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Students debate crisis in Syria in summer program

August 14, 2012 2:35:27 PM PDT
The idea was to role-play, as members of the United Nations Security Council, debating the crisis in Syria with delegates in Britain and France or from Russia and China.

It was a part of a three-week program, hosted by the Council for Foreign Relations in partnership with Global Kids.

"Global Kids is a nonprofit organization that is developing global citizens and community leaders," said Executive Director Evie Hantzopoulos.

Students are placed into groups, and their positions for debates are based on their research. "Pretend" Iranians were allowed to speak.

However the violence in Syria is very real to the students.

"Everyone should care about this stuff, and there are people who don't. It is very disturbing," said Deepa Saharia.

When the students return to their schools in the fall, they will be expected to lead discussion groups based on issues of their choice, and then report back to the Global Kids organization.

"I usually expect them to have a solid grasp of their stake in these issues, how the topics that we cover impact them in their daily lives," said Program Director Kevin Murungi.

Global Kids works with students in their schools during the school year, and a new group will be invited to the program next summer.

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