Sophia's Peace Work

Friday, September 02, 2005


I've been on the road for the past month with no time to post. I left Jordan on August 6th for Montreal, Canada and the INTECOL conference ... a big shindig on ecology. I traveled with twelve Iraqi researchers and professors from various Universities in central and southern Iraq. All of them with expertise in different aspects of the Mesopotamian marshlands (fish, phytoplankton, macrophytes, zooplankton, birds, etc). After the conference we went on a study tour of different Marshes in Canada and ended up at a University where the knives came out.

You see the Iraqis were offered funding to conduct research in the marshes. Everything was fine on the surface but there as an intense undercurrent among the Iraqis as they appeared to jockey for position to get the best research grants. Essentially they were being offered more money than they has seen in years to do their work ... it was only natural that there was a bit of a feeding frenzy. It was for the most part going on in Arabic ... so their hosts did not see the full effect of it.

Once I left the Iraqis behind, I traveled to the U.S. to spend time with friends and family ... and get some significant work done. I have some heavy duty meetings and trainings when I get back to Amman ... It's not as fun as I would have wished to be back home. I spend much of my time trying to find a good internet connection! Not much of a vacation! But one more week and I'll be back in the saddle.


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