As families struggle to get by financially, girls are often pulled out of school to help care for siblings or to work for extra income. Schools can be overcrowded or non-existent for refugee children -- the very situation Hanan faced.
Today the UN International Day of the Girl is focusing on girls across the globe who are out of education. It's thought around 17 million girls will never enroll in school - and millions more are unable to complete their education due to factors such as cultural barriers, sexual harassment and, like Adla and Cibar, the consequences of humanitarian emergencies.
Now, after more than 100,000 dead and hundreds of thousands more uprooted from their homes or taking refuge in Turkey and Jordan, the muddled situation is becoming clearer.
We've called on an old and knowledgeable friend, Colonel Manners (ret.). His assignment: to answer letters from Americans puzzled by the etiquette, manners, and language of the arcane national security world of Washington.
Syria is the greatest refugee crisis of our time. The numbers are shocking. More than two million refugees have spilled into neighbouring countries, over half of whom are children. The UK's response to date has been serious and substantial... But given the scale and the gravity of the tragedy unfolding across the region, financial assistance alone will not be enough.
The agreement brokered between the USA and Russia on the transfer and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons by mid 2014 is not just ambitious, but almost certainly unachievable... The logistical challenge of disarming a regime of chemical weapons whilst it is fighting a brutal civil war are extremely daunting.
The excessive, concentrated wealth that extractions industries created has notoriously depressed the empowerment of millions of people throughout modern history. But oil politics and rivalries have an especially destructive retardation effect on freedom in the Middle East.
I remember this time last year well. I was in Syria, and I was happy. This might sound strange, I know. How can anyone be happy when bombs are falling around you, and you're fearful for your life?
Although complicated, the Syrian conflict is worth spending a few minutes trying to understand because it poses issues that could have a major impact on our country and the world order as a whole.
By Joy E. Stocke Where were the shells fired from? Where did they land? What building did they destroy? How many people were killed? No answe...
The legacy of the Yom Kippur War, forty years on, helps explains why Israel is wary of trusting others to stand by it in time of need...
As the government shutdown continues, President Obama has decided to ignore House and Senate Republicans and focus his energy on bringing an end to the much more pressing battle between singers Miley Cyrus and Sinead O'Connor.
It's critical that aid agencies maintain the pipeline of this food, especially in a crisis as desperate as the one in Syria. The hunger facing Syria is so severe that the needs of the population will grow as the conflict continues.
For charities working in war zones or countries hit by acts of terrorism, the world can be a dangerous and difficult place. Charities dealing with the humanitarian effects of conflict or political upheaval face the task of making sure help goes to the people who need it most, while not inadvertently supporting armed groups or those involved in terrorism...
The legacy of the 1973 war, which the Arabs call the Ramadan War, is more complex and poignantly relevant 40 years later.
The British Government is now rightly seeking to mobilise the international community to raise a billion dollars a month to help the Syrian refugees and, as a British minister argued, to help prevent the Middle East erupting into continuous conflict.