If only it were so easy. The leader of a war-torn Middle Eastern country commits an atrocity; the West removes him. Problem solved. At least, that's the way Prime Minister Justin Trudeau seems to see the future in Syria. The only problem is that Trudeau has forgotten the many other players who have a stake in what happens in Syria.
I write this with the crippling cries of a small child playing in my earphones, nerve gas choking him literally to death, his desperate rasping gasps for breath ringing in my ears and unnerving my insides, his agony repeating over and over in the background as a foaming espresso machine steams beside me at the counter.
Forget geopolitics that make it all too easy to declare ourselves powerless. Think instead of the Syrian children and teens, of the millions of internally displaced persons and millions of refugee children whose journeys have been much too perilous. We all have a role to play in ensuring a better future for vulnerable children in Syria and in the neighbouring countries that have so generously opened their doors to nearly five million Syrians.
The shelter in Aleppo seems plucked out of a fairy tale. Mohammad and his siblings stepped through the welcoming green door and walked into a safe place for the first time in months. They were surrounded by a tiny garden filled with Jasmine flowers and olive trees and a big house filled with children laughing and playing.
After six years of violence, Syrian children need us to believe in them more than ever. We must to ensure that an entire generation of children with dreams for the future doesn't get lost in the rubble. I have been allowed to grow up in peace into a future that allows me to work for my dreams. Syrian children deserve the same.
Challenges in access in several parts of Syria stand in the way of assessing the full scale of children's suffering and of urgently getting humanitarian assistance to the most vulnerable girls and boys. Beyond the bombs, bullets and explosions, children are dying in silence often from diseases that can otherwise be easily prevented. Access to medical care, lifesaving supplies and other basic services remains difficult.
An estimated 5.5 million people, including two million children, have been cut off from running water for over three weeks in Damascus and its surroundings, the longest cut Syria's capital has seen. Intense fighting damaged the water infrastructure for the two main drinking water sources for Damascus.