Life and War in Syria with Jihad Abdo and Fadia Afashe

Jay Abdo and Fadia Afashe protest violence in Syria

LA Jews for Peace with support from The Markaz and Arbiter Ring/Workmen's Circle present a talk on life and war in Syria, with Syrian refugees Jihad "Jay" Abdo and Fadia Afashe, on Sunday, Oct. 7, 2 pm, at the Workmen's Circle. The event is free to the public. A modest contribution is requested but no one turned away for lack of funds. Workmen's Circle is just south of Pico at 1525 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035. Lot and free street parking available.
The war in Syria which began with civil unrest in the southern town of Daraa has continued unabated for the past seven years, with a range of groups seeking to wrest control away from the Assad government in Damascus. In addition to rebel groups and the Assad regime, the plot has thickened with the meddling of Russia, Iran, Hezbollah, the United States, Turkey, the Kurdish army, and Israel.

Abdo and Afashe will have several themes including:

  • The world has abandoned the Syrian people, a fact than cannot be hidden by propaganda campaigns. Propaganda used in wartime leads to the loss of truth and human lives
  • How the United States and/or Israel could have imposed “No-fly zones” over Syria that would have prevented daily bombings and saved Syrian homes, schools and hospitals
  • Why there is no international effort to bring Assad and other war criminals in Syria to justice in front of a war crimes tribunal at the International Court of Justice
  • Why no country in the world cares about justice for the Syrian people
  • How the Syrian people have lost hope and trust in humanity

Abdo and Afashe will take questions after their presentations.

Jihad "Jay" Abdo was delivering pizza in Los Angeles to make ends meet before being picked for a movie role opposite Nicole Kidman. Familiar to Arab households throughout the Middle East for decades due to his television and film roles, he has been acting since 1988, and most recently starred in Queen of the Desert and A Hologram for the KingIn 2011, during a trip to Beirut in a conversation with a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, Abdo spoke out against the Assad government and how they were "responsible for killings within their borders." When he returned to Syria, Abdo received a number of threats and was generally intimidated and criticized for his lack of patriotism. He moved to the United States in October 2011 to escape persecution, joining his wife, the artist Fadia Afashe, in Minnesota, where she was studying as a Humphrey fellow in the Fulbright Program. The couple later moved to Los Angeles so he could start acting again.

Fadia Afashe describes herself not only as a visual artist, but as a writer and activist. Afashe studied art with the renowned Syrian painter Adnan Abed Al- Rahman and graduated from the Ismail Institute of Art in 2000. She’s had several national and international exhibitions. While immersing herself in the world of art, Afashe also pursued a degree in Criminal Law at the University of Damascus and graduated in 2003. Then she got a master’s degree from the Syrian-French Institut National d’Administration. Afashe used her degrees and artistic skills to engage in causes advocating women’s rights. She wrote and produced “Suspended” (2011), a short film about women, exposing how the laws of rape in the Arab world leave women unprotected and disenfranchised. During the Arab Spring in the Middle East, Afashe left Damascus for the United Stated to pursue a fellowship at the Humphrey School for Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, which she completed in May 2012. Fadia’s art became part of her activism to advocate for human rights, and to give a voice to people who can’t speak for themselves. Fadia is now based in Los Angeles and has had many individual painting shows.

Recommended Reading:
  • No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria, by Rania Abouzeid
  • The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria and A Woman in the Crossfire, Diaries of the Syrian Revolution, by Samar Yazbek
  • Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and Warby co-editors Robin Yassin-Kassab & Leila al-Shami
  • My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution, by Diana Darke
  • October 07, 2018 at 2pm – 4pm
  • Workmens Circle, 1525 S Robertson Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90035
  • $5.00 USD
  • Jeff Warner


Will you come?

$10.00 Contribute (suggested general)
$5.00 Contribute (suggested student)

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