This is a service-learning course that brings students face-to-face with the refugee situation and the realities of the conflict on the ground. In partnership with Project Amal ou Salam, students complete several days of service work over the course of the trip. Students will stay in Amman and travel to refugee areas north of the city to volunteer with schools sponsored by Project Amal ou Salam.
We will address the general history of nonviolent resistance and social movements and the fate of nonviolence in the Syrian struggle. We will also look at the effect of outside actors and geopolitics on the direction of these movements. CRDC staff have over thirty years of research and practical experience with religious extremism, and we will examine the practical ways to cope with the externally- and internally-funded extremist realities that have profoundly altered the challenges of building peace in Syria.
This class will be a practice class in that half our time will be spent deeply engaging with and learning from Syrian activists whose work crosses the divides of civil society, medicine, education, and engineering. Explorations will be made of goal-oriented and principled processes of coalition-building that focuses less on what or who is being opposed and more on the ethical practices of what can be built for the future, as well as an ethical approach to nonviolent social change that is radically inclusive in the process of building peaceful post-conflict societies. The course will entail lectures by Dr. Marc Gopin, touring in Jordan, studies with CRDC’s senior analyst Hind Kabawat, and engagement with Syrians in Amman and in refugee areas.