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More than a Game: Soccer Connecting the World

Events | Headline and Cultural Forums

Fans will tell you, soccer is much more than a game. There may be no cultural practice more connected and global than soccer. As David Golblatt in The Ball is Round says, "No history of the modern world is complete without an account of football. . .Rites of birth and marriage are infinitely diverse, but the rules of soccer are universal. No world religion can match its geographical scope."

How does the game give us a sharper cross-cultural lens into the complexity of our increasingly globalized world? Does it render the "clash of civilizations" null and void? How are sport-labor migration and the European immigration crisis changing national identity within the global game? How can sport mend broken hearts and broken communities?

Join the Portland Timbers/Thorns and World Affairs Council for a discussion on soccer and the "meaning of life" - featuring

  • Nadia Nadim, who escaped the Taliban that stole her father's life in Afghanistan to become an international soccer star in Denmark and now in Portland with the Thorns;
  • Ben Polk, reflecting on a journey that’s taken him from Arizona to Saudi Arabia to England to his new home with the Portland Timbers;
  • Andrew Guest, who teaches psychology and sociology at the University of Portland and is the author of numerous articles on sport as a mirror and a lens into the human condition and youth development in both North America and Africa;
  • Matt Streng, Mercy Corps' Senior Youth Development Advisor, who has focused on adolescent programming, particularly adolescent girls in Nepal, child soldiers in Colombia, and Syrian refugees, as well as supporting Mercy Corps' Youth in Emergencies and Sport for Change programs.

Cosponsored with Portland Thorns FC | Portland Timbers


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