The Ohio University Global Leadership Center will host speakers to discuss the 25 years of German reunification and the current refugee crisis in Europe.
Germany has been reunified since 1990, and for the Ohio University Global Leadership Center, this is something to celebrate.
The German Unity Event will host a variety of speakers and a discussion on the holiday of German Unity, which celebrates the 25 years of German reunification. The event will feature Consul General of Chicago Herbert Quelle as the keynote speaker. Participants will also discuss the different opportunities that OU has for students to study abroad at several German universities and the current refugee crisis in Europe, Brook Beshah, the interim director of the Global Leadership Center, said.
“The GLC (Global Leadership Center) competed and it was decided by the German Embassy in Washington D.C. to host the 25 Years of German Unity Event in Athens,” Beshah, a speaker at the event, said.
The event is important, according to Steven Rhue, the teaching assistant of the Global Leadership Center, because it will spark a discussion about the connection the United States and Germany has had for a very long time.
“I think that after 25 years of a country that was once divided after WWII, now finally a sovereign nation, it’s meant a lot for Germany and it’s meant a lot for the U.S.,” Rhue, the primary project coordinator for the event, said. “So I think it’s important that people understand the cultural connection we have...we don’t see many countries divided so it’s interested to see what a country is like after being divided for so long and coming back together.”
Quelle is set to give a speech titled “25 years of German Reunification and the Refugee Crisis in Europe,” Beshah said.
Rene Grzona, a graduate student, will be speaking on his personal background and how he perceived the years after Germany reunited. He said he will discuss stereotypes and experiences between the East and West, and how these things are still present today.
“People in West Germany can get more money than in East Germany, even if they are doing the same stuff,” Grzona said. “I was drafted by the military (in 2006) in West Germany, and I got paid more compared to the people that got drafted in East Germany even though I was doing the same kind of work.”
Grzona said he anticipates that the keynote speaker will talk about more political topics, while he will be speaking about his personal accounts.
Rhue said Quelle will talk about the Syrian refugee crisis, which is really important since it’s such a hot topic right now and Germany is willing to take in a large amount of refugees.
“With the coming together of Germany, Europe was reunited once again,” Beshah said. “So we want to celebrate this, and we want to renew and strengthen our relations with German educational institutes.”