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Thus far, 2016 has been rife with political tension and a diminished faith in the democratic process. From the United States election upset, the resurgent historical relevance of Japanese internment camps in the United States, the persecution of Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar and Burma to the Syrian refugee crisis, Asia Pacific Forum talks with historian, journalist and author of “The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches," Greg Robinson, former political prisoner and woman from the persecuted Rohingya community, Wai Wai Nu, and airs an excerpt of novelist and writer, Masha Hamilton, sharing stories from the Syrian refugee camps.
Understanding Japanese Internment Camps in the Age of Trump
Asia Pacific Forum talks with Greg Robinson historical process of creating Japanese internment camps in the United States, the impact that this had on the Japanese diaspora in other locales, and contextualizing the lessons learned from history within the current political climate.
Greg Robinson, a native New Yorker, is Professor of History at l'Université du Québec À
Montréal, a French-language institution in Montreal, Canada, and a researcher at that
university’s Center for United States Studies and Chaire de Recherche sur Immigration,
Ethnicité et Citoyenneté. A specialist in North American Ethnic Studies and U.S. Political
History, Robinson teaches courses on African American history, Twentieth-Century U.S.
Foreign Policy, American Immigration History, and visible minorities/racial groups, among
others. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. in American History from New York University,
and a B.A. in History and French Civilization from the University of Pennsylvania.
Greg Robinson is the author of the recent release, THE GREAT UNKNOWN: JAPANESE AMERICAN SKETCHES (University Press of Colorado, 2016).
Stories from Camp: Syrian Refugee Stories
Reports presently coming out of Aleppo, Syria paints the eastern part of the city as one stained with blood, non-stop bombings, women and children dying, and pro-Assad forces making evacuations of thousands (journalists, included), difficult if not impossible. An excerpt from novelist and writer, Masha Hamilton humanizes the Syrian Refugee experience through everyday stories of Syrian camp refugees. The excerpt comes from a public event hosted by YWTF at the Centre for Social Innovation in September 2016.
International Call for Human Rights: Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar
Last year marked the first general election since a civilian government was introduced in 2011 and 50 years post military rule in Myanmar where Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy won a landslide victory. Still, one year after the first general election, religious repression and oppression of ethnic minorities in Myanmar are high, particularly against Rohingya muslims in the Buddhist majority state. Recently, Amnesty International released a report condemning Myanmar security forces unlawful killings, rapes, and burning down entire Rohingya villages as “crimes against humanity.”
Wai Wai Nu is the founder of the Women Peace Network Arakan for the rights of marginalized women, Justice for Women, she is a former political prisoner; and, with her law degree has dedicated herself to working for human and women’s rights.
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