Edith Szanto | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

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Edith Szanto

Depicting Victims, Heroines, and Pawns in the Syrian Uprising

Lecture by Dr. Edith Szanto Dr. Szanto, assistant professor at AUIS, will be giving a talk on gendered images of the recent Syrian uprising in the media.  During the onslaught of the Islamic Caliphate on Kobani, media outlets across the globe broadcast pictures of brave and often unveiled Kurdish women fighting ISIS, a quintessentially male force of destruction.  The images of women fighting Islamist male aggressors aroused outrage, admiration, and pity among observers everywhere.  But had all Kurdish fighters been male or had ISIS included female fighters, viewers might have reacted differently.  In order to examine some of the most widely disseminated gendered pictures and videos of the Syrian Uprising in the media, this article draws on Mohja Kahf’s three categories which typify how Muslim and/or Arab women are perceived by the Anglophone reading public.  The first is victims, the second escapees, and the third are pawns of patriarchy and male power.  While this typology helps in examining gendered images of the Syria Uprising, it also obscures, as this article shows, socio-economic realities on the ground.    

A panel discussion on "Displacement and Suffering: From Anfal to ISIS"

The dialogue was organized and moderated by Edith Szanto, assistant professor of religion and history, and included three speakers: Fazil Moradi, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology and lecturer at the University of Halle in Germany; Hawar Moradi, a medical doctor, specializing in psychiatry and currently working as a volunteer at refugee camps throughout Kurdistan; and Choman Hardi, AUIS faculty member, poet, and researcher in gender and violence studies.
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