Last week I visited the Domiz refugee camp for the third time in six months and saw many children at school and play. Once again, I was struck by their cheeriness and resilience. I wanted to find some of the children I met in June but the camp has mushroomed since then from 50,000 to 75,000 so it would have been difficult.
On a geopolitical level, Russia and to a lesser extent China's support for Iran and Syria is part of a struggle against the West's objective of maintaining Washington's writ as leader of a unipolar world against a multipolar alternative in which Russia, China and the other BRIC group of developing economies enjoy parity... The stakes involved in the Syrian conflict, therefore, could not be higher.
Youth unemployment levels cannot be wholly improved without effective policy by national governments, nor education in our schools that needs to adapt to the requirements of the 21st century. Arguably, global business will struggle to become more responsible without an element of legislative steer too.
Forget what self-appointed experts might tell you or what political bureaucrats might suggest either! Just cast a quick look for yourself at the Middle East North Africa (MENA) map today. The inescapable conclusion - the revealing truth if you will - is that things are not going well at all. In fact, things are quite messy - and perilously so too.
When I discovered that my language degree required me to spend a year's study in the Middle East, I couldn't work out how I felt. Was it excitement or apprehension? Becoming an international student means many things; poor exchange rates, unfamiliar culture and language barriers are to name but a few.
Cyber City is notable because many of the people there are actually Palestinians from Syria, ie people who were historically already refugees from Palestine. In other words, they're 'double refugees'. If this wasn't bad enough, they're even caught in a sort of geopolitical administrative loophole. As Palestinian refugees they're supposed to fall under the care of the UN's Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) and not the main refugee agency, the UNHCR. It means that if you're one of the 9,000 Palestinians from Syria who've fled to Jordan you will not be eligible for UNHCR aid.
Targeting and endangering these brave aid workers, who play no part in the conflict and who simply seek to help those most in need, is wholly unacceptable. The humanitarian tragedy that continues unabated in Syria is deplorable and more must be done to ensure aid reaches the vulnerable, and those delivering it are protected.