There is a palpable fear across Lebanon. The country has seen war and knows what it looks like. Sectarian violence has increased in recent months, and as refugees keep arriving the expectation is that the number could double by Christmas. Lebanon's future is now intimately tied with Syria's, and a solution to the conflict in Syria must be found for the entire region.
Today is Malala Day. Her 16th birthday. Less than a year ago she became a victim of an attack on education, when she was shot and almost fatally wounded by armed men on her way back from school. Her bravery has shone a light on the scale of the educational crisis the world still faces, as well as the struggle for a future faced by children living in areas affected by conflict. The situation in Syria typifies this struggle.
"I want the world to feel us, to have compassion, to listen to these stories of our lives and our suffering. To know that no-one wants to leave their home. We were living a normal life - we had houses, jobs, shops, warehouses. Now we have lost everything, we have nothing. I just want the people outside to know that we were just like you."
The last thing we need is to import sectarianism into our country. Al-Arifi may have done us all a favour by coming to the UK since it has focussed on the need for better due diligence to be undertaken and to make us all wake up to the fact that whilst Syria may seem a long way away, its impacts can so easily affect our community relations in our small island.
In April this year Angelina Jolie and William Hague announced that the G8 nations had agreed a historic commitment to work together to stop rape and sexual violence in conflict... The UK has expended a great deal of diplomatic energy on this issue... The problem is that we found no evidence of any activities, determined or otherwise, to stop rape in Zaatari camp.
Hadija, 12, and her younger siblings are fast becoming part of Syria's lost generation. Hadija has been out of school for over a year and has forgotten how to read. When I asked her if she could read, she said yes. But when she looked at the words on the back of a bottle, she realized she could no longer make out the letters.
We can only hope and pray for the best in Syria, but perhaps for Belarus we can do something more. The sanctions against South Africa worked. The regime changed. Two decades later Nelson Mandela, 27 years a political prisoner, is now, as he lies in hospital, the hallowed former President and father of the Rainbow Nation South Africa became.
Ten years ago, when I, along with colleagues from many countries around the world launched the Control Arms campaign, we had a simple message for governments: the arms trade is out of control and ordinary people around the world are suffering at the rate of one death every minute, with millions more forced from their homes, suffering abuse and impoverishment.