After more than a year and half, and upwards of 30,000 people killed, the Syrian crisis shows no signs of ending. The UN Security Council is deadlocked, with Russia and China blocking any resolution that would sanction or condemn the regime of Bashar al-Assad. What began as a peaceful protest movement demanding economic equality and an end to state corruption has become a fight for a nation’s survival.
Meanwhile, the Syrian opposition remains divided, with rival political and military groups vying for Western and Arab support. Yet lost in the daily stream of news about violence and bloodshed is the remarkable story of Syrian society, which has proved quite resilient in the face of barbarism. From setting up field hospitals to ad hoc media centres, Syrian activists and citizens across the country have asserted themselves, living as if they’re already free and masters of their own destinies.
By kind invitation of John Glen MP, The Henry Jackson Society is pleased to invite you to a discussion with Dr Bassma Kodmani (above), political scientist and former Member of the Executive Bureau & Head of the Foreign Relations Bureau of the Syrian National Council.
Dr Kodmani, who has unique insight into the recent developments in Syria, will discuss the dynamic role played by civil society actors inside the country: who they are, what challenges they face under wartime adversity, and what they envisage for a post-Assad nation. She will also explain how Western powers can better advance the cause of self-determination in Syria.
TIME: 1 – 2pm
DATE: Wednesday 17th October 2012
VENUE: Committee Room 5, House of Commons, London, SW1A 0AA
To attend please RSVP to: Jennifer.email@example.com
Dr Bassma Kodmani is a political scientist by training and a professor of International Relations at Paris University. She holds a PhD from Sciences Po Paris. Her main scholarly experience is the analysis of Arab societies, the strategic relations of the Middle East and regional conflicts. She has vast experience in policy analysis and policy advice through her time working in key international organizations, first within the French Institute of International Relations (IFRI) and later with the Collège de France, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) and the Centre d’Etudes et de Recherches Internationales (CERI). She spent seven years in Cairo as head of the Governance and International Cooperation program of the Ford Foundation Middle East office from where her main activity was to support Arab research centres and civil society organizations. In 2005, she established the Arab Reform Initiative, a consortium of Arab policy research institutes on reform and democratic transition in the Arab world. In August 2011, Bassma Kodmani participated in the founding of the Syrian National Council and became a member of the Executive Bureau and Head of the Foreign Relations Bureau. She resigned from the Council in August 2012.