CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Five panelists will speak about the world's response to the crisis in Syria during a discussion at the University of Charleston Thursday night.The 7 p.m. panel discussion will be moderated by UC President Ed Welch and is being held in the Appalachian Room on the second floor of the Geary Student Union.
The panelists include Haris Tarin, director of the Washington, D.C. office of the Muslim Public Affairs Council; Rev. Jim Lewis, a retired Episcopal minister and one of the original founders of West Virginia Patriots for Peace; and Brad Deel, director of the political science program at the University of Charleston and a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.Ahed Al Hendi and Hadeel Kouki, who are married, are also on the panel. Al Hendi is a dissident who fled Syria four years ago. As a student, he was imprisoned and tortured by Syrian authorities for establishing a secular anti-regime student organization, according to a UC news release.
He now works at CyberDissidents.org, a New York-based human rights organization that amplifies the voices of pro-democracy bloggers in the Middle East.Kouki became a prominent and outspoken anti-Assad voice following the outbreak of the Syrian uprising, which began in January 2011, according to the release. She fled Syria nearly a year later.Dr. Abdul Zanabli of Charleston helped to organize the event.