Bob Bowker in Conversation With ICRC Syria Spokesperson Pawel Krzysiek

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Presented by the International Committee of the Red Cross, and supported by the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and the Humanities Research Centre, ANU.

Syria is the largest and most complex humanitarian crisis in the world, after six years of conflicts that are played out in urban areas and leading to situations of protracted hardship. The needs of the population inside Syria are overwhelming, but gaining access remains a challenge for humanitarian workers. Most significantly, the direct and indirect wounds of war will affect Syrians for years to come.  

To discuss the role played by the International Committee of the Red Cross in addressing the human costs of the conflict, and the humanitarian future for Syria, join us for a conversation between Prof Bob Bowker, Centre for Arab & Islamic Studies, and Pawel Krzysiek, International Committee of the Red Cross.  

Pawel Krzysiek is communications coordinator and spokesperson for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Syria. An Arabic-speaker, Pawel is responsible for ICRC's media, social media and public outreach strategy in Syria to raise awareness of the humanitarian situation and to assist people in need to access services. He also coordinates ICRC Syria's law programme to spread awareness of and support to International Humanitarian Law in the country.

Pawel has previously undertaken missions for the ICRC in South Sudan (2014-2015) and Iraq (2012-2014) as well as for UN agencies in Syria and Burundi. He completed a MA in 2008 at the University of Szczecin in Poland.

Bob Bowker was posted to Syria from 1979 to 1981, and was the non-resident Australian ambassador to Syria while serving as Australian ambassador to Egypt (2005-2008). He was also Australian ambassador to Jordan in 1989-1992. He was Director of External Relations and Public Information, and later Senior Adviser, Policy Research of the United Nations Relief and Works Program for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) in 1997-1998, based in Gaza and Jerusalem.

Currently a Visiting Fellow, Bob was Adjunct Professor at the Australian National University from 2008 to 2016. His areas of research interest include social and political change in the Arab world; the impact of political mythologies on Middle East politics; Egypt, Syria and Persian Gulf security issues; Palestinian refugees, and contemporary Islam in the Middle East.