Geographical Society of Philadelphia

Border Crossings

Join us to explore people, places, and cultures that are in the news!

‘Border Crossings’ aims to humanize people and places around the world through substantive presentations and conversations with those intimate with the cultures…to encourage active discussion and meaningful dialogue, in a casual setting.

KUNGA: 4,500 Years in the Making

February 16, 2022, 6:30-8 PM at Rex at the Royal
Join the Geographical Society of Philadelphia’s board president Dr. Jill Weber at Rex at the Royal (in-person and virtual), 6:30-8 PM. We’ll meet for drinks and conversation, and hear about Dr. Weber’s discovery.
For decades, scholars knew of an animal called a kunga, which had been described in art, literature, and documents between 2600 to 2200 B.C., but no one had ever found their remains. Between 2002 and 2010, Dr. Weber excavated and analyzed the bones of over 30 animal skeletons that she determined belonged to the kunga.


SILK ROAD THEN AND NOW: 2200 Years in the Making

A PANEL DISCUSSION ON March 30, 2022, 6:30-9 PM
GLORIA DEI (OLD SWEDES’ CHURCH), THE OLDEST CHURCH OF PA, presented in collaboration with Citizen Diplomacy International Philadelphia
Thanks to the Silk Road tea, coca, tobacco, cotton, whisky, and Marco Polo (1254–1324), famous for traveling to China’s Yuan Empire when he was 17, earned their well-respected appreciation through the centuries. 
March 30th, in-person 6:30-9 PM, join the Geographical Society of Philadelphia’s panel of experts at the Gloria Dei historic site. 
We’ll meet for a conversation, refreshments, and live jazz to hear about the old and modern Silk Road’s effects on geography, trade, the Belt & Road Initiative, and cultures of the world as well as their impact on Philadelphia.  
  • Moderator: DR. BERRIN GUNER, ROWAN UNIVERSITY, and a Geographical Society board member


Medical Boundaries – October 2019 

A casual conversation with cocktails and light snacks (included in your ticket!). Expand your horizons on cultural border on October 2, 2019 @ 6:30pm
Medical care – as part of larger Culture – is grounded in a society’s ethics, values, and traditions. Dr. Bekir Karabucak DMD, MS will help us understand how that affects dental access, care, and training in countries such as Saudi Arabia and China.
Dr. Karabucak is Chair, Associate Professor of Endodontics, and Director of the Postdoctoral Endodontics Program at University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. He is involved with endodontic courses/seminars in pre- and postdoctoral programs. He also runs selective microscope training courses for predoctoral students.
Dr. K has also been the attending endodontist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia since 2005 and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Endodontics. He has lectured at national and international conferences and also serves as a reviewer for the Journal of Endodontics.

Embracing Refugees in Crisis, A Greek Example,  by Jai Mexis  – August 2019

In 1939 during Turkey’s annexation of the Sanjak of Alexandretta, approximately 12,000 Greeks fled as refugees to Damascus and Aleppo joining existing Greek communities. Some decades later, history reversed and in 2015, 1 million refugees cross the Aegean and land on the Greek shores. This will be a short presentation of their journey, highlighting how a country like Greece in its worst economic crisis was able to welcome these displaced groups, transforming a challenging reality into a story of solidarity and hope. We will explore some examples of the most innovative ways that are currently happening to help them integrate and become an integral dynamic part of the Greek society.
Jai Mexis is an award-winning architect and leading social entrepreneur in Greece. He is the founder and director of Odyssea, a humanitarian NGO in Greece focused on up-cycling, digital fabrication, and social design. With NextFab Foundation, he established Astrolab, the first FabLab in Athens for social innovation that is serving hundreds of vulnerable groups every year. Jai has received numerous architectural awards and is currently completing the design & construction of a community center on the outskirts of Athens as well as, a large school for orphan children in Enugu, Nigeria.  


“Changing Landscape of Modern Day Turkey — Is Turkey Still a Democratic Republic?”

GEO’s 128th season opened with an introduction to our new Executive Director, Dilek Karabucak.
Dee received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Marmara University in Istanbul Turkey. After she moved to Philadelphia, she pursued a Master’s of Business Administration degree in Marketing/International Business at Drexel University, and Project Management/Team Leadership certificate from Temple University. As a native of Turkey, she has witnessed tremendous changes in the country’s political and social landscape. There is no question that the country’s history is complicated. And in the past decade, many are questioning whether democracy can be maintained.
Limited seating.