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Applying Lessons from Srebrenica to Conflict in Syria

The recent history of Srebrenica and the potential outcomes in Syria are strikingly similar. The differences are critical, too. This symposium will explore the role of the international community in conflict areas such as these with University of Houston faculty Irene Guenther, Dina Alsowayel, Terry Hallmark, and Cyrus Contractor, and visiting scholar from the Hague, Mient Jan Faber. They will touch on topics ranging from genocide to political solutions that will enable competing ethnic, religious and political groups to coexist.

Following a short presentation on the 1995 genocide in Srebrenica by four Honors College students who traveled to Bosnia and Herzegovina this summer, our panelists will comparatively explore the former situation in Srebrenica and current conflict in Syria. The format includes an open discussion in which audience participation is encouraged. The panel discussion aims to flesh out the important current crisis in the Middle East, which will inevitably have repercussions in the area and on the international balance of power.

November 13, 2012
4 - 5:30 pm
The Honors College Commons, 212 MD Anderson Library


Mient Jan Faber, a noted peace activist and a mathemetician by training, is Professor Emeritus at the Free University, Amsterdam and a visiting scholar at the University of Houston. 

Irene Guenther teaches history in the Honors College at the University of Houston. Her primary field is modern European cultural history, with a specialization in modern German cultural and gender history; her second field is modern American cultural history.

Dina Alsowayel is Associate Director of Women’s Studies at the University of Houston. She teaches a variety of courses in the History department, including history of the Modern Middle East, State and Society in the Middle East, Women and Islam, A History of Islam, War in the Middle East, and a History of the Palestine-Israeli Conflict. She also takes students to the Arab and Muslim world often.

Terry Hallmark is Director of Political Risk and Policy Assessment for IHS in Houston, Texas. With over 25 years of experience in the oil and gas industry, he has served as an advisor to major oil exploration and service companies, financial institutions and governmental agencies, including the U.S. intelligence community and Department of Defense. He is also an adjunct faculty member in the Honors College and Department of Political Science at the University of Houston. 

Cyrus Ali Contractor is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science. His research interests include the politics of the Middle East, particularly the Islamic Republic of Iran. His current research project focuses on the political dispositions of Shi‘a Muslims in the United States, particularly the effect of religious narrative on political and social life. Additionally, this focus includes the importance of diaspora and transnational influences between Shi‘as in the West and Middle East.