Feb 19, 2013: Update on situation in the Greater Kurdistan
At the February 19, 2013 meeting of the PVUNA, Ardi Rashidi led a group from the Kurdish American Information Society (KAES) Education Committee who presented to the UNA-USA members a program on the latest developments in the Middle East, particularly events affecting Kurdistan.
Ardi, a member of our UNA-USA Directors, was president of the Pomona Valley Chapter UNA, Southern California Division UNA and heavily involved in the recent merger of UNA-USA with the Better World Foundation led the group presenting a program on the latest developments in the Middle East, particularly events affecting Kurdistan.
Speakers from the Kurdish American Information Society (KAES) Education Committee. From left: Mr. Luqman Barwari, Mr. Hiwa Nezhadian, Mr. Sardar Zuhdi, Mr. Ardi Rashidi, Mel Boynton (UNA-USA Division President), and Dr. Amir Sharifi.
Eastern Kurdistan: Mr. Hiwa Nezhadian addressed the Human Rights situation in the region and the recent alliance of the Kurdish Democratic forces to promote and advocate the rights of Kurds in Eastern Kurdistan.
Southern Kurdistan: Mr. Sardar Zuhdi addressed the social and economic progress made in the region and will urge the United Nations to peacefully resolve the status of the disputed territories without resort to arm conflict.
Northern Kurdistan: Mr. Luqman Barwari addressed on the advance of meetings and talks between the Kurdish leadership with their Turkish counterparts to resolve the Kurdish issue peacefully in Turkey.
Western Kurdistan: Dr. Amir Sharifi presented the plight of the Kurds in Syria and that country’s bleak hope for survival without ending the deep, chronic and gross violation of rights of all its citizens and recognition of the full autonomy for the Kurdish population in Western Kurdistan.
A few years ago, Katie Gerecke (currently Pomona Valley Vice President) began recruiting student interns from Pomona College. These days, we have two or three interns working with the chapter and it’s a win/win for us and the interns involved.
This year we have three student interns helping us at our monthly meetings, recruiting younger members, holding campus events, promoting the UN and our mission through social media, participating in advocacy, working with our databases, and presenting programs of their own.
Our veteran student interns are Julius Torres Kellinghusen and Leyth Swidan, shown here with chapter president Mel Boynton. Both have worked with the chapter since 2013 and are campus leaders at Pomona College. In the summer of 2014, Julius is an intern with UNAIDS in Vietnam and Leyth is interning with the US State Department in Washington, DC. Leyth will be studying abroad in Jordan in the fall of 2014, so he will be missed as Julius continues to work with our chapter.
Joining Julius for the rest of 2014 are Pomona College student Sana Kahn and Claremont High School senior Sharon Musa. Sana (pronounced “sun nah”) helped start an arts education non profit “Dear Imagination” in Mumbai, India – where she is working in the summer of 2014.
Sharon won our UNA-USA essay contest this year and plans to organize students at the high school through the Key Club. She is wise beyond her years and a champion orator and debater.
Be sure to say hello to Julius, Sana, and Sharon as you see them in action. Our chapter is healthier and their careers look brighter because we’re working together for a better world. (click here for pdf)
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