Global Discussions: Syria

Syria1This year I started the Global Discussions group with a goal to create more global awareness around the Collegiate campus. Throughout the year we will be bringing in speakers and leading discussions on current global issues, but I truly believe no speaker will be more powerful than the four Lebanese students speaking on the situation in Syria. These students live in Beirut, but Cayenne, one of the female students, is originally from Syria.

Cayenne left Syria two years ago because of the civil war. As she spoke about the civil war, she discussed something that I had never thought about before: that the people of Syria may actually like the Assad regime. The Western media presents the Assad regime as evil and makes it seem that nobody wants to live under their rule, but Cayenne called the regime “the lesser of the two evils.” Her family left Syria not because of the supposedly terrible Assad regime, but because the rebels starting creating an unsafe environment to live in. She said that her friends’ parents were being kidnapped, and bombs were becoming more frequent.

Syria2The four students provided opinions and sentiment that is impossible to find on the news, and with every word they said they brought up a point that I had never thought about before, including the name “ISIS.” Cayenne, who is a Christian, talked about even having the word Islam in the name makes Westerners more likely to think poorly of the Islam as a religion. This is something that I had never thought about: Western media created the name “Islamic State,” even though the people who actually live in the Middle East do not call it that. The other three students are Muslim, and they discussed how even Muslims are not safe. “ISIS” members practice Islam like nobody else, and if someone does not know Islam like ISIS wants them to, then they will be killed. These students really helped me show what Global Discussions is all about–to give students a perspective on the situation that they are not able to get in school or on the news. Hopefully this is just the first of many amazing discussions.

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Photos: Kyra Gregory & Megan Phillips

About the author

Sheldon has been writing for The Match since 2007. He is a perpetual senior, coming close to graduating a few times. In his free time, he enjoys watersports, such as chess and calculus.