August 3, 2016, 12:00 pm - June 4, 2020, 8:29 pm


The Middle East Institute
1761 N St. NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20036 (Map)

July marked one year since the beginning of the siege of the town of Madaya in southern Syria. The town's 40,000 residents have been surrounded by landmines, checkpoints, and snipers, and forced to survive on meager supplies. Halted aid deliveries, denial of humanitarian evacuations, and unmet healthcare needs have already led to dozens of preventable deaths.
The Middle East Institute, Syrian American Medical Society, and Physicians for Human Rights hosted Dr. Ammar Ghanem (SAMS) and Elise Baker (PHR) for the release of a new report, Madaya: Portrait of a Syrian Town Under Siege. The report examines the public heath effects of the siege and puts forth recommendations about best practices in humanitarian assistance to besieged areas.
Featured Speakers were:
Former Board Member, Syrian American Medical Society
Dr. Ghanem earned a medical degree from Damascus University Medical School in Damascus, Syria, in 1994. He trained in internal medicine at Damascus University and Ministry of Health Hospitals, where he was named graduate of the year. In 2003, he completed an internal medicine residency at Robert Packer Hospital which is an affiliate of State University of New York Upstate Medical University at Syracuse. He completed fellowships in sleep and pulmonology at Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine in Huntington, West Virginia, in 2005, and in 2010, he completed a fellowship in critical care at the University of Pittsburg Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 
Elise Baker
Research Coordinator, Physicians for Human Rights
Elise Baker previously served as a consultant and intern for PHR on the Syria Mapping Project, where she conducted research, collected and aggregated data, and developed PHR’s online interactive map documenting attacks on health care in Syria. She has studied the effects of post-conflict restoration in Burundi, Rwanda, and Uganda and conducted independent research in Rwanda. She has also worked as a political science teaching assistant and an intern for various non-profit organizations.Baker holds a BA in political science and mathematics from Williams College, where she graduated with honors.