Muddy Notebook

March 14, 2008

“One Book, One Philadelphia: War’s Youngest Victims

Filed under: Africa,humanitarian — carolynthewriter @ 10:16 pm

Another program with excellent panelists will be held this Wednesday, March 19, from 6:30 p.m.-8 p.m. at the National Constitution Center. The Constitution Center has done a terrific job of periodically presenting forums and panels on humanitarian issues, and they’ve got a great lineup again this time. To talk about “War’s Youngest Victims,” the guests are:

  • Alyaa, born in Baghdad, Iraq and who earned a degree from the University of Baghdad’s College of Language. In 2003, she began working as an interpreter for Capt. Patrick Murphy – who, of course, is now Congressman Patrick Murphy. Because of her work with the United States, it became dangerous for her to stay in Iraq, and so last November she was granted asylum status in the U.S. She is now teaching Arabic language and applying to college. 
  • Jennifer Sime is grants and contracts unit director for the International Rescue Committee, a global nongovernmental organization based in New York that does relief work. (Full disclosure time: I worked for the IRC in 1999, as the manager of a refugee camp during the Kosovo crisis.) Sime has 13 years experience working for several international nonprofits in senior field positions.
  • Andrew Sisson joined the National War College faculty at the National Defense University in July 2007. He is a senior Foreign Service Officer on loan from the U.S. Agency for International Development. His work for the State Department included establishing the Office of the Director of foreign Assistance and serving as the senior coordinator for Africa.
  • Me, moderator.

This is a darn good panel to explore the issues surrounding war’s youngest victims, including how to prevent these conflicts in the first place, what role American intervention has had, the impact of war on children, and what can be done to help them during conflicts and after they have ended. For more information on attending, call 215-409-6700. You know, the more people who come to programs such as this one, the more the people who have the ability to put together programs such as this one have proof that there is great interest in humanitarian issues. So, don’t just complain you aren’t seeing and hearing enough on these issues. Come to this panel. Write in to editors of newspapers when you see stories on humanitarian crises. Learn something new and help encourage more coverage on these badly underreported situations around the world. 


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