Crises have a way of swallowing quality and achievement when we allow them to justify haste. The antidote seems to be action that is strategic, reflective, and urgent.
Not since the horror of World War II has the planet seen a forced migration the size of the Syrian diaspora that began three years ago when seemingly innocuous government protests escalated into a bloody civil war.
When will the bloodshed of innocent civilians in Syria come to an end? Why should innocent Syrian civilians have to pay the price for violence that has been prevalent in the country since the uprising against President Bashar al Assad? The humanitarian crisis in Syria is at its worst as civilians are being left without basic human needs due to limited funds.
Looking 100 years down the road, I can see an Arab boy from Amman marrying an Israeli girl from Tel Aviv and taking a job and settling down in the suburbs of Damascus. What I mean is that I envision a region at peace with itself.
A refugee crisis is anything but fair, though. Donors want results; the media wants stories; the government wants greater support; and refugees want effective assistance. But, it is the children that need protecting. If we bungle protecting them, what else could possibly matter?
Egypt's election, together with the others, only underscores the shattered hopes for democratic empowerment that facile Western commentators had once cheered as an "Arab spring."
Didn't it basically die out along with smallpox, the plague, witch trials and a belief that the world was flat and inhabited by angels, devils and other supernatural creatures? Wasn't torture more or less gotten rid of after the Second World War or the end of the Cold War? Strangely, no, it wasn't.
Ahmed al-Jarba, the president of the Syrian National Coalition, and Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah al-Bashir, the top man of the opposition Supreme Military Council, are currently engaged in the most important foreign delegation of their lives.
Looking at the Syrian crisis now, we may not, humanly, be able to see a solution. That's why we need to pray. Prayer is so powerful. All our prayers count. Your prayer may be the one that makes the difference.
Recently, I had the opportunity to meet a rock and roll band visiting from Algeria called Dar K' Side, or "House of Poems" (HoP).What captured my attention were the smiles on each of the Algerian musicians. These smiles were louder than the music. These guys were inspired.
A beacon of stability in the Middle East, the Hashemite Kingdom is perpetually challenged by the need to moderate between the monarchy's pro-Western orientation and the Islamist tendencies of the country's population.
Conflict causes disruption and destruction of many sorts, including that of a people's identity. That can be especially true with armed conflict where cultural sites and monuments are at greater risk of being damaged, intentionally or otherwise.
I'm imagining President Obama, President Putin and myself in a room. Strange thing to imagine, I suppose. And the one catch is that none of us can come out of the room until we decide what to do with Syria.
It was the worst natural disaster there in two decades. That, in a country where natural and human disasters seem the norm, is saying something - yet in a way that's part of the problem: so accustomed are we today to the view of Afghans as victims, it's becoming difficult to hear stories like that of Aab Barik and still be moved.
Syria has been, by and large, relegated from the front page to the 'World News' sections of quality papers. Politicians no longer mention the fate of that nation and its occupants - and, if they can summon up the courage, they do so in mundane statements, of the sort which bloodlessly assert how truly awful it all is.
Today's report by the UK Parliament's Home Affairs Select Committee warns of the alarming number of westerners traveling to Syria to fight and calls for stronger efforts to counter the recruitment narratives of extremists.