Leon Trotsky, not someone I usually quote, once said that people may not be interested in politics but politics is often interested in them. British people may be wary of foreign interventions but foreign crises can profoundly affect domestic politics. The suffering that we see every day in Syria won't go away and will have to be addressed, sooner rather than later.
A generation ago the plight of the Kurds was dire in all four countries where they mainly live - Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Syria following the failure to allow them an independent state in the aftermath of the end of the First World War and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It is, as I have often been told, a tough neighbourhood.
The twelve women waltzed on stage with dazzling smiles and posture, not in Bikinis or mini-skirts but traditional Kurdish dresses. 18-year-old Shene Ako Aziz was crowned as Miss Kurdistan from Slemani, she was selected by a panel of judges that included Professor Shukria Rasoul, Dr. Farhad Pirbal, Dina Hayek, Dr. adder Sa'ab.
Some years back a young Iraqi Kurdish woman had to pass through Turkey but knew that talking Kurdish or mentioning Kurdistan could be awkward. The problem was that her first name was Kurdistan. When asked her name at passport control she tried to evade the query but finally blurted out "Northern Iraq" - the Turkish alternative to the dreaded K word.
Muslim youth in Southern Kurdistan staged a protest against what they perceived to be a blasphemous article published in a local magazine about Islam. Hundreds of youth took to the streets in the city of Hewlêr, some of them burnt down shops that sold alcohol, while others tried to storm governmental institutions.