By Katie Holland As Ghada Samman’s headstrong heroine Zain discovers, winning her right to live as a free, independent woman entails answering to her own moral compass, fending off constant unsolicited judgement and, naturally, finding her way around a revolver. In this story of a young woman’s bold and noble quest for freedom, Samman weaves … Continue reading Farewell, Damascus: On the Road to Freedom
The Syrian conflict has preoccupied hearts, minds and newsfeeds around the world for the last 7 years. Stories about Syria are often met with feelings of heartbreak, despair and helplessness. With a such a devastating and politicised conflict, people often feel desperate to reach out and help those who most need it, but are often … Continue reading What a tiny island in the middle of the Irish Sea is doing to help Syria
Syria has been one of the world's most talked about countries since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, but all people see and hear of the country is conflict, destruction and despair. Yet Syria was, and in many parts of the country, still is a beautiful place filled with kind, welcoming people. These 5 … Continue reading 5 Instagram accounts that show a different side to Syria
“When they appear in court, let’s make them appear in uniform suits like Guantanamo.” Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed supporters on Friday night, marking a year since a coup attempt failed to topple his regime, leading to a brutal crackdown on opposition voices and a shift towards greater authoritarianism in Turkey. During his speech, … Continue reading Turkey’s coup a year on: How the murky events of one night changed the course of Turkish politics
On World Refugee Day, we think everyone should read An Unsafe Haven by Nada Awar Jarrar. The book is fictional and a relatively easy read, but it contains a clear and important message about the way we see the Syrian conflict and its victims. It shows the destabilising effects of the war on neighbouring Lebanon … Continue reading An Unsafe Haven: Essential Reading on World Refugee Day
When leaving their homes, families and friends to escape war-torn countries, refugees take only what is most important to them. For Rami Basisah, this was his violin. He wrapped it in clingfilm, strapped it to his back and began his journey, which saw him cover 4,000 miles both by foot and by boat, crossing eight … Continue reading The refugee who fled Syria with nothing but a violin: Pink Jinn talks to Rami about his new album
On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan won a narrow majority in a national referendum that will transform Turkey’s political system and extend his powers. 58 million people out of a population of 75 million voted in the referendum, with 51.3% voting ‘yes’ to the new measures. This represents a sharp turn away from Turkey’s … Continue reading Turkey: The new Middle Eastern dictatorship?
The snowy city of Astana has, this week, played host to the latest round of talks aimed at bringing an end to the constant human suffering that has characterised the Syrian conflict. Delegations from the Syrian regime and various armed opposition groups gathered in the Kazakhstani city for two days of negotiations, brokered by a … Continue reading Astana talks: A turning point for Syria and the region?
January, 2014. Assad's fall from power is inevitable. His army is haemorrhaging combat power through defections, demoralisation and tactical defeats. The coalition of nationalists and Islamists are cutting a path to Damascus like a scimitar through flesh. Six months later and Assad is not only still in power, but he is regaining territory from the rebels. Something … Continue reading Pulling out the pin: Drawing Hezbollah out of Syria
6,000 migrants live in the bitter cold limbo of the Calais 'Jungle.' Volunteering there this weekend at a clinic run by The Hummingbird Project, I was shocked by the inhumane conditions in which these people live so close to home. UNHCR Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan seems luxurious in comparison to the slum-like conditions of the … Continue reading Into the Jungle