The State of the Middle East Forum 2016


February 17, 2016, Chicago, IL. The Niagara Foundation organized its Annual “State of the Middle East Forum”. This year the forum focused on political, economic, and social challenges and issues of the region, with distinguished panelists and guests coming from all over the country.

The topic of the first panel was entitled “Crisis in the Gulf”. Dr. David Faris from Roosevelt University was the moderator. He is the Chair of the Department of Political Science and Public Administration. Dr. Faris’ works have been published in the International Journal of Middle East Studies, Middle East Policy, Arab Media & Society, Politique Etrangèr, NPR, and the Christian Science Monitor among others. He received his Political Science from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.

Other panelists were Dr. Kaveh Ehsani and Dr. Stacey Philbrick Yadav. Dr. Ehsani is an assistant professor of International Studies at the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at DePaul University. He has formerly taught at University of Illinois in Chicago and and the Central European University in Budapest. Dr. Yadav is currently an Associate Professor of Political Science at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. She has previously taught at Harvard University and Mount Holyoke College. During the panel discussion speakers touched upon the various topics from the involvement of Russian forces in the area, especially Syria, Russia-Turkey relations, to security problems in the Western Iraq region.

The second part of the program was about Humanitarian Crisis in Syria. Again moderated by Dr. Faris, the second panel speakers were Zaher Sahloul, President of the Syrian American Medical Society, Suzanne Akhras, President and Executive Director of the Syrian Community Network, and Whitney Cross from the US Fund at the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Both sessions followed by Q&A’s, where our guests were able to ask questions about the topics discussed in the panels.

The complete article can be found here.


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