Visiting a country ‘at war’

Whilst sitting in Istanbul’s main airport waiting for my connection to Tel Aviv (a five hour layover) I started thinking about the headline in the Gulf News this morning. It was about such and such a group firing mortars at Israel.
It’s a strange feeling to be on my way to a country that I don’t think is even recognised by the country I live in (the UAE) and which experiences all kinds of military activity on a daily basis. I’m not going anywhere that’s likely to be attacked by mortars, but the threat of terrorism is probably higher there than anywhere else I’ve visited.
Growing up in London during the 80s, there were constant threats of terrorism from the IRA. You got used to it and it was never more than a nuisance for me personally, thank goodness. To a certain degree you get a bit blase about it. Things are different in this region though. The IRA had no intention of killing themselves, which made their operations harder and therefore less frequent. When your attackers are actually quite happy to die and see it as an honourable thing to do, that changes things.

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