Economics, Literature and Scepticism

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I am a PhD student in Economics. I am originally from South Africa and plan to return there after my PhD. I completed my M. Comm in Economics and my MA In Creative Writing (Poetry) at the University of Cape Town, where I worked as a lecturer before starting my PhD.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Bringing it home

Posted by Simon Halliday | Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | Category: |

One of my classmates is Palestinian. When he and I are not studying together in Italy, He lives in Ramallah with his wife, child and family. Although he is not close to Gaza, the violence in the region is overflowing into the West Bank in small ways. He told me, in email communications, of violence close to his home in which clashes between Israeli soldiers and members of the public is becoming more common. Recently, these clashes were within 100 meters of his home. This saddens me deeply.

He keeps a photograph of his daughter on his cell phone screen. She is a beautiful little girl. He and two other Palestinian students in our PhD program are committed to improving their own lives and the lives of their compatriots in the Palestinian Territories. I sincerely hope they get the chance. I sincerely hope for a more unified and peaceful response from our world leaders. I hoped for more from Obama. I am glad the EU proposes peace and asserts that the solution cannot be military. I do not regularly comment on political strife in contexts other than those which are immediately pertinent to me as a South African, or as an economist, but in this context I hope simply for the end of killing, for an end to unequal responses.

For those who have not read it, I recommend this short piece on the current conflict, and the lead up to it, in the London Review of Books written by Sara Roy of Harvard's Center for Middle Eastern Studies.

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