We have been working in Izmir for a while now, with families living in difficult conditions in the city. Too many people in tiny rooms with no money for food, dreaming of making the life-threatening crossing to Greece in the rubber boats that leave from there. But nothing could have prepared me for this...
It appears that foreign powers, including those with the most appalling human rights records, can demand that passports of their citizens can be confiscated by foreign powers. The question is why is the British government going along with this? Amazingly enough despite all the heated condemnatory language, the British government has done just that on behalf of the Assad regime.
With this knowledge, and with courage and honesty, we must build on the rhetoric of the New York meeting to identify practical solutions. In today's globalised world, where instability in one place can affect stability in another, we must find ways for all individuals to access opportunity, so they can contribute and achieve irrespective of where they were born.
Conflict and displacement also carry with them the less visible scars of grief and trauma - feelings difficult to manage in adults, and even harder to manage in children. While it's unimaginable to ignore the effects of the war, can there really be reasons for optimism and hope? A group of Syrian artists believe so.
The tragedy behind Iraj's story is shared by millions of Syrians displaced by the ongoing conflict. The numbers related to this crisis are so big, it can be hard to think of them as individual stories, specific families, unique faces... Each story we hear has one thing in common: explosive weapons are always part of their heart-breaking account.
I know there are good people, kind people, loving people out there. You're probably one of them. So please, I urge you, donate some money to help these helpless war victims. We should not have to rely on charity but our government has failed to do enough and the opposition has been too consumed with inter-party spatting to curtail the government's inaction.