2016-2017 | Building Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
MEI-FXB Joint Seminar Series | 2016-2017
Building Bridges: An Interdisciplinary Response to the Syrian Refugee Crisis
led by Lara Jirmanus, MD, MPH
Presented jointly by the FXB Center for Health and Human Rights at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Middle East Initiative at the Harvard Kennedy School.
The Syrian refugee crisis has been described as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. With half of the Syrian population displaced, including over 500,000 Palestinian refugees from Syria, an interdisciplinary approach is urgently needed to address their complex needs. Many of the host countries neighboring Syria struggle to serve their own populations, and new strategies are essential to support institutions in host communities to cope with the Syrian crisis and facilitate co-existence. As the Syrian conflict continues and refugees emigrate to Europe, innovative approaches are needed to maintain the long-term political, economic and social capabilities of Syrian refugees and to promote the political stability of Syria and the surrounding region.
The Seminar Series on the Syrian refugee crisis will gather scholars, practitioners, and thought leaders from across the Harvard and Boston communities engaged in research on Syrian refugees to discuss challenges and innovative solutions to promote refugee well-being. Bringing together academics from fields ranging from international law to education and public health, the seminar will foster collaboration and a global understanding of the complexity of the crisis.
The online application form for core participants has now closed. For those who wish to petition for late admittance or have any other questions about becoming a core participant, please email Lara Jirmanus at email@example.com.
A small number of spots for individual sessions are also available! Please click on the RSVP link next to each session below to reserve a seat. Please email Chris Mawhorter at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions about RSVPs to individual sessions.
In order to provide background knowledge for the series, the organizers recommend the in-depth news website Syria Deeply. In addition, to provide detailed background on research related to supporting Syrian refugees, the organizers recommend the paper: “Beyond Survival: Setting Priorities in Livelihoods Research and Education for Refugees in the Middle East” from the conference “Beyond Survival: Livelihood Strategies for Refugees in the Middle East” convened at Cornell Law School in Ithaca, NY in November 2015.
Listen: Multimedia recordings of select sessions now available at this link. More sessions will be posted as video becomes available.
Sessions will meet Thursdays from 4:00-5:30p.m. on a bi-weekly basis either at Harvard Kennedy School campus (Cambridge) or Harvard School of Public Health (Longwood Medical Area). A tentative schedule of speakers and topics can be found below.
Seminars at the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health (on the Longwood Medical Campus in Boston) will be held in the rooms listed below with each session.
Seminars at the Harvard Kennedy School will be held in the Darman Conference Room, Taubman Building, Room 135 at 15 Eliot Street, Cambridge, MA 02138, except on November 3, which will be held in Nye A on the 5th floor of the Taubman Building.
April 20 - RSVP here or join via video or audio conference (details below)
Harvard Kennedy School, Darman Seminar Room
Trauma and Torture among Syrian Refugees
Hussam Jefee-Bahloul, MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Massachusetts Medical School
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder Symptoms Resulting from Torture and Other Traumatic Events among Syrian Kurdish Refugees in Kurdistan Region, Iraq. Hawkar Ibrahim & Chiya Q. Hassan. Frontiers in Psychology, 20 February 2017.
- Mental Health Research in the Syrian Humanitarian Crisis. Husam Jefee-Bahloul & Kaveh Khoshnood. Frontiers in Public Health, 16 May 2014.
Teleconference details for April 20th at this link or call in via one of the numbers below:
1) Dial +1.408.740.7256 (US); +1.888.240.2560 (US Toll Free) ; +1.408.317.9253 (Alternate number); (all numbers)
2) Enter Meeting ID: 705261127
3) Press #
Location: *Kresge G3, Kresge Building, Harvard School of Public Health, 677 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA
Documentation of Attacks on Medical Infrastructure and Personnel in Syria: Opportunities and Challenges
Adrienne Fricke, JD, Senior Fellow, Harvard Humanitarian Initiative, Visiting Scientist, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Spotlight on Aleppo and the Current State of the Syrian Health System
Mahmoud Hariri, MD, General and Trauma Surgeon from Aleppo, Syria
Reading(s): The Shadow Doctors, Ben Taub
Location: Harvard Kennedy School
Civil and Legal Documentation of Syrian Refugees in Jordan: Problems with Identity Cards and Birth Certificates
Anna Crowe, JD, Clinical Instructor, Human Rights Program, Harvard Law School
Reading(s): Registering Rights: Syrian refugees and the documentation of births, deaths and marriages in Jordan, IHRC and NRC
Location: Harvard School of Public Health, FXB Building, Room G12
Childhood Illness in an Underserved Neighborhood in Beirut: Health Practices and Barriers Faced by Lebanese Residents and Syrian Refugees
Lara Jirmanus, MD, MPH, Fellow, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights, Harvard School of Public Health
Health Needs and Priorities of Syrian Refugees in Camp and Urban Settings in Jordan
Tala al Rousan, MD MPH, Lown Scholar, Harvard School of Public Health
Reading(s): UNHCR 3RP Progress Report, June 2015 (pages 1-9)
Health Service Utilization among Syrian Refugees with Chronic Health Conditions in Jordan, Doocy et al. (2016)
Prevalence and Care-seeking for Chronic Diseases among Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Doocy et al. (2015)
Location: *Nye Conference Room A, Taubman Building, Fifth Floor, Harvard Kennedy School
Impact of Trauma and Toxic Stress on Child Development Among Syrian Refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Greece
Alexandra Chen, Child Protection and Mental Health specialist and PhD Candidate at Harvard Graduate School of Education
Refugee Crisis in Greece: Child protection Challenges in Lesvos
Vasileia Digidiki, PhD, Visiting Scholar, Harvard FXB Center for Health and Human Rights
1. Desperate Journey: Europe's Refugee Crisis (Human Rights Watch)
2. Ode to Lesvos
1. The Mean Bargain: The EU/Turkey Refugee and Migrant Deal (Bhabha, J. & Digidiki, V. )
2.Shonkoff, J. P., Gardner, A. (2012). The Lifelong Effects of Early Childhood Adversity and Toxic Stress. The lifelong effects of early childhood adversity and toxic stress. Pediatrics,129 (1): e232-246.
3. Miller, K. E. and A. Rasmussen (2010). "Mental health and armed conflict: The importance of distinguishing between war exposure and other sources of adversity: A response to Neuner." Social Science & Medicine 71(8): 1385-1389.
*please note, this session will run from 4:00-5:30pm (shifted from planned 4:30pm start)
*New Location: Harvard Kennedy School, WAPPP Cason Conference Room, Taubman Building, Room 102
The Syrian Humanitarian Health Response: Challenges and Opportunities
Fouad Fouad, MD, Assistant Research Professor, American University of Beirut, Beirut, Lebanon & Adam Coutts, PhD, Public Policy Fellow, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, England (update: Adam Coutts is no longer able to join the discussion.)
War, Disasters and Data
*Jesse Berns, PhD, MPH, NREMT-CCP, Founder and Chief Operating Officer, Dharma
1. Miriam Rabkin, Fouad M. Fouad & Wafaa M. El-Sadr (2016): Addressing chronic diseases in protracted emergencies: Lessons from HIV for a new health imperative, Global Public Health.
2. Fouad M. Fouad. Human Resources in Protracted Crisis: Syrian Medical Workers. Lancet. 2016, April 16; 387(10028):1613.
Location: Harvard Kennedy School
UNHCR-Jordan and Syrian Refugee Livelihoods: Successes & Ongoing Challenges
Charles Simpson, Assistant Director, Boston Consortium for Arab Region Studies; Rima Rassi, Program Manager, Program in Public Policy and International Affairs (PPIA), Department of Political Studies and Public Administration, American University of Beirut; & Leen AlHajjar, BA Candidate, Northeastern University; Former UNHCR-Jordan Intern
Reading(s): Jordan Times: Syrians Having Easier Access to Jobs in Jordan - UNHCR
February 2 - Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, FXB Building, Room G13
Understanding Resilience Among Syrian Refugees
Sarah Tobin, PhD, Associate Director of Middle East Studies, Brown University
Readings for February 2nd Session:
1. Ilcan S, Rygiel K. “ 'Resiliency Humanitarianism’: Responsibilizing Refugees Through Humanitarian Emergency Governance in the Camp." International Political Sociology (2015) 9, 333–351
2. Seghal, Parul. "The Profound Emptiness of Resilience.” New York Times. December 1, 2015.
February 16 - Harvard Kennedy School, Darman Seminar Room
Building a Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Displaced Syrian Youths' Education and Migration Aspirations and Their Sources of Support
Vidur Chopra, PhD Candidate, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Readings for February 16 session:
- Tracing pathways to higher education for refugees: the role of virtual support networks and mobile phones for women in refugee camps, Comparative Education (December 1, 2016)
- Norwegian Refugee Council (2016): A future in the balance: Lebanon
[New!] Rights, Refugees, and Executive Disorder: A Legal Perspective
Kathleen Hamill, JD, MALD, FXB Fellow
- Text of executive order | https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/01/27/executive-order-protecting-nation-foreign-terrorist-entry-united-states
- Jamil Dakwar. "International Laws Trump Muslim Ban Breaking." Al Jazeera. 2 Feb 2017 | http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/2017/02/international-laws-trump-muslim-ban-breaking-170202135132664.html
- Plus optional readings: Resolutions adopted by American Bar Association on Feb 6, 2017
- U.S. District Court Cases regarding the ban:
Harvard Kennedy School, Darman Seminar Room
This session has been postponed to a date TBD.
Building Environmentally Sound, Culturally Compatible Schools for Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon
Richard Mollica, MD MAR, Director, Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma at Harvard Medical School
**New Date! March 30 - RSVP here
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, FXB Building, Room G13 (updated)
Protection for Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies and Global Responsibility Sharing
Susan Akram, Clinical Professor of Law and Director, International Human Rights Clinic, Boston University School of Law and BU Law Students
Reading for March 30: Protection for Syrian Refugees: Laws, Policies and Global Responsibility Sharing. Boston University School of Law International Human Rights Clinic
April 6 - RSVP here (or participate via video conference, instructions below)
Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Kresge Building, Room G2 (updated)
U.S. Refugee Resettlement and Asylum Processing: Challenges and Barriers
Sabrineh Ardalan, Assistant Director, Harvard Immigration and Refugee Clinical Program, Harvard Law School
Participants are requested to complete the following readings:
1) 3/6 Executive Order Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry Into the United States
2) 3/6 Memorandum for the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Homeland Security
3) Syrian Refugees in the United States. Migration Policy Institute
4) Fact Sheet: “Asylum in the United States.” American Immigration Council
5) Homeland Security Report: Syrian Refugee Flows. Security Risks and Counterterrorism Challenges. Nov 2015
6) In Limbo, In Love, In America: The Story of a Syrian Asylum Seeker. Sept 2015. All Things Considered. NPR.
7) Syrian asylum-seekers face long waits in backlogged US system. The Washington Post. June 13, 2015
**Dates, locations, titles, and speakers subject to change.