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We at KRL want to do all that we can to help Syrian Refugees everywhere, with a focus on those near us in Fresno, so we have started an event page to share about local fundraising events and other ways that people can help them, and learn more about them. If you have an event you would like to see included please email us at kingsriverlife@gmail[dot]com.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Fresno State University
University Business Center rooms 191 & 194

Would you like to learn more about Syria, Syrian refugees, and the refugee resettlement program in the United States? Are you curious about how refugees are vetted, what the asylum process looks like, or would like to learn more about our new Syrian neighbors in Fresno?

On April 4, the Islamic Studies speaker series, Department of History, the College of Social Sciences, and the Armenian Studies Program will host a full day of activities to present the experience of Syrian refugees resettled in the United States. Speakers from USCIS, refugee resettlement agencies, and humanitarian groups join eminent scholar of human rights, Dr. Keith Watenpaugh for these discussions. Ahlan wa Sahlan (“welcome!”) and see you there!

This event is open to the public. For class visits/press inquiries, please email Stacy Fahrenthold at sfahrenthold@csufresno.edu
Symposium for Syrian Refugees: Agenda (all events in UBC 194 & 191)

1:00-2:30 Emilia Bardini, US Citizenship and Immigration Services Asylum Office (UBC 194)
Bardini will speak to us about the work that the San Francisco Asylum Office does with refugees entering the United States and the asylum process. Lunch will be served.

3:00-4:30 “There are no Students in Zaatari Camp:” Losing a Generation of Syria’s Best and Brightest and the Challenges of Refugee Higher Education (UBC194)
Historian Keith Watenpaugh provides a unique window into the terrible cost of the war in Syria: its impact on Syrian refugee students and young people. In this talk, Watenpaugh discusses conditions facing Syrian refugee students and measures to reconnect them with higher education opportunities. Watenpaugh directs a global project to better understand the problems and opportunities facing refugee university students from the Syrian war. This work takes him from refugee camps in Jordan, second-shift schools in Lebanon, Syrian ghettos in Istanbul, and illegal encampments on the borders of Greece to talk with young people who are struggling to pursue an education in the face of discrimination and a lack of international will to help. His work has produced a series of influential studies shaping international policy on refugee higher education.

5:00-6:30 Refugee Assistance Work in the Central Valley: a Panel Discussion (UBC 194)
Speakers include Wasan Abu Baker, American Friends Service Committee; Kathleen Chavoor-Bergen (MFT); rep from the Syrian American Medical Society of Fresno.
This panel lays out local efforts to assist refugees making the transition to Fresno. Wasan Abu Baker tells us about agencies working to help refugees seek housing, employment, and education. Kathleen Chavoor-Bergen is a family therapist and will discuss mental health care and the challenges that Syrian refugees face when processing past traumas while integrating here. A representative from the Syrian American Medical Society will describe the work it does to raise awareness and humanitarian assistance.

7:00-7:30 Book Signing & Hors d’Oeuvres Reception (UBC 191 Alice Peters Auditorium)
Historian Keith David Watenpaugh will sign copies of his book, Bread from Stones. Syrian-style refreshments will be provided.

7:30-9:00 The Drowned, the Saved and the Forgotten: Genocide and the Foundations of Modern Humanitarianism (UBC 191, Alice Peters Auditorium)
Dr. Keith David Watenpaugh (UC Davis)
Genocide is unparalleled in its horror. It is the ultimate crime against humanity, but it is also a problem of humanity that evokes a problem for humanity. In this talk, drawn from his award-winning book, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism (2015) Keith David Watenpaugh examines the particular questions that arise when the problem of humanity motivating a problem for humanity is the crime of genocide. Examining international humanitarian responses to the genocide of the Ottoman Armenians (1915-1922), he argues that modern humanitarianism and genocide have a complex and intertwined history that has shaped the critical modern concepts of humanitarian neutrality, humanitarian governance and the role of justice in relief, and Human Rights-based development.

Here is a new list of needs for the Syrian refugees in Fresno-updated as of 2/27/17-

1- pressure cooker .
2-meat grinder .
3- Rugs .
4- Washer and Dryer .
5-Diapers .
6- Blenders .
7- Trash Cans .
8-Laundry baskets .
9- Diapers sizes 2/4/6
10-computers and Laptops.
11-Cars .
12-Sewing machine .
13-vacuum cleaners .
14- Dinning tables .
16-Pots .
17-Frying pans .
18-Food processor .
19-Baking trays .
20-Plates and dishes .
21-Pyrex sets .
22-serving dishes .
23-socks for the kids from ages (1-16).
24-Pajamas for the kids .
25-Tops and pants for the kids .
26- Cleaning detergents .
27- Electric Grills .
28- Sewing Machine .
30-Towels .
31-Beddings .
32- Warm Blankets.

If you wish to donate any of these items, or cash to purchase them, you can contact Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministries (FIRM). FIRM also has a special webpage about their efforts to help the Syrian refugees, and you can donate and volunteer there.

Monthly dinner to raise money for the Syrian refugees in Fresno-
March 27th, 6:30 pm at the Newman Center
1572 E Barstow Ave, Fresno, CA 93710
The cost is $15 a person at the door.

This is a great way for people to contribute to these families, and also gives others a chance to attach a face to the name “refugee”, it humanizes this issue we hear so much about and reminds us that we are all human, and all deserving of respect and dignity. This is an initiative undertaken by Human Rights Coalition.

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