Syria, Refugees, and Borders


Mellon Initiative in Comparative Border Studies
Syria, Refugees, and Borders
A Film Screening and Panel Discussion

Friday, February 17, 10.30-1.30
Putah Creek Lodge, UC Davis

Cosponsored with Middle East/South Asia Studies

 Screening of On the Bride’s Sidea documentary film about a group of Syrian and Palestinian refugees fleeing the war in Syria who traveled from Italy to Sweden in 2013 disguised as a wedding party, uncovering a transnational and irreverent Europe that subverts its border restrictions. The film is both a documentary and a political act and offers a new vision of borders and the figure of the refugee. 

Discussion moderated by Cristiana Giordano (Anthropology)

 Bassam Haddad:
“Understanding the Syrian Tragedy”

Alia Malek:
“The Road to Germany: $2400”

Q&A moderated by Maurice Stierl (Mellon Visiting Assistant Professor)  

 Bassam Haddad is Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies Program and Associate Professor at the Schar School for Policy and Government at George Mason University. He is the author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience  and Co-Editor of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order?. He is Founding Editor of the Arab Studies Journal and Co-Founder/Editor of Jadaliyya Ezine. Haddad is Executive Director of the Arab Studies Institute and co-producer/director of the award-winning documentary film, About Baghdad.

Alia Malek is a journalist, civil rights lawyer and author of The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria, and A Country Called Amreeka: US History Re-Told Through Arab American Lives. She is editor of Patriot Acts: Narratives of Post 9/11 Injustices and EUROPA أوروپا  : An Illustrated Introduction to Europe for Migrants and Refugees. Malek’s reportage has appeared in the New York Times, Foreign Policy, the Nation, the Christian Science Monitor, Jadaliyya, and Al Jazeera America. Born to Syrianimmigrant parents, Malek’s reporting from Syria earned her the Marie Colvin Award and she was honored with the 12th annual Hiett Prize in the Humanities.

 Refreshments will be served at the event. Please feel free to bring a brown bag lunch.

If you are interested in programs that support Syrian refugees, please see, for example:

For more information, contact: