Illinois-Based Author Profiles Ongoing Syrian Refugee Crisis

Oct 4, 2017

Millions of people have fled Syria since the start of the nation’s civil war.  An Illinois-based author fears the West has turned its attention to other concerns…so she’s trying to keep the crisis in the spotlight. Protesters took to the nation’s streets in 2011 to demonstrate against what they called the repressive regime of President Bashar Al-Assad. 

Wendy Pearlman says Assad responded to the peaceful protests with violence, which led to the ongoing civil war that’s displaced millions of Syrians within the country’s borders in addition to the many who’ve fled. Illinois Public Radio's Rich Egger spoke with Perlman about her latest book. 

Wendy Perlman teaches Political Science at Northwestern University. She’s been studying Middle East politics since the mid-1990s. Pearlman has interviewed more than 300 refugees during the past five years.  Some of their stories are included in her new book, “We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled.” It tells the story of Syrian refugees in their own words. Pearlman says many Syrian refugees won’t return home if Bashar Al-Assad remains in power, even if their current situation leaves them in limbo. Perlman says American President Donald Trump’s proposed travel restrictions on Syrian refugees are like adding insult to injury.