We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria

A lecture by Wendy Pearlman (Northwestern University)

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How can we make sense of the tragedy in Syria? Wendy Pearlman has conducted open-ended interviews with more than 400 displaced Syrians across the Middle East and Europe from 2012-2017. She has brought together these personal stories in the acclaimed new book, We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins 2017). Using exclusively Syrians' own words, the book is a mosaic of stories and reflections that seeks to express the human dimension of the Syrian uprising, war, and refugee experience. In this talk, Pearlman will share a selection of voices from the book, along with her own commentary and analysis to explain the origins and evolution of the Syrian conflict, as well as what it has been like for the ordinary people who have lived its unfolding. Her talk will paint a portrait of silence and intimidation under an oppressive authoritarian regime before 2011, express the euphoric experience of participating in protest against that regime, convey the resilience of communities enduring unspeakable violence thereafter, and offer a window in the challenge of becoming and being a refugee. This talk will offer a humanistic interpretation of the current conflict in Syrian and how it has transformed those who have experienced it.

Wendy Pearlman is the Koldyke Outstanding Teaching Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University, where she specializes in Middle East politics. She is the author of four books, We Crossed A Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria (HarperCollins, 2017), Violence, Nonviolence, and the Palestinian National Movement (Cambridge University Press, 2011), Occupied Voices: Stories of Everyday Life from the Second Intifada (Nation Books, 2003), and Triadic Coercion: Israel's Targeting of States that Host Nonstate Actors (co-authored with Boaz Atzili, Columbia University Press, 2018), as well as dozens of articles, essays, or book chapters. Wendy has conducted research in Spain, Germany, Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

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Duration: 37:00

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Published: Monday, April 1, 2019