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.
The mountains of Northern Cyprus were formed by earthquakes centuries ago. The ridge has kept the rain that sweeps across the Mediterranean from falling any further south. The landscape on one side is considerably more rich and green than that on the other. The trail drops down on each side and it offers two strikingly different landscapes, both harbouring a wide variety of wildlife. Foxes and in my case snakes.
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.
Impossible choices are being made every day by more than 125 million people affected by crises and natural disasters. In fact, we are in the midst of the worst large-scale humanitarian crisis of our lifetime. Not since World War II have more people around the world been in desperate need of assistance as a direct result of ongoing conflict and violence.
This is Ed... A couple of days ago Ed thought he was going to die. We love Ed, and were worried he might die too, but as he didn't, we can now tell his crazy story. Ed has just made the journey from the Syrian border, across Turkey to Izmir, and across the Aegean sea in a rubber dingy to Lesvos. Determined to show what refugees are ACTUALLY going through as they travel, he documented the journey every step of the way.
Turkey has been propelled into a tailspin and it is increasingly difficult to see how it can recover. Ordinary Turkish citizens face economic, security, and political challenges akin to those faced by some of their Arab neighbours. This stems from their own Government's failed and failing authoritarian policies. Furthermore, Erdogan hangs over Turkey the prospect of a constitutional referendum to move towards a more presidential system. Given the management of the last election, full dictatorship is now alarmingly close.