Dangerous Discourse: Afghanistan, Belarus, Gaza, Myanmar, & Sri Lanka

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Part of the Civility Project series

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Alumni from international exchanges hosted by the UVA Center for Politics' Global Perspectives on Democracy will gather virtually to discuss their experiences on the impact of civility and incivility between citizens, among political factions, and between government and the people.


Daman Irby - Director of Global Initiatives, UVA Center for Politics


Rami Aman – Gaza

Mr. Aman is a Palestinian journalist and peace activist who in 2010 founded the Gaza Youth Committee, a pro-peace organization that focuses on building person-to-person dialogue and connections between Palestinians and Israelis. Rami’s efforts to build dialogue resulted in his arrest and 6-month imprisonment by Palestinian authorities who convicted him of “weakening revolutionary spirit.” He was released in October 2020.

Joseph Mariampillai – Myanmar & Sri Lanka

Mr. Mariampillai, a UVA alumnus, serves as the Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Center for Inclusive Development Partnerships, an initiative in Myanmar that facilitates inclusive and sustainable dialogue on national and regional governance and economic development. Joseph, originally from Sri Lanka, previously held leadership positions at Relief International which works to build stability in particularly fragile settings around the world.

Polina Polivkina – Belarus

Ms. Polivkina studied at the Belarusian State University and recently earned a degree in Business Administration from the County College of Morris in New Jersey. Polina’s experiences have opened her eyes to the challenges faced by the citizens of her country following decades of single party rule. She will discuss the importance of youth engagement and the need for civil discourse in Belarus.

Wazhma Abdul Rahimzay – Afghanistan

Ms. Rahimzay served as the Human Rights Officer at Afghanistan’s Open Society Foundation and led the women's rights portfolio focused on anti-sexual harassment advocacy. Wazhma has over 15 years of leadership and management experience in both public and non-profit organizations and is currently the Vice-Chair of the York University School of Public Policy and Administration Alumni Network and a core member of the Women Regional Network. She will speak on her experiences is Afghanistan and civility as it relates to immigration.

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