John Pilger's film exposing the devastating effect of the UN sanctions on the children of Iraq will be shown at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. Peace activist G. Simon Harak, S.J., will discuss the film and “Iraq Behind the Headlines.”
April 9, 2002 GENEVA, N.Y.—In a special report, award-winning journalist and filmmaker John Pilger investigated the effects of sanctions on the people of Iraq. His film Paying the Price: Killing the Children of Iraq will be shown at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 16, in the Geneva Room. G. Simon Harak, S. J., a Jesuit priest and peace activist, will introduce the film and give a talk, “Iraq: Behind the Headlines.” The event is free and the public is invited.
In his film, Pilger takes former Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Denis Halliday, who resigned in protest over the sanctions, back to Iraq. They reveal a portrait of life in a country Pilger says is being held hostage to the compliance of Saddam Hussein. He finds the breakdown of the clean water system and health facilities are having a tragic effect on young children, contributing to an alarming rise in their mortality rate.
G. Simon Harak, S. J., entered the Society of Jesus in 1970, and has served as a missionary in Jamaica and the Philippines. He finished his Ph.D. in ethics on a national fellowship. He taught ethics at Fairfield University from 1986 until he retired in 1998 to work full-time with Voices in the Wilderness: A Campaign to end the Economic Sanctions Against the People of Iraq. He has traveled to Iraq three times with Voices in the Wilderness, where he openly and publicly violated U.S./UN sanctions to bring medicine and toys to Iraqi hospitals. He is currently one of the site coordinators of the “Remembering Omran Bus Tour,” which informs campuses and peace groups about the nature of U.S.-Iraq relations.
Harak has written Virtuous Passions: The Formation of Christian Character (Paulist, 1993), edited Nonviolence for the Third Millennium: Its Legacy and Its Future (Mercer University Press, 2000), and co-edited Beyond Boundaries: Student Volunteers in the Developing World (JASPA, 1998). His latest work is Vicious Passions: The Deformation of Christian Character (December 2001).
The presentations are sponsored by Refuse and Resist! on the Colleges campus, and the departments of religious studies and economics, as part of the “Is Another World Possible? Films for Reflection Post-September 11” series.