19/03/2018 The Future of Syria and the Syrian Refugees

Monday 19 March, 8 pm

Since it started in 2011, the Syrian Civil War has escalated into an armed conflict between various groups and factions of the Syrian people, as well as different international actors striving to achieve their political and ideological interests in the region. A seven-year war of unimaginable horror and misery ensued.

Will the war finally end, now that ISIS has been defeated? Will it bring us closer to a political solution? In this Debate Café, we will discuss what the post-conflict phase of Syria will look like. What possible future scenarios await the country? What roles will be taken by Assad, Russia, the US and international organisations such as the United Nations and Unicef? Will Syria be able to recover from the war damage? What will the future bring for the millions of refugees? Will they return? And if not, what role will they play in Europe? Join tonight’s Debate Café to discuss these issues. With a short introduction and music by Marc Mahfoud, BA European Studies, Artist.

Roberta Haar – Associate Professor, University College Maastricht. Expertise: International Relations, Foreign Policy, American Foreign Policy, Transatlantic Relations.

Ammar Abo Hamida – Syrian (Internist or Doctor) who lives in the Netherlands for several years. Was the first Syrian refugee who obtained a master’s degree at UM his Master diploma in Healthcare Management (in 2017).

Pui-hang Wong – Lecturer at Maastricht Graduate School of Governance (MGSoG), and researcher at UNU-MERIT. Research interests: international political economy, international development, security, and statebuilding in post-conflict countries.

Ayla Bonfiglio – Doctoral Fellow at UNU-MERIT. Exploring the tertiary education trajectories of refugees within Africa to gain a deeper understanding of agency within forced migration processes and the extent to which education migration may offer an alternative form of protection for refugees. She has held Visiting/Associate Researcher positions at the International Migration Institute (IMI) at the University of Oxford.

Nora Ragab – PhD Fellow at UNU-MERIT/MGSoG. Holds a master’s degree in Public Policy and Human Development with a specialization in Migration Studies specialization. Is writing PhD on the Syrian diaspora, the Syrian diaspora mobilisation across Europe, and on durable solutions to Syrian displacement among others. The aim of her PhD project is to provide a broader understanding of the role and contribution of diasporas to conflicts and peace building in the country of origin.

Dave Vliegenthart – Lecturer Liberal Arts at University College Maastricht.

The debate cafe is organized by Universalis, the Unicef Studentteam Maastricht and Studium Generale.