Khury graduated from the Clark University Graduate School of Geography in Massachusetts, after completing a dissertation that focused on militarization and sovereignty. He is one of the co-authors and organizers of the 2015 Black Solidarity with Palestine statement, which was signed by over 1,100 Black activists, artists, and scholars.

Mariam Barghouti

Mariam Barghouti is a Palestinian-American journalist and translator hailing from the West Bank. Her writing has been featured in the New York Times, Al-Jazeera, Middle East Monitor and she owns her own blog: https://ramallahbantustan.wordpress.com/ You can follow her on twitter @MariamBarghouti

Robert Cuffy

Robert Cuffy is a supporter of the Socialist Workers Alliance of Guyana, the Socialist Labor Group and the maintainer of the C.L.R. James and Raya Dunayevskaya pages at the Marxist Internet Archive who has an interest in the state capitalist political economy arguments of the Johnson-Forest tendency. Robert currently works in NYC as a caseworker for kids in foster care and a member of Social Service Employees Union local 317. His current political goal centers around the revival of the West Indian/Caribbean radical tradition as embodied most recently by Guyanese revolutionary Walter Rodney.

Banah Ghadbian

Banah Ghadbian is a Syrian woman poet, jewelry maker, and activist. She has a B.A. in comparative women’s studies and sociology from Spelman College and an M.A. from University of California-San Diego, where she is a doctoral student in ethnic studies. Her research focuses on how Syrian women use creative resistance including poetry and theatre to survive multiple layers of violence. Her work is published in The Feminist Wire (finalist in their 2015 poetry competition), and the print anthology Passage & Place.

Omar Dewachi

Omar Dewachi is Associate Professor of medical anthropology at Rutgers University. Before joining Rutgers in 2018, Dewachi taught social medicine, global health, and anthropology in Lebanon, where he co-founded the Conflict Medicine Program at the American University of Beirut. Trained in Medicine and anthropology as a physician and anthropologist, Dewachi’s research and writings have covered a wide range of themes and topics in the history and anthropology of medicine. He is the author of Ungovernable Life: Mandatory Medicine and Statecraft in Iraq, which recently won the New Millennium Book Prize from the Society for Medical Anthropology. Ungovernable Life is the first study documenting the untold history of the rise and fall of state medicine in Iraq and its unravelling under decades of conflicts and Western interventions in the country. Dewachi’s upcoming book manuscript, When Wounds Travel, chronicles close to a decade of ethnographic research and public health practice work in the Middle East. The account traces trajectories and registers of war wounds in the context of protracted conflicts, populations displacement, and the reconfigurations of war and health ecologies across the region. 

Osama Tanous

Osama Tanous is a specialized pediatrician based in Haifa. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Public Health, a researcher for the Galilee Society: The Arab National Society for Health, Research and Services and a policy analyst for Al-Shabaka. Osama is a 2020 candidate for the Fulbright Hubert Humphrey fellowship in public health and health policies. His research interests include structural violence and health disparities.  

Khuloud Saba

PhD candidate in Social Policy, within the International Public Health Unit, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Edinburgh. Her research focuses on social and political determinants of health, health inequalities, and public policies. She is holding a PhD Chrystal Macmillan studentship at University of Edinburgh, and was awarded Sir William Darling Memorial Prize of the University of Edinburgh in 2015 for advancing the University of Edinburgh reputation.
Khuloud worked with the Syrian Centre for Policy Research on assessing the impact of the conflict in Syria on population health, and she has 10 years of research experience in development and humanitarian sectors in Syria and Iraq, she also worked as a field humanitarian coordinator and interlocker with MSF, UNICEF, UNDP, Red Crescent Communities in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and Jordan, and ICRC in Syria during the conflict.

Aula Abbara

Dr Aula Abbara is a consultant in Infectious Diseases/ General Internal Medicine at Imperial College NHS Healthcare Trust, London and an Honorary Research Fellow at Imperial College. She teaches and supervises students on the Global Health BSc course at Imperial College and the TMIH at LSHTM.  She co-chairs the Syria Public Health Network a group which brings together academics, NGOs, policy makers and international organisations to highlight and influence policies relevant to the public health of Syrians. She chairs Health Professionals for Global Health and has been a collaborator on the Lancet Commission on Syria. 

Yazan al Saadi

Yazan al-Saadi is a comic writer, communications specialist, journalist, and freelance researcher based between Kuwait and Lebanon.  He holds a Bachelor’s (Honors) degree in Economics and Development Studies from Queen’s University, Canada and a Masters of Arts in Law, Development, and Globalization from the School of Oriental and African Studies. He often dreams of electronic sheep. 

Anthony Rizk

Anthony Rizk is a doctoral research assistant at the Global Health Centre and a PhD student in the Department of Anthropology and Sociology at the Graduate Institute. He works with Dr. Suerie Moon on the global governance of pathogen and benefit sharing. His doctoral research explores the anthropology and political economy of healthcare in Lebanon and the broader Middle East, with a focus on antimicrobial resistance, war, conflict and militarization. He received a MSc in Medical Anthropology from Durham University (UK) and a BSc in Medical Laboratory Sciences from the American University of Beirut (Lebanon).

Jihad Yazigi

Jihad Yazigi is a Syrian journalist who specializes in covering Syrian economic affairs. He is the founder and editor of the Syria Report, an economics news bulletin, and cofounder of the Syrian Observer, which translates articles from Syrian publications into English. Jihad is also a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he has published reports on Syria’s war economy and decentralization. He is on Twitter @jihadyazigi.

Myriam Ababsa

Myriam Ababsa is a French Algerian social geographer based in Jordan.Associate researcher at the French institute for the Near East (Ifpo), she holds a phD from Tours University on Raqqa territories and ideologies (2004). She has received the Syrian Studies Association Best Doctoral Dissertation Prize Special Mention in 2006. Author of Raqqa : territoires et pratiques sociales d’une ville syrienne, IFPO, Beyrouth, 2009, 300 p. http://ifpo.revues.org/1021Editor of the Atlas of Jordan (Ifpo 2013) http://books.openedition.org/ifpo/4560

Samer Abboud

Samer Abboud is Associate Professor of Global Interdisciplinary Studies at Villanova University and co-coordinator (with Omar Dahi) of the Critical Security Studies in the Arab World Working Group of the ACSS. He is the author of Syria (Polity, 2018) and (with Benjamin Muller) of Rethinking Hizballah: Authority, Legitimacy, Violence (Ashgate, 2012). In addition to publishing book chapters, Samer has published in journals such as Security Dialogue, Middle East Policy, Arab Studies Quarterly, and The International Journal of Contemporary Iraqi Studies.

Sara Dehkordi

Sara Dehkordi is an Iranian political activist living in exile and lecturer at the Otto-Suhr-Institute of Political and Social Sciences of the Freie University Berlin. She teaches in the areas of critical peace and conflict studies, decolonial theories and critique, and critical urban studies. She especially focuses on colonial genocide, the Negritude and Black Consciousness Movement, neoliberal urbanism and repressed archives and collective memory building. Her book, Segregation, Inequality and Urban Development – Forced Evictions and Criminalisation Practices in Present-Day South Africa, will be released in July this year.

Omar Dahi

Omar S. Dahi, associate professor of economics, received his B.A. in economics from California State University at Long Beach, and his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from the University of Notre Dame, Indiana.His research and teaching interests are in the areas of economic development and international trade, with a special focus on South-South economic cooperation, and on the political economy of the Middle East and North Africa.

Senay Ozden

Senay Ozden is a researcher in cultural anthropology from Turkey. Her research areas include refugees in the Middle East, Turkish state’s refugee policies, and politics of humanitarian aid. She has numerous articles and reports published on Syrian refugees in Turkey, and hosts a weekly radio program in Turkey about Syrian refugees. She taught at various universities in Damascus and Istanbul.

Sana Mustafa

Sana Mustafa Syrian activist based in the US. She is the Associate Director of Partnership and Engagement at Asylum Access, a founding member of The Global Refugee-Led Network, and a member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement. Mustafa finished her second undergraduate degree in Political Science as a full scholarship recipient from Bard College in NY.

Justin-Akers-Chacón

Justin Akers Chacón on is an activist, writer, and educator who lives in the San Diego-Tijuana border region. He is co-author of No One is Illegal (with Mike Davis) and Professor of Chicano/a History at San Diego City College.

Sarah Hunadi

Sarah Hunaidi is a Syrian writer and member of the Syrian Women’s Political Movement. She writes and publishes in both English and Arabic. After her exile from Syria in 2014 due to her opposition to the Syrian regime, she has been writing a book about the missing activist Samira al-Khalil.

Ozlem Goner

Ozlem Goner is an Assistant Professor at the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the College of Staten Island, City University of New York (CUNY). She earned degrees in Political Science and Sociology from Bogazici University, Turkey and her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Her research interests focus on political sociology, memory, race and ethnicity, social movements, sociology of place and environment, qualitative methods, and classical, post-structural, postcolonial and feminist theory.

Thomas Schmidinger

Thomas Schmidinger is a political scientist and social and cultural anthropologist and teaches at the University of Vienna and the University of Applied Sciences Upper Austria. He is co-editor of the Vienna Yearbook for Kurdish Studies. Research focuses on religious minorities, the relationship between state and religion, the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, and the Yazidis in Sinjar. Latest English publication: “The Battle for the Mountain of the Kurds. Self-Determination and Ethnic Cleansing the Afrin Region of Rojava” (Oakland, 2019) and the anthology Beyond ISIS: History and Future of religious minorities in Iraq (London, 2019).

Dlshad Othman

Dlshad Othman is a Kurdish Syrian activist and information technology specialist in information security who provides Syrians with digital security resources and assistance so that they can utilize online communications and advocacy freely and securely in spite of increased online government repression in the form of censorship, sophisticated cyber attacks, and intense surveillance.

Kamran Matin

Kamran Matin is senior lecturer in International Relations at Sussex University, UK, where he teaches international history, international theory, and Middle East politics. He is the author of Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change (Routledge, 2013) and co-editor of Historical Sociology and World History: Uneven and Combined Development over the Longue Durée (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2016), and several articles and op-eds on Kurdish politics.

Gilbert Achcar

Gilbert Achcar is a Lebanese academic, writer, and socialist. He is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS, University of London. He has written extensively on politics and development economics, as well as social change and social theory. His publications include The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder (2002), published in 15 languages; Perilous Power: The Middle East and US Foreign Policy (2008), with Noam Chomsky; the critically acclaimed The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli-War of Narratives (2010); The People Want: A Radical Exploration of the Arab Uprising (2013); and Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprisings (2016).

Sara Abbas

Sara Abbas is a Sudanese Ph.D. candidate in Political Science at the Freie Unversität Berlin. Her doctoral research focuses on the discourses and practices of women members of the Islamist Movement and al- Bashir’s formerly ruling party in Sudan. Most recently, she has been researching Sudan’s resistance committees which emerged out of the 2018 revolution. She is a member of SudanUprising Germany and the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.

Joseph Daher

Joseph Daher is a Swiss-Syrian socialist activist, academic, and founder of the blog Syria Freedom Forever. He is part of the Wartime and Post-Conflict in Syria project, at the European University Institute, Florence (Italy) and works at the University of Lausanne. He is the author of “Hezbollah: Political Economy of the Party of God” (2016, Pluto Press)  and “Syria after the Uprisings, the Political Economy of State Resilience” (Pluto Press and Haymarket 2019). He is also a member of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists.

Danny Postel

Danny Postel is Assistant Director of the Center for International & Area Studies at Northwestern University. He is the author of Reading Legitimation Crisis in Tehran (2007) and co-editor of The People Reloaded: The Green Movement and the Struggle for Iran’s Future (2010), The Syria Dilemma (2013), and Sectarianization: Mapping the New Politics of the Middle East (2017). He is a member of the International Committee of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA).

Rateb Sha’bo

Rateb Shabo is a Syrian writer, translator, and physician. In addition to publishing opinion pieces in various newspapers and websites, he is the author of several books, including What is Beyond These Walls?, The World of Early Islam, and The Story of the Syrian Communist Labour Party. A former member of this party, he spent sixteen years as a political prisoner in Syria.

Wafa Mustafa

Wafa Mustafa is one of the youngest members of Families for Freedom, a survivor from detention, and an activist and journalist from Masyaf, a city in the Hama Governorate, western Syria. Mustafa left the country on 9 July  2013, exactly a week after her father was arrested by the authorities in Damascus. Mustafa moved to Turkey and began reporting on Syria for various media outlets. In 2016, she moved to Germany and continued her interrupted studies in Berlin where she studies Arts and Aesthetics at Bard College. In her advocacy, Mustafa covers the impact of detention on young girls and women and families.

Sana Yazigi

A graphic designer, graduated from the faculty of fine arts at­ Damascus University, 1993. Founder and editor in chief of the archiving project Creative Memory of the Syrian Revolution; a website that documents all types of creative expressions produced since the beginning of the revolution in 2011 until the present day.   Founder of the initiative: “ALWAN” therapy; for Syrian refugees in Lebanon. 2013 to present Founder and editor in chief of the Syria’s first monthly cultural agenda, The Cultural Diary that covered the cultural and artistic activates in Damascus and the other cities of Syria. 2007-2012

Malek Rasamny

Malek Rasamny is a Lebanese-American documentary filmmaker, multi-media artist and researcher traditionally based between New York and Beirut. He, along with collaborator Matt Peterson, is the co-creator and co-director of The Native and the Refugee project. The Native and the Refugee is a multi-media film and research project that seeks to document and profile contemporary struggles on Native reservations in the United States and Palestinian refugee camps throughout the Middle East. Malek is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Religon and Society at the EHESS in Paris.

Marcelle Shehwaro

Marcelle Shehwaro is an activist and a writer from Aleppo, Syria. In 2015, her online series “Dispatches from Syria”, describing her life in Aleppo, won a 2015 Online Journalism Award in the category of Online Commentary. She was the Co-founder and CEO of a Syrian organization called Kesh Malek, a civil society organization in Syria, focused on issues such as human rights, transitional justice. And education. Marcell hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Dentistry and She studied International Relations in Syria and a Master’s Degree in Human Rights and Cultural Diversity from the University of Essex, UK. She also studied MFA in Nonfiction Creative Writing at Columbia University.

Wendy Pearlman

Wendy Pearlman is a professor and award-winning teacher at Northwestern University, specializing in Middle East politics. Educated at Harvard, Georgetown, and Brown, Pearlman speaks Arabic and has spent more than twenty years studying and living in the Arab World. She is the author of numerous articles and four books, including “We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria” which was called “essential reading” by the New York Times, and has been recommended in reviews in the New Yorker, Times Literary Supplement, and Chicago Review of Books, among other outlets.

Ziad Majed

Ziad Majed is Associate Professor of International and Comparative Politics at the American University of Paris and Coordinator of the Middle East Studies program. His research interests include political transitions and reform in the Arab world, as well as civil society and electoral systems. Dr. Majed is a contributor to the Arabic-language newspaper, Al-Quds Al-Arabi, as well as to various French media outlets. He authored a book titled Syrie, La Révolution Orpheline, or “Syria, The Orphaned Revolution” (2014) and co-authored (with Subhi Hadidi and Farouk Mardam-Bey) Dans la tête de Bachar Al-Assad, or “Inside the Mind of Bachar Al-Assad” (2018).

Karam Nachar

Karam S. Nachar is a Syrian writer and academic. He is co-founder and co-editor of Al-Jumhuriya, an award-winning independent media platform that provides in-depth coverage and analysis from Syria and the Arab world. Besides his work with Al-Jumhuriya, Nachar is a lecturer in Modern Middle Eastern history at Isik University, Istanbul. He holds a PhD in Modern History from Princeton, an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford, and a BA in Political Science from the American University of Beirut.

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