A few months ago, I had the opportunity to see Dr. Khaled Kandil receive an award from the Syrian American Medical Society at their annual conference in Gaziantep, Turkey. He was being honored for establishing the dialysis center at Bab al-Hawa Hospital – one of the few remaining treatment centers in the opposition-held territories in Syria.
Even in a world inured to violence, the U.S. airstrike on a Doctors without Borders (MSF) hospital in Kunduz, which killed both staff and patients, was shocking.
In both conflict and non-conflict scenarios, women face a daily risk of assaults at home, in the workplace, on the street, and even in college dorms. In addition, victim blaming and other negative responses from first responders is commonplace, leading to underreporting of these crimes.
In the three weeks since Aylan’s photo circulated around the world, little has changed for refugees seeking safe passage from conflict.
When I visited Yemen last year, the situation was grim. The government was dealing with fuel shortages and protests against the lifting of subsidies. But, there was still hope.