"It is ironic, that they took me there to torture me, in the same place I used to go to school to learn. My father was actually the Principal there. They had taken over the school and made it into a torture centre. It wasn't a proper jail, I learnt later. It was a place they took you to first, before jail. To torture you."
Recent newspaper coverage would suggest that British aid is being frittered away; squandered on undeserving countries and wasted. It is right that tough questions should be asked about how Britain gets value for its money, and it is spent in ways which help the poorest most. However, we cannot let all the progress that has been made and the potential that could be achieved be drowned out by claims that aid is ineffective, unnecessary or wasted. Because the bigger picture is that aid works. Aid that costs just a penny in every pound.
Much unkind comment has been passed on George Galloway, MP for Bradford West. He is accused of being a "pimp for fascism", of operating an unregistered charity for personal gain, of sucking up to Saddam Hussein and, perhaps most damningly, of killing satire with a rusty crowbar and leaving it to rot in a ditch.
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.
Recent economic indicators suggest that at least some of the risks to the Turkish economy that built up in 2010-11 have started to ease. Although this improvement may be partly due to external developments outside of the control of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) government, much of the rebalancing process has been policy-induced.