For three years the news media has issued reports of the civil war in Syria. An humanitarian crisis is measured in numbers and the latest reports insist that 100,000 lives have been lost and to date two-million Syrians have fled their homeland. UN figures report that over half of these refugees are children. This morning’s reports herald the deaths of between 500 and 1400 victims of a chemical attack. Our American cousins are debating their response. The world seems helpless to stem the tide of devastation as tribalism shakes the foundations of a nation that has been at the heart of civilization for centuries.
As world-leaders, politicians, and pundits insist upon action, most of us are left wondering not only what action, but what are they fighting about??? Sadly, too many pundits are willing to urge us to rush in, to do who knows what, before we even know what or why. I find myself so disheartened by my own lack of knowledge, that my eyes tend to glaze over at the reports of atrocities, as I quickly move on to something, anything else. It has taken the suspected use of chemical weapons to shake me from my own complacency and motivate me to educate myself on the history of Syria. If you find yourself wondering where to begin, I encourage you to take the time to watch this excellent BBC video on the History of Syria.