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. She hosts the Fifth Estate, the Wheeler Centre’s live series focusing on journalism, politics, media, and international relations, now in its ninth 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.
Sally is a regular host and commentator on ABC radio and has a PhD in anthropology. She did her fieldwork in Mumbai, India, living by the seashore with the local fishing community.
For in-depth insider analysis of current affairs, it doesn't get any better than The Fifth Estate.
This long-running series is a mainstay of the Wheeler Centre’s programme, and of public conversation in Melbourne. Twice a month, our in-house news anchor Sally Warhaft hosts guests from the world of politics, culture, journalism and international relations to dissect pressing questions of policy, power and public affairs. It's free, it's fortnightly and it's a chance to give complex local and global issues the thoughtful discussion they deserve.
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.