U.S. elections may come and go, but the suffering of Syria's people and the damage suffered by its heritage and its culture continue unabated. On September 26, shortly before the first U.S. presidential debate began, Daniel Demeter, author of the visual treasure-box Lens On Syria: A Photographic Tour of its Ancient and Modern Culture, wrapped up his launch of the book by giving a slideshow of glorious photos from the book at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, Georgia.
The audience were engrossed by the presentation-- and the slides, which took them on a quick visual "tour" around all areas of the country. They asked great questions, then many of them hung around to visit with Demeter afterwards.
The Atlanta presentation came after a busy launch sequence which started four days earlier when Demeter shared his slides with an audience at the Institute for Middle East Studies at George Washington University, in Washington DC.
At GWU, Demeter was joined by Dr. Chris Rollston, a professor of Ancient Semitic languages at the university, who complemented Daniel's visual presentation with a quick survey of the role that locations in Syria have played in supporting notable breakthroughs in the development of human civilization throughout the ages. Dr. Rollston also generously complimented Demeter on the scope and visual quality of his book, describing it as "marvelous".
Between these two fairly formal public events, Demeter traveled to Harrisonburg, VA and our hometown of Charlottesville, VA: In both cities he joined with Theresa Kubasak and Gabe Huck, authors of the recently published memoir Never Can I Write of Damascus: When Syria Became Our Home in a broad and lively exploration of many aspects of Syria's welcoming and diverse national culture.
The first of these was at Harrisonburg's Pale Fire Restaurant, where the three authors were introduced by Prof. TJ Fitzgerald, who teaches Middle Eastern history at James Madison University. In the photo here, Prof. Fitzgerald-- at right-- is seen introducing (l. to r.) Demeter, Kubasak, and Huck. Kubasak and Huck gave readings from their book and shared many memories of the seven years they lived in Damascus, 2005-2012. Demeter then gave a shorter version of his slideshow, taking the delighted attendees all around the country from north to south to east to west.
At Charlottesville, on Sunday September 25, the three authors gave a slightly different version of their joint presentation. This time, with no projection capabilities, Demeter gave verbal descriptions of some of the many Syrian heritage sites represented in Lens on Syria, while at some points a handy helper was able to hold us large, mounted prints of some of the sites he mentioned.
That event was hosted by the Charlottesville Friends Meeting (Quakers), under the sponsorship of the meeting's Peace and Social Concerns Committee, the Charlottesville Center for Peace and Justice, and JWB's own non-profit sister-organization, Just World Educational.
Just World Educational had also supported all these wonderful community-education events.
Danaile Demeter lives in central California. Kubasak and Huck live in Harrisonburg, VA. All of them are eager to share their expertise, their resources, and their memories of pre-war Syria at additional community-education events; and they have varying degrees of time available to do so. If you would like to invite one, two, or all three of them to come to speak for a school, congregation, or community organization that you work with, please contact Just World Educational at: "outreach-at-justworldbooks-dot-com.
We're thrilled to tell you about the birth and launch of the new nonprofit organization, the Just World Educational Foundation-- also known as Just World Educational. JWE was incorporated in the state of Virginia last December and has a distinguished Board of Directors, including JWB author Richard Falk, JWB's CEO Helena Cobban, and six other [...]
Refaat Alareer, editor of the Gaza Writes Back anthology of short stories from young writers in Gaza, and co-editor of the 2015 collection Gaza Unsilenced, has sharply criticized the deal that Turkey's government announced today with Israel, describing it as "scandalous" and unacceptably exploitative of the misery of Gaza's 1.8 million people. Alareer teaches English and [...]
In a new podcast released by Just World Books yesterday, former Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Amb. Chas W. Freeman, Jr., noted that the current U.S. military actions in Syria "have no framework in international law." Freeman, whose main (and very successful) career in the U.S. government was in the Foreign Service, downplayed [...]
At two New York City events in early June, two amazing educators and humanitarians, Theresa Kubasak and Gabe Huck, launched Never Can I Write of Damascus: When Syria Became Our Home, their memoir of the seven years they spent in Damascus, 2005-2012. At both events, copies of the book sold out! (Disappointed attendees learned they can [...]
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Two different generations came together at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, last weekend, when ten contributors to The People Make the Peace: Lessons from the Vietnam Antiwar Movement took part in a three-day series of events marking the historic role the College had played during the antiwar movement of the early 1970s.The events had [...]