Tomorrow I start teaching Iranian politics (again)

Tomorrow is the start of the new term at the Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) Herzliya for me. That means I will start teaching the “contemporary Iranian politics” course for the fourth year.

For the last three years the course has been very popular. For two of three years I received the highest teaching grade in the Lauder School of Government, Diplomacy and Strategy. I teach the course in English to the international students in the morning. In the afternoon I teach the Israeli students in Hebrew.

My course was so popular among the Israeli students that there was a waiting list. This is why this year, instead of being a seminar, it has been turned into a class, so that instead of 25 students, I can teach 50 students. I am very proud of that.

Its so exciting to teach Iranian politics here in Israel. There is so much enthusiasm. Its almost electric and very catchy.

Am I nervous? Yes I am.

At the beginning of a new semester I am always nervous. I always want to give it my best. And you never know what next year’s students are going to be like. And each year when I start teaching a new class, I miss my students from all the classes before. I feel like I am cheating on them with the new class. Strange, but true. After meeting over 13 weeks, I always feel there is a bond between us. I am not afraid to say that I even suffer from a small dose of separation anxiety at the end of the course.

So tomorrow is a new class (well two), new day, new semester. Lets see how it goes. And if all else fails, I will always have Maz Jobrani to help me out. Very few people describe the difference between Iranians and Arabs better than him 🙂

A Saudi, an Indian and an Iranian walk into a Qatari bar

OK, I have 3 days of the Herzliya conference ahead of me. I will most probably turn up for the last 2. Here is the agenda in case you were wondering.  You can also watch the main sessions live by clicking on the LIVE VOD option on this page.

Even before the conference has started, I have been busy meeting with friends who have come from abroad to attend. As you can imagine, its been politics non-stop.

Don’t get me wrong, I really enjoy it. But we all need a comedy break. Its a must in this business, otherwise centrifuges and settlements could spin your mind to some very abnormal places.

And who better for that comedy break than the fantastic Iranian – American comedian Maz Jobrani.

This has got to be one of his best sketches.

Hey maybe one day Maz could come to perform at the Herzliya conference!