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.
The shocking, sickening scene of a young man nailed to a wooden cross, surrounded by his executioners, shouting abuse and laughing whilst crowds of others watch in horrified silence, is an image that is indelibly stamped onto the minds of all Christians.
It's probably no surprise to you that I am not running for the office of President of the United States or seeking for your vote in a referendum. I've not got an employer who'll tell me to be careful and I expect my political friends have already discounted me as a Tory. Which mean I can say whatever I want right now, and I am going to do that with reference to Brussels.
Vian has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year. I can think of no more deserving recipient of this award. And her people need the global awareness the award could bring. Maybe then the world will care enough to demand action. Please help spread the word about the genocide of the Yazidis and the continuing enslavement of Yazidi women and girls.
The challenge of understanding "who's fighting who" in the conflict in Syria and Iraq has led to a simplified representation of the Kurds solely taking up arms against ISIS. Kurdish groups such as the People's Protection Units (YPG) have indeed proved worthy adversaries to this Islamist extremist group and as allies to the US. However, scores of Iraqi Kurds are also fighting alongside violent extremist groups.
At the same time as British forces were launching offensives against key Isis targets in Syria, social media junkies in Whitehall were launching the a...
If you genuinely care about the victims of ISIS then don't just care for the white dead ones. Care for the ones washing up on the shores of Calais, for the ones seeking asylum across Europe and for the ones our government will strike as 'collateral damage'. Don't bullshit with white washed sincerity and empty paragraphs that are little more than a jump on to the bandwagon.
The streets of Britain will be less rather than more safe if Assad achieves a 'victory' over the rebels. Isis will have a powerful new recruiting tool and tensions between the Sunni and Shia communities in the UK, may reach the level of tension of that between Muslim and Jewish communities.
Expertise on the way terror groups operate will be indispensable to teams preparing to work in at-risk areas whist documentation of destruction by heritage professionals has the potential to expand our knowledge of how terror groups adapt their strategy. Furthermore there is great potential to counter terrorist narrative and build resilience to extremist ideologies using culture and heritage.
With so many sources of trauma, rates of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) are rapidly on the rise amongst Iraq's youth. Vulnerable and impressionable, children are increasingly displaying symptoms of psychological ill-health as they grapple to comprehend the violence and confusion surrounding them.