Special Instant Issues Panel on the Refugee Experience in Western Massachusetts

Burmese refugees at work at Prosperity Candle in Easthampton

Burmese refugees at work at Prosperity Candle in Easthampton

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present a panel on The Refugee Experience in Western Massachusetts on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 at the Elms College Alumnae Library Theater, 291 Springfield Street in Chicopee, Massachusetts from 7:00-9:00 PM.

Bhutanese dragon dancers at a Jewish Family Services event

Bhutanese dragon dancers at a Jewish Family Services in Western Massachusetts event

This program is free and open to the public.  The Instant Issues series is sponsored by Bacon & Wilson, PC, Charista Construction, Sir Speedy, and Wilbraham & Monson Academy.

Panelists will include refugees who live and work in Western Massachusetts, employers and other state and local groups who work with refugees here.

Confirmed participants include:

This event is part of the Welcoming Massachusetts/Welcoming America’s series This Place We Call Home: Refugee and Immigrant Neighbors in Greater Springfield.

For more information about the panel, please call the World Affairs Council at 413-733-0110.

 

 

 

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2014 Annual Meeting on October 8 to Feature Okey Ndibe on Nigeria & Boko Haram

Journalist & author Okey Ndibe

Journalist & author Okey Ndibe

Journalist and author Okey Ndibe will speak at our Annual Meeting and Dinner on Wednesday, October 8, 2014.  The title of his talk will be Does Nigeria Have a Fighting Chance Against Boko Haram? The event will take place at the Springfield Sheraton and will begin with a cash bar reception at 6:00 p.m. with dinner and the program at 6:30 p.m.  The cost is $45 per person.  Call 413-733-0110 to register or click here.

This event is generously sponsored by BRP/Grenier Financial Services.

Dr. Ndibe is a novelist, political columnist, and essayist.  After a career as a magazine editor in Nigeria, he moved to the US in 1988 to be the founding editor of African Commentary, an award-winning magazine published by the Nigerian novelist, Chinua Achebe. He has published essays in a number of North American, British and Nigerian magazines and writes a weekly column for The Guardian, Nigeria’s most respected daily newspaper.  He holds both an MFA in writing and a PhD from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.   Ndibe taught at several colleges, including Connecticut College, Bard College at Simon’s Rock, Trinity College (Hartford), and currently Brown University.  He  is a regular columnist for NEXT and Sahara Reporters and also contributes to many other publications, including The Hartford Courant, The Fabian Society Journal, Black Issues Book Review, and BBC Online.

Foreign Gods Inc.

“We clearly have a fresh talent at work here. It is quite a while since I sensed creative promise on this level.” —Wole Soyinka, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature

His first novel  Arrows of Rain, will be reissued in the fall and his second novel, Foreign Gods, Incorporated—described by critics as “razor-sharp” and “a morality tale for our time”—was published by SOHO Press in 2014.  (We are hoping both books will be available for purchase at the event.)

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Adventures in International Dining: Ibiza

ibiza-logo-homeThe World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will be heading off to Spain for our next Adventures in International Dining at Ibiza Tapas Restaurant and Wine Bar, 7 Strong Avenue in Northampton, on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 from 6:00-8:30 p.m.  The cost is $32.00 per person including tax and gratuity.

From 6:00 to 6:45 we will have a social hour with cash bar.  (Be sure to try out the great selection of Spanish wines and there is Spanish beer on tap.)

Hot and cold tapas, entrees and dessert will be served family style and we will hear comments from Ibiza owner Juan Suarez

Space is limited so please reserve your spot quickly!  R.S.V.P. with your payment by May 15th.  You can pay online with a credit card here.

Parking: parking in lot by old Union Station, back lot, free after 6 p.m. Walk past old Union Station, down the stairs and you will be on Strong Avenue, across from Eastside Grille.  Ibiza is just down the street from Eastside Grille.

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Instant Issues to Feature Haroon Ullah

Haroon K. Ullah is a international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

Haroon K. Ullah is an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East.

On Wednesday, May 28, 2014 at noon, the World Affairs Council is pleased to join with Critical Connections to present Haroon K. Ullah, an international scholar, US diplomat, and field researcher specializing in South Asia and the Middle East, at a brown bag Instant Issues event in the third floor Community Room at One Financial Plaza, 1350 Main Street in downtown Springfield, MA.

Critical Connections seeks to promote greater understanding of the Muslim world and the diaspora while strengthening Muslim communities from within.

Critical Connections seeks to promote greater understanding of the Muslim world and the diaspora while strengthening Muslim communities from within.

The cost for members is $5 without a lunch and $15 with a lunch provided.  Nonmembers cost is $10 without a lunch and $20 with a lunch provided.  To reserve a sandwich–tuna, turkey or vegetarian–reply by email or call the World Affairs Council office at 413-733-0110.  You can register on line with a credit card here.

RSVP deadline for this event is Friday, May 23, 2014.

Haroon K. Ullah currently serves on Secretary John Kerry’s Policy Planning Staff at the U.S. State Department, where he focuses on public diplomacy and countering violent extremism.  He grew up in a farming community in Washington State and was trained at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, where he served as a senior Belfer fellow and completed his MPA.  He has a PhD from the University of Michigan and was a William J. Fulbright Fellow, a Harvard University Presidential Scholar, a National Security Education Program Fellow and a Woodrow Wilson Public Service Fellow.  Haroon is author of Vying for Allah’s Vote (Georgetown University Press, 2013) and Bargain from The Bazaar (Public Affairs Books, 2014).

Copies of The Bargain from the Bazaar will be available for purchase at the event, courtesy of The Odyssey Bookshop.

The Instant Issues series is generously sponsored by Wilbraham & Monson Academy, Charista Construction, Prosperity Candle, and A. L. Cignoli Company.  Our media sponsor is BusinessWest.

 

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Second Annual International Wine and Cheese Event

wine_and_cheese10348

 

The World Affairs Council of Western Massachusetts will present Our Second International Wine and Cheese Tasting on Sunday, April 6, 2014 from 3:00-6:00 p.m. Longtime World Affairs Council member Gary Lefort will host this event at his home:130 East Longmeadow Road, Hampden, MA 01036.  (Directions will be provided upon registration)

The program will feature little known wines from Greece, Hungary and Israel plus a dessert wine from Slovenia. We will “blind taste”, one at a time, followed by discussion of all the wines. Dress is casual.

The tasting will include seven wines (one white and one red from each country plus the dessert wine) cheeses, bread, crackers, fruit and dessert.  This is a chance to learn about wines from lesser-known vineyards of “Eastern Europe” while socializing with World Affairs Council members.  First bottle will be opened at 3:15 p.m.

 The cost person is $20.00.

Register via email or phone or online with a credit card on our website here.  Space is limited so please register early!  RSVP deadline is Thursday, April 3rd.

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