When studying in Jordan last fall, I was stunned by the silence around sexual violence experienced by women in Syrian refugee camps. In Arab communities, where social stigma and family honor carry huge weight, consequences of sexual violence extend far beyond scarring psychological trauma to fear of alienation and even honor killing.
As atrocities committed by the self-declared Islamic State (IS), also called ISIS or ISIL, dominate media headlines, we must not forget the civilians who have been suffering since long before IS gained a stronghold in parts of Syria and Iraq.
On the same turf that IS operates other actors are committing mass atrocities, while enjoying full impunity.
I had mixed emotions about the latest "good news" on humanitarian aid in Syria. The U.N. Security Council has passed a long overdue resolution that -- if implemented -- will save the lives of Syrians trapped in desperate circumstances by the war.
Last week, Human Rights Watch reported that the Iraqi government repeatedly targeted and attacked Fallujah General Hospital in Anbar province. Fallujah is a pivotal city in Sunni-majority Anbar province, which has long accused the Shia-dominated central government of persecution.