From 07-12 September, we hosted a Summer School on “Academic Approaches to Peace-building (in Yemen)” in Amman. Yemeni and German doctoral and graduate students, activists and researchers came together for six days of extensive and lively discussions that were marked by tears as well as laughter, but most importantly mutual respect and understanding. Due to the closure of Sanaa Airport, several colleagues and graduate students of GDRSC were unfortunately unable to join. We were thus particularly grateful to Yemeni colleagues and students based in Amman for their willingness to join us in our program and awed by the personal risks two male students from GDRSC took by traveling from Sanaa to Say’un in Hadhramawt to fly from there to Amman to join us as well as by the determination of colleagues and students in Sanaa to be involved in our exercises from afar.
The topics of our Summer School addressed questions of international (academic) approaches to peace-building and concepts of the nation-state. An important theme of the entire Summer School was the question of positionality and how we as (future) scholars approach the question of peace and peace-building in our research and writing. In the framework of story-telling exercises, freeze frames and theatrical enactments, writing exercises, presentations and discussions, we approached our title theme from many different aspects. Particularly valuable were the presentations of Yemeni colleagues involved in (peace-building) initiatives for Yemen in and outside the country as well as the frankness of the German Ambassador, Andreas Kindl, in a Q&A session on September 06.