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Norwalk Community College Talk Focuses On Refugee Crisis

Norwalk Community College will host a talk Oct. 27 on the refugee crisis in Europe.
Norwalk Community College will host a talk Oct. 27 on the refugee crisis in Europe. Photo Credit:

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk Community College will host experts Tuesday from the United Nations and the University of Bridgeport to discuss the current European migration and refugee crisis. 

The free event will be at 11:30 a.m. in the college's East Campus GenRe Forum at 188 Richards Ave.  

Senai Terrefe, of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and Robert Riggs, of the University of Bridgeport, will speak about the key issues concerning the European migration and refugee crisis and will take questions from the audience. 

More than half a million migrants and refugees have arrived in Europe this year, and many challenges await both refugees and the host countries. Some of these include learning a new language, matching employment possibilities with the skills and education levels of new arrivals and their integration into new and unfamiliar cultures. Economic and security questions are also major concerns. 

Terrefe is the executive assistant to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees' director in New York, where he deals with issues related to forced displacement, including overseeing regional portfolios on the Great Lakes Region in Africa and Central Africa. He also monitors situations concerning the protection of civilians in armed conflict. 

Riggs is an assistant professor of religion and politics at the University of Bridgeport, where he teaches courses on the politics, history and religions of Middle Eastern origin. His forthcoming book, "Shiascapes: The Changing Face of Contemporary Arab Shi‘ism" by Lexington Books, focuses on the histories of Shi'ite communities in Iran, Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. He also serves as a regular commentator on the Middle East for a variety of news outlets, such as CTV News and Al-Jazeera. 

The program is being organized in observance of United Nations Day, the 70th anniversary of the U.N.’s founding Oct. 24, 1945.  

For more information, contact Bill Hass, president of the United Nations Association of Southwestern Connecticut, at 203-454-7685.

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