SUNY New Paltz hosting panel on Syria on April 14

SyriaThe Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue at SUNY New Paltz will present “Syria: A Panel Discussion” on Thursday, April 14, at 5 p.m. in Lecture Center Room 104.

The panel will be moderated by students Denera Ragoonanan ’16 (International Relations) and Zach Grossman ’16 (History and International Relations). It will feature three guests with expertise on different aspects of the Syrian conflict:

  • Frederick Deknatel, “The War on Culture Being Waged in Syria by ISIS and Assad.”
    Deknatel is a senior editor at World Politics Review, an online global affairs journal based in New York. He’s also a freelance journalist and writer and has contributed to The Nation, Foreign Policy, The New Republic, and other publications, covering Middle Eastern politics, culture, and books. He was a Fulbright fellow in Syria in 2008 and 2009, where he studied architectural preservation in the Old City of Damascus. He has an MPhil in Modern Middle Eastern Studies from Oxford University and a BA in history and Arabic from Vassar College.
  • Stephen Pampinella, “The Current Political Situation in Syria.”
    Pampinella is Assistant Professor of Political Science and International Relations at New Paltz. He specializes in international security, counterinsurgency, and state building. Pampinella is also a Fellow at the Bard Center for Civic Engagement and recently served as Academic Director of the Bard College U.S. Foreign Policy Summer Institute.
  • Clinton Bennett, “Syria’s Religious Landscape: the Civil War’s Impact on Inter-Religious Relations.”
    Bennett has been an Adjunct Faculty member teaching courses in religious studies at New Paltz since 2008. He holds a PhD in Islamic Studies from Birmingham University and has authored more than a dozen books on both historical and contemporary Islam.

“Syria: a Panel Discussion” is supported by the Office of Academic Affairs, the Lifetime Learning Institute, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of Philosophy and the Department of Political Science and International Relations. The event is free and open to the public.

We are able to offer accommodations to enable hearing impaired individuals to attend and enjoy this event. If you require such accommodations, or for more information about this event, please contact Professor James Schiffer at Note that requests for accommodations must be received at least three business days prior to the event in order to be filled.

About the Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue
The Center for Middle Eastern Dialogue at SUNY New Paltz was founded in 2008. Its purpose is to promote constructive dialogue about the Middle East that will explore ways to establish lasting peace in the region, encourage economic collaboration, and stimulate cultural and educational exchange. The Center provides a forum for students, faculty, community members, scholars, and diplomats of various points of view to exchange ideas in a respectful way that will promote greater understanding of this complex and volatile region of the world.  This forum will demonstrate the possibility and value of meaningful dialogue between people of goodwill, even between those who disagree on fundamental issues.