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International Relations

Visit to the 'Execution by Hunger: Holodomor 1932-1933' Exhibition

As part of their out-of-classroom experience, a total of 47 students and 4 lecturers from the International Relations (IR) and Media programmes visited the exhibition of ‘Execution by Hunger: Holodomor 1932-1933’ which was held at the University of Malaya Art Gallery recently. The exhibition, supported by the embassy of Ukraine in Malaysia, was coordinated by the Ukraine 3000 International Charitable Fund, to highlight the gruesome effect of a man-made famine against the Soviet-Ukrainian people under the dictatorship of Joseph Stalin. 
 
The Holodomor or also referred to as the Great Famine has been long ignored by the international society and to bring light and recognition to the event, Ukrainian Government has organised similar exhibitions all around the world such as Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. 
 
Throughout the visit, the IR and Media students were exposed to the reality and adversity of the Holodomor which had caused the death of estimated 6-7 million people. The students had the opportunity to gain knowledge from a historic documentary produced based on the first hand experiences of the survivors of the Holodomor, which detailed how Ukrainian farmers were forced to give up their crops for taxes. As a whole, the exhibition allowed students to understand the plight of victims and at the same time learn about the history of the Holodomor and its effect on Ukraine today.
 
One of the aims of IR as a discipline is to understand the struggles of the past and try to prevent it from occurring in the future. We appreciate this opportunity created for the students by the lecturers and hope that APU’s IR and Media students were able to learn from the mistakes of Stalin’s regime, thus appreciate the value of human rights and social justice in the world to be ‘better leaders of the future’.

Visit to the 'Syria, Yemen, Iraq: The Risk of Forever Being Lost' Photo Exhibition

"Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures." -  John F. Kennedy
 
We are pleased to share that a total of 24 students and 3 lecturers from the International Relations and Media programmes attended the ‘Syria, Yemen, Iraq:  The Risk of Forever Being Lost' photo exhibition recently, which was organised by the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM) in collaboration with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). The visit was an initiative to allow participants to have an out-of-classroom experience with regards to the subject matter of peace, war and conflict.
 
The exhibition illustrates the degree of destruction resulted from the armed conflicts taking place in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. The display was divided into four sections: Religious Edifices, Commercial Structures, Social Dwellings and Historical Monuments. The exhibition is an attempt by IAMM and ICRC to record the before and after destruction and recollect the memories of world shared heritage.
 
Throughout the visit, the IR and Media students were exposed to the enormity of the on-going crisis and to ponder upon what the world have lost. The students learned how cultural heritage sites and historical properties have been destroyed due to the civil war and armed conflict in the Middle East and the Levant. The display also benefited the students as they are now able to understand that armed conflicts within and between states not only results in devastating reports of deaths and increase of asylum seekers but also demolishes cultural heritage and identity.
 
Often time during conflict, we see the enduring power of heritage to heal and build peace. In 2011, during the Arab Spring protests in Egypt, a group of young men from different background formed a human chain outside the main gates on Tahrir Square in an attempt to protect the National Museum from looters. The event showed how heritage could be a powerful tool for peace, and must be protected. Hence, we appreciate this opportunity created for the students by the lecturers and hope that in the future, APU’s IR and Media students will uphold the value of heritage as the symbol of peace and participate in the efforts to save and protect cultural heritage in every corner of the world.

International Relations Students Attended Seminar on The Muslim World

A total of 18 students and 5 lecturers from the International Relations programme attended a seminar titled ‘The Muslim World, Present and Future: Regional Powers, Terrorism and Religious Extremism,' co-organised by University Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) and Asia West East Institute (AsiaWE) earlier this month at UTM Campus, Jalan Semarak in Kuala Lumpur. This field trip was organised by Mr. Kennimrod Saribuja James Pasaribu and Mr.  Muhammad Ammar Hisyam under the School of Marketing and Media to expose students from International Relations programme to some real political issues in the world and its impact on the regional and world’s social, economic and political situations.       

The seminar featured many well-known Islamic scholars such as Professor Dr. Kamaruzaman Yusoff from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Professor Dr. Syed Farid Alatas from National University of Singapore and Associate Professor Dr.  Mohd Roslan Mohd Nor from University of Malaya. The speakers addressed issues related to the current political and security situation in the Middle East especially on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Among the topics discussed were the concepts of Islamic Jerusalem, Zionism, Christian Zionism, the superpowers involvement in the Middle East, the future of two-state solution for Israel and Palestine and the threat of religious extremism in the Middle East and Southeast Asia.  

The seminar was indeed very informative and well-structured to include the historical aspects as well as the practical concept in promoting peace and security in the Middle East.  As a result, the students were able to analyse the current dispute initiated among several fractions in the Middle East from historical, political and security perspectives, examine how the political turmoil affected the Muslim world and understand the importance of resolutions to cultivate peace and harmony in the Muslim world. 

Finally borrowing one of the quotes from Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.  We appreciate this opportunity created for the students by the lecturers and look forward to seeing the students become successful leaders and hopefully be part of the peacekeeping solutions in the Middle East in future.


Diplomats in the Making - International Relations Students Visited "Diplomacy @60: Then and Now"

A group of 20 students and 4 lecturers who were under the International Relations programme paid a visit to the National Museum recently, for a special exhibition by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, “Diplomacy@60: Then and Now”.

The purpose of the exhibition was to showcase Malaysia’s diplomatic relations with the world at large since before the country’s independence on 31 August 1957. Mr. Al-Fadil Adam, Principal Assistant Secretary of Media Relations, gave an in-depth guided tour through the exhibition, by explaining the personal artefacts of some of the prominent architects of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from its inception in 1956 and tracing the luminaries in Malaysia’s foreign policy since the era of the first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj until the current premiership of YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak. Participants not only had the opportunity to ask multiple questions about roles of different sub-divisions and participate in a general knowledge quiz, they also had the opportunity to take photos at the UN General Assembly podium, specially recreated for this purpose. Mr. Al-Fadil concluded the tour with a personal sharing of his own career journey and the many facets of life in the diplomatic corps.

   

The trip was very beneficial to International Relations students, since it gave a holistic perspective of how a nation develops its diplomatic relations with other nations. The exhibition enabled students to understand how theory is applied in the real world. We appreciate this opportunity created for them by the lecturers, and we look forward to seeing them as successful diplomats in in the future!