It is a truism to note that there are commonalities that unite us all, in one way or another - but reconcile that truism with the unimaginable: having to uproot your family to a strange place, on your own, only to find even more hardship waiting on the other side of a war zone.
The morning of June 28, 1914 dawned bright for most Europeans. By sunset a geopolitical cataclysm loomed. World War I demonstrated the importance of saying no. Any of the great powers could have stopped the march toward war. America could have refused to join the parade after it started. The world would have been a better place had one or all done so. Today, Washington is filled with routine proposals for new interventions: bombing campaigns, foreign invasions, and military occupations. Most seem unlikely to trigger a new world war. But a century ago no one expected an assassination in a distant Balkan province to do so either. That is reason enough for Americans to make war truly a last resort.
Although Vladimir Putin of Russia's method of annexing Russian-speaking Crimea by force is an aggressive and unacceptable violation of international law, the end result may be the most stable -- a Russian-speaking area being transferred from Ukraine to Russia.
Let's dream big for a moment. And let's build a regional leadership institute in Jordan that will nurture young Jordanian and Syrian leaders.
Try as I might, there are some things I just don't get. For starters, I'm seeking to understand Israel's options in today's Middle East.
During the course of my humanitarian work in Syria, I have listened to many children share their perspectives. The death of family members, whether siblings or a parent or other loved one is common. Being displaced from their homes, often more than once, and finding their friends and communities snatched away. Memories of repeated attacks from warring parties that flattened whole neighborhoods, fires that raged through the night stay with them.
Let me make a prediction. The so-called caliphate in Iraq and Syria will be totalitarian, won't be Islamic and, in the words of the former US state department spokesman Philip Crowley, "has as much chance of survival as an ice cream cone in the desert". By declaring statehood, Isis may have sown the seeds of its own destruction.
The Saudi position is completely at odds with this argument, on the grounds that UN engagement of Iran in Syria or Iraq would legitimize Iran's regional ambitions that go beyond the borders of Iran and legitimizes the role and influence of Iran in these two Arab countries.
Amnesty claims that authorities are arbitrarily denying entry to the country for Palestinian men, women and children. This unpredictable border policy is leading to some family members being let in, while others are left behind inside Syria.
Since the 2011 Arab uprisings, there has been little doubt that enhanced access to information and news contributed to political and social activism, pushing the boundaries of free speech. Today, however, there has been a regression in media growth and censorship shows little signs of receding.
On this Fourth of July weekend, as the world's greatest democracy celebrates its independence, it has an opportunity to right that wrong by reversing course and supporting the Iraqi Kurds in their road to independence.
First the bad news: a fracture in the Middle East is looming. There is a fracturing of states along sectarian lines that has been funded and instigate...
The ambitions of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria are darker and more extreme than those of Mr. al-Maliki. But they are the logical result of a cultural norm that compels religious obedience and criminalizes dissent -- a norm held throughout the Arab and Muslim world.
As Iraq tumbles into a yet another civil war, it is important to remember how all this came about, and why adding yet more warfare to the current crisis will perpetuate exactly what the "Great Loot" set out to do: tear an entire region of the world asunder.
What we have called "Iraq" since the British and French carved up the old Ottoman Empire after World War I is obviously over. So why are President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry, in the midst of the unfolding Gulf War III, wasting time pretending they might save the old carcass?
The current situation in the Middle East is proof that ignoring a wound doesn't make it go away. Over three years of neglect from the international community with regards to Syria has destabilized that nation and its neighbors.