Syrians are caught between the overt violence of barrel bombs and covert killing through hunger and enforced privation. Syria has exposed the fragility of international norms. Words have not alleviated its people’s suffering. Only action can give meaning to the words.
If a grown sample in a colder region isn’t able to withstand frequent heat waves and gets wiped out, the genetically resilient samples created in ICARDA’s genebank would come to the rescue. So when the accessions made their way to Lebanon in late 2015, it was all hands on deck.
For Syrian Armenians, the apparent entry of their compatriots into the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict seems to confirm all their suspicions about the role of Turkey, which also supported rebel factions in Syria, and that the true purpose of helping Azerbaijan retake territory is Turkish irredentism.
Studying Arabic in Syria gave one student a first-hand perspective on the tensions and grievances of living in the country. But he could never have predicted how rapidly early protests would give way to a civil war.
I stood in solidarity with the Charlie Hebdo journalists in 2015 from a Syrian rebel stronghold, where the battle for free inquiry met with a war of extermination. The real crisis is clear to me.