Vail event explores personal accounts, causes of internally displaced persons
If you go…
What: Academic and personal exposure to the IDP humanitarian crisis.
Who: Chen Reis and Dr. Enas Alsharea.
When: Monday, 6:30 p.m. reception, 7 p.m. presentation.
Where: Gerald R. Ford Amphitheatre Social Courtyard.
How much: $25 in advance, $35 at the door, $10 students and teachers.
Visit www.VailSymposium.org or call 970-476-0954 to reserve tickets.
VAIL — There is a backside to the immigration crisis is Europe. While boats of immigrants are found marooned at sea or crowds of immigrants are spotted illegally crossing borders, there are many more who have been forced from their homes but are unable to seek refuge on safer shores. Remaining in their own volatile countries, these people are called internally displaced persons, or IDPs.
IDPs are one of the world’s fastest growing humanitarian crises. At the end of 2014, the United Nations Refugee Agency estimated that there were 38 million people forcibly displaced within their own country by violence, up from 33 million in 2013.
Often deprived of basic human needs such as shelter, food and health services, IDPs are subject to heightened vulnerability, showing high rates of mortality, physical attack, sexual assault and abduction. Overwhelmingly, the majority of IDPs are women and children, reported the UN.
Monday at 6:30 p.m. in the Social Courtyard of the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater, the Vail Symposium welcomes Chen Reis and Dr. Enas Alsharea to share academic understanding and personal experience with IDPs.
Reis will lean on her academic background and experience in the World Health Organization to discuss the causes of this humanitarian crisis. Reis is the clinical associate professor and director of the Humanitarian Assistance Program at the Josef Korbel School of International Studies at the University of Denver.
Her experience with policy issues range from development of humanitarian architecture, military coordination and humanitarian space, gender differences, sexual violence prevention and response, and sexual and reproductive health in humanitarian settings.
Alsharea was born and raised in Baghdad during the Iran-Iraq War. She will share her personal experience as an IDP, as well as stories from her recent visits to assist in IDP camps near ISIS controlled territory.
Alsharea graduated from the University of Almustansirya with a degree in dentistry and the University of Baghdad with a master’s in orthodontics. She now lives in the United States but was forced around Iraq as an educated IDP due to deteriorating safety in Baghdad and harassment from sectarian militias caused by her brother’s job as an interpreter for the Coalition Forces during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Following the Islamic State’s invasion of Iraq in the spring of 2014, Alsharea began working with IDPs in camps around Iraq, a mere 50 miles from ISIS-held territory.
“Both of these women have extraordinary academic and personal experience with this subject,” said Tracey Flower, the Symposium’s executive director. “This is a great opportunity to learn about IDPs and be exposed to a humanitarian crisis that has sadly seen so much recent growth.”