Every night, when Amira goes to bed in the crowded room that she shares with her five young children, she lies awake, frantically worrying about what the following day has in store for them. Will she be able to find food? Will the children be safe if they venture out, into streets where gunmen, bombs and bullets are a constant threat?
The Arab league was formed on 22 March 1945 and its six founding members were: Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Syria. The League's main goal is "to draw closer the relations between member States and co-ordinate their political activities with the aim of realizing a close collaboration between them, to safeguard their independence and sovereignty".
Security in Libya remains an ephemeral prospect. The country is awash with guns and militias, numbered in the thousands. Since the collapse of the Gaddafi regime, successive transitional governments have consistently failed to impose their authority over the entirety of its territory and to reverse a deteriorating security climate.
Some of you may remember how David Cameron's victory lap in a still-jubilant Tripoli was marred by the release of an embarrassing cache of faxes. The faxes revealed the true price of Blair's infamous 'deal in the desert' with Gaddafi in 2004: a joint US-UK-Libyan operation to kidnap my client and his pregnant wife.
News of the abduction of Libya's Prime Minister, Ali Zeidan, recently made the headlines around the world. The former human rights lawyer, who for decades fought against Qaddafi's regime from his exile in Geneva, was being held captive by a militia that supposedly is allied to his own government. How did such an absurd situation come about?
On 20 October it will be two years since the death of Muammar Muhammad Abu Minyar al-Gaddafi... Cut to the present: Muammar's favourite son Saif al-Islam is about to go on trial for a string of alleged offences (including war crimes) along with 37 others. Pre-trial proceedings began in Tripoli this week. The extravagant cruelty is obviously absent but is the trial of Saif and Co at least likely to be a fair process, the respectable flip-side to the shabby killing of Saif's father? Sadly, no, not really.
It seems the world police have called Syria's bluff. CIA-trained operatives have been deployed on the ground to help bolster the country's rebel forces, and Barack Obama is now within inches of attaining what David Cameron so embarrassingly failed to achieve in Britain: Congressional approval to fire a few hundred cruise missiles at Bashar al-Assad's living room.
On the one hand, the British public, clearly sceptical of intervention in Syria, had their voices heard. Last night was, however, also a profoundly bitter moment because of what it says to the world about the morality of the British people. Is it not ironic and tragic to be celebrating the triumph of democracy and freedom of speech through ignoring the cries of the Syrian people for exactly the same rights?