In his new book titled “Contested Frontiers in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel Region: Cartography, Sovereignty and Conflict,” history and peace studies professor Asher Kaufman uses maps to illustrate the complexity of the border dispute among Israel, Syria and Lebanon, using this border area as a microcosm of Middle Eastern history for the past 100 years.Kaufman said his case study reveals a flaw in the way we view international borders.“There is always a gap between how we perceive political borders as impregnable, impenetrable lines that are controlled by the states and the reality that consistently defeats that,” he said. “This is even more so in areas of conflict zones, where we think of borders as lines of defense where the military stands behind one side, the other military behind the other side, and the border line is simply a war zone.“This has been the image of the Israeli borders with its Arab neighbors. When you zoom in, you see that the situation is far more complex.”To better understand the complexity of these borders, Kaufman said he pored through French diplomatic archives that were disorganized but held the key to unlocking the border dispute.“I knew that if I would find anything about the Lebanese and Syrian borders it would be there, because the French demarcated these borders, in theory, during the days of the French mandate,” he said.Kaufman said this border dispute is especially relevant to the current Syrian political climate and its resulting refugee crisis.“In light of the unrest that has engulfed the Middle East since 2011, if you look at the Syrian civil war, and you look at the situation at Syria’s borders, you get a sense … that the conflicts in the region, even the Syrian civil war, cannot be circumscribed within the boundaries of Syria,” he said. “There is actually great leakage.“The civil war in Syria has become a regional issue. Lebanon is affected by it. Israel is affected by it. And the tri-border region has become another arena where the civil war is being manifested.”This conflict and those involved in it has made the region he writes about dangerous, Kaufman said.“Because of the topography of this region, it has become an area for arms smuggling, for combatants to go back and forth from Lebanon to Syria and vice versa,” he said.“Because of the sensitivity of this region, Israel has now fortified its military presence and has also began treating Syrian citizens arriving now at the Israeli borders asking for medical assistance. It all takes place there in this very small piece of land that, despite its small size, can tell us the big stories of the Middle East.”Kaufman said using cartography to examine the conflict in this region – the first third of his book is all about maps – is “innovative.”“Something that has not been done by I don’t think anybody is the connection I make between cartography and the social and political reality, colonial cartography of the 19th century, its impact on boundary demarcation in the 20th century and the way this colonial cartography eventually plays a decisive role in how border populations behave on a day- to-day basis,” he said.Tags: Asher Kaufman, book, cartography, civil war, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Syria
The Tourist Board of the City of Dubrovnik won the Best Stay 2017 award in the category “Best destination for luxury tourism” at the Best Stay conference of the same name, which is being held in Split. In the competition of two more finalists from Opatija and Split, Dubrovnik was awarded as a destination that stands out in luxury tourism with its offer and presentation.It is a Best Stay conference, which focuses on luxury and quality in every aspect of the guest experience in tourism, and brings together experts who last year were about 250. It is an opportunity to get acquainted with the latest trends and share experiences with leaders in tourism. The novelty of this year’s conference is the awarding of prizes in several categories, including the category “Best Luxury Hotel”, “Most Innovative Hotel Design”, “Best Destination for Luxury Tourism” in which Dubrovnik was awarded, then the category “Best ICT solution for hotels” and “Best creating websites for hotels ”.”This valuable recognition to Dubrovnik is a confirmation of the efforts that all stakeholders of Dubrovnik tourism invest in the presentation of Dubrovnik and the effort, but also the love they bring to their work. This is an indicator of how guests and the profession recognize all that makes Dubrovnik and its luxury tourism stand out, and this in turn provides additional motivation for work, development and monitoring of modern trends in the future.”Point out from the Dubrovnik Tourist Board.All recognitions, awards, certificates are as important and relevant as we make them relevant. As in the case of Advent in Zagreb, ie the awards portal European Best Destination. Zagreb took great advantage of the opportunity to additionally position and brand Advent in Zagreb, while Zadar unfortunately failed to “charge” the award as the best European destination.Opportunities are there, make good use of them.