Syrian Refugee Crisis: Movie Screening, Panel Discussion and Cocktail hour

Save the date:

Join the

World Affairs Council of Orange County


Thursday, April 30th, 2015

Balboa Yacht Club

Corona Del Mar, CA

“Growing Home” Documentary Viewing & Expert Panel Discussion moderated by Taymor Kamrany, WAC Board Member


The film, “Growing Home” takes place amid Syria’s refugee crisis that has displaced nine million people; a Syrian barber struggles to maintain normality in the Zaatari refugee camp. Following the film will be a panel discussion with the film’s director, Faisal Attrache and panelists.



 Faisal Attrach

is a Syrian-American filmmaker born in Syria and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area. He attended UCLA where he received BAs in International Development Studies and Environmental Studies. While at UCLA he fell in love with film and added a Film and TV minor to his studies, set on making it his career.  After graduating, Faisal spent a year living in Syria where he made his first short film and studied Arabic. Faisal attended the University of Southern California’s (USC) prestigious School of Cinematic Arts where he received an MFA in Film and Television Production in 2014.  Faisal is a writer/director who strives to tell unique stories across many genres, with a powerful, socially conscious message.

 Souzab Baaj

Souzan Baaj

 is the CEO of Isra Couture. She is the Chairwoman of the Syrian Institute for Progress (SIP), an organization that focuses on addressing and supporting the needs of Syrian refugees. She provides information and advice on the dynamic changes of the Syrian revolution and the opposition in order to help find the most suitable and lasting solution to the crisis. Souzan has been an activist from the beginning of the Syrian revolution. She established and was the president for the Syrian American Council, Los Angeles chapter, (2011-2012) She had worked hard in sending humanitarian aid to the Syrian Refugees and she was able to send 6 of 40-foot containers filled with baby milk, blankets, sleeping bags, and winter jackets for the Children at the camps. Currently she has been working with the Shriner hospital to bring burnt Syrian children to be treated in the US.


Puneh Ala’i

is the founder of For The Unseen, which is a non-profit organization that is currently helping Syrian Refugees. The overall mission of For The Unseen, is to improve the quality of life of those around the globe who are impacted by illness, poverty and/or societal conflicts by providing sustainable solutions to alleviate human suffering.

Puneh is a product of immigrant parents, who was raised with the belief that “Mankind is One” and service is a key factor in one’s contribution to this life. In 2013, her organization helped open a Syrian refugee school in Lebanon that originally had 350 children, and now it has over 1,000 children. She has traveled into Syria four different times to provide immediate aid to the refugees in the worst conditions. She fund raised money before each trip, and 100% of the donations were used to buy food in bulk, hospital supplies and toys for the children.



Taymor Shah Kamrany 

Mr. Taymor Kamrany is a seasoned business development professional with over 15 years of proven leadership and management accomplishments in both domestic and international sectors.  His areas of specialty include strategy, business development and proposal writing.

Taymor’s outside activities include prior host of US-based satellite TV station that broadcasts worldwide. The “Professionals Network Show” was aimed at the younger generation of Afghans. Previously, Taymor served as advisor to the Minister of Finance of Afghanistan (current President), where he played a leading role in the creation and implementation of a computerized reporting system for that country’s Treasury. He trained and supervised employees of eight provinces on methods of data collection, analysis, budget principles, statistics, and familiarity with the Ministry of Finance basic revenue and expenditure structures.  Taymor is  currently on the Executive Board and a Trustee of the World Affairs Council of Orange County.



Video Courtesy of Speaker Souzan Baaj of the burn victims:
View video

“Growing Homes” documentary:
(password: Syria)



Mideast Jordan Japan Syrian Refugees

Date: Thursday April 30th, 2015

 Location: Balboa Yacht Club 

1801 Bayside Dr., Corona Del Mar, CA 92625

6:00 pm:  Reception
6:30 pm:  Screening of “Growing Home” documentary (22 mins) 
7:00 pm:  Panel Discussion (moderated by Taymor)
7:30 pm:  Cocktail Hour (discussions w/director & panelists) 

$42.00 (including family & friends of Members)


(Valet Parking Included) 

Building Our Global Community

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Genocide – 100 years later

Genocide – where are we today?

Acknowledging 100 years from the Armenian Genocide

Every year on April 24 Armenians around the world commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. April 24 of 1915 is the day when thousands of the Armenian community leaders of Constantinople (now Istanbul) were deported and mostly executed (Wikipedia)

Please join the

World Affairs Council of Orange County 

In commemorating the 

100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

RSVP by March 27th

Every year, Armenians around the world commemorate the victims of the Armenian Genocide. While remembering those who were lost, we also give thanks for the creation of a new Armenia and for thriving Armenian communities around the world.

On April 2nd, we will honor the 100 year anniversary with a cultural  and educational event. Music and entertainment will start our evening, followed by three expert panelists who will provide us with a historical, political and legal perspective of the genocide.

Harut Sassounian

Publisher and editor of The California Couriernewspaper and Founder and President of the United Armenian Fund

Levon Marashlian

Professor of History at Glendale Community College in California, teaching Armenian history and Diaspora current affairs, as well as Middle Eastern, Russian, and US history and politics

Carla Garapedian

International documentary  filmmaker  and former anchor on BBC World News and NBC correspondent

Hannah Garry

Professor of law and founding Director of

USC Gould School of Law’s International Human Rights Clinic

Special Performance

Hasmik Piliposyan

As part of the cultural portion of our program, Hasmik Piliposyan, a local UCI student, will perform several songs dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.

Register By March 27th

  Thursday, April 2nd, 2015


The Pacific Club – Newport Beach

4110 MacArthur Blvd

Newport Beach, CA 92660


 *** Free Valet & Self Parking ***
No-host bar will accept
***** CASH ONLY *****


 Dinner will include wine  compliments of the

Armenian National Committee


VIP Reception 5:30 pm VIP Members Only
General Reception 5:30 pm
Cultural Program 6:30 pm
Dinner 7:00 pm
Panel Discussion 7:30 pm
Non members
Table of 10 –
Purchased by members only with Program Acknowledgement
Student Program Only



One Hundred Years of Solitude: The Armenian Genocide and Ethnic Cleansing, 2015
(Huffington Post)Some articles for reference:

Searching for Historic Armenia after 100 Years (The Armenian Weekly)

100 Years Facts Project (100 Years 100 Facts)

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Securing our Southern Border

Join the

World Affairs Council of Orange County

to hear from our expert panel and learn about the challenges and possible solutions on border security and immigration.

Mexico’s Drug War, Border Security and Undocumented Immigration:

Separating Spectacle from Reality



The  Mexican Drug War, which is in its ninth year, has spanned two Mexican Presidential administrations and resulted in the arrest and death of several high-ranking drug trafficking figures.  Despite some successes, the war has resulted in a horrific death toll, erosion of civil liberties, and basked public safety in large parts of the country. Drug Cartels are now controlling human smuggling operations all along the border. Our Border Security and Immigration experts will share with you the problems facing Mexico which are also effecting the United States and offer real solutions.


Dr. Everard Meade is Director of the Trans-Border Institute, part of the Kroc School of Peace Studies at the University of San Diego. He holds a PhD in Latin American History from the University of Chicago, and he has published a number of articles and books on the relationship between violence memory and the law in modern Mexico.  His current research examines the social impacts of violence in contemporary Mexico and Central America. For the last 15 years, he has worked closely with the National Immigrant Justice Center, and he recently joined the advisory council of the American bar Association’s Immigrant Justice Project.


Sylvia Longmire is a (medically) retired Air Force captain and former Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations. She is currently an independent consultant and freelance writer. With over seventeen years of combined experience in military law enforcement, counter-terrorism analysis, and having written a variety of professional products, Longmire is an expert speaker on the threats posed by the drug violence south of the U.S. border.

 Wednesday March 11th, 2015

 The Center Club – Costa Mesa

650 Town Center Dr.

 Costa Mesa, CA  92626  

 **Valet Parking in included in price**



VIP Reception 6:00 pm VIP Members Only
General Reception 6:00 pm
Dinner  6:45 pm
Panel Discussion 7:30 pm


Members $55
Non members $75
Table of 10 – members only $550
Student $40
Student Program Only $10
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Lunar New Year – Year of the Goat

Please join the


World Affairs Council of Orange County

Please join our Consul Generals and Business Experts to learn about how changing political and economic structures in Asia have given opportunities for American Trade and Investment.

We will be celebrating the Year of the Goat by having a special cultural performance by the Irvine Chinese School  followed by a Panel Discussion on Trade in the Asia Pacific



The Asia-Pacific Trade Agreement (APTA), previously named the Bangkok Agreement, was signed in 1975 as an initiative of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. Being the oldest preferential trade agreement among developing countries in Asia-Pacific, APTA aims to promote economic development through the adoption of mutually beneficial trade liberalization measures that will contribute to intra-regional trade expansion and provides for economic integration through coverage of merchandise goods, services, investment and trade facilitation.

CGHorinouchi1 Consul General of Japan Harry Horinouchi graduated from Tokyo University (Faculty of Law) and entered into the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1980. Prior to his post as Consul General of Japan, he was Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary for the Embassy of Japan in Beijing.
Dube Mr. Clayton Dube has headed the USC U.S.-China Institute since it was established by USC President C.L. Nikias in 2006 to focus on the multidimensional U.S.-China relationship. He is an expert on economic and political change in China since 1900 and its wide-reaching effects.
cg-phillippines Consul General of Philippines Leo Herrera-Lim is a career officer of the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs. Prior to his arrival in Los Angeles on 17 April 2014, he served as Second Secretary and Consul at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. from 1991 to 1998 and had frequent interaction with the World Bank Group, Intelsat, U.S. Department of State and U.S. Treasury. He has extensive experience with foreign governments, international organization and financial institutions. He was intricately involved in the crafting and formulation of Government policies and positions on bilateral, multilateral and special issues.
Drobnick Dr. Richard Dornick will serve as moderator. Richard Drobnick is the director of the IBEAR MBA program at the USC Marshall School of Business. He was the founding director of the School’s Center for International Business (1990-2014), which was supported by the U.S. Department of Education since 1990, as one of its 33 national resource centers on international business. Dr. Drobnick served as USC’s inaugural Vice Provost for International Affairs (1994-2005). He was the inaugural Secretary General (1997-2002) and a member of the Steering Committee (1997-2010) of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), an association of presidents of 45 leading Pacific Rim research universities ( He launched and led APRU’s Pacific Rim research programs on “Sustainability and Climate Change” and “Public Health”(2006-2010).

Dr. Drobnick specializes in Pacific Rim economic and business issues and U.S. and Pacific Rim trade policies. He is a member of the U.S.-Asia Pacific Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Asia Society of Southern California’s Executive Committee, and is a director of the Japan-America Society-Southern California. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Malaysia (1967-1969), Drobnick served as an economic advisor to the Malaysian Department of Agriculture’s Farmers Association Movement.

 Wednesday February 25th, 2015

Crown Plaza Costa Mesa
3131 S. Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA  92626

  Festive Finery Welcome


 Complimentary Self-Parking

**No Valet Parking Provided**


VIP  Reception
(Open for Premium & Corporate Members)
5:15 pm
General Reception 5:15 pm
Cultural Program 6:00 pm
(reserved seating for VIP members)
7:00 pm
Panel Discussion 7:45 pm


WAC Members $65
Non-Members $85
Table of 10
(Reserved Seating)
Student $40
Student Program Only (after Dinner) $10
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February 7, 2015 – Academic WorldQuest

Register Your OC High School Team Today!

World Affairs Council of Orange County

Invites you to participate in our

7th Annual Academic WorldQuest
February 7, 2015


Academic WorldQuest is a team competition, held among Orange County high school students, testing students’ knowledge of global affairs. This year the local winning team from Orange County will have the opportunity to participate in the National Academic WorldQuest in Washington DC in April 2015! Recruit your team of trivia all-stars and join us for an afternoon of fun, food, and friendly competition! 

Who: One team of 4 students per high school

Cost: There is no fee to participate

What: Academic WorldQuest competition to be held on February 7, 2015 in Orange County. Teams respond to a combination of multiple choice, fill-in-the-blank, true/false, and open-ended questions in the following categories:

2014-2015 Topics
Russia / Eurasia
Youth, Jobs, and Social Unrest
Food and Water
Future of Energy
Africa Rising
Human Trafficking
Asia and the New Global Economy
Millennium Development Goals: 2015 and Beyond
Great Decisions
Current Events

When: Saturday, February 7, 2015

Tentative Time: 3:30 pm – 7:00 pm.

Registration: – A teacher registers the team by emailing us at

How: Preparation – A study guide willl be mailed to you when your team is confirmed.

Why it is Important: Academic WorldQuest is a great way for students to learn about and engage in international affairs through fun and challenging activities along with being able to include their experience on their resume or college applications. This year the local winning team from Orange County will have the opportunity to participate in the National Academic WorldQuest in Washington

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