A Letter from Idomeni: America’s Higher Ed Must Respond to the Reality of Syria’s Permanent Refugees

By Keith David Watenpaugh, UC Davis

"Dear Colleagues:

I am back in Thessaloniki after a day at the unplanned refugee camp at Idomeni, Greece. The camp hugs the concertina wire fence that had been hastily assembled when Macedonia, just on the other side, and like much of the rest of Europe, decided to close its borders to waves of refugees from the war in Syria and those fleeing violence and oppression in Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq. 

I was there to talk with young Syrians who were trapped in the camp. One conversation with a young woman named Zeina (not her real name) affected me deeply. Of Kurdish origin from the town of Afrin she had been studying physical sciences at Tishreen University in the relatively safe seaside town of Latakia, where Russian forces have a major base."

Read the full piece at the Huffington Post.