Examining the alternatives to a Red Sea-Dead Sea canal

The University Colloquium on the Global South at York will host a presentation by Stuart Schoenfeld and Eric Abitbol, titled "Alternative Visions of Water in the Middle East: The Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal Resistance through Concerted Research". This presentation opens the colloquium’s winter series and will take place Wednesday, Jan. 24, from 2:30 to 4:30pm, in 305 York Lanes.

Right: View of the evaporation of the Dead Sea, taken in 1989 from the Space Shuttle Columbia. The southern half is now separated from the northern half at what used to be the Lisan Peninsula because of the fall of water levels. Photo courtesy of NASA.

In response to the dropping Dead Sea level, the World Bank (in association with regional governments) is launching a $15-million, two-year feasibility study regarding the development of the Red Sea-Dead Sea Canal mega-project. Resisting this development, members of a Middle Eastern and international water community are now undertaking a concerted research project to study and propose policy alternatives to the canal. In this presentation, Schoenfeld and Abitbol will discuss this new multilateral and multisectoral initiative.

Stuart Schoenfeld (left) is a professor of sociology at Glendon, affiliated with the York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS) and the Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS). He has written extensively on the sociology of the Jews, and is currently engaged in projects on religion and society and the sociology of environmental issues. He has most recently published "The Environmentalists’ Narrative" (2002), for The Sustainability Report, a major Canadian environmental Web site supported by Environment Canada, Health Canada, and the Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade.

Eric Abitbol is a doctoral student in peace studies at the University of Bradford, UK. He is a researcher at the York Centre for International & Security Studies (YCISS) and Associate Fellow at the Institute for Research & Innovation in Sustainability (IRIS). Abitbol is co-author of Up In Arms: The Role of Young People in Conflict and Peacemaking (1995) and director of Peacemedia-paixmédia, a research organization committed to conflict resolution.

The University Colloquium on the Global South is an open space for debate and critical inquiry for students, faculty members, NGOs, social activists and policy makers. Colloquia are free and do not require pre-registration.

For information or to register for updates, visit the University Consortium on the Global South Web site or call Elena Cirkovic at ext. 55237. This event is co-sponsored by the Centre for Research on Latin America & the Caribbean (CERLAC).