Public events

We are also passionate about raising ongoing awareness about the crisis in Syria and the Middle East, as well as understanding the global reaction to these issues. And as such, we organize public facing events do discuss with leading scholars, researchers and the community some of the most pressing issues!


Our latest event was a talk by Wendy Pearlman on November 17th, 2018 to discuss her new book: We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled: Voices from Syria. The volume opens a window for Syrian voices to be heard and gives them a space where they could tell their stories themselves, rather than being overshadowed by media and government narratives. The book is a collection of stories of Syrian people from different backgrounds and religions that carry the reader through the massive transformation of their lives by the uprising and the escalation of fatal violence that followed.

Wendy Pearlman is the Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University. She has studied Arabic and the Middle East for more than twenty years  and is the author of four books. In this talk, Wendy will discuss her book, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, a collection of testimonials based on some of the interviews that she has done with more than 400 displaced Syrians across the Middle East and Europe since 2012. Like the book, her talk will chronicle the Syrian uprising and war through the stories of ordinary people who have lived its unfolding.



Event @ 150 Charles Street W., Toronto, ON, M5S 1K9

1:00-1:30 Coffee and Introductions

1:30-2:15 Lecture with Wendy Pearlman

2:15-3:15 Discussion with Wendy Pearlman

3:15-4:00 Lunch

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing. Please find all the information about this event on the dedicated facebook event page.


Some of our past events include a critical discussions and panel on “Crisis and Destruction” in collaboration with the NMCSU and NMCGSA, students of the University of Toronto and the Department of Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations organized on Nov. 13th, 2015 focusing on the humanitarian and refugee crisis, as well as the ongoing cultural destruction in Syria and the Middle East.


The talk featured lectures by Dr. Şenay Özden of the Hamisch Syrian Cultural House in Istanbul, Dr. Clemens Reichel, and Dr. Jens Hanssen of the University of Toronto, this event promoted awareness and discussion, while raising funds for two University of Toronto initiatives (University of Toronto ‘Scholars at Risk’ and ‘Lifeline Syria’) aimed at helping Syrian Refugees and Scholars.

Pamphlet: Syria Critical Discussion Pamphlet 2015

Syria Critical Discussion Poster.jpg


NMC-CESI also continues to raise funds in order to help Syrian refugees and students who are at risk.