In 2014 my husband was kidnapped by ISIS. I do not know if he is alive or dead, and every day I pray for some news of his well-being. Eighteen months ago we made the difficult decision to leave. But the problem throughout the world is that nobody wants Syrian people. To the rest of the world Syrian people and their children are very cheap; their blood is very cheap. We don't come to Europe to eat, we don't come here to have a flat. I stayed for years in Syria without much food, we stayed for five years without a lot of things. I don't want to eat, and I can stay in the streets if I need to. But I don't want to see my children dead in front of my eyes.
I have been here before. It was half my lifetime ago, but I remember sitting in these very same chairs when I was 15-years-old, waiting to buy tickets for the ferry to spend a vacation on the Greek islands with my friends. Now, hundreds of people are waiting in the departure hall at gate E1 in Piraeus port. They have been waiting for weeks, for months, not to go on a holiday, but to find a safe place for themselves and their children.
Turkey is currently hosting around two million refugees. Lebanon, a country half the size of Wales, is now hosting 1.2million Syrian refugees, more than the total number of refugees in Europe from any nationality. Amid this David Cameron assumes any contortion he can to try and keep Britain's doors closed to a meaningful number of people made refugees from the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria. He says, with a straight face, that the "first choice" of Syrian refugees is to stay in tents in Turkey or in crowded tenements in Beirut.
Instead of sitting back, crossing our fingers and hoping for an end to the Syrian civil war, the EU should be uniting to heap pressure on those regional powers blocking the path to peace. Never before has a continent with so much invested in the stability of its surrounding regions, been so reluctant to project its power and defend its interests.
If there are five stages of grief then we should all get started with the process now. After months of nervous laughter and disbelief it looks like Donald Trump will get the nomination. He'll be one step closer to the presidency. And with it, one step closer to making good on promises like building a Great Wall of Mexico.
There's a perception amongst some in the outside world that the situation in Syria is better now. It's not. The 'cessation of violence' does not, as some report, equate to a ceasefire. Even in areas that have experienced a respite from the constant thud of mortars, the eerie silence that remains reveals another problem. How do people come back and pick up the pieces?
In the early hours of Saturday 2 April, a military escalation erupted on the Nagorny Karabakh line of contact, on a scale not seen since 1994. While the breakfast news reported on Palmyra, on who is planning to restore which monuments, the disturbing news broke about this old, yet now new conflict, that overnight saw dozens of people killed.
We woke up early for the two hour drive from the city, into the midst of the desert, and there it was... Barbed wire, security and dust; we had our passports and equipment thoroughly checked before entering. As we drove through the camp the vastness of it became clear, sand-coloured shelters in every direction, as far as the eye could see; the homes of 85,000 Syrian refugees.
Here we are watching rich countries debating yet again whether Syrian refugees should be allowed in or not, whether they pose a security threat or are linked to terrorist groups. At Oxfam, we've been calling for the resettlement of 10 per cent of the most vulnerable five million registered Syrian refugees...
The point here is that the Assad regime has a very long history of destroying Syria's heritage sites. However with the ascent of the so-called Islamic State, the crimes against heritage committed by the Assad regime go unnoticed and it creates questionable euphoria when places like Palmyra are captured.