A Call for Moral Courage, Syrian Scholars Promote Preservation of  Syrian Culture and Access to Education, and IIE-SRF in the Press
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A Call for Moral Courage
On October 24, 2014, the inaugural Scholar Rescue Fund Summit brought together IIE-SRF fellows and partners from the human rights, higher education, governmental, and non-governmental sectors to explore new opportunities to combat scholar persecution and its international consequences. Panelists examined sources of persecution, the impact of repression and conflict on higher education, and the resources available to respond to a global need. Michael H. Posner reflected on John F. Kennedy’s timeless call for moral courage and encouraged participants to “think beyond the obvious” in collective action. We thank all who participated and look forward to working with long-standing partners and engaging new ones as discussions continue long past the Summit’s closing remarks.
IIE-SRF Scholars Work to Preserve Syrian Culture and Access to Education
Dr. Salam al Kuntar and her colleagues at the Penn Cultural Heritage Center established Safeguarding the Heritage of Syria and Iraq (SHOSI), a project to preserve artifacts and heritage sites during conflict. SHOSI is a coalition of institutions, including IIE-SRF partner the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), that is training Syrians and Iraqis to preserve their own heritage. SHOSI has worked closely with curators at the Ma’arra Museum in Idlib, Syria to protect the museum’s collections, and it recently led a workshop in Gaziantep, Turkey to train Syrian curators, heritage experts, and civil society leaders in the latest tactics for safeguarding museum collections. Dr. al Kuntar has also published several articles on the subject of heritage protection in Syria, most recently in The New York Times and Journal of Eastern Mediterranean Archaeology & Heritage Studies. She undertook an IIE-SRF fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania from 2012-2014.
 
Dr. Oula Abu-Amsha, a computer scientist and specialist in educational technologies, has undertaken field research on improving Syrian refugee access to primary and secondary education in Lebanon. Working with the World Bank and IIE partner Jusoor, Dr. Abu-Amsha published the report “The Resilience of Syrian Refugee Children in Lebanon: What Do They Need to Acquire Quality Education?” Her research was guided by a 2013 World Bank workshop that she attended with IIE-SRF support. She published the main findings in a recent article for Al-Fanar. Dr. Abu-Amsha is currently an IIE-SRF Fellow at the University of Geneva, where she is continuing her research on educational technologies at the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences. Her position was arranged through our partners at the Scholars at Risk Network.

Dr. Abdalrazzaq Moaz participated in a debate hosted by The New York Times on protecting Syria’s cultural heritage. Dr. Moaz has been an IIE-SRF Fellow at Indiana University’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures since 2013. He recently joined the American Schools of Oriental Research’s Syrian Heritage Initiative as a co-director.

IIE and Scholar Rescue Fund in the Press

The Los Angeles Times published “Offering Refuge to Endangered Scholars”,  an OpEd by IIE-SRF Chairman Mark Angelson and IIE President and CEO Allan Goodman that brings into sharp focus the horrific forces threatening so many scholars in Syria and Iraq. The authors call on the international academic community to join the Scholar Rescue Fund and “do its part by rescuing the people who are essential to rebuilding their war-torn societies when Islamic State is defeated.” 


"The Anguish of Saving Endangered Scholars," an article published in The Atlantic, looks back on the Rockefeller Foundation’s rescue of scholars from Nazi Germany. Informed by the involvement of IIE and other international partners in the 1930s, the Foundation set five criteria for selecting scholars to receive its support. As threats to intellectual life span the globe today, these criteria remain astonishingly relevant. Reflecting on Syria, the author asks, “How many future Nobel laureates—how many intellectual lights—are now being swallowed up by the darkness of Syria’s civil war? And what’s the best way to save them?”
Over 100 participants, including 23 IIE-SRF scholars from 9 countries, attended the IIE-SRF Summit on October 24, 2014
Call for Papers: IIENetworker Spring 2015 Issue, "Supporting Higher Education in Crisis, Post-Conflict and Transition"
The IIENetworker magazine is seeking submissions by November 10th that highlight efforts by universities and other institutions to respond to and help support higher education communities and academics in crisis-affected areas. Articles should describe these efforts, share lessons learned, and explore novel challenges posed by current global developments.

Learn more here »
Scholars Seeking Visiting Appointments

See the full list of scholars seeking visiting academic appointments »
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Previous Issues of The Beacon:

October 9, 2014 - IIE Report on Syrian University Students and Scholars in Turkey, Last Chance to Register for the IIE-SRF Summit, and IIE-SRF Named Times Higher Education's 2014 Charity Partner

September 25, 2014 - IIE featured in The Huffington Post & University World News, Call on Int'l Academic Community & Thank You IIE-SRF Iraq Project Team
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A legacy of rescue. A beacon of hope.

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