Tag Archives: Afghanistan

Dr. Amy Kapit to Join Faculty in Peace and Conflict Studies

We are delighted to announce that Dr. Amy Kapit will join the Peace and Conflict Studies program, starting Fall 2019.

Professor Kapit will offer a range of exciting new courses:!

  • Humanitarianism: Education and Conflict
  • Afghanistan: Where Central and South Asia Meet
  • Peace Education
  • Senior Capstone Seminar

(Scroll down to the bottom of this post for course descriptions!)

Dr. Amy Kapit
Dr. Amy Kapit

Dr. Kapit graduated from New York University’s Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development with a Ph.D. in International Education in 2016. She holds a B.A. in Religion and Peace and Conflict Studies from Swarthmore College.

Dr. Kapit’s research, scholarship, and teaching focuses on the relationships between education and conflict, and on the field of education in emergencies—the provision of education as a form of humanitarian aid. Most recently, she has worked as the Research Director of the Global Coalition to Protect Education from Attack (GCPEA) and as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in International Education at NYU Steinhardt, where she has taught courses on Politics, Education, and Conflict and Qualitative Research Methods. As GCPEA Research Director, she has developed the organization’s research agenda related to monitoring and reporting violence committed against students, educators, and educational facilities in areas of armed conflict and political violence. She was the lead author of the report Education under Attack 2018.

During her graduate and post-graduate career, Dr. Kapit has conducted research on education in emergencies in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and in Afghanistan. From 2014 to 2016, she was the Research Director of the Assessment of Learning Outcomes and Social Effects of Community-Based Education in Afghanistan. The study, led by professors at New York University and the University of California—Berkeley, examined a community-based education program being implemented by two NGOs in approximately 200 villages in Afghanistan.

In addition, Dr. Kapit has studied the origins of the global movement to protect education from attack and how that new international advocacy network has—or has not—shaped efforts to address violence, harassment, and threats against students, teachers, and educational facilities in places where these attacks occur. Specifically, she has conducted research on the humanitarian community’s efforts to protect students, teachers, and schools in the Middle East.

Dr. Kapit has previously worked on projects with numerous organizations focusing on education, child protection, and children’s rights, including Human Rights Watch, Education Above All, the Inter-Agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE), Save the Children, the Scholars at Risk Network, and UNESCO.

We look forward to having such a remarkable scholar and teacher join our program!

Amy Kapit reception 4-7-18


New courses by Prof. Amy Kapit:

PEA 072 Humanitarianism: Education and Conflict
(Fall 2019, Fall 2020)

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of humanitarianism and, specifically, the provision of education as a humanitarian intervention—what practitioners call “education in emergencies.” The course will delve into the foundations and history of humanitarianism and track how humanitarian intervention evolved over the course of the 20th century, broadening and deepening in scope. It will explore continuing debates over the appropriateness of education as a humanitarian intervention and examine what types of educational interventions are prioritized by humanitarian agencies, as well as the goals that those interventions are trying to achieve. For example, what is the relationship between education and conflict and how do education in emergencies providers intervene to alter that relationship? Students will have the opportunity to study specific examples of education in emergencies programming in countries such as Afghanistan, Colombia, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and Syria, and to hear from guest speakers working in the field of education in emergencies. The course will encourage students to apply what they have learned to policy-oriented exercises.

PEAC 052 Afghanistan: Where Central and South Asia Meet
(Fall 2019, Fall 2020)

This course examines conflict, politics, culture, and daily life in present day Afghanistan. Occupying a historic crossroads in Asia, Afghanistan is a place of regional, ethnic, and cultural diversity. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, internal and external actors, including the British Empire, Pashtun dynasties, the Soviet Union, the Taliban, the United States and its allies, and the Islamic State, have battled for control of Afghanistan. Today, as conflict continues, the international community exerts significant influence on Afghanistan’s politics, security, economy, and social institutions. This course will explore themes related to conflict, peacemaking, statebuilding, and international intervention, and their intersection with cultural and ethnic diversity, religion, gender norms, and the lived experiences of Afghan people. Students will read memoirs, literature, and scholarly work from various disciplines.

PEAC 022 Peace Education
(Spring 2020, Spring 2021)

In this introductory course, students will explore the historical, ethical, and theoretical foundations of peace education, a subfield of peace and conflict studies. Students will consider different approaches towards peace education: should peace education be oriented towards eliminating physical violence? Facilitating co-existence and understanding? Teaching human rights or citizenship? Empowering the dispossessed and eliminating inequality and injustice? Is peace education best integrated in the existing schooling system, an extracurricular activity, or should it be distinct from schooling? Using case studies, students will critically examine different types of peace education and explore existing research on how they do—or do not—work.

 

Introducing the 2018–2019 Lang Social Impact Fellows

Congratulations to our alum Fatima Boozarhomehri ’17 as well as A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16!


From Swarthmore News and Events

Fatima Boozarhomehri '17
A’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16 (left) and Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.

As this year’s pair of Lang Social Impact FellowsA’Dorian Murray-Thomas ’16 and Fatima Boozarjomehri ’17 will “scale up” their efforts for social change with support from the Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility.

Murray-Thomas and Boozarjomehri will build upon their Lang Opportunity Scholarship projects this year and mentor current Lang Scholars and other Swarthmore student innovators.

“It is through the vision and generosity of Eugene M. Lang ’38, H’81 that communities facing significant challenges have come to know Swarthmore College students and alumni like A’Dorian and Fatima as social change-makers,” says Jennifer Magee, senior associate director of the Lang Center, who designed the Lang Social Impact Fellows program with input from Ben Berger, executive director of the Lang Center, and Salem Shuchman ’84, former Lang Scholar and current Board of Managers chair.

“We are grateful for the opportunity to innovate and build upon the success of the Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program with this pilot program in its second year,” Magee adds. “And we are motivated and inspired to work with A’Dorian and Fatima as they sustain and scale their initiatives.”

The fellowship will allow Murray-Thomas to scale up her SHE Wins project, which started as a Lang Scholar project working with 12–15-year-old girls in Newark, N.J., who had lost a parent or sibling to homicide. Since then, SHE Wins has expanded to an Engaged Scholarship project that works at “the intersection of educational studies, restorative justice, and adolescent psychology” to “empower the next generation of young women leaders.”

“I am thrilled about the opportunity to collaborate with various parts of the greater Swarthmore College community to further enhance the SHE Wins model, and to use my experience to give back to current Lang Scholars, like so many other Lang alumni have given to me,” says Thomas-Murray, who graduated from Swarthmore with a special major in political science and educational studies and, in 2016, was named College Woman of the Year by Glamour and a White House Champion of Change.

Boozarjomehri will expand her efforts with the Afghan refugee population of southern Tehran, designing projects to improve education access and quality for Afghan youth and diversifying economic opportunities for Afghan women. This year, she will broaden the scope of The Fanoos Project, a vocational training program for single mothers.

“I am most looking forward to continue building strong partnerships with local [nongovernmental organizations] and expanding the reach of the program to more mothers in new locations and with better facilities,” says Boozarjohmehri, who majored in Islamic studies and peace & conflict studies at Swarthmore, with support from the Project Pericles Fund. “I’m also really excited about developing a sustainable business model to ensure the continuation of the program for many years.”

Three “Reflections From the Field” events

We are thrilled to announce three upcoming events in “Reflections From The Field”, a new speaker series at Swarthmore College, which brings people working on the front lines of conflict and social change to campus to reflect upon *what* they do, *why* they do it and how *they* came to do it.


 

1. “These Birds Walk”, a film screening and conversation with director and cinematographer Omar Mullick.

Monday, March 13th @ 7:30PM
Science Center 101

In Karachi, Pakistan, a runaway boy’s life hangs on one critical question: where is home? The streets, an orphanage, or with the family he fled in the first place? Simultaneously heart- wrenching and life-affirming, THESE BIRDS WALK documents the struggles of these wayward street children and the humanitarians looking out for them in an ethereal and inspirational story of resilience. Listed by The New Yorker as one of the best foreign films of the 21st century, this is a must see!

Omar Mullick is a film director and cinematographer known for his work on the 2013 feature film THESE BIRDS WALK. A 2016 Sundance Institute fellow, his most recent work can be seen on VICE’s HBO series, Black Markets, and the Gloria Steinem hosted show Woman on VICELAND. Current clients as a director and cinematographer include CNN, PBS, HBO, VICE, Discovery and The Gates Foundation. Trained as a photographer, his work has been published in The New York Times, Foreign Policy Magazine, National Geographic and TIME. He has received awards from the Doris Duke Foundation, the Western Knight Center for Journalism, Annenberg and Kodak.


 

2. “Closing the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”, a virtual conversation with Ricken Patel, Founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz.org, the world’s largest online activist community.

Monday, March 27th @ 4:30 PM
Science Center 199

Ricken is the founding President and Executive Director of Avaaz, the world’s largest online activist community with 44 million subscribers in every country of the world.

Ricken Patel

Ricken has been voted the “ultimate game changer in politics” (Huffington Post), listed in the world’s top 100 thinkers (Foreign Policy magazine) and described as “the global leader of online protest” with a “vaunting sense of optimism” (The Guardian). Prior to starting Avaaz.org, Ricken was the founding Executive Director of ResPublica, a global public entrepreneurship group that worked to end genocide in Darfur and build progressive globalism in US politics, among other projects. Ricken has also lived and worked in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Sudan and Afghanistan, consulting for organizations including the International Crisis Group, the United Nations, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Gates Foundation, Harvard University, CARE International and the International Center for Transitional Justice. Born in Canada, Ricken has a B.A. from Oxford University and a Master’s in Public Policy from Harvard.


3. “From the streets of Kabul to the streets of New York: Reflections on covering war and crime”, a  conversation with New York Times reporter,
Joseph Goldstein.

Friday, April 7th @ 4:30 PM
Science Center 105

Joseph Goldstein’s first newspaper job was at the 6,000-circulation Daily Citizen in Searcy, Ark, where he wrote, among other things, a feature story about how meth-fueled treasure hunters in rural Arkansas were creating an underground economy for  arrowheads and other Native American artifacts.

Joseph Goldstein

He soon moved to New York City, where he worked at The New York Sun, until its demise, and later at The New York Post. He joined The New York Times in 2011 and writes mainly about the criminal justice system in New York. He has reported on the N.Y.P.D.’s over-reliance on stop-and-frisk tactics and about a secretive police unit that combs the city’s jails for Muslim prisoners in the hopes of pressuring them into becoming informants. He has covered Ferguson, the emergence of the alt-right, and Afghanistan, where he was based for a year.

Sponsored by the Department of Political Science, Global Affairs Program at the Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility, Media Studies, Career Services, and Peace and Conflict Studies.