Tag Archives: Syria

Global Event | Christmas

Christmas for the Vulnerable Christians of the World


Source: Al Jazeera YouTube

One of the most important days in the Christian holiday canon, Christmas is celebrated by the devout, the lapsed, and the unbelieving alike as a time of gift-giving, decorating, and shared cheer. However, many of the worlds Christians, minorities in their communities, continue to face persecution as religious-extremist, nationalist, and other reactionary forces gain footholds around the world. From Indonesia to Egypt, religiously diverse societies have experienced increased sectarian tensions as parallel forces—anti-Christian sentiment and Islamophobia—have disrupted what was once stable co-existence. This roundup takes a look at recent developments in the plight faced by some of the most vulnerable Christians around the world. Continue reading Global Event | Christmas

Iraq & Syria News | Yazidis

Thousands of Yazidis remain in captivity on anniversary of massacre
  • The U.N. reported that around 3,200 Yazidi women and girls are being held in sexual slavery and thousands of Yazidi men and boys are missing, many presumed dead.
  • August 3 marks the second anniversary of the Islamic State’s attack on Sinjar, Iraq, which left 10,000 Yazidis dead or enslaved in what observers have increasingly called a genocide.
  • Prior to the attack, Sinjar had been home to the largest Yazidi community in the world.

Read more:
Thousands of Yazidis missing, captive, two years after start of ‘genocide’: U.N.” (Reuters)
Yazidis Mark Second Anniversary of Islamic State Massacre” (Voice of America)
Yazidi Activist Nadia Murad Speaks Out on the ‘Holocaust’ of Her People in Iraq” (TIME)

(Image Credit: Z. Yasar/Voice of America)

Citations | Refugee Education

Citations
Education for Refugees, from Preschool to Professorship

Global emergencies like war, natural disaster, and health pandemics have uprooted families and disrupted education at all levels as displaced students have been deprived of access to schools. Students in early childhood, primary, secondary, and higher education as well as teachers, professors, and other educational professionals have experienced delayed educational and professional development during times of crisis, disabling dreams and prospects for the future. Whether in Malaysia, Greece, or Lebanon, displaced communities have struggled to adjust to lost livelihoods, new cultures, and uncertain futures.

As the average duration of displacement has dramatically increased over the last three decades, international humanitarian organizations have been pressed to develop long-term programs and partnerships to replace short-term emergency educational provision. These challenges have been compounded by the disproportionate burden of education in emergencies shouldered by developing countries, where refugee populations vastly outnumber those in high-income countries. Over time, the educational pipeline has come to look less like a pipe than a funnel, with progressive exclusion and decreasing resources constraining opportunity as refugee children age. Workarounds developed in earlier stages have at times installed barriers for students at more advanced education stages as credentialing standardization and selective admissions disadvantage students from newly developed, temporary, and informal educational institutions outside of the national curriculum.

From connected learning hubs in refugee camps in Kenya to elementary classrooms in Canada, technological innovation and international coordination have worked to connect displaced students to well-resourced institutions and support educational continuity through crises. Meanwhile, new momentum in the development of transnational platforms for educational financing, advising, and service delivery has reinvigorated the global education community and increased commitment to education for all, regardless of circumstance. Here is a look at select recent news, features, and open research on and resources for global refugee education and scholar protection: Continue reading Citations | Refugee Education

Syria & Turkey News | Turkmen

Syrian Turkmens flee coastal Syria for Turkey as violence intensifies
  • Hundreds of Syria’s minority Turkmen community left the province of Latakia for Turkey as violence between pro-government and opposition forces increased.
  • Women- and children-majority groups were bussed across the Turkish border as a key opposition-held town fell in the province.
  • Turkey has been particularly critical of what it argues has been Russia’s targeting of the Turkmen minority, which has displaced tens of thousands among the Turks’ ethnic cousins.

Read more:
Syrian Turkmens cross to Turkey, fleeing advances of pro-Assad forces” (Reuters)
Hundreds of Turkmens flee Russian airstrikes, enter Turkey” (Today’s Zaman)
Displaced Turkmen Villagers Brace for a Cold Winter” (Syria Deeply)

(Image Credit: Stringer/Reuters)

Western Asia Feature | Middle-Eastern Christians

The Twilight of Christianity in the Region of Its Birth

The Middle East has seen its culturally diverse population fractured by ever-increasing fault lines over the last century, from colonialism and nationalism to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to Sunni-Shia sectarianism to fundamentalist Sunni extremism.  As a dwindling religious minority, Christians in the Middle East have seen the threat to their existence multiply exponentially after nearly two millennia of peaceful coexistence with other religious communities in their homeland.  The New York Times Magazine explores Christianity’s decline and contemporary existential threats in a region where extremism has subjected the community to exile, forced conversion, and execution.

Read the full feature at the New York Times Magazine.

(Image Credit: Peter van Agtmael/Magnum, for The New York Times)

Thousands of refugees return to Syria from Turkey after Syrian Kurds oust the Islamic State from border town
  • Tight border security at Turkey’s border with Syria has limited crossings, but the victory in Tel Abyad allowed for a gate reopening permitting more than 2,000 refugees to return.
  • More than 23,000 Syrians had entered Turkey earlier in the month, according to Turkish officials.
  • The Kurdish YPG militia has encouraged the returns, guaranteeing safety in the towns they have recaptured.

Read the full story at Reuters.

The Mid-week Rounds

Protests in Saudi Arabia following the anti-Shiite suicide bombing, assisted suicide debates in the U.K., Myanmar’s anti-Rohingya protests, Russia’s community for parents and their gay children, immigration reform’s stumble in the U.S., Dubai’s motorcycle women, and 45 other stories in this week’s news rounds… Continue reading The Mid-week Rounds