Stripped of the usual polemics and accompanying rhetoric, here, in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense, an American humanitarian worker tries to give a citizen's perspective of the Palestinian issue within the context of the Arab world and its relations with the west.
The enduring languor of the American economy, the disillusionment with nation building, and the increasingly participative nature of governance in the Arab world are challenging traditional relationships between the US and the Middle East.
Leaving Iraq – February, 2006
I had wanted to stay past the end of 2005 when the permanent government would be elected. We all knew that the Sunnite insurgents and Al Qaeda would, regardless, continue to contest the future of Iraq on the streets but we could also see that these two forces were increasingly hostile fellow travelers with the later still driven by the vision of their Caliphate and the former hanging on to privileges in a nation-state.
The Avant Garde: How we left Iraq...
It was the summer of 2005 and for the time being a group of us humanitarian workers had found an acceptable security situation in Khanaqin, a town in eastern Diyala a few kilometers from the Iranian border.
"They are imbuing the soil with their blood", I had said. "Sanctifying it and making it them. The field of Black birds for the Serbs", I had added as I turned toward my Serbian program director, "versus the foot-loose, the homeless, and the multinational who will not die for soil."
R and R - December 2004: San Sebastian, Spain
The road back, I suspected, would be tough. I had told my wife that I only had about one more of these assignments in me - maybe two.
Amman, Jordan: March 2003
Twelve years later, after almost a decade of following the war in the Balkans east from Zagreb to Belgrade, culminating afterward with a rather sentimental assignment in Hanoi for a couple of years, I was back on ''GO" again. Yessiree - new King - same place.
And though, if you thought about it, you might read something into it, it was really just a fluke. I mean, me being booked into a place called Best Western. In the 5th circle of Amman.
We note that a television program sharing our name - Bridging the Divide - aired on December 10th and was narrated by Tom Brokaw. It asks some compelling questions about the state of our democracy and culture.
Burlington, Vermont - November 22, 2010.
David Holdridge, President of Bridging the Divide, participated on a panel of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) practitioners titled "ICT for Development: A Vector of Innovation Across Sectors." Holdridge spoke on behalf of "Made in Beirut" as the next step for developing Arabic content and architecture for locally owned ICT ventures. The event on October 16th was sponsored by the American Embassy and the Ministry of Communication and brought together representatives from the ICT sector across the Middle East.
Copyright © 2011 | Bridging the Divide