Sitting on a park bench in the center of Erbil, northern Iraq with two local Kurdish men, I'm deep in conversation about violence against women. My long-standing work on women's rights with my charity Project Monma has brought me to northern Iraq twice now.
Nine-year-old Haneen has not eaten for days and often cries herself to sleep. Born with physical disabilities, Haneen is unable to hear, speak or walk since birth - issues that would be challenging in any environment, let alone in a camp outside of Baghdad for people who have fled their homes.
For too long, we and others have looked at what has happened in Belgium and France as proof of incompetence, condescendingly stating it could never happen here. Whilst mistakes have been made by the security services in those countries. A lot of what occurred, would have been much easier to detect 10-15 years ago and a lot of the UK's near misses from that time period would have been harder to detect before that date as well.
Yesterday, British ISIS member Sally Jones threatened attacks in the UK in the near future, and that news was on the majority of British news sites. O...
al-Kammouneh camp in the aftermath of the airstrike (photo c/o The Guardian) If (or rather when), as seems likely, it is confirmed that last Thursd...
There is no way you can condense the war in Syria into a simplistic good guys versus bad guys narrative for the evening news or a tabloid opinion piece. No side has not suffered at the hands of others and no side has not caused any suffering for others.
Listening to what they have to say and letting them be part of the decision-making process is an important first step to reforming global refugee policy. And with all the technology that lets people organise effectively, they don't have to reshape it alone, but can do it together with the refugees.
Daesh's appalling actions in the Middle East are well documented, but most people have not heard the full horrors. They have committed crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and war crimes against Christian, Yazidi, Turimen, Shabak, Sabaean-Mandaean, and Kaka'I people across Northern Iraq. The manner in which these awful crimes are taking place is truly shocking... Too often in history we have been silent in the face of atrocities. It is time we heed the warnings of past generations - 'never again' - and we ensure that action is taken against Daesh for their ongoing genocide.
I spoke to Gillian Slovo who wrote the play and asked her why (since most of the play is set in England) she had trouble finding British families whose loved ones went to join IS, but found Belgian families more willing to talk.
We woke up early for the two hour drive from the city, into the midst of the desert, and there it was... Barbed wire, security and dust; we had our passports and equipment thoroughly checked before entering. As we drove through the camp the vastness of it became clear, sand-coloured shelters in every direction, as far as the eye could see; the homes of 85,000 Syrian refugees.
We can't let terror win - the common refrain in the aftermath of the now all too frequent terror attacks. But ISIS is already winning. There's no shame in admitting because the terrorists have effectively rigged the game, in two important and connected ways.
However bad things get, we are not going to win the fight against the Islamic State by meeting hatred with hatred, but even now, I'm not sure those in power in Europe realise how bad this could potentially get; but be aware, the Islamic State problem can always get worse and it definitely will unless we seriously consider all possibilities.
Hopkins recently tweeted that all of us who welcomed refugees were responsible for the recent atrocity in Brussels. There is no irony attached to her rhetoric, just contrived opinion to cash in on clickbait. But ultimately at what price?
The point here is that the Assad regime has a very long history of destroying Syria's heritage sites. However with the ascent of the so-called Islamic State, the crimes against heritage committed by the Assad regime go unnoticed and it creates questionable euphoria when places like Palmyra are captured.
It is not fair to blame someone's religious beliefs, background, ethnicity, etc. for the actions of a selected few who share that when they are completely different people trying to live their own lives just like yourself.
It is sad that hate filled bigots are playing right into the hands of the terrorists and giving them exactly what they want by causing disunity and divisions within their respective communities. The attacks on Brussels, Paris, Afghanistan and Pakistan and many other countries across the globe show that these terrorists are nothing but inhumane cowards.