"I've seen a lot of bad things in more than 30 years as a journalist. I am not made of stone and what I have witnessed has left me with some mental wear-and-tear."
It was a strikingly defensive talk at times. Criticism on social media has clearly riled him:
I've posted a lot of photos of Middle Eastern street food on social media. Someone even combined them into an online slideshow under the admirably business-like title of 'Jeremy Bowen is hungry'. I received some abuse on social media for daring to suggest that, despite everything, Syrians still ate and that I'd been known to join them. My answer was that the best way to understand people, even those caught up in the Middle East catastrophe, is to see how they live and not just how they die.