On February 28, 2023, the International Human Rights Clinic hosted a panel discussion on the impact of and emergency response to the recent earthquakes in northwest Syria. For more than a decade, armed conflict has devastated the civilian populations in the region. The February earthquakes have exacerbated the situation, retraumatizing and displacing some of Syria’s most vulnerable communities. Despite the acute need for humanitarian assistance, international aid failed to reach northwest Syria in the earthquakes’ immediate aftermath. 

In conversation with IHRC’s Bonnie Docherty, the panel, which included an eyewitness, first responder, and advocates, illuminated the situation on the ground and explained what is needed to move forward. The Clinic is grateful to the panelists for sharing their stories, insights, and expertise to help raise awareness of the devastating situation affecting this community. A full recording of the conversation can be viewed below and Harvard Crimson coverage of the event can be found here.


Mohammed Assi, survivor from northwest Syria
Ammar Al-Selmo, volunteer coordinator from the Syria Civil Defence (White Helmets)
Abdulkarim Ekzayez, general secretary of Syrian British Medical Society
Alexandra Tarzikhan, refugee rights activist and founder of the Meet a Refugee platform

The event is co-organized by Harvard Law School’s Armed Conflict and Civilian Protection Initiative, Middle Eastern & North African Law Students Association, and Program on Law and Society in the Muslim World.