Voices of Protest: On Syria


April 9, 2017, 1:00-3:00 PM


970 West Sheridan Road Chicago, Illinois 60660

In collaboration with International Cities of Refuge Network (ICORN) and PEN International, the Chicago Network for Justice and Peace, the Guild Literary Complex returns with a second CHICAGO CITY OF REFUGE event highlighting the plight of exiled writers in Chicago as we champion the freedom of speech.

This April 9th join the conversation moderated by Wendy Pearlman highlighting the work of renowned Syrian playwright Riad Ismat, and author/poet Osama Alomar at special event as we discuss the complex plight of Syria and the Syrian refugee crisis.

Presenting the new acclaimed book The Teeth of the Comb by Osama Alomar, and a reading by Riad Ismat of his recent work, followed by a conversation with

PLEASE JOIN US, April 9, 2017, 1:00 – 3:00 PM at the Loyola University Chicago, Lake Shore Campus, in Piper Hall, under the sponsorship of the Ann Ida Gannon Center for Women and Leadership, 970 W. Sheridan Rd, East Rogers Park, Chicago, IL 60660.

About the Work

Exiled writers are forced from their homelands because of persecutions and imprisonments, threatened with torture or death. Living in extreme jeopardy for the nonviolent expression of their opinions and the practice of their art, they have chosen to make Chicago their new home where they can live, work, and write in freedom and dignity. ICORN cities world-wide have hosted over 170 persecuted writers.

The CHICAGO CITY OF REFUGE project assists writers in exile with:

→ developing and promoting their works,
→ establishing and fostering links with writers and other artists,
→ contributing to the vital cultural life of various institutions and organizations in greater Chicago.

The Sunday April 9th, 2017 program features presentations by Syrian writers

Osama Alomar and Riad Ismat, with a conversation hosted by

Northwestern Associate Professor and comparative politics scholar Wendy Pearlman.

Wendy Pearlman has studied or conducted research in Morocco, Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Germany, Spain, Israel, and the West Bank and Gaza Strip. She has written two books and more than a dozen articles or book chapters about the Palestinian national movement, focusing on internal politics and the causes and consequences of political violence.

Wendy’s new book, We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins, June, 2017) is based on interviews that she has conducted from 2012 to the present with more than 300 displaced Syrians in Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, the United Arab Emirates, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, and the United States. The book is a collection of first-hand testimonials that chronicles the Syrian rebellion, war, and refugee crisis exclusively through the stories and reflections of people who have lived it. Wendy has also pulled on this interview material to write articles on a range of topics, including political fear, protest cascades, transnational diffusion, and rebel fragmentation, among other topics. Her long-form narrative essays, Love in the Syrian Revolution and Fathers of Revolution, tell the stories of some of the extraordinary people whose stories she has collected.

Wendy is also co-authoring a second book with Boaz Atzili (American University). It examines “triadic coercion”: the situation when a state uses violence and/or threats against another state to compel it to stop violence from a nonstate actor on its territory. The manuscript offers a critical analysis of sixty-five years of Israel’s experience with this policy.

Wendy has received fellowships from Fulbright, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, the U.S. Institute of Peace, the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, and Northwestern’s Buffett Institute. She has been awarded the Weinberg College Distinguished Teaching Award and has three times been elected to the Associated Student Government Faculty Honor Roll. Her articles have received prizes from the Syrian Studies Association and the Moise Khayrallah Lebanese Diaspora Studies Center.

Please go to https://guildcomplex.org/voices-of-protest/ for further details

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