Osama Dawoud's tragic situation is, unfortunately, the norm rather than the exception in the Gaza Strip. Not only is the denial of this fine scholar's visa by Israel a loss for Utah, it is a loss for Israel itself. It will only engender frustration by Mr. Dawoud and his family, which could not possibly encourage them to work closely with the Israeli government in addressing the water issues in their part of the world.

For ourselves, bringing one more voice of reason about the Arab-Israeli conflict to Utah would certainly help us better understand the dynamics of this conflict and perhaps might even open our eyes to the gross violation of civil rights that occurs daily against the Palestinians.

Cynthia Douglass

Salt Lake City