March 2, 2009

Pt 1: Jordan River Living Documentary - Anna Maria takes a trip down the historic Jordan River. A river that has long shaped the political and spiritual geography of the Middle East. Nearly every country in the region - from Syria and Lebanon to Israel and Jordan - lays claims to its waters.

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Pt 2: Gaza Doctor Documentary - Journalist, Piya Chattopadhyay brings us the story of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish. He has dedicated his career to caring for Palestinians and Israelis alike, speaking out for dialogue, working as a gynecologist and fertility expert in both Israel and Gaza. In January he lost 3 daughters when an Israeli tank shell hit his Gazan home. This documentary is called, Do No Harm . Piya Chattopadhyay is a Canadian reporter based in Jerusalem.

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Pt 3: Fukin Valley Documentary - We started this segment with some sound from Wadi Fukin, a Palestinian farming village in The Fukin Valley. In some ways, The Fukin Valley presents a hopeful vision for how water might actually help Israelis and Palestinians learn to live together cooperatively.

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This is a Special Edition of The Current from Jerusalem.

It's Monday, March 2nd.

It's widely believed that water scarcity could become a major source of conflict in the Middle East.

Currently, until that happens, the conflict will instead have to rely on a shared thirst for retribution and revenge.

This is The Current.


Jordan River Living Documentary

Anna Maria takes a trip down the historic Jordan River. A river that has long shaped the political and spiritual geography of the Middle East. Nearly every country in the region - from Syria and Lebanon to Israel and Jordan - lays claims to its waters.

But now the river's ebb and flow - it's very existence - is in question. Due to massive diversions, growing demand and years of drought, the Lower Jordan has been reduced to a trickle. And the Dead Sea into which it flows is drying up.

In 2007, Friends of the Earth Middle East named the Jordan River as one of the world's 100 most endangered ecological sites, due in part to lack of cooperation between Israel and the neighboring Arab states. We examined how the river has been shaped by the politics and history of the region in this documentary by Kristin Nelson called, A River Jordan.

Click here to view some photo's from this documentary from CBC News Online

 

Gaza Doctor Documentary

Journalist, Piya Chattopadhyay brings us the story of Dr. Ezzeldeen Abu al-Aish. He has dedicated his career to caring for Palestinians and Israelis alike, speaking out for dialogue, working as a gynecologist and fertility expert in both Israel and Gaza. In January he lost 3 daughters when an Israeli tank shell hit his Gazan home. This documentary is called, Do No Harm . Piya Chattopadhyay is a Canadian reporter based in Jerusalem.

 

Fukin Valley Documentary

We started this segment with some sound from Wadi Fukin, a Palestinian farming village in The Fukin Valley. In some ways, The Fukin Valley presents a hopeful vision for how water might actually help Israelis and Palestinians learn to live together cooperatively.

But even here, water issues threaten the region's future and provide an ever-present reminder of the conflicts of the past. The Current's Kristin Nelson spent some time in Wadi Fukin and prepared this documentary.

Israeli Water Expert

We started this segment with a clip of Dudy Tzfati and Shafika Umhaiithim, an Israeli and a Palestinian who are working together to protect a unique system of water springs in the Fukin Valley. They live in two towns on opposite sides of the so-called "Green Line" that marks Israel's 1967 border. And what Israel calls its separation barrier -- and what Palestinians call a wall -- will soon divide them.

Water has long been a source of tension throughout Israel and the Palestinian Territories. That's something Martin Sherman knows all too well. He was a ministerial advisor in the government of Yitzhak Shamir in the early 1990s. He also served for seven years in a variety of roles related to national defense. He now teaches political science at Tel Aviv University and he was in Jerusalem.

Palestinian Water Authority

For a very different view on what the water challenges are in the region, we were joined by Dr. Shaddad Attili. He is head of the Palestinian Water Authority. He was in Ramallah.

Last Word - Hockey Night in Ramallah

We started this segment with some sound of Hockey Night in Ramallah. One night about a year ago, a group of Canadians who were living and working in the Palestinian territories were sitting around drinking beer and talking about how many other Canadians they knew in the area -- lawyers, activists, NGO workers.

Someone suggested they start up a game of street hockey. So they bought some sticks, found an empty parking lot next to a bank and the Ramallah Street Hockey League was born. They meet on Fridays. And they attract a lot of attention in the neighbourhood, where most people are observing the Friday religious day.

We ended the program today with some thoughts from some of the league's biggest boosters.

And a reminder that The Current will be broadcasting out of Jerusalem again tomorrow. Among other things, we'll have a conversation with Noam Shalit, the father of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured by Hamas in a cross-border raid back in June, 2006.

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