Ed Pickthall

Hello, my name is Edward Pickthall and I’m a second year undergraduate student studying Politics and International Relations at SOAS, a branch of the University of London.

I’ve been interested in the history of the Middle East since studying it in the sixth form. A school trip to Israel and Palestine sharpened my interest in the region and left a lasting impression on me. 

Between leaving secondary education and taking up my undergraduate studies I spent several months working and travelling throughout Israel, Palestine and Lebanon. In Lebanon I was struck by the long shadow the Civil War still casts over the Lebanese people, and when I subsequently became involved with Parallel Histories I elected to research Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

From an Israeli perspective the invasion is fascinating because it marks a turning point in the way Israeli’s viewed their role in the region, and how the rest of the world viewed Israel.

The Parallel Histories project appeals to me because the narratives from both sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are so intractably opposed that they need to be learnt and taught separately, and alongside each other.