10:41am

Tue September 10, 2013
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Mid-State Middle-East Veteran Concerned for Friends in the Region

Dr. Allen Hibbard, Director, MTSU Middle-East Center
Credit mtsu.edu/mideastctr/default.htm

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WMOT)  --  A mid-state professor is among those closely following the fast changing headlines about a possible U.S. military strike on Syria.

Dr. Allen Hibbard is Director of the Middle East Center at Middle Tennessee State University. Hibbard lived and worked in both Egypt and Syria for many years and still has many friends in the region.

Hibbard says he hopes that whatever may happen regarding a U.S. military response to the alleged use of chemical weapons in the nation’s ongoing civil war, he hopes the American public won’t forget the larger humanitarian crisis unfolding there.

“Almost a quarter of the population has been displaced, either externally in the form of refugees across all the surrounding borders up to 2 million, and internally. People driven from homes and areas that they no longer feel safe in and it’s really a humanitarian crisis. I do think about particular people and wonder how they’re doing and where they are and how they’re surviving.”

Hibbard says there are no quick fixes for a region with a long history of autocratic rule and few democratic traditions or institutions.