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Syria's Ongoing Crisis: The Health and Humanitarian Impacts of the War on Its Refugees

The Syrian crisis continues to grow in its 7th year with no imminent solution at hand. The needs of the refugees and those internally displaced have moved beyond the emergency phase. Today, mental health, trauma, and public health support remain a pivotal challenge for the entire Syrian population both in the neighboring host countries but also inside their war-torn country.

Network 20/20 invites you to a panel that will analyze this epidemic, its relation to counter extremism efforts, and strategic ways to provide security for the Syrian people.

Tara Kangarlou
is an award-winning journalist who has written, reported, and produced for CNN, CNN International, NBC Los Angeles, Al Jazeera America, Huffington Post and Al Monitor. In 2015, she led Al Jazeera America’s unprecedented access to report and produce from Iran during the historic nuclear negotiations. In recent years, she has spent time on the ground in conflict zones and in the Syrian border regions of Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey. Having witnessed the issues that impact the Syrian people, the host countries, and the region at large, led Ms. Kangarlou to move beyond storytelling and reporting on the issues and found Art of Hope Inc. an NYC-based non-profit, non-governmental, non-religious 501(c)3 charitable organization that provides alternative educational and vocational training for Syrian refugees in an effort to address the massive mental-health and psychological challenges among the refugee population. Ms. Kangarlou was born and raised in Tehran, Iran and moved to the States in her late teens. As a journalist and philanthropist, she aspires to objectively and openly report and tell the stories that shape, influence, and impact people's lives around the world. Ms. Kangarlou is a proud graduate of UCLA, B.A. and USC, M.A., she is currently based in New York City. Tara is a member of Network 20/20.

Dr. Zaher Sahloul is a senior advisor and past president of the Syrian American Medical Society, SAMS. He is the founder of American Relief Coalition for Syria, a coalition of 14 humanitarian US based organizations working in Syria. He led SAMS to be one of the most important medical relief and advocacy organization providing medical relief to Syrians and Syrian refugees. Currently, he leads SAMS Global Response to address the refugee crisis in Europe and provide medical relief in disaster areas. Dr. Sahloul also is a leading advocate in the Syrian humanitarian and refugee crisis in medical circles, the media, USG and the UN. He wrote several influential articles on the impact of the Syrian crisis on patients, public health. He was awarded Chicagoan of the year for 2016 for his humanitarian work in Aleppo and received Dr. Robert Kirschner Award for Global Activism by Heartland Alliance Kovler Center 2017. He is an Associate Clinical Professor at the University of Illinois in Chicago. He is a practicing physician in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine.

Paola Emerson is the Operations Chief for the Middle East and North Africa Section of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in NY since 2015. She is responsible for providing strategic and operational support to Syria (including Syria, Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon hubs and the RHC Syria office), Yemen (including Amman and Ryadh hubs), Iraq, oPt and Libya and the Regional Office for the Middle East and North Africa to ensure effective humanitarian response. From mid 2014 to mid 2015, as Deputy Head of OCHA in Juba, South Sudan, Ms Emerson coordinated humanitarian assistance to people in need as result of the civil conflict that erupted in December 2013. As Head of the Resident Coordinator Office in Yemen, Ms Emerson provided strategic advice to the head of the UN in Yemen on development and transition issues. Ms. Emerson received her Master’s Degree in Contemporary Arab Studies from Georgetown University and her Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Near East Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.