World Refugee Day 2017: Where We Are Globally and Locally

Nicolas Economou /

In recognition of World Refugee Day, New America is hosting a 2-panel discussion on the global refugee situation. The first panel will provide a deeper look into the world's 21.3 million refugees and the vital role that America has played in providing support to front-line states that house the vast majority of the world's refugees. The panel will also delve into how refugees do not just come to America, but rather resettle in cities and become integral members of their communities. In places like Chicago and Houston, innovations are taking place at the local level to welcome and integrate refugees from around the world and the panel will explore some of these examples.

The second panel will discuss the role the Syrian American community in helping provide humanitarian aid to those affected by the Syria crisis. Since the Syrian uprising, Syrian Americans have come together and established a multitude of humanitarian organizations that have distributed hundreds of millions of dollars in aid for Syria and its neighbors. The Syrian American community offers some of the best sources for new and innovative ideas to help mitigate the baneful effects of the Syria crisis -- a crisis that poses vast and consequential challenges to Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey, as well as to American interests in the region. 

Please join us after discussion for an Iftar, the traditional breaking of the fast at sunset, with Halal food provided by local Moroccan restuarant Mazagan. 

The event will be livestreamed on this webpage. Participate in the conversation by using hashtags  #WorldRefugeeDay2017 and #WithRefugees

6:30 PM: Panel Discussion 

Suzanne Akhras @SuzanneAkhras 

Founder and Executive Director, Syrian Community Network 

Angela Blanchard @CajunAngela
President and CEO, BakerRipley 

Qutaiba Idlbi @qattouby
Senior Consultant, Pechter Polls

Her Excellency Dina Kawar @AmbKawar
Ambassador of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

Jana Mason @Jana_L_Mason
Senior Advisor, UNHCR


Robert L. McKenzie @bobby_mckenzie
Director and Senior Fellow, New America 

7:30 PM: Panel Discussion 

Sohaib Alagha @7alab

Chairman of the Board, Syrian American Council

Lina Sergie Attar @AmalHanano
Co-founder and CEO, Karam Foundation

Muna Jondy
Advisor, Free Syria Fund

Zaher Sahloul @sahloul
Founder of American Relief Coalition for Syria and Past President of the Syrian American Medical Society


Robert L. McKenzie @bobby_mckenzie 
Director and Senior Fellow, New America 

8:37 PM: Iftar