CRS representative speaks about Middle East

By James Crowell
November 9, 2011

Students received an inside look at the Israeli/Palestinian conflict Tuesday, Nov. 1. Vivian Manneh, not only an emergency preapredness and response manager for Catholic Relief Services in the Middle East and Europe but a Palestinian herself, shared professional and personal experiences.

“To have peace in the middle east is to resolve the Palestinian issue,” Manneh said.

Speaking about the importance of the multifaceted situation in the middle east, Manneh stressed that the United States has not played a big enough role on the world’s stage to enact substantial change in the ongoing conflict between Palestine and Israel.

“There was a lot of hope when President Obama was elected,” Manneh said.  “He raised expectations and the hope of the Muslim and Arab world.  When Obama spoke in 2009 at Cairo University, he spoke about more interfaith dialogues and peace initiatives.”

Manneh said Palestine recognized Israel’s statehood in 1993, but Israel still has not recognized the presence of Palestine or the Palestinians as people.  She used herself as an example.

“I am from Jerusalem and I am a Palestinian, but on my citizenship identification form it says ‘undefined,’” Manneh said.  “So I have no definition of who I am.  As a human being I am not recognized.”

Manneh also discussed the state of the Iraqi refugees.  Manneh said most refugees do not want to return to Iraq due to lack of basic services, corrupt government officials and an overall sense that the country is not safe after the war.

“Gasoline is sold in plastic containers and sewage is everywhere due to the septic system being destroyed in the 2003 bombing,” Manneh said.

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James Crowell

Senior com major at Cabrini College. Technical Director for LOQation. On-Air personality on WYBF-FM. Past News editor for The Loquitur, 2011-12. Passion for videography, tech news & quantum mechanics. Follow me @JamesCrowellJr

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