Voices from Syria
November 13, 2017


In partnership with:

University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Unrest in Syria grew out of discontent with the Assad government and escalated to an armed conflict after protests calling for his removal were violently suppressed. The ensuing Syrian Civil War might well be the deadliest conflict the 21st century has witnessed so far.

Now entering its seventh year, nearly 500,000 Syrians have been killed in the fighting. More than a million have been injured. Half of the country’s pre-war population—about 12 million Syrians—have been displaced. Both land and property have been destroyed. Aleppo. Palmyra. Ebla. These ancient sites and many others have faced destruction, with the desolation of the cultural heritage of these cities becoming both a by-product and a tactic of ongoing war throughout the region.

Join the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia for a heartbreaking, but necessary, conversation with Wendy Pearlman, author of We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, an astonishing collection of intimate testimonies from a cross-section of Syrian men and women whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.  She spent four years interviewing over 300 Syrians across the Middle East and Europe while writing this book, staying in their homes, sharing meals, playing with children, and recorded testimonials about the human experience of violence and displacement. The book tells the story of Syria exclusively through these extraordinary first-hand narratives.

The event will be presented in cooperation with the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and include access to the museum’s Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq exhibition, created in conjunction with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, which sheds light on the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake—the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people—and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity.

Featured Book:
We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria

Wendy Pearlman

About the Author:
Wendy Pearlman is a professor and award-winning teacher at Northwestern University, specializing in Middle East politics. Educated at Harvard, Georgetown, and Brown, Pearlman speaks fluent Arabic and has spent more than twenty years studying and living in the Arab World. She is the author of numerous articles and two books, Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003) and Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011). She lives in Chicago, Illinois.

Sponsored in part by:

International House Philadelphia

Not a member of the World Affairs Council?  Call Margaret Keenan at 215-561-4700 ext. 222 to take advantage of Membership for discounted tickets to programs.

Please call Margaret Keenan at 215-561-4700 ext. 222 to register.

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Monday, November 13, 2017 - Evening

University of Pennsylvania Museum
of Archaeology and Anthropology
3260 South Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
(cross street of Spruce and 33rd)

5:30 p.m. Registration opens
6 p.m. Program
7 p.m. Book signing
7 - 8 p.m. Reception* and Cultures in the Crossfire Exhibit Viewing

*please note that the reception will include complimentary food, bottled water, and soft drinks; a cash bar will be available


Members of the World Affairs Council and Penn Museum
• Program and reception: $20
• Program, Book, and Reception: $40

General Public
• Program and reception: $35
• Program, Book, and Reception: $55

Young Friends Members of the World Affairs Council and Students (with full-time valid school ID)
• Program and reception: $10
• Program, Book, and Reception: $30

To register using your company's corporate membership benefits, please call Margaret Keenan, Director of Development & Membership, at 215-561-4700 ext. 222.

For the accommodation of special needs during events (e.g. hearing/vision impairments, dietary restrictions, wheelchair accessibility), please call Hayley Boyle at 215-561-4700 ext. 227 or Kristi Scogna ext. 235.


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