Take a look at the media coverage of the recent uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa region. News of the sexual harassment of women in the "Arab uprising", brutal attacks, imprisonments and virginity tests of female protestors dominated the screens. Yet women played a significant role in these events. For them, the uprising was part of a long history of resistance to suppression and a lack of freedom in their countries. The fact is that women were fighting and have proved their existence despite the counter revolutionary and anti-women treatment that they were receiving.
This week 69-year-old Winesi March, who has been blind for two years, will undergo life-changing surgery as the world watches. Twenty-four hours later anyone with an internet connection can rejoin Winesi and his family in rural Malawi as his bandages are removed and he sees his grandson for the first time.
Many times I ask myself: are we really in the third millennium? Or are we living in the Middle Ages, a time when the law of the jungle reigns supreme and the strong does as it pleases to the weak, killing the latter's women, kidnapping them, selling them and forcing them together with their children to change their religion?
Oxfam and other aid agencies are warning that rival groups in South Sudan are regrouping ready to resume violence once the rainy season ends this month. An upsurge in fighting would exacerbate what is already the world's worst food crisis and could lead to famine. The number of people facing dangerous levels of hunger is expected to increase by one million between January and March.
Perhaps it is too much to expect that the British should adopt an "Ethical Foreign Policy", as once they promised, but please let us not choose the most immoral alternative. The government must intervene at once to insist that Nabeel's exercise of his right to free speech while he was our guest in Britain cannot form the basis for his detention upon his return home.
Peace, like democracy, cannot be imposed from above, or from outside. But if the two sides in Syria's civil war can agree to at least a few temporary local truces, they may be better able to turn their attention to IS. That's certainly what would be in their best interests, and in the interests of their foreign backers, whether Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar or Turkey.
The fight goes beyond the call for a full democracy. It is the protection of the very basic rights of a population, under threat of a state that finds the idea of human rights laughable. And to those who don't realise what that has meant yet, remember... you only know what you've got, when it's gone.
I stand in solidarity with the Muslim community because some of the greatest examples of love, hospitality and compassion have been modelled to me by good friends who happen to also be Muslim, but unfortunately this is not the view of Islam or its followers that is championed through our media sources of late.
Mrs Jeyakumari and her daughter were well known activists who had been among the crowds which mobbed British prime minister David Cameron when he visited the former war zone in Jaffna in November last year. Three months later Mrs Jeyakumari sent me a video address in which she warned that she was being followed and harassed as a result of her campaign.
Whether it's sipping a glass of cold sangria after a long trek up a hill in Barcelona, paragliding off of a cliff in Turkey (this IS refreshing, I promise) or the cold shower after an extensive day of sight seeing, camera snapping or for the more traditional out there, map reading, I bet there's something about going abroad, into the unknown that quenches this thirst.
Besides all the drama currently taking place in West Africa, miracles sporadically happen right before our eyes. Just like this Ebola epidemic will write history, since last week our Ebola case management centre in Foya will probably also appear in history books. We are glad to announce that so far in Foya we discharged both the youngest, and the oldest recovered Ebola patient.
For the moment, Japan seems intent on launching its plan for a new 'scientific' whaling programme in the Southern Ocean. Whilst it has some allies, the issue drives a wedge between Japan and many other nations. Japan may be able to deflect charges against whaling, including that it is cruel, by casting such criticism as a form of anti-Japanese cultural imperialism. Our only hope is that, given the ICJ ruling is above any rhetoric or politics, perhaps those in power in Japan will be better able to see that commercial whaling is ecologically unsound, uneconomic and, in terms of international relations, disastrous.
Six weeks ago, I wrote: "We should be in no doubt: we, the West, are back in Iraq." And so it has come to pass. It is difficult to see how it could have been otherwise, once the murderers of Islamic State (or Isis or Isil, take your pick) started killing American and British journalists and aid workers on video. ... We have entered a bizarre Alice in Wonderland world in which Washington, Tehran, Damascus, Riyadh and Doha all seem to be lining up on the same side. The Saudis, Qataris and Emiratis even seem to have deployed some of their own aircraft, which I suppose at least proves that they do know what they're for.
To save lives and protect human rights, the genocidal fundamentalists of ISIS must be stopped. But not by the West and not for the reasons often advanced by David Cameron and Barack Obama... The truth is that if the US and UK are serious about fighting ISIS they should start by aiding the people on the ground who know the region best, have local roots and who are already leading the fight against the jihadist menace - the peshmerga army of the Kurdish regional government in Iraq and guerrillas from the Kurdistan Workers Party and allied movements in Syria.
As I was leaving Sierra Leone, the president declared a public health emergency. He'd finally acknowledged that his country was in crisis. Now we're six months into the outbreak and the CDC are predicting as many as 500,000 Ebola cases by the end of January. What was very much an avoidable epidemic may now become endemic in a part of the world already crippled by poverty.