Episode 85: Bearing witness to the killing and torture of children in Syria

Hana SalamaIn this episode I connect with Hana Salama who works for the Oxford Research Group based in London, UK. The organization is a leading independent think-tank that pioneers the idea of sustainable approaches to security as an alternative to violent global confrontation. The group recently published a report named Stolen Futures – the hidden toll of child casualties in Syria. My guest co-authored this report together with Hamid Dardagan, and in our conversation we discuss some of the horrific details that they have compiled and analyzed; the child death toll since 2011, how children are being killed and tortured and how the use of conventional weapons are causing great harm to the civilian population. We also discuss why it´s important to actually document each killing and how such documentation can be an important mechanism for transitional justice.

If you feel inspired or provoked by our conversation feel free to add your comments after the interview. You can also send in a written piece of work and get it published together with this episode. Further details can be found here.

Episode links:

Hana Salama
The Oxford Research Group
Stolen Futures – the hidden toll of child casualties in Syriareport pdf
www.everycasualty.org

syriaA Syrian man cries while holding the body of his son, killed by the Syrian Army, near Dar El Shifa hospital in Aleppo, Syria, Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Picture taken from the report, page 18. ASSOCIATED PRESS/Manu Brabo

James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (32) er utdannet lærer gjennom NTNU og arbeider ved Åsvang Skole i Trondheim. Han har en variert opplæring innenfor dialogbasert prosessledelse, nærværstrening og konflikthåndtering. I fritiden trener og instruerer han aikido. Han er oppvokst i Oslo, men har studert og arbeidet i Trondheim siden 2005. Ta kontakt med James på følgende adresse: james.arnfinsen @ gmail.com
James Alexander Arnfinsen (redaktør)
James Alexander Arnfinsen (32) has a teaching qualification from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), his subjects being geography, religious studies and sports science. He is currently working as a teacher in primary school. In his free time he practices Aikido, a Japanese martial art that in it´s essence is about creating a healing relationship towards oneself and others. James lives in Trondheim, Norway.
  • James Arnfinsen

    In doing research for this episode I immersed myself for several hours in some of the video footage that is being circulated on the internet. A good source for this kind of information is NY Times “Watching Syria´s War”, specifically because they place the videos in context and show transparency in relation to what they can confirm or not. Some of the videos found there, and other places on YouTube, are so disturbing that just watching it made me sick to the core. Nevertheless, this is the current state of our world as we speak, and I believe we should not disconnect from this reality, we aught to see it as it is – bear witness to it. And then of course we have to find constructive ways to channel the sorrow and outrage in a direction that can sustain life and foster change. http://projects.nytimes.com/watching-syrias-war

    In the interview with Hana Salama I also reference the work of Thomas Jordan, a Swedish researcher in adult development and conflict. I interviewed him back in October 2011, but our talk was in Norwegian and Swedish. However, we based our discussion on an article he has written published in Integral Review: Skillful Engagement with Wicked Issues A Framework for Analysing the Meaning-making Structures of Societal Change Agents. The article can be downloaded from here: http://integral-review.org/documents/Jordan,%20Skillful%20Engagement%20Wicked%20Issues,%20Vol.%207,%20No.%202.pdf

  • James Arnfinsen

    Here is a video trying to bring the conflict in Syria into the minds and hearts of people in Britain.
    http://youtu.be/RBQ-IoHfimQ

  • James Arnfinsen

    Just saw this incredible documentary that depicts the horrendous situation in Syria, specifically the siege in Homs. A must see! : https://www.facebook.com/TheReturnToHoms
    Here is the trailer:

  • James Arnfinsen

    Putting the Syrian conflict into perspective; What if 1,5 million people had to flee Manhattan?

  • James Arnfinsen

    An article from The World Post explaining how a programme is trying to help children from Syria.

    Haunted By War, Many Syrian Kids Have No Psychological Support. This Group Wants To Change That. Therapists and volunteers are working to help children who “perceive everything as threats.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/syrian-kids-trauma_5668af43e4b009377b23bdd0?ncid=fcbklnkushpmg00000014