A thousand miles southeast of what remains of Syria’s civil war, “Syria Matters,” a major exhibition at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha, is focused on the history and the soul of the country rather than the images of conflict that have been reflected in headlines and splashed across television screens for the past seven years. The nearby Arab Museum of Modern Art and the Qatar National Library are also focusing on Syria. For the curators of these shows, Doha is the ideal location to explore Syria’s ancient culture, which has influenced the Muslim world for centuries.

Director, Gender Justice Program


Recent recognition of the work of Nobel Laureate Nadia Murad has drawn global attention to the issue of sexual violence and gender-based violence in conflict. But, as ICTJ Expert Kelli Muddell argues, the nuances of gender norms and how they impact women, men, and vulnerable populations are still often missing from conversations about victims.


France plans to bring back children of suspected French Islamist militants from Syria. Like other European nations, France has been debating how to handle suspected militants and their families returning from combat zones in Iraq and Syria. The policy so far has been to refuse to take back fighters and their spouses, but special consideration is being given to the situation of minors. Reportedly, there are about 60 women, including 40 mothers with around 150 minors, the majority of whom are under the age of 6, in Syria.


Vicious sandstorms are only one of many concerns for the increasingly desperate families in the Rukban refugee camp, in southern Syria on the border with Jordan. The UN warned that humanitarian conditions have reached a critical level and aid groups are scrambling to reach the area, but a long-term plan for relief remains elusive. “We don’t have doctors here, and people here are poor.


From October 1 to October 5, 2018, ICTJ hosted its eleventh intensive course on transitional justice in collaboration with the International Peace Center for in Barcelona. Participants included leaders in their respective fields, including human rights law, community justice and legal services, peacebuilding, education, and humanitarian affairs.


Therapists have known for decades that a primary way young children communicate and comprehend trauma is by drawing pictures. A specialized school, along with 10 others like it in Syria, is designed to ease children back into a normal life through art, music, and sports. “What we found is the children had been so traumatized, they couldn't even recognize numbers or letters," says Deanie Holder, a State Department official who helps oversee the childcare centers in northeast Syria, an area controlled by U.S. forces and its Kurdish and Arab allies.


Diala Brisly and Hani Abbas, two cartoonists and contemporaries, know firsthand the power of images to document conflict, and of cartoons —consumed by children and adults alike —to promote action. 


Last month, during a meeting of the UN Security Council, US Ambassador Nikki Haley highlighted what the UN has claimed are the Nicaraguan government's violent repression of student and opposition protestors. “With each passing day Nicaragua travels further down a familiar path. It is a path that Syria has taken. It is a path that Venezuela has taken,” Haley said. Nicaragua’s President Daniel Ortega and Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro “are cut from the same corrupt cloth,” she added, “And they are both dictators who live in fear of their own people.”


Fifty thousand Syrians have returned from Lebanon so far in 2018. According to the UN High Commission for Refugees, Lebanon is hosting 976,000 registered Syrian refugees, but the government says the total number of Syrians in the country is closer to 1.5 million, which amounts to nearly a quarter of the Lebanese population. Politicians in Beirut have been calling for Syrian refugees to return home as President Bashar al-Assad wins back more of the country.


Turkish President Tayyid Erdogan is warning the world that a Syrian government offensive to recapture Idlib, the last remaining rebel stronghold, would cause humanitarian and security risks for Turkey, Europe, and beyond. Last week, Russian and Syrian warplanes resumed their bombing campaign of the rebel enclave in an apparent prelude to a full-scale offensive. The United Nations has previously warned of a massacre and humanitarian catastrophe involving tens of thousands of civilians in the event of a government offensive.