Immigration and culture beat: Syrian activist will speak next week in Minneapolis

  • Article by: MARK BRUNSWICK , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 28, 2014 - 8:42 PM

Syrian activist and citizen journalist Qusai Zakarya will be speaking in Minneapolis Sunday and Monday.

Zakarya survived the August 2013 chemical attack in Syria, over a year of life under siege in Moadamiya, and numerous death threats. The Huffington Post has described him as “one of the most powerful voices within the ranks of Syrian media activists, who provided the world with a glimpse into the most devastating acts of the Syrian civil war.”

On Dec. 28, Zakarya ended a 33-day hunger strike, a nonviolent action to demand that an armed siege of Moadamiya be lifted, and that humanitarian agencies be allowed to bring food and medicine to the dozens of besieged towns in Syria.

He is scheduled to provide testimony about the starvation sieges in May to the United Nations.

Last December, Minnesota members of Friends for a Nonviolent World and U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, in partnership with the Syrian Nonviolence Movement, were part of an international hunger strike to support Zakarya’s 33-day hunger strike.

The campaign contributed to the United Nations Security Council passing a nonbinding resolution in February to demand that humanitarian agencies have unhampered access to deliver food to besieged Syrian towns. Despite the resolution, there is no enforcement attached and thousands of Syrians are still not receiving aid, activists say.

Zakarya will be telling his story on Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Crescent Moon Bakery, 2339 Central Av. NE., Minneapolis. An Afghan dinner will be available at 5:30 p.m. for $10.

He will also speak Monday at 7 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational Church, 1900 Nicollet Av., Minneapolis. Ellison will introduce Zakarya. The event is sponsored by Friends for a Nonviolent World, the Global Affairs Committee of Plymouth Congregational Church, the International Solidarity Hunger Strike; and the Minnesota Committee in Solidarity with the People of Syria. Both events are free.

 

Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434

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