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For Immediate Release
November 25, 2015

Two IPFW Events Shed Light, Give Voice to Syrian Refugee Crisis

FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Inspired by recent events around the world, two upcoming events taking place at Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) on December 2 will shed light on the Syrian refugee crisis and give an opportunity for community discourse.

"Faculty and Students in Solidarity with the Syrian Refugees" will take place December 2 from noon to 2 p.m. both on the square between Neff Hall and the Engineering, Technology, and Computer Science (ETCS) building and in the ETCS lobby by Bon Bon’s Coffee. An open mic will be available for those who wish to share their support for the Syrian refugees, and a petition will be close by for signing.

“This event is a peaceful rally to show humanitarian support towards the Syrian refugees,” said Farah Combs, continuing lecturer in Arabic and one of the event organizers along with Nancy Virtue, professor of French in the Department of International Language and Culture Studies, “It is crucial for people to know that the refugees are fleeing for the sake of living and seeking a home. No one wants to leave their homeland.”

Free hot chocolate and coffee will be available. This event is free and open to the public. This event is sponsored by the IPFW Arabic and French programs, the Department of International Language and Culture Studies, the International Studies Program, and the Institute for Holocaust and Genocide Studies. For more information contact Combs at 260-481-0247 or, or Virtue at 260-481-6632 or

Taking place the evening of December 2 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Neff Hall, Room 101 is a presentation and panel discussion about the humanitarian crisis involving victims fleeing the violence in Syria. Titled “Global Crisis, Local Action: Syrian Refugees and the Fort Wayne Community,” the conversation will include the sharing of first-person encounters with refugees arriving in Europe.

“The objective of this discussion is to engage the panelists and the audience in an exploration of the complex factors surrounding the humanitarian crisis and our role as citizens of a nation of immigrants,” said Assem Nasr, assistant professor in the Department of Communication and moderator for this event.

Event panelists include:

  • Sam Jarjour,  attorney, board chair of The Indiana Center for Middle East Peace
  • Caleb Jehl, activist
  • Ann Livschiz, associate professor, Department of History
  • Amar Masri, activist
  • Jamie Toole, Ph.D., associate professor, Department of Political Science


  • Assem Nasr, assistant professor, Department of Communication

Panelists will consider the humanitarian plight, the role of the United States in providing relief, and the role that the Fort Wayne community plays in assisting displaced families. This event is free and open to the public. For more information contact Nasr at 260-481-6991 or