It was a woman I'd never met who finally swung it. As I lay on a plump mattress under a duck down duvet one night in late April, I thought about what she, Liz, had done with her day. While I'd been sitting on my backside, shuffling words around and working my way through a variety of nut-based snacks, she'd been putting out fires, breaking up knife fights and comforting dozens of bewildered children who know her as a second mum.
Benjamin Loyauté is a designer, artist, author, academic, filmmaker (not easy to pigeonhole) who has visited Syria both before and during the current conflict. Looking for a project that could in some way unite Syrians, he was struck by that country's fondness for sweets evident in the colourful mountains of confectionery that were once abundant on street candy carts and souk stalls.
Back in May, Philip Hammond, the then British Foreign Secretary, said that the International Syria Support Group - an alliance of countries trying to end the conflict - had agreed to a UK proposal for the UN World Food Programme to carry out airdrops of supplies if aid continued to be blocked on the ground. Since then the suffering and the sieges have continued and yet no airdrops have taken place. The UK must ensure that the commitment it claimed to have secured is delivered and that aid gets through.
In wars and disaster zones, a simple explanation is that humanity is a force that advances the idea of life, with dignity. To strengthen the idea of humanity for people caught in conflicts, epidemics and disasters, we could borrow some ideas from the Olympic motto: Citius (faster), Altius (higher) and Fortius (stronger).
Omran is then left sitting quietly, appearing stunned and disturbed by the ordeal. He runs his hand over his face and looks at the blood before wiping it away. Imagine if this was your child? As a mother, seeing images like this is traumatic, we feel helpless and want to raise more awareness within the mainstream media that innocent children should not have to pay the price for wars.
It remains unclear what the future holds for the hundreds of westerners that have fought, or are fighting against, ISIS. For those that do come home, the consequences of their decision to travel, whether physical, mental or legal, could be life changing. In the legal context at least, it appears many were unaware of the potential implications. With more legal clarity, such a situation could have been avoided. The conflict in Syria and Iraq is not the first to feature large numbers of foreign fighters, but considering the outcomes so far, we should make it the last.