Special episode: The Syrian conflict, explained by a UN diplomat who saw it start

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Many of you will remember the interview I did with Grant Gordon, who works on humanitarian policy innovation at the International Rescue Committee. That conversation received a huge response — some of you even wrote in to say it had changed your career path and you were now reorienting towards humanitarian work and crisis response.

Now, Vox Media, in partnership with the IRC, is launching Displaced, a podcast about the world’s most pressing humanitarian crises and the people whose lives they upend. Each week, Grant, alongside his co-host, IRC chief innovation officer Ravi Gurumurthy, bring on a guest to dig into the world’s toughest problems — both to understand them and to think through how to solve them.

Today, the world’s most destabilizing crisis is the civil war in Syria — it’s led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people and the displacement of millions more, a refugee crisis that has undermined the European Union and brought America and Russia perilously close to armed conflict.

In this episode, Grant and Ravi interview Stephen Hickey, who served as UK deputy ambassador to Damascus in 2010, and was ejected by the Assad regime as its response to the protests became more vicious. So he was in Syria as this began, and his perspective is crucial to understanding where it’s gone and why it’s been so hard to solve.

If you like this episode, you can subscribe to Displaced wherever you get your podcasts.

154 episodes available. A new episode about every 5 days averaging 74 mins duration .