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Syrian Survivors to Speak at USF

Noor Shakfeh

Three Syrians will be at USF on Saturday to detail their survival stories of the massacres carried out by the Assad regime.

The survivors will be featured as a panel and each recount their personal experience in Syria, followed by a question-and-answer session that will include both survivors and local activists responding to inquiries from the audience.

Noor Shakfeh, a USF student and Syrian-American, stressed the importance of having non-Syrians come out to the event.

"Every Syrian knows what's going on in Syria so we don't want  to tell the same story to the same people over and over again," said Shakfeh. "We want people to hear our story, what we know is going on because the way the media is portraying it is incorrect frankly. And so we have to-- we have to amend that."

She also said the survivors won't be making any political statements, but rather will speak of the human suffering they have witnessed.

"It’s not just going to be a recollection of sad stories," Shakfeh said. "There is also hope and determination and a willingness to thrive and to grow and to collaborate with other people, to make the world a better place and to give a better future to Syria."

The event is being sponsored by the Coalition for a Democratic Syria and USF Students in Solidarity with Syrians. It will take place from 3-6 p.m. in the Marshall Student Center Oval Theater. Entrance is free.

Shakfeh said she has high hopes for the audience turnout, expecting the theater to be filled to its 700 capacity.

"Ultimately, people at the end of this event will feel inspired and they will feel hopeful and they will feel more open-minded to what's going on in Syria," Shakfeh said.

Twitter users can follow the panel with the hashtags #SyrianSuvivors and #AskASyrian.

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