Sociology PhD candidate on NPR's On Point

October 29, 2019 - Karessa Weir

On the Tuesday Oct. 29 episode of the talk show On Point, broadcasted by NPR station WBUR, Sociology PhD candidate Jihan Mohammed took part in a roundtable discussion of Kurds in the U.S. over the president's decision to withdraw troops from Syrai and protect the oil fields instead of them. 

The guests were:

Jihan Mohammed, raised in Dohuk, Iraq, and taught at the University of Dohuk for three years. Ph.D. candidate in sociology at Michigan State University. Adjunct professor at Motlow State Community College in Tennessee. Lives in Nashville, which has the largest Kurdish population outside of Kurdistan.

Richard Engel, chief foreign correspondent for NBC News. Host of "On Assignment with Richard Engel." (@RichardEngel)

Metin Serbest, immigration lawyer who moved to Chicago from Turkey in 2000.

Sherin Zadash, humanitarian activist. Parents immigrated to San Diego from Syria. Interned at a non-governmental organization called Souriyat Across Borders, which helps Syrian refugees living in Amman, Jordan.

Interview Highlights

On reaction to the president’s decision to withdraw troops from Syria  

Jihan Mohammed: “I personally was not surprised or shocked by the president's decision to withdraw. Given the history of how the United States and Western powers have handled the Kurdish issue in the Middle East, it was expected. Some people were actually waiting for that to happen. So I was not surprised. The element of surprise was in the behavior of Trump.  And, I mean, the lack of empathy, and the amount of misinformation he tweeted, and [kept] tweeting, and speaking on behalf of the Kurds, and claiming that the Kurds are actually happy about the 'deal.' While the truth is, we are not happy about the deal. And, so, that was the element of surprise. And just, you know, describing this conflict using some very offensive and, if you will, racist terms and sentences. It was hard to watch that.”

Hear the entire discussion at: