Za'atari is a refugee camp -- 80,000 people live here now -- but it is in the process of becoming a city. New people are not arriving, another camp is taking those people now. And it is hard to know how many more people Jordan can take -- this country of a little more than six million people is also home to nearly three million refugees.
In South Sudan, domestic violence is widespread and largely tolerated. In the all-too-common words of two young women from Warrap State: "We are often beaten. When we make a mistake, we are beaten -- and there are so many mistakes." It was unfortunately not surprising that gender-based violence was a major threat for women living in IDP and refugee camps.
"Where is Canada?" In Turkey and Jordan recently, this was the question we heard over and over, from Syrian refugees themselves, crisis intervention workers, medical professionals, human rights activists and others dedicated to helping Syrians.To friends and family, I referred to my time in the region as a tour of shame, as a Canadian. There was a clear perception among the people we spoke with that Canada preferred Christian asylum seekers, and this explained the delays and inaction. As the now-infamous photo of Alan Kurdi reminds us, there is an immediate need for Canada to show leadership in developing a concrete solution.
True to form of Israel's detractors, the Toronto Star published a commentary this month which engaged in historical revisionism and outright lies by claiming that Israel has no legal claim to Jerusalem and areas of the West Bank, called until a few decades ago "Judea and Samaria", and now referred to by writer Carol Trainor as "occupied territories."
One of the great myths perpetuated by the media is that Israel stands alone, isolated in the international arena. On the domestic front here in Canada, members of our municipal, provincial, and federal political parties have proudly declared that they are Israel's BFFs. Indeed, much of the same is expected next week when Israeli President Shimon Peres arrives here in Canada.