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.
AFP PHOTO / MOHAMMED ABED