Saturday, November 2, from 7:30 pm to 9:00 pm

Houston, TX – The Kurdish American Foundation of Houston and the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston present “Report on Rojava,” a forum on the region in Northern Syria that was attacked by the Turkish military following the decision by United States President Donald Trump to abruptly pull troops from the region.

Forum Speakers:

Dr. Hejar Oncel, a Northern Kurdistan who was born and raised about two miles from Kobani, the legendary city of Rojava resistance. He grew up in a politically-active family, observing the evolution of the three main pillars of the Kurdish freedom movement: A socially and economically democratic nation, absolute gender equality and ecological society. Dr. Oncel holds a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Houston and an MBA from the University of California, Berkeley. Currently, he works as a management consultant at McKinsey.

Ms. Paula Pineda is a Doctor of Political Science, specializing in Middle Eastern Affairs. She has first-hand experience in the region and has written on “The Kurdish Issue on the US Foreign Policy Agenda: Shifting Priorities, Competing Considerations.” In Alex Danilovich (ed.), The Kurdish Card in the Middle East. Currently, she is a Project Manager at the City of Houston in the Office of Business Opportunity.

Joshua Washburn, an American volunteer who fought, shoulder to shoulder, with Kurdish fighters in Rojava. This fight and life-changing experience against Islamofascims of DEASH (aka ISIS) made him reconsider many things he believed in life. He is passionate about Kurds and Rojava.

Forum Moderator:

The Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen, Interim Senior Minister at First UU Church of Houston. Dr. Bossen is a widely, sought-after public speaker, long-standing community organizer, outspoken advocate for human rights, and scholar of race, religion, and politics in the United States. He says, “Rojava’s system of democratic confederalism is one of the most inspiring political movements in the world today. The multi-ethnic and multi-religious society that the people of Rojava have built proves that a world beyond conflict and hatred is possible. I am honored to partner with the Kurdish American Foundation of Houston for this important event.” He has a PhD in American Studies and an AM from Harvard University and an MDiv. from Meadville Lombard Theological School (affiliated with the University of Chicago).

First UU Church of Houston