Visit to Gawilan Syrian Refugee Camp
Grand opening of the Cultural Center at the Gawilan Syrian Refugee Camp sponsored by the Barzani Charity Foundation, which will pay local teachers to provide team sports training, dance lessons, music lessons and theatrical events. The hope is that cultural centers from various camps can compete in a festival to bring the refugees together and portray them to the public as creative, motivated people rather than objects of pity. A football tournament is being planned as well as an orchestral performance. The camp was constructed August 25, 2013, and opened August 29. It currently has a population of around 8,000 refugees.
A wonderful mine and unexploded ordnance risk-education show for kindergarteners in Sulaimaniyeh, Iraqi Kurdistan, under the direction of Mohammad Al Naqib’s MRE team and hosted by friend Soran Hakim. The presentation was spot on and hospitality second to none.
The giant bunny pointed at a picture of a landmine with a skull-and-crossbones beside it and asked, “Does anyone know what this is?” One child shouted out, “It’s a pot, and Mommy puts those bones in it to make soup!”
CISR’s director, Dr. Ken Rutherford, and trauma rehabilitation specialist, Cameron Macauley, arrived this evening (February 28) in Iraq with a late-night walk about Erbil to shake off jet lag.
They are preparing for a scoping mission centered on unexploded ordnance and landmine-risk education for Syrian refugees in Northern Iraq based on a CISR arts-based program that includes survivors and people with disabilities
The Center for Unconventional Security Affairs (CUSA) at the University of California, Irvine has selected Dr. Ken Rutherford as the recipient of the 2013–2014 Human Security Award for his efforts to bring attention and assistance to individuals impacted by landmine and unexploded-ordnance contamination in post-conflict societies.
The Human Security Award is presented each year to an individual who distinguished themself as a proponent for the enablement and protection of the world’s most vulnerable communities. In addition to accepting the award and an honorarium of $750, Rutherford will deliver a keynote speech at CUSA’s 2013–2014 Human Security Award Ceremony, which is scheduled to take place in May 2014.
CISR Director Dr. Ken Rutherford and students from St. Francis Catholic Central School, Morgantown, W.Va., at the Mine Ban Treaty event in Washington, D.C. on February 19.
The students are part of the West Virginia Campaign to Ban Landmines and Cluster Bombs, under the direction of their teacher and long-time friend, Nora Sheets.
Where in the world is your JACard?
JMU alumni Katie Stolp (‘13) and Geary Cox (‘06, ‘08M) at the United Nations in New York. The pair represented the U.S. Department of State's Office of Weapons Removal and Abatement (PM/WRA) at multilateral talks on securing weapons in northern Africa. Stolp is serving as the Frasure-Kruzel-Drew Memorial Fellow for Humanitarian Demining at PM/WRA; Cox is Program Manager for conventional weapons-destruction programs in Near East Asia.