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March 13, 2018

On Friday, March 16, International Students Overcoming War (ISOW) and the Departments of Global Studies and Religion and Culture will host a one-day symposium about responding to the human realities of conflict.

The event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. in the Paul Martin Centre on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Staff, faculty, students and members of the community are invited to take part in the event, which consists of two active-learning workshops about the current conflicts in Israel-Palestine and Syria.

“Students who participate in the symposium will gain a nuanced perspective on conflict and be able to put a face to what’s learned in the classroom,” says Faith Laverty, ISOW president and event organizer. “Students will also have a better understanding of how the ISOW student levy supports 11 Laurier students from countries experiencing conflict.”

A complimentary lunch featuring Syrian cuisine will be served in the Senate and Board Chamber between the workshops. The lunch break will also include a competition to develop innovative proposals to expand ISOW’s graduate student scholarships.

“Participants will be asked to develop a pitch to a private company or foundation to contribute to the graduate scholarship fund,” says ISOW faculty advisor and Associate Professor Gavin Brockett. “There is great demand for graduate scholarships, but a severe lack of financial support.”


Beginning at 9 a.m., this workshop will engage participants with the difficult realities that Syrian families face when deciding to leave their home country, which is not an easy decision. Participants will also have the opportunity to hear the first-hand experiences of Syrian refugees now living in Canada.


Beginning at 1:30 p.m., this workshop will explore how refugee camps shape the identity of Palestinians in Lebanon and Syria, and how the camps can contribute to a culture of resistance. The workshop will also examine the evolution of refugee camps, from temporary shelters to mini cities, which can exist for decades.

The symposium will conclude at 3:30 p.m. with dabke, a traditional Middle Eastern dance.

Students attending the symposium for credit granted by their instructors will be issued “participant passports” to record reflections and reactions to what they have learned.

There is no charge to register, but advanced registration is encouraged, as seating is limited. Students may register online for one or both workshops.

For more information, email


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