It is very important for Syrian children to have an education. I don't see them as refugees. It is just a label that the society gave them. We are not looking into a dark future where people are divided into those who were refugees and those who were not. What they are now are children. Simply children. And all children have the right to learn and continue their education.
The debate on Britain joining airstrikes against Daesh in Syria generated more heat than light with an exaggerated focus on their impact, for better or worse. The Ministry of Defence website records just one missile strike in Syria over Christmas. This skewed debate also overlooks the contribution of British soft power to defeating Daesh. Airstrikes and Shakespeare.
Neither the British Council nor the British Film Institute are campaigning organisations but we both believe in the power of film and culture to promote positive social change. fiveFilms4freedom is a celebration of the UK's cutting-edge film industry and of BFI Flare's pioneering role in promoting gay rights around the world supporting freedom and equality everywhere.
Apparently at the height of Victorian optimism, the Royal Geographic Society announced victory in the field of all learning, with the invention of the 'lantern slide' a whacking great projector with a candle behind it which would captivate all future generations of learners. An early version of 'death by powerpoint'.
There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to UK culture and our national image. And that's important as it attracts people from around the world to visit, study here and do business with us. The world may (wrongly this week) think that our weather's terrible - but the sun never sets on UK culture, and it shines all around the world.
We live in a hugely connected world but our points of reference can still be quite limited to the English-speaking world. Through programmes like YCE, the British Council can identify what's going on outside the confines of the usual places we look to. We connect our global entrepreneurs with the UK and with each other, and sow the seeds for international knowledge sharing and collaborations.
Beyond established hotspots such as the US and UK, there's a whole movement of other digital and creative hubs, from Nairobi to Recife and Jakarta to Cairo. Less obvious pools of ideas and talent: growing markets of youth consumers and the originators of new creative ideas, social innovation and cultural leadership.
Just like the courtesy of learning a few words of the language, for someone from the UK travelling to countries with different memories of WWI than ours, learning a little more about the scale and legacy of this truly global conflict can be invaluable in effectively navigating and building relationships of trust.