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Panel Discussion: Impact of War on Women and Children in the Middle East

Senses Cultural will hold a dynamic panel discussion to provide non-biased information and suggestions to improve the catastrophic situation people in the Middle East specifically women and children are facing. Due to the conflict of war in the Middle East, there has been high casualties among military and civilian personnel and devastation of land. This has been highly publicized. What has been forgotten is that women and children are greatly suffering from the adverse affects of this war. This panel discussion will educate attendees about human rights violations and abuses that women and children are forced to live in during war times and will provide suggestions of how to improve the situation. The panel will also discuss the on- going war in Syria and the possibility of breaking new wars in the region.
“War in the Middle East has created violent conditions for all people. The impact on women and children, however, has been largely ignored. This is an ongoing issue that needs immediate attention,” says Tata Monfared, Founder and CEO of Senses Cultural.“

The panel discussion will be led by Karen Koning Abuzayd, a United Nations expert for 30 years and the current Commissioner on the UN Human Rights Council mandated commission of Inquiry in Syria. Ms. Abuzayd’s will be able to give attendees first hand knowledge of the situation, as her experience in Syria and Palestine directly captures the violence and struggle in the region.

Published on June 16, 2014, the Human Rights Council Update of the Independent International Commission of Inquiry on the Syrian Arab Republic reported that in three years of conflict millions of Syrians have suffered the loss of relatives to attacks, to brutality in detention facilities, to disappearances and to starvation. Hundreds of thousands have lost their lives. The failure to protect civilians, both from the conduct of the Syrian Government forces and non-State armed groups unaligned with the Government (NSAGs), has led to unspeakable suffering. An estimated 9.3 million Syrians are in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, with 4.25 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and 2.8 million refugees in neighboring countries. The vast majority are women and children.

The report also states that the conflict of violence has reached a tipping point, threatening the entire region. Violence has escalated to an unprecedented level due to the unrelenting illusion of a military victory. Action must be taken now to stop further destruction.

Our second panelist is Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani, an environmental toxicologist and researcher who is investigating the effects of pollutants on public health caused by war and invasions.

“Pregnant mothers, growing fetuses and children are highly susceptible to exposure to pollution,“ says Dr. Mozhgan Savabieasfahani. “It is now widely accepted that environmental pollutants can disrupt biological processes that occur in the womb and damage sensory, motor and cognitive functions in the offspring.”
She is also conducting research into recent biopsies that have linked the dust found in sick soldier’s lungs to titanium and other metals found in the dust in Iraq. She will be speaking about these findings and the long-term effects of war on public health.