The Wooster Forum 2008

Through Their Eyes:

Youth Finding Hope in a World of Adversity

Jared CohenZana BriskiIshmael Beah

Jared Cohen

Children of Jihad: terrorism, democracy, and the  Changing Demographics of the Middle East

Tuesday, Sept 2nd

(7:30 pm, McGaw)

Jared Cohen received his B.A. from Stanford University and his M.Phil in International Relations from Oxford University, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar. While at Oxford, he spent substantial amounts of time in Iran, Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and Palestinian refugee camps where eh looked at youth in the Islamic world and how they viewed themselves and their changing role in the world after 9/11. Cohen’s second book, Children of Jihad was starred by Kirkus Review and selected as one of the “Best books of 2007.” In 2006, Jared Cohen joined the Secretary of States Policy Planning Staff, where he focuses on counter-terrorism, public diplomacy, and some Middle East/north Africa issues. He is speaking at Te College of Wooster in his personal capacity and does not necessarily reflect those of either the U>S> Department of State or the U.S. government.

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Zana Briski

Born into brothels

Wednesday, Sept 10th 

(7:30 pm, McGaw)

In her own words, Briski is a photographer led by passion and intuition. She spent eight years photographing the women of Calcutta’s brothels and teaching their children photography. This extraordinary story is documented in her award -winning film Born into Brothels which won the 2005 Academy Awards for Best Documentary Feature, along with 35 other major awards. Briski is the founder of kids with Cameras, a non-profit organization that strives to transform the lives of marginalized children through learning the art of photography. She has recently self-published her first photography book, and is currently pursuing her passion for photographing insect portraits, particularly praying mantises. To learn more about Zana Briski, please visit and for more information about Kids with Cameras, visit

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Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: Memoir of a Boy Soldier

Thursday, Sept 18th

(7:30 pm, McGaw)

Ishmael Leah was born in Sierra Leone on November 23, 1980. When he was eleven, Ishmael’s life, along with millions of other Sierra Leoneans, was derailed by the outbreak of a brutal civil war. After his two brothers were killed, Ishmael was recruited to fight as a child soldier. he fought for over two years before he was removed from the army by UNICEF and placed in rehabilitation. After completing rehabilitation, Ishmael won a competition to attend a conference at the United Nations to talk about the effects of wars on children in his country. in 1998, Ishmael came to live with an American family in New York city. He complete his high school and undergraduate education, Ishmael continued his advocacy work to bring attention to the plight of child soldiers and children affected by war around the world.

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