The Syrian Refugee Crisis: A First-Hand View

TRAVERSE CITY — NMC's International Affairs Forum and the Utopia Foundation will present a global hot spot conversation and an opportunity to donate to the Syrian refugee crisis at 7 p.m. Oct. 21 in Milliken Auditorium. 

Speaker Dr. Curt Rhodes comes to Milliken directly from working at refugee camps in Jordan. Rhodes is the founder and international director of Questscope,  an NGO founded in that country that works with individuals, communities, local organizations and international partners to produce social, educational, and entrepreneurial opportunities for marginalized youth in the Middle East.

The Syria conflict has fueled the worst humanitarian crisis of modern times. Before fighting broke out in 2011, Syria’s population was 22 million. Today, half those Syrians have been forced to flee their homes. More than 7 million are now displaced within Syria and 4 million have become refugees in neighboring countries of Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon. These countries are now overwhelmed and, as resources have begun to run out, conditions have sharply deteriorated.

Rhodes began his career in the Middle East in the early 1980s as assistant dean in the School of Public Health at the American University of Beirut. During the 1982 invasion of (west) Beirut, he volunteered in a community-based clinic alongside students and friends, doing around-the-clock triage for wounded and ill civilians. That experience formed the seed of Questscope, and Rhodes has now spent more than 30 years working with and on behalf of marginalized communities and young people across the Middle East.

Tickets are $10 and free to students and educators. Half of  each ticket price will go to Questscope's emergency fund for Syrian refugees in Jordan. The Utopia Foundation will also match the first $1,000 of donations made during the evening. 

Release date: October 8, 2015

For more information:

Karen Segal
International Affairs Forum co-chair
(231) 715-6064

Dr. Dave Zehnder
Questscope board
(231) 526-2981



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