Last October 2017, Scholars at Risk (SAR) partnered with NYU Skirball Center to share the stories of Naila Al-Atrash, Radwan Ziadeh, and Sana Mustafa, three generations of Syrians who spoke out against the Assad regime and were ultimately forced to flee their country.
Award-winning author and host of her own show Laura Flanders eloquently moderated the evening’s discussion during which Naila and Radwan, both SAR scholars, and Sana, a student at the time the book was written, share the humanity behind one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. Their distinctive accounts include personal elements and experiences that uniquely frame their opposition and resistance to life under the Assad regime. Radwan and Naila provide historical context, detailing how they ultimately decided the moment had come for them to leave, while Sana’s story offers a contemporary lens of a young person growing up during increasing unrest in Syria. Naila, Radwan, and Sana’s accounts add perspective to a deeply challenging conflict and the varied forms of resistance undertaken by each of them. From “flying demonstrations” described by Sana, in which she utilized online platforms to coordinate and organize flash demonstrations, to Naila’s use of “creative resistance” through theater, to Radwan’s work as an author and analyst, their stories powerfully illuminate the spirit of the Syrian people.
We are excited to be able to share with you the full podcast from the evening and hope that this event, in addition to the book, provides depth and encourages you to further explore the human side of this crisis by engaging with those who lived it.
SAR would like to thank the scholars, Naila, Radwan and Sana, our wonderful host, Laura Flanders, writers Adam and Abby, and the entire NYU Skirball Talks team for helping us shape this important event while continuing to bring attention to the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
Lead support was provided by the Vivian G. Prins Scholars at Risk Speaker Series, through which campus communities and the public learn about threats to academic freedom and attacks on scholars worldwide.