No more jasmine: A Syrian-American reflects on Aleppo

No more jasmine: A Syrian-American reflects on Aleppo

Before the uprising against Assad started more than three years ago in Syria, Aleppo was truly the city that never slept. In the mornings, you could smell the sweet scent of jasmine, mixed with the aroma of Turkish coffee. But the city’s landscape has drastically changed. In the media, Aleppo has been dubbed “the world’s most dangerous city”—and for good reason. Photo by Freedom House. Read More »

Do we really need Angelina Jolie?

Do we really need Angelina Jolie?

As Angelina Jolie and UK Foreign Secretary William Hague chair the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, everyone keeps asking if we need Jolie. Is she useful to the cause? Is a celebrity loaning her status and name to the issue of rape in war ultimately good or bad? Lauren Wolfe has the answer. Photo by Andrew Parsons. Read More »

Stigma remains in place as sexualized violence rises in CAR

Stigma remains in place as sexualized violence rises in CAR

The threat of sexualized violence is the No. 1 fear for women and girls in the Central African Republic. But some of the survivors are too afraid to speak out about their abuse. In many countries, the cultural stigma against victims of sexualized violence is such that they are disowned by their husbands or ostracized from their communities after rape. The CAR is no exception. Photo by Getty Images. Read More »

Rape used as tool of ethnic violence in South Sudan

Rape used as tool of ethnic violence in South Sudan

Hundreds of civilians were killed last month in South Sudan when rebels seized the town of Bentiu. Fighters took to radio airwaves and broadcast "hate messages" calling on men to rape women. Between this and stories of rape starting to pop up in the news and via NGOs, it would seem that sexualized violence is becoming a central feature in the South Sudan crisis. Photo by AFP/HO/UNMISS. Read More »

No more music, no more jasmine: A Syrian-American’s reflections on Aleppo

No more music, no more jasmine: A Syrian-American’s reflections on Aleppo

By — June 24, 2014
As a young Syrian-American, visiting Aleppo with my family was the highlight of my year. The sweet scent of jasmine abounded in the gardens, mixed with the aroma of Turkish coffee. At night, cafes were always full of people enjoying the cool breeze. But the city’s landscape has drastically changed: Barrel bombs have destroyed entire districts. Missiles have shattered homes, schools, cars, and lives. My family tells me that the pictures in the news do not do justice to the enormity of the devastation. Aleppo has been dubbed “the world’s most dangerous city.” more »
How to seize the huge opportunity created by the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

How to seize the huge opportunity created by the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict

By — June 20, 2014
“What a fabulous suit. She was perfect, perfect,” said a French woman standing behind me on the escalator. We had just emerged from two hours in a giant auditorium on the outskirts of London where we heard politicians, UN officials, and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Gbowee speaking at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, billed as the largest gathering ever to focus attention and develop effective solutions to ending rape in war. more »
Siege talks to BBC about the UK summit: ‘Listen to the grassroots organizers’

Siege talks to BBC about the UK summit: ‘Listen to the grassroots organizers’

By — June 18, 2014
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, which ended on June 13, has now been met with both criticism and praise throughout the media. Our director, Lauren Wolfe, spoke to the BBC’s Radio Scotland from London, where she was a delegate at the summit. She has a mixed take. more »
Ignoring the evidence at the End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit

Ignoring the evidence at the End Sexual Violence in Conflict summit

By — June 17, 2014
The Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict ended, for me, not with a bang but with a tiny symbol of my irrelevance. As I stood, furiously tweeting, after the summit’s closing plenary, I was literally pushed aside by a bodyguard to Angelina Jolie. (Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees Jolie was a co-host of the summit, with UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.) more »
UK summit on sexualized violence: ‘A time warp in the wrong direction’

UK summit on sexualized violence: ‘A time warp in the wrong direction’

By — June 15, 2014
I spent the past week in London at the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict hosted by UK Foreign Secretary William Hague and UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie. It was a historic gathering of ministers and other government representatives, UN officials, the ICRC, and civil society, including our Campaign to Stop Rape & Gender Violence in Conflict. more »

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