Syrian Refugee Crisis to be Addressed from Christian, Muslim Perspectives

The dire situation of 4.3 million Syrian refugees and 6.6 million Syrians displaced within their own country will be discussed at the Duquesne University campus through two Religion and Society Lectures focused on immigration.

News outlets have shared the mixed reactions across Europe and America to refugees seeking asylum-and tales of those who have died trying to seek safety.

The first free lecture, on Tuesday, Jan. 19, will feature Mais Haddad, who practiced law in Syria and now is a financial advisor and human rights advocate. She will discuss Syrian Christian Immigrants and Refugees.

For the second lecture, Dr. Basel Termanini, a gastroenterologist and vice president of the Syrian American Medical Society, will present A Muslim Response to Displacement and Immigration on Tuesday, Feb. 16.

Both talks, organized by Duquesne's Consortium for Christian-Muslim Dialogue (CCMD), will be held at 4 p.m. in the Africa Room of the Union.

"In light of some of the political arguments swirling around Syrian refugees in the city of Pittsburgh and other cities in the United States, the CCMD wishes to use its lecture series to highlight the moral and humanitarian faces of the Syrian refugee crisis," said Dr. Marinus Iwuchukwu, chair of the consortium and associate professor of theology at Duquesne.

"Our consortium has invited Christian and Syrian participants to address our audience. These speakers will use their presentations to appeal to the humane spirit of all and hopefully to bring both Christians and Muslims to collaborate toward supporting the human needs of all affected by the Syrian war."

That hope is further buoyed by Pope Francis' declaration of this as a Year of Mercy, Iwuchukwu said. "The CCMD would like its audience to embrace the moral and compassion imperatives of men, women and children from Syria who are victims of Syrian political and religious conflicts."

Sponsors of the events, along with the CCMD, are the Turkish Cultural Center of Pittsburgh, the Office of the Provost and the theology department.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.