FAU Professor to Discuss Visit to Syrian Refugee Camps

by FAU College of Arts and Letters | Tuesday, Oct 06, 2015
FAU Professor to Discuss Visit to Syrian Refugee Camps

FAU's Department of Political Science presents "The Tragedy of Syrian Refugees: The Case of Lebanon," a lecture that attempts to shed light on the overall conditions and excruciating challenges faced by Syrian refugees. The talk will be given by FAU professor Robert Rabil, Ph.D., on Thursday, Oct. 15 at 7 p.m. in room 102 of Kaye Hall, FAU's College of Business, 777 Glades Road, Boca Raton campus and is free and open to the public. 

This past summer, Rabil spent 16 days visiting 70 Syrian refugee camps in the Bekaa region of Lebanon and along the Lebanon-Syria border, most of which were ramshackle tents with little protection from inclement weather and security threats, with mostly no water, electricity or other social services. According to the United Nations, there are approximately 1.2 million registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon. The government of Lebanon and independent researchers put that number at closer to 1.5 million Syrian refugees, the majority of whom are women and children.  There are also one-half million Palestinian refugees. 

"Most refugees, especially in Bekaa and close to the border, are becoming extremely vulnerable because of their massive presence in Lebanon," said Rabil. "There are serious gaps in funding, a crumbling of social services, a lack of attention to health needs, and serious gaps in security given the refugees' proximity to the ongoing fighting and attacks by ISIS and the al-Nusra Front."

Rabil earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern and Judaic studies from Brandeis University; a master's degree in government from Harvard University Extension School; and a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts. He is the author of "Embattled Neighbors: Syria, Israel, and Lebanon" (Lynne Rienner, 2003); " Syria, the United States, and the War on Terror in the Middle East" (Praeger, 2006); " Religion, National Identity and Confessional Politics in Lebanon: The Challenge of Islamism" (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011); and " Salafism in Lebanon: from Apoliticism to Transnational Jihadism" (Georgetown University Press, 2014). His articles have appeared in major newspapers and academic journals, including the Wall Street Journal ; Chicago-Sun Times ; Daily Star (Beirut); History News Network ; National Interest ; CNN ; Middle East Journal ; Middle East Policy ; Journal of International Security Affairs ; Middle East Quarterly ; and Middle East Review of International Affairs. He also contributed a number of book chapters on political Islam and Middle Eastern politics.

The lecture is presented in conjunction with FAU's Peace Studies Program and FAU Hillel. For more information, call 561-297-3215.

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