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Fall Social Justice Tour — Cyprus and Turkey
(currently FA 2013 only)
The mission of the Italy Center in Turkey & Cyprus program is to introduce students to the main inter-ethnic, religious and political dynamics of the region. During the Cyprus visit students will explore conflict from the Green Line, which divides the island and is maintained by UN Peacekeepers. The tour to South Eastern Turkey will expose students to human rights and cultural projects in a region of Turkey that has been historically influenced by Iraq and Syria.
The theme of this Social Justice Tour is Peace Education, which includes discussions on conflict resolution, the role of NGO’s in peace-keeping efforts, reconciliation, and long term solutions in a region that is currently facing an influx of refugees fleeing the war in Syria. Cyprus and Southern Turkey (which borders Syria) represent two perfect locations for a Social Justice Study Tour on Peace Education. In addition to hearing lectures on peace initiatives, students will have opportunities to experience the ancient Mediterranean cultures with Eastern Orthodox and Muslim heritages.
The Balkan states of Croatia and Bosnia-Herzegovina are relatively unknown to most Americans. The Croatian Dalmatian coast is famous throughout Europe for its scenic beaches and the translucent waters which rival the Caribbean. The Bosnian mountains can compete in majestic beauty with the Colorado Rockies. The Bosnian capital of Sarajevo explodes with music, jazz clubs, theatres, bookstores, concerts, art galleries and a large college age student population, many of whom speak excellent English and enjoy meeting Americans. Interesting architecture, thousands of years of history, wonderful people, and a lively arts scene combined with natural beauty make this a trip of a lifetime.
The Social Justice portion of the tour will expose students to war, peace and the capacity for reconciliation. While in the Balkans we will explore Croatia and Bosnia. It is important to note that the Balkan states have been at peace more than a decade, and the region is safe for international travel. The Spring Hill College Italy Center director has traveled, lived, studied and produced two documentary films in the region during the past 15 years.
By way of lectures by academics, activists and church leaders, combined with site visits to communities in conflict, students will learn about peace building in Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia and Hungary. Upon arrival in Croatia, the group will spend the night on an organic farm that produces wine. Lectures will introduce students to the past, present and future of the Balkans. The journey then moves into war-torn parts of Croatia, a Catholic nation that in order to enter the family of the European Union needs to reintegrate Serbian Orthodox and Muslim citizens who fled in recent wars. Moving across southeastern Europe, students will meet with U.S. diplomats working to rebuild Bosnia after one of the 20th century’s most devastating wars. The group will meet with the women survivors from the Srebrenica community, which lost 7,400 men and boys in a six-day ethnic cleansing while United Nations soldiers turned their backs.