Syria isn’t Iraq and Obama isn’t Bush

To be sure, President Obama will explain whatever decision he makes regarding Syria with a credibility problem, partly of his own making and partly inherited. The self-inflicted part can be summed up in a sentence: leakers of classified information to the press are in prison or hiding while war criminals are going unprosecuted. The general public might not care, but Obama’s base does, and he’s going to need our support for a potentially unpopular intervention. Continue Reading

Boston, Syria, Texas: Thoughts elsewhere

I’ve made my home, my career, and my family here in Minnesota. But I’m originally from Boston, Massachusetts, born and bred. So I’ve been watching the news over the past week on a roller coaster of horror at the bombings, sadness for the victims, fear for friends and family back east, amazement at the tenaciousness of volunteers and professionals on the ground helping or tracking down the alleged bombers, relief that despite some close calls, all my friends and acquaintances are unscathed (despite some being a bit too close to the blasts for comfort), and a host of other emotions too. Continue Reading

Syrians in Minnesota discuss struggles in their home country

For over a year, the struggle between the people of Syria and the Syrian government has been making headlines around the world. A large number of Syrians live outside the country… some of them here in Minnesota.KFAI’s Christina Cerruti recently sat down with some Syrian students, including Nadia and Jay, who talked about what is going on in their home country and how they view the world’s reaction.Nadia is a filmmaker and recently arranged a showing of her film, “The Price of Dignity”, at the University of Minnesota.Nadia said she appreciates it whenever people pay attention to what is going on in Syria. [Audio below] Continue Reading

New world, not ordered

The stories out of Syria are utterly heartbreaking. The government of Bashar al-Assad has been shelling civilians indiscriminately in what can only be a desperate act to maintain control. Brutality has worked for the regime in the past, but this has taken it to a new level. Continue Reading

Students freeze for Syria

In the middle of Coffman Union, 25 people froze as confused University of Minnesota students and staff walked by.University of Minnesota communications student Amina Maameri said she decided to organize the flash-freeze event after being personally compelled to spread awareness of the violence in Syria.When Maameri showed up at 2:00 p.m. in the initial meeting place outside Coffman Union, she was pleasantly surprised at the number of people that showed up. About 25 students met Maameri to participate in the event in support of Syrian refugees. People stopped by and asked what we were doing, but the most powerful part of the event was the discussion after, she said.Participants gathered afterward and discussed what took place, how everyone felt while participating in the freeze and the reason everyone did it — Syria.Maameri said the discussion was moving.”Syrian people talked about their personal experiences,” she said. “The tone in the room was very powerful.”During the meeting, Maameri passed around fliers advertising Free Syria hoodies available for purchase through the Syrian American Medical Society. Proceeds from the sale will go to a fund for sending winter essentials to Syrians.Maameri expressed her desire to organize a fundraiser dinner to continue raising money for the cause. “The goal is to educate people,” she said. Continue Reading