In 2006 James Maskalyk, a young, single ER physician, gave up a successful practice at one of Toronto´s finest hospitals to join Médecins Sans Frontieres. Armed with a wide set of medical skills and unburdened by a family of his own, he volunteered to serve in the world’s most dangerous places. After months of waiting, he received his assignment: a small village called Abyei, sandwiched in between two military compounds on the border of northern and southern Sudan. This event was recorded at the Sydney Writers’ Festival.
Growing up in Sudan, Emmanuel Jal was one of 10,000 child soldiers that fought through two separate civil wars for nearly a decade. His life changed when he was adopted by a British aid worker and eventually recorded and released his own album. His memoir is called War Child and his story has also been made into a documentary with the same title.
Doctors used genome sequencing to put a name to the mysterious cluster of symptoms that afflicted Christian Terry, 5. He’s one of many patients now getting the test, which can cost as little as $1,000, to resolve undiagnosed illnesses. Doctors are also using it to sequence cancer and target treatment at the precise genetic mutations in a tumor.
North Africa, a region that has been recently thrust back into the spotlight, is facing profound political, economic, social, and security challenges. The recent toppling of the presidents of Tunisia and Egypt, the ongoing violence in Libya, and the spreading protests throughout the Middle East, pose a direct threat to regime stability, calling into question the legitimacy of some while strengthening the legitimacy of others. Struggling with rising poverty, health care deficiencies, and unemployment, North Africa is in great need of human resource development and a stronger private sector. Finally, the rise of political Islam and more importantly the proliferation of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) feature among the primary concerns of the region and bear serious implications for Africa, the greater Middle East, and beyond. This conference will bring together recognized academic and analytical expertise in order to examine these challenges and their implications for U.S. foreign policy. November 30, 2011