When I discovered that my language degree required me to spend a year's study in the Middle East, I couldn't work out how I felt. Was it excitement or apprehension? Becoming an international student means many things; poor exchange rates, unfamiliar culture and language barriers are to name but a few.
I stood in the Frontline Club behind the podium, staring at the row of faces I was asking for money. Behind me on a projector ran a constant loop of harrowing images from the Syrian war - the dead, the wounded, the broken cities; young men with gasmasks to protect against chemical weapons attacks, women and children forced to leave their homes, huddled, hundreds to a room in the foreign lands where they've been forced to take refuge.
Earlier this week, the United Nations declared Syria's refugee crisis the 'humanitarian calamity' of the century. Every day, roughly 5,000 refugees flee Syria with little more than the clothes on their backs. The number of Syrians who have left their war-ravaged country has risen to more than two million. A year ago, that number was 230,671.
For over two years, many of these children have had their lives interrupted and have often had to miss school for long periods of time. Many have escaped horrors no child should witness.... Despite all they have been through, these resilient children have inspired so many around them. These photos portray some of the many children who have touched the hearts of UNHCR staff.
One of the success stories of this tech-savvy revolution is that of Bassem Youssef, an Egyptian satirist whose political parodies posted on YouTube have lead to his own television show and a worldwide following. Despite coming under attack by Islamists, Youssef has remained popular as the voice of dissent.
In April this year Angelina Jolie and William Hague announced that the G8 nations had agreed a historic commitment to work together to stop rape and sexual violence in conflict... The UK has expended a great deal of diplomatic energy on this issue... The problem is that we found no evidence of any activities, determined or otherwise, to stop rape in Zaatari camp.