The Fifth Estate
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In 2013, Kassem Eid narrowly escaped death when Bashar al-Assad’s government unleashed a now-infamous sarin gas attack on Ghouta, Syria. It wasn’t just sarin: the area was also bombarded by mortar fire. At least 1500 people died. Eid didn’t, but the devastating assault irreversibly injured his community and upended his life.
Since its beginnings during the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011, the war has claimed tens (some say hundreds) of thousands of lives. It has made refugees of more than ten million people, including Eid – an activist and journalist, himself born to Palestinian refugee parents.
In March, the author of My Country: A Syrian Memoir will speak with Sally Warhaft about his life, the history of the conflict and how he understands the prospect of it ending. They’ll discuss the Syria he grew up in, the Syria he fought for, and the Syria the world abandoned.
Kassem Eid's visit is supported by Goethe Institut Australia.
Metropolis will be our bookseller for this event.
Kassem Eid is a Palestinian–Syrian rebel and human rights activist. In 2014 he went on a speaking tour across the United States and testified before the United Nations Security Council. He has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and was interviewed on 60 Minutes. He is currently a refugee living in Europe.
Sally Warhaft is a Melbourne broadcaster, anthropologist and writer and the host of the Wheeler Centre’s live journalism series, the Fifth Estate, now in its sixth year. She is a former editor of the Monthly magazine and the author of the bestselling book Well May We Say: The Speeches that Made Australia.
Our long-running current affairs series, The Fifth Estate, is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre programme. With our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft at the helm, it's a series of in-depth conversations with guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's rigorous long-form interviewing at its best.
Guests are announced in the weeks prior to events, so keep an eye on our website (or the Wheeler Weekly newsletter) for updates. Subscribe to the popular Fifth Estate podcast – or book a (free) ticket – for expert analysis on today's key debates.