Land is per­haps the most sen­si­tive of all is­sues that has been the cause of con­flicts around the world and through­out his­tory. The nas­ti­est of such wars is play­ing out be­tween Gaza and Is­rael, with ne­go­ti­a­tions for a two-state so­lu­tion in limbo.


While world lead­ers have con­demned the play­ers, no di­rect in­ter­ven­tion has been suc­cess­ful so far with Egypt's at­tempt at ne­go­ti­at­ing a cease­fire prov­ing to be non-ef­fec­tive as Ha­mas was side­lined in these talks. Qatar's role in the me­di­a­tory ef­forts is gain­ing sig­nif­i­cance and is seen as the last re­sort for peace. While the toll of death rings loud and clear, bring­ing down hun­dreds of civil­ians and chil­dren in the Gaza strip in ad­di­tion to a few of the Is­raeli forces and push­ing more peo­ple in Gaza to­wards eco­nomic de­cline and dire poverty, the cease­fire ef­forts is mired in a re­gional tus­sle for in­flu­ence with ri­val pow­ers com­pet­ing to take credit for a truce. The lat­est ca­su­alty fig­ures as we go to press show that over 1,200 peo­ple (in­clud­ing more than 200 chil­dren) have been killed and close to 7,000 in­jured. This war re­flects an era where life and death is mea­sured out by the virtue of where you be­long, by a mat­ter of land; a line that di­vides your state of ex­is­tence. And peace is also rolled out with a larger in­tent of not just eco­nomic pros­per­ity but triv­ial con­quest in a power tus­sle. Land is not the defin­ing fac­tor be­hind Qatar's manda­tory mil­i­tary ser­vice. While in­ter­nal and ex­ter­nal se­cu­rity is im­por­tant, as is ev­i­dent in the con­flict that is be­ing played out in close quar­ters, the rea­son be­hind the na­tional ser­vice is more for its dis­ci­plinary ben­e­fits. Qatar To­day scouts out the fa­cil­i­ties and speaks to the lead­ers who ex­e­cute the na­tional ser­vice ed­u­ca­tion to the Qatari men. As­sets un­der Man­age­ment; sta­di­ums and the legacy they leave be­hind, Uber ver­sus Karwa taxis, emerg­ing mar­kets and their dwin­dling prospects; the Katara Fan Zone where Qatar's res­i­dents shared their pas­sion for foot­ball; all this and more in this is­sue of Qatar To­day will make for an in­sight­ful read. Wish­ing all our read­ers a pros­per­ous Eid and hop­ing that there will be no more blood­shed in the name of land.

A Pales­tinian man holds shrap­nel against a scared wall fol­low­ing an Is­raeli air strike in Beit Hanu.


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