Scholar-in-residence to discuss economic drivers of Syrian civil war

Ahmad Alachkar, an economics professor with extraordinary insight into the conflict in Syria, will explain the economic conditions that motivated the uprising on Monday, March 24, at 4:30 p.m. in the Charles Chu Asian Art Reading Room in Shain Library.

Alachkar is one of first and few people to hold a Ph.D. in economics in Syria, and his status as a scholar is the reason he is no longer in that country. He and other professors were targeted by the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, with reports of kidnappings, interrogations, torture and even assassination becoming commonplace.

He fled Syria in December of 2012 and, thanks to the Institute for International Education’s (IIE) Scholar Rescue Fund, he will spend a year as a scholar-in-residence at Connecticut College. The IIE has provided 43 yearlong fellowships to Syrian scholars since the beginning of the civil war and has assisted a total of 500 imperiled professors, researchers and public intellectuals through the Scholar Rescue Fund.

Alachkar held many academic positions at Syria’s Aleppo University, including head of the department of economics, dean of the faculty of law and dean of the faculty of economics. His research focuses on population and development in developing countries, and he dedicated himself to using education and research to tackle the problem of poverty in Syria.

His talk, “Corruption: An Intentional Economic Strategy of Syria's Assad Regime,” is free and open to the public. It is sponsored by the Department of Economics and the Office of the Dean of the Faculty.

February 27, 2014