Sophia's Peace Work

Monday, April 24, 2006

Meeting in Dohuk

Well, as predicted, we survived the meeting and it was fairly productive. We were presenting our work over the last two years creating a plan for the restoration of the Mesopotamian Marshlands in southern Iraq. Though the whole thing started badly and for three days we got no sleep, our basic goal of presenting the finalized (almost) Plan to the Iraqi Ministries of Environment, Water Resources, Municipalities & Public Works as well as to some local officials from the marshlands was completed. And we were also able to discuss the new projects and what the Ministries want to do for the coming year. It was at times difficult and contentious (there are many personalities to juggle and everyone has their own agenda) but the final result seems good.

On the last day, after the big celebratory dinner, we (the organizers of the whole event) went off to return to our hotel for some much needed sleep. But the driver suggested a short tour of Dohuk (which by the way is only a few miles south of the Turkish Border) ... this tour involved stopping at a local store to pick up a few beers and then heading up to Dohuk Dam. I was stuck in the back of the truck and commented that this was a very "high school" thing to do. We were all punchy and tired but it was a nice way to decompress and end the whole trip.

Now, I'm back in Amman ... still with a load of work to do. Fine by me.


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