Monday, April 09, 2007


I had lost contact with my friend Omar Yousef, architect-planner, from Jerusalem. A little while ago I searched in my computer's email archive and found a message of his with his cellphone no. I dialled and - yes, I spoke to Omar again, after four years. Fantastic!

Omar was in Jerusalem, but he is now completing his PhD at the University of California at Irvine. As a practising architect, he has closely studied the politics of urban planning in Jerusalem. (We met at a conference in Salzburg in 2002, where he had been invited to make a presentation on Jerusalem.) Now he is working on a thesis on this theme. He hopes the study findings can provide policy recommendations towards conflict resolution, sustainable peace-building and promotion of inter-group understanding towards the normalisation of the city of Jerusalem.

I look forward to seeing Omar again in August. He is also an oud-player, and I would be looking to resume our musical dialogue too.

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