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Sense of humanity and hospitality in a world of wars and hunger

by Richard Meckien - published Oct 16, 2015 01:35 PM - - last modified Oct 16, 2015 04:25 PM
Rights: Original version in Portuguese by Sylvia Miguel

Diversity is a feature of the contemporary world, from which some trends that transform countries in modern towers of Babel derive. Increasing global migration, aging, migration by sectarian wars and hunger are some traces of modernity.

The consequences of the Middle East conflicts put the impact of the astonishing figures of war and hunger refugees in evidence in the international agenda, with no similar situation in history.

The theme leads to the discussion of the principle of hospitality, defined by philosopher Jacques Derrida as the ability to receive the other as different, but essentially the same. It also raises a comparative analysis of the European and Brazilian reaction to the issue. The Challenge of Hospitality: Migrants and Refugees is the title of the debate to be held by the IEA on October 22, at 2.30 pm, in the Institute's Events Room.

This will be the second meeting of the Laboratory of Global Megatrends and Challenges to Democracy. The conference will have the coordination of Portuguese political scientist Álvaro de Vasconcelos, an assistant professor at the USP's Institute of International Relations (IRI), and the participation of Geraldo Adriano Godoy de Campos, a professor at the ESPM's course of international relations, and Sylvia Dantas, coordinator of the IEA's Intercultural Dialogues research group. The laboratory was started in June this year with the debate The Challenge of Identity-Based Nationalism.

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"We have watched the drama of those who hoped to find refuge and hospitality and ended up finding walls, barbed wire, violence and mistrust in many countries that have 'fear of the other', especially Muslims and those who come from the Middle East," says Vasconcelos.

The war in Syria has forced four million people to leave the country and eight million to move internally. In addition to them there are war refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia. Thus, the number of refugees in the world in 2014 reached 59.5 million according to estimates by the UN Refugee Agency.

The event will be broadcast live over the web.