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.
An eerie calm descends over Al Waer, an outer suburb of Homs, as we enter an area that is home to some 400,000 people caught in the middle of on-going conflict. I am part of a joint mission, including UNICEF, WFP, OCHA, UNDSS, and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent, here to access the humanitarian situation.