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Karen Culcasi Uncovers the Human Impact of Syria’s Civil War

The untold stories of Syrian women refugees from that country’s civil war and the human toll Karen Culcasiare the subject of a lecture at Central Washington University on May 8, at 7 p.m. in Science room 147.

Karen Culcasi, an associate professor of geography at West Virginia University, will share her lecture, Struggles & Resilience: The Everyday Lives of Syrian Women Refugees in Jordan. The presentation is free and open to the public.

Culcasi has interviewed Syrian refugees for several years in the vast Zaatari camp in Jordan, making her research not only unique, but relevant. As last month’s suspected chemical weapons attack by the Syrian government and the subsequent US-led bombing in Syria showed, the conflict that began there in 2011, continues upending the lives of millions of people.

Culcasi’s research primarily focuses on Syrian women, and her talk will highlight their challenges, resilience, and the human aspect of war.

“Syrians make up the largest group of refugees in the world today,” said John Bowen, CWU geography professor. “What I’m looking forward to is learning more about how the Syrian conflict affects ordinary people, and how they are dealing with it.”

Culcasi is a part of a select group in the Visiting Geographical Scientist program, which is sponsored by the American Association of Geographers. This group are chosen to travel around the country, speaking at four-year universities and community colleges. While Culcasi is in Central Washington, she will provide a community lecture and visit classes at CWU, as well as present at Yakima Valley College in Yakima.

This event is sponsored by the CWU Department of Geography, women’s, gender and sexuality studies program, Douglas Honors College, Gamma Theta Upsilon, and the Social Justice and Human Rights Dialogues.

Persons of disability may make arrangements for reasonable accommodation by calling (509)-963-1188 or by emailing

Media contact: Dawn Alford, CWU Department of Public Affairs, 509-963-1484,

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