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October 24, 2018

​Reconstruction Starts Here:

Building a Better Future for Syrian Refugee Youth

A Conversation with Lina Sergie Attar, Founder and CEO of Karam Foundation

Photography Exhibit “The Children of Karam House: Healing and Ambition Among Syrian Refugee Youth in Turkey”

How do we imagine a vibrant future for Syrians after the mass devastation and trauma they have endured? How can we rebuild agency and confidence for marginalized refugee communities? What if there was a space created for the most vulnerable...

February 8, 2017


Experts gathered at the Washington, DC campus for a discussion on the consequences of President Trump’s executive order, “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States.” The order suspends the US refugee admission program, severely restricts entry from seven majority-Muslim countries, and bars all Syrian refugees from entering the country indefinitely.

Michel Gabaudan said that the order risks conflating victims with perpetrators by associating refugees with terroris...

July 27, 2016

Photo: Tarawa, Kiribati; original by Government of Kiribati, retrieved through Wikimedia, licensed through CC by 3.0.

Climate change is a complex problem that is likely to pose significant challenges to human populations in the next decades. With rising seas anticipated in the near future, people will be forcibly displaced, posing existential challenges to some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. Though the international community has thus far found it difficult to find meaningful soluti...

June 24, 2016

As a result of Lebanon's open border policy, Syrian refugees now make up nearly a quarter of the country's population, placing an enormous strain on its limited resources. The government has responded with visa restrictions, placing new pressures on a vulnerable refugee population amid a prolonged political impasse, heightening Lebanese frustrations over a breakdown in services.

Against this backdrop, United Nations (UN) agencies in Lebanon are working to address refugee needs as well as the econ...

April 14, 2016

The SAIS Foreign Policy Institute hosted a conversation with Michele Wucker about her latest book "The Gray Rhino: A New Framework for Foreign Policy Risks," moderated by Jeff Leonard.

A "gray rhino" is a highly probable, high impact yet neglected threat: kin to both the giant but ignored elephant in the room and the improbable, unforeseeable black swan. Gray rhinos are not random surprises, but occur after a series of warnings and visib...

A Syrian refugee in Lesbos, Greece. CreditYannis Behrakis/Reuters

This article was originally published on January 12, 2016 in the Opinion Pages of the New York Times. It can be found here.

In the aftermath of terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif., American support for accepting more Syrian refugees has withered. The Republican presidential hopeful Donald J. Trump has called for blocking all Muslims from entering the United States, saying we are at war with radical Islam. Other pol...

October 9, 2015

Dean Vali Nasr and The Human Security Initiative of the Foreign Policy Institute invite you to a discussion on The EU Migration Crisis with Michel Gabaudan, President of Refugees International; Ambassador Reka Szemerkenyi (S'95), Ambassador of Hungary; Ambassador Peter Wittig, Ambasador of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Moderated by Maureen White, Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy Institute

Michel Gabaudan became president of Refugees International in September of 2010, leading RI forward in its mis...

In the tiny Lebanese village of Bar Elias, about two dozen Syrian women with solemn, worry-lined faces, some with infants in their laps, sat on floor mats in a dimly lit tent set up by the UNHCR. They had gathered for the “Women’s Group” meeting – an opportunity to share concerns and get advice on how to care for their families and cope with the overwhelming challenges of life as refugees.

But on this day, the conversation was not about the usual family issues. Every last woman who spoke expresse...

Executive summary of a speech given in a seminar at the House of Commons, London

20 November 2014.

*Emirhan Yorulmazlar

Whether the advent of ISIS is inevitable or reactionary is a question preoccupying policy elites in major political capitals. Despite an inherent determinism, this question does rightly reflect the need to sort out the root causes of the current chaos in the Middle East. 

It also alludes to the inappropriate choices that have been made by the international community and have contri...

July 2, 2014

As I write this from Beirut, Lebanon, the city is on high alert as the Lebanese army has set up check points across the country following a suicide bombing in Dahr al-Baidar on June 20th—an apparent attempt on the life of General Security Director Abbas Ibrahim. Lebanon’s Internal Security Forces (ISF) arrested 102 people in arguably the busiest neighborhood in Beirut, Hamra, linked to a potentially large-scale attack on a UNESCO summit. These events are not immediately related to the instabilit...

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The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS)
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