April 15, 2009

Film ‘Forgotten Refugees’ to be shown April 20

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- There is an addition to the schedule of events for April’s Asian American Heritage Month at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The film “Forgotten Refugees” will be shown 7-9 p.m. Monday, April 20, in the Kaskaskia/Missouri Rooms on the second floor of the Student Center. The Hillel Foundation for Jewish Campus Life, a registered student organization, is hosting the film and discussion that follows. There is no admission charge.

The documentary studies the mass exodus of Jews from various Middle Eastern and North African nations during the 20th century. The film studies the history and destruction of these communities, some dating back more than 2,500 years. Survivors of this exodus -- from Egypt, Yemen, Libya, Iraq and Iran -- tell their very personal stories. Their tales of suffering and of joy represent the experiences of hundreds of thousands. The Arabic world’s Jewish population was about one million strong in 1945, but today several thousand remain.

Viewers will learn of the contributions of Middle Eastern Jews in politics, business, music, culture and more before fleeing. They’ll see archival footage of rescue missions, exodus and resettlement, and contemporary scholarly analysis. A discussion follows the film.

Asian American Heritage Month sponsors are Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity, Graduate and Professional Student Council, Interfaith Center, International Student Council, Japanese Student Association, Student Center Craft Shop, Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services, Malaysian Student Association, SIUC Skydiving Club, Sigma Lambda Beta Fraternity Inc., Thai Student Association, Undergraduate Student Government and United Asian American Council.

To see what’s happening the rest of the month during Asian American Heritage Month, look online at http://news.siu.edu/news/March09/033009cjm9081.html. Or, for more information about any of the activities, contact Vannack Chin at vchin@siu.edu or Student Development-Multicultural Programs and Services at 618/453-5714 or on the Web at www.stddev.siu.edu.