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.
Airstrikes must be part of a comprehensive diplomatic, humanitarian and political peace strategy for the Middle East, in particular the rebuilding of the Syrian state. But there is no hope of negotiating with Isil. Daesh is a fascist organisation that must be defeated. The longer we leave it the harder it will be. I will be voting in favour of air strikes this evening.
Lebanon has seen its population increase by 25% with 1.2million Syrians fleeing over the boarder to safety. This autumn nearly 200,000 Syrian refugee children in Lebanon have gone back to school as a result of the shift system, many for the first time since the conflict began, and during my visit, I wanted to see the difference this has made to their lives.
Since 2011, when the Syrian crisis begun, gradually developing into a civil war (nurtured by internal as well as external forces) the number of dead is estimated around 220,000. It is important to clarify that there is no way to ascertain that number. The UN ceased publishing their own estimates by 2014 as there was no way to verify the actual numbers.
Thanks again for your support and please don't forget to put aside nice, warm, good quality clothing for our next From a Mother to Another collection period in the run up to Mother's Day early next year. For now we still have stocks on hand to deliver to those in need both in the UK and now in Lebanon to the Syrian refugees.
Today, some powers and principalities are trying to lure the MENA genie back into its bottle - with brutal force, lavish financial inducements or political shenanigans. But this genie is cunning: it has tasted freedom outside the bottle and sees its own world with different lenses. Its instincts cannot easily be tamed back into the bottle!
The question is do we really need to feel a sense of fear or discomfort to become truly engaged in politics? Do we want to be numb to what's truly going on and get distracted by reports in mainstream tabloid media putting the blame on the overused and now farcical phrase and sentiment of: "its the immigrants coming over here and nicking our jobs?"
The #illridewithyou campaign in a shining example of everything that's fantastic about Australia - even if as a Kiwi I have to say it through gritted teeth. Like the American cousins, they've got a lot of big, empty spaces, what is politely known as a 'frontier mentality' and a tendency to come across as a bit rough round the edges.