An Assad Aide at Columbia

“As any ambitious young graduate student in America, all I was trying to do in this very brief time was to build up my knowledge and to explore ways to successful academic options,”

These are the words of Shehrezad “Sherry” Jaafari, to rationalize her direct work advising Assad on how to ‘spin’ and cover up massacres by the regime.

The media adviser to Bashar al-Assad has been accepted into Columbia University’s School of International Public Affairs (SIPA) and the prestigious University is sticking by their decision, for now, to accept her application.

A national petition was launched last week calling for Columbia to rescind her acceptance – students & alumni are also contacting the administration and appealing the decision.

This decision stands however despite:

  • national outrage that a close aide to Bashar is rewarded for her ‘experience’ and accepted into one of the prestigious educational institutions in America
  • evidence highlighting a high profile referral/ recommendation from Barbara Walters was made in return for helping setup the now infamous Assad interview in December 2011
  • warnings from SIPA’s only 2012 Syrian grad, Haya Dweidary, about “her [Sherry’s] strong affiliation with the government and all the human-rights violations”
  • neglecting the informer role “Sherry” will play on campus which directly impacts the safety of other Syrian students, and their families back in Syria – agents of the regime have bullied and suppressed dissent in the US

Over the past 16 months, we have witnessed crimes against humanity perpetrated against the Syrian people by the Assad regime – those responsible for these crimes, and those who have directly aided in spinning them, must not be rewarded for their actions, rather they must be exposed, isolated and brought to justice.

Recent new coverage on this issue:

  • CNN – “What she represents, is an outlet for the Assad regime to basically extend their reach outside Syria to perpetuate false messages and false realities that are occurring within the country. She has actively taken part in this activity through her media advise”
  • CNN (Arabic)
  • – “Syria is run by a mafia family,” said Sarab Al-Jijakli, co-founder of the New York-based National Alliance for Syria. “It has been for forty years. Jaafari, the UN envoy, is a close ally. Their entire family is very close to the Assad family. They are the arm that is spinning what’s happening in the country to the outside world.”
  • “I think everyone is just generally outraged at the fact that somebody who was a close media adviser to President Assad and somebody who helped spin the massacres that are being conducted by the regime is being accepted to such a prestigious and dignified university,” Sarab al-Jijakli, a spokesman for the National Alliance for Syria,
  • NYPOST “We are outraged with what is happening at Columbia University,” Sarab al-Jijakli, a spokesman for the National Alliance for Syria, said of Sheherazad “Sherry” Jaafari’s admission there. “Columbia and Barbara Walters must ensure that they right the wrong and not accept someone from the inner circle of the al-Assad regime into their university.”
  • CBS“We are asking for all of the people with conscience, that see something wrong with this, how can an advisor to a vicious dictator be accepted into a university in the United States? How can this happen?” National Alliance spokesman Sarab al-Jijakli said.

One thought on “An Assad Aide at Columbia

  1. “Sherry” needs to be sanctioned along with other top Assad regime apologists like Bouthaina Shebaan and deported immediately. Her being rewarded is a grave oversight by Congress and sends a message of corrupt privilege from Columbia University to Arabs and Syrians everywhere. The Ivy League is fast becoming education’s equivalent to the mainstream media: corrupt, dishonest and pandering to power and privilege vs merit and integrity.


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