Muslim Perspective Offered on Syrian Immigration, Refugee Crisis

Duquesne University's two-part Religion and Society Lecture series, which focuses on the plight of millions of displaced Syrians and Syrian refugees, concludes with A Muslim Response to Displacement and Immigration.

The lecture, which will be held Tuesday, Feb. 16, at 4 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Duquesne Union, will feature a presentation by Dr. Basel Termanini, a gastroenterologist and vice president of the Syrian American Medical Society.

Termanini, who was born and raised in Aleppo, Syria, will discuss his personal experiences surrounding his father-a governor, lawyer and history professor-who became a political prisoner and sought asylum in France and Lebanon.

Bringing the struggles of the Syrians to light from a first-person perspective is key to helping others understand their full impact, according to Dr. Marinus Iwuchukwu, associate professor of theology at Duquesne and chair of the Consortium for Christian-Muslim Dialogue.

"As somebody with direct relation to Syria and Syrians, Dr. Termanini has first-hand knowledge of the dire consequences that many Syrians are facing, given the crisis in that country," Iwuchukwu said. "He is able to give us, his audience, accounts with factual accuracy relative to the crisis as well as its humanitarian consequences."

Iwuchukwu emphasized that the core of the University mission is to aid those who are most in need. Understanding the struggles of the Syrian people will help the Duquesne community to grasp how to help provide assistance.

"Duquesne University has a mission that makes it imperative that we demonstrate support to all who are experiencing different forms of human suffering and pain," Iwuchukwu added. "Listening to Dr. Termanini will hopefully enable us to put in proper compassionate perspective the travails and horrors the war in Syria has created for millions of helpless civilians of that country."

The Religion and Society lectures are free and open to the public. For more information, visit the consortium's website, or email

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