The University of Arizona will recognize lessons from the Iraq War at a symposium held on campus today.
The Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts, in collaboration with the School of Middle Eastern and North African Studies, the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the School of Government and Public Policy will host an event today titled "10 Years Later: Lessons from Iraq."
The event includes two sessions: the first session, "American Policy and Lessons Learned," will take place from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and the second session, "Iraqi Narratives of Insecurity and Transformation," will take place from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., according to Leila Hudson, associate professor and associate director of MENAS and the director of SISMEC.
"This is an event to commemorate the beginning of the Iraq War, which will be 10 years ago this March," Hudson said. "The point is basically to get Tucsonans that have participated in this decade of war in some way to reflect, not only on the conflict itself, but on the 10 years of recovery and rebuilding. It is an important opportunity for academics, but also for those people who really lived the war to make a statement that they want the American public to hear."
Each session will have five panelists, including both Americans and Iraqis that experienced the war in various ways, said Lyndall Herman, research assistant at SISMEC.
"There is a diversity of opinions around everything that happened," Herman said. "There continues to be an impact that people are still seeing, there is still violence 10 years later, and the community as a whole needs to recognize the repercussions of what it means."
The sessions will be followed by a keynote address from Joseph Sassoon of Georgetown University titled "Iraq: The Legacy of Violence."
"We would like [the audience] to get out of [this event] a thoughtful statement of many different voices talking and reflecting in a raw and personal kind of way on the last decade of conflict," Hudson said. "Whatever they have to say will be extremely important for those of us to hear who didn't participate directly in the war."
All of the activities today are free and open to the public and will be followed by a reception.
"I think it is important for us to recognize the 10-year mark for the war in Iraq because it is the defining example of conflict and interventionism in our world today," said Brittany Vogl, an education sophomore.