Okay. Since my last post, I have lectured a 2-day-seminar on water conflict, participated in a panel on religion and conflict, written an article with another PhD-student on water in the MENA-region, and given talks on water in the middle east and my theoretical approach in my thesis. On a more private note, I am now located in Hamburg, since my work in Heidelberg is coming to a close.
You see, this way it doesn't sound so bad not to have written for such a long time.
This blog will see some changes, too. It will become more of a platform for me to communicate political and more general statements on the Middle East, even though I will still talk about my PhD, which I hope to finish by June, from time to time. However, since I am now officially on the lookout for new challenges job-wise, this blog will be a welcome tool.
For now, I would like to say a couple of words about a topic I have written on earlier: the IDF. When the young father came to visit Germany a couple of weeks ago, we talked about what it was like for him to be stationed in Ramallah during the Lebanon war as a substitute for the poor guys who had to go up north, and about serving in the IDF as a reserve soldier in general. One thing he said stuck to me, somehow: There would have been ways to be released from the reserve forces, he said, so when his regular time in the army was over, he sat down to debate with himself whether he wanted to continue serving or not. In the end, he decided he did. He said that instead of the 18-year-old, bored soldiers who usually serve at checkpoints, there should be people with more experience, with an own family and responsibilities, because they will in all probability have less of a hard time deciding how to deal with situations inducing fear, anger and other such emotions.
You see, this is, of course, only treating the symptom. The root of the problem lies deep behind the question why there are road blocks and checkpoints in the first place, and we talked about that, too. But in the small ways in which we can all change society a little bit, the young father had decided to put himself out there to make life a little easier at one checkpoint or another. I am not sure I would or could do that if I had the choice.
Okay, sorry for being pathetic. One last thing: My new publication mentioned above is coming out in April, here are the full details:
(with Annabelle Houdret): Wasser im Mittleren Osten und Nordafrika – rationiert, kontrolliert, politisiert, in: Jochen Hippler (ed.), Konfliktregion Naher und Mittlerer Osten, i.E. The English version will be coming out in a couple of months.