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According to one UN report, the number of people displaced by war and persecution in recent years is larger than what occurred during WW II and also larger than at any time since detailed record keeping began. A focal point has been the ongoing violence in Syria and the humanitarian and global refugee crisis it has created. A recent Wilson Center event conducted in cooperation with Smithsonian Media and the Independent Diplomat featured a conversation on refugees with Syrian refugees, giving voice to a group in the eye of the storm. They shared insights into the depth of the problem and also ideas on possible solutions. 

Andrew Selee
Executive Vice President, Wilson Center

Chris Liedel
President, Smithsonian Enterprises

Reza Afshar
Policy Director, Independent Diplomat

Maria Al Abdeh
Director of Women Now for Development

Ibrahim Al Assil
President and Co-Founder of the Syrian Nonviolence Movement

Rouba Mhaissen
Founder and Director of Sawa for Development & Aid (Lebanon), Sawa Foundation (UK)

Salim Salamah
Director of the Palestinian League for Human Rights and Advisor to UN Secretary General Ban-Ki Moon's UN progress study on youth, peace, and security

Henri J. Barkey
Director, Middle East Program, Wilson Center


Henri J. Barkey

Henri J. Barkey

Former Director, Middle East Program
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Middle East Program

The Wilson Center’s Middle East Program serves as a crucial resource for the policymaking community and beyond, providing analyses and research that helps inform U.S. foreign policymaking, stimulates public debate, and expands knowledge about issues in the wider Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.  Read more