I see parallel images in the floods of humanity coming toward me. One is happening in front of my eyes on the Ukraine-Poland border; large hands clutching little ones, tiny heads resting on weary shoulders, the constant hum of rolling suitcases. I see faces frozen in shock, etched with lines of trauma that will never fully fade. Their eyes glazed over in sheer disbelief, minds unable to comprehend the lives they have left behind.
The other image has superimposed itself in my psyche, created by the torrent of memories from covering the 2015 refugee crisis. Back then, crowds crushed against concertina wire on the Greece-Macedonia border.… Seguir leyendo »
I'm crouched down in front of a 10-year-old boy sitting hunched over himself in the Beirut office of my charity INARA, the International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance. His dark brown eyes, fringed with impossibly long eyelashes, peer over his facemask.
He shakes his head. He doesn't want to join the other children decorating the tree we've brought in.
"Why not?" I ask.
"Maali khili'" he responds -- he doesn't have the energy for it.
"He's always like this" his father explains, pulling him in closer and planting a gentle kiss on his forehead.
The child starts to cry big, fat, silent tears.… Seguir leyendo »
I am angry at the trajectory of our evolution as a species. I am angry at us, that we created a world where being a "humanitarian" is a "thing" and not the norm.
The kindness of strangers exists. That I know. It's literally the lifeblood of my charity the International Network for Aid, Relief and Assistance, which facilitates medical care for war-wounded children who are unable to access the treatment they need.
It's in the army of volunteers who descended upon Beirut's devastated neighborhoods and swept, cleaned, carried debris for days from the streets and inside people's homes. It's in those who choose not to charge rent during the Covid-19 pandemic; those who had businesses that they transformed into food delivery and mask-making entities; in the individual who does not walk past the beggar or homeless person on the street, but stops for them.… Seguir leyendo »