Neighboring countries weren't always friendly to one another. But, you would never guess it sitting with this group of young people. Croatians, Serbians, Bosnians, and Albanians -- most of whom had witnessed war first-hand -- were laughing and exchanging ideas together.
Turkey, which is smaller in size than the state of Texas, shares a long border with Syria, much like Texas shares with Mexico. In Syria, not just one generation, but many generations have been wiped out by the violence.
I don't know how much longer the people of my country, Afghanistan, will tolerate what is being done to them under the elaborate pretense of the devotion, duty and allegiance they supposedly owe to the "saviors" of their land, the legendary and heroic big men of the Mujahideen.
The United States has already sacrificed enough of its soldiers and treasury for Iraq during its eight years of involvement in that nation's so-called struggle for freedom. From the beginning, the war was based on a falsehood, namely the notion that Iraq harbored weapons of mass destruction.
To be blunt, Syria's presidential contest is indeed incredibly insulting to anyone who can legitimately call himself or herself a democrat. Yet the voting that the Syrian National Coalition has called a "blood election" is an integral part of Assad's strategy for the war.
Not only has Modi secured a mandate to be "strong and decisive," but what appeals to the Hindu majority that elected him is his ability to ride roughshod over the processes of government, apparently in the interest of "good governance."
Although Pakistan's political leaders have expressed optimistic sentiments with respect to the election of the right-wing Narendra Modi as prime minister of India, let us not forget that the country's true center of power does not lie in Islamabad -- it resides in the cantonments of Rawalpindi.
The political risks of the EU are currently understated by financial integration measures. 2014 is likely the year of EU political fragmentation and will be evidenced in the European Parliament elections to some degree, and will increase as the debate over the future of EU policy broadens.
What has evolved over the last 20 or so years is a natural divergence between the fundamentally weaker and stronger economies, particularly since the onset of the global financial crisis five years ago.
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.
It's almost Frappuccino time again -- the weather starts warming and in comes the slew of flavored, iced coffee concoctions drizzled with syrup. All across the world, Starbucks outlets are getting creative with what they put in this delicious frozen coffee drink.
Certainly there are many issues that both sides need to accommodate, but pundits rationalizing the isolation of Israel will only make the Palestinians more intransigent and the Israelis more fearful of the long shadow of history and their sworn determination that it will happen "Never Again."