Public Forum ‘Kurds in Syria: From Denial Towards Self-ruled Governance Model’

10 03 2015

Kurdish-Progress-LogoThe UK based Centre for Kurdish Progress cordially invites to a public forum with keynote speaker Salih Muslim, Leader of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The other speakers are Mr Michael Stephen of Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Dr David Graeber of London School of Economics (LSE) and Dr Johanna RihaDr Tunc Aybak of Middlesex University will chair this debate. John Woodcock MP for Barrow and Furness will kindly host this debate in the Houses of Parliament.

Please see speaker biographies below.

This event is organised in partnership with the Centre for Turkey Studies (CEFTUS).

The debate will take place between 7-9PM, on Wednesday, 25th March in Committee Room 9, the House of Commons. Please note security checks are required to enter the House of Commons, at the Cromwell Green Entrance. We kindly ask you to arrive at 6:30PM to allow the event to start and end on time. Booking is required for this event to ensure adequate seating availability.

Speaker Biographies

Mr Saleh Muslim is the co-president of the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and the Deputy General Coordinator of the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in Syria (NCB). Mr Muslim’s political activities on behalf of the collective rights of Syria’s Kurdish community commenced while he was studying in Istanbul in the mid-1970s, when he was influenced by the ongoing Kurdish revolution in Iraq. The failure of that revolution deepened his commitment, and he carried on his own political activity for the Kurdish national cause. He went to Saudi Arabia in 1978 to work as a petroleum engineer with Petromin. He continued his political activities alongside his profession. He returned to Syria in 1995 to carry on his political work, and he, along with his family, was subject to proscription by the Baathist regime. He was one of the founders of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party in 2003. In 2007, his wife was arrested and detained for one year, and Mr Muslim fled political persecution in Syria to join the PYD academy near the Syrian border, in Gare in Kurdistan Region of Iraq. In April 2011, during the pro-democracy uprising, Mr Muslim returned to Syria. He played a principal part in forming the National Coordination Body for Democratic Change in June 2011 and became its Deputy General Coordinator. He became a member of the PYD’s executive council and in 2010 was elected as party head, and in June 2012 he was re-elected as co-president of the PYD along with co-president Ms. Asya Abdullah. Born in 1951 near the town of Ayn al-Arab (Kobani) in the Aleppo governorate, Mr Muslim graduated with a chemical engineering degree from Istanbul Technical University in 1977.

Mr Michael Stephens is the Research Fellow for Middle East studies and Head of RUSI Qatar. He joined RUSI’s London office in September 2010, first in the Nuclear Security Programme before moving to International Security Studies. Michael has travelled and worked in the Middle East for ten years, and has conducted research and worked in 12 countries in the region. His recent research has focused on Iraqi Kurdistan, and the Kurdish regions of Syria, their social composition and responses to the threat from the Islamic State. Michael has also focused on Arab Shia identity across the Middle East and its relationship with Iran, co-authoring a Whitehall report focusing on regional responses to Iran’s nuclear programme (2014). He is also a specialist in Qatari foreign policy and Gulf security, writing about issues of society and security from his base in Doha. As a frequent commentator on Middle East affairs, his writing has appeared in many news outlets and he is also a regular broadcast commentator. Michael studied at King’s College London and undertook three years of post-graduate research in the Middle East. He is proficient in both Arabic and Hebrew.

Dr Johanna Riha is an epidemiologist and recently finished her PhD at the University of Cambridge. After completing a BSc in Biological Sciences at the University of Birmingham and an MSc in Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine she worked as Lead of Information Management for the National Chlamydia Screening Programme at the Health Protection Agency, now Public Health England, in London. Johanna is Austrian and Tanzanian, grew up in Sierra Leone, Kenya and Ivory Coast, and now lives in the UK. Johanna was part of an academic delegation that visited Rojava, Syria in December 2014.

Dr David Graeber is a professor of anthropology at the London School of Economics. He is the author of numerous books, including Lost People, Debt: the First 500 Years, and Utopia of Rules, and has been involved with a variety of activist projects from the Global Justice Movement to Occupy Wall Street.

Dr Tunc Aybak is currently the director of International Politics Programme at School of Law, Middlesex University. He graduated from School of Political Science, Ankara University in International Relations and Diplomacy. He completed his PhD at the University of Hull in International law and Politics. He teaches on BA International Politics and MA International Relations programmes specializing in critical studies in geopolitics and diplomacy, foreign policy analysis, international political economy and politics of Europe. His main research areas and field work include Turkish and Russian foreign policy, citizenship and identity issues in Europe, the enlargement of the EU, energy geopolitics and pipelines with particular reference to human security issues in the Black Sea and the Middle East area.

When:

March 25, 2015 at 7pm – 9pm

Where:

Committee Room 9, House of Commons
House of Commons
St Margarets Street
Westminster,
London SW1A 0AA
United Kingdom
Google map and directions

For details click here. 

Advertisements

Actions

Information