Episode 33: how did we get here: transcript

0:14  JT

Welcome to the Thin End of the Wedge, the podcast where experts from around the world share new and interesting stories about life in the ancient Middle East. My name is Jon. Each episode I talk to friends and colleagues, and get them to explain their work in a way we can all understand.

0:30  JT

 In Thin End of the Wedge, I ask my guests to explain their work. The focus is on the guest’s discoveries, their contributions, or their specific understanding of a topic. I try to give priority to those who we don’t usually hear much from. And I try to make the interviews accessible to a wider audience than those who would typically read our publications, for example. In part, that means offering translations of the interviews. I still need to figure out how to make that work properly, but at least we’ve made a start. I rely on the generosity of the translators—and here I must give special mention to Zainab Mizyidawi, who has worked tirelessly to produce Arabic translations—and on the generosity of the TEW family of donors, who kindly support the translators’ work.

0:52  JT

To thank the donors, I produce short bonus episodes. These focus not so much on the guest’s work, but more on the guest themself. This episode is the first in a series where I share excerpts from those bonus interviews. My first question is always how the guest became interested in the ancient Middle East. Now, as a new generation of students encounters the wonder of the ancient Middle East, I hope these answers provide inspiration and encouragement. 

2:03  JT

So get yourself a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s listen to some stories.

2:17  JT

It seems that very few of us active in the field started with childhood dreams to work on the ancient Middle East. Many of us had never even heard of it. But a lot depends on where you grew up. Colleagues from the Middle East usually have a different story to tell. This is Jaafar Jotheri.

2:38  JJ

It started from when I was a child, because I was born in Babylon. In the nursery or even the primary school always we go to Babylon for a trip. And then you know, we saw the gods of Babylon, and the Ishtar Gate, temples. It’s fascinating actually.

3:00  JT

Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver was introduced to the ancient Middle East at school:

3:07  MDT

While I live in Turkey, so the homeland of the Hittites, if you will, our curriculum when I was in, like K 12 education did not really cover that much beyond the Seljuk and the Ottoman cultures of Anatolia. We every now and then talked briefly about the “previous” people, the Lydians who invented money. And they would have these like more generic titles–the Phrygians and King Midas. I remember vividly that in 10th grade for just a week, we talked about the Hittites. And that week was so interesting for me that I ended up writing my term paper on them. And I never forgot the strange names that the kings have, like Shuppiluliuma, or Hattusili or queen Puduhepa. And I think I always continued to think about them. So that was my first encounter with the Hittites.

4:05  JT

Licia Romano tells a similar story:

4:09  LR

When I was 11 years old, I started studying at school ancient Near Eastern art. It was just one or two lessons, nothing more. But immediately I fell in love with this so strange and different cultures. And after that, I planned my … my … my studies in order to become an archaeologist. So I had the opportunity to go to the … what we call in Italian “classical high school” that includes the study of Latin and Greek. That was the first step before choosing the archaeology at university.

4:54  JT

A slightly different example of someone with a kind of career trajectory you might imagine is Ariane Thomas, whose story, both then and now, features a museum.

5:06  AT

I remember going to the galleries in the Louvre. At that time, they were just all new, you know, just after the Grand Louvre reopened. And I remember being extremely amazed by this complete discovery. Because at that time too, unfortunately, it wasn’t taught at all, at school for children. Now, it’s a bit more not so much, but at least give a bit of keys. And yes, at least that is how I do remember it was that I was surprised and curious. And then I asked to get the book about Gilgamesh, and then it went on. Because reading it, I thought it was really interesting. And then I read another thing. And then and, and again and again. I never stopped reading books!

6:04  JT

Museums were also one source of inspiration for Aaron Tugendhaft, although in a more subtle way:

6:11  AT

I probably first encountered the ancient Middle East when I was going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as a kid. I lived a couple of blocks away, and I would go there pretty often. But at the same time, I don’t remember this particularly as the gallery that I was most interested in. Really what I was fascinated by was how the Met brought together so many different cultures and how I was able to think about that variety.

6:37  AT

My family on my mother’s side is from Iraq. My grandfather was born in Baghdad, part of the Jewish community there from antiquity. But he left once things started getting bad for Jews in 1941, and eventually came to the states with his family. He died when I was really young. And I remember that my parents went down to Washington, DC–which is where he was living at the time–to clean out his apartment. Which meant bringing all of his books to our house in New York. And years later, when I started reading, I sort of discovered those books. Those were the first books that I started reading. And they were all about the Middle East. Not so much about the ancient Middle East, though, but about the modern Middle East. And so that produced some interest.

7:31  JT

Chance plays a huge role in our journeys. Just about the only thing archaeologists or assyriologists “stumble” across is the field itself. Here Elisa Rossberger tells us how she worked out what to do after school:

7:50  ER

Becoming an archaeologist was not something that I always wanted since I was a child or so. I didn’t know what I should do after school. I had finished school. I travelled extensively through Central America for a few months. And there I absolutely fell in love with Maya ruins and everything related with Mayans. And I returned back to Germany and I knew finally what I wanted to study–archaeology. But I had no clue which of the different fields in archaeology I should go to–European prehistory, Greek, Roman archaeology, Egyptology.

8:27  ER

German universities are rather narrow and specialised in regard to their subjects, at least back in the days when I wanted to enrol for my first semester. So I asked around, talked to people and quickly realized that prehistory or classics is not really my thing. And then I was lucky enough to run in to a Near Eastern archaeologist. And I figured out that this would be the best choice for the more adventurous, travel-minded people. I started with us in archaeology at Munich. And during my second semester, I was very lucky again, because I could join an excavation in Jordan.

9:11  JT

Compare Gojko Barjamovic’s story:

9:15  GB

I was proudly serving my country as a conscientious objector at the National Museum in Copenhagen in Denmark. And there I got really interested in, I would say, ancient history. I had always liked history, but there my focus was really shifted towards the ancient. And why that in particular? Because of the dearth of sources and this conglomeration of evidence that you have to put together that I described earlier, becomes necessary. I found that intriguing and interesting.

9:45  GB

Then, honestly {LAUGHS}, you know, as one does when one is 19, I kind of went through the catalogue of things that were represented at the university. And assyriology begins with an “A”. And it’s way up there. And since archaeology doesn’t figure as an independent discipline in the catalogue–it’s either Near Eastern archaeology of classical archaeology–they would all have come further down. So I went down and I said, “Ah, Assyriology–sounds good”. So I put in my application and said to myself, “Let’s try this out. And if it turns out that I don’t like it, I can always shift to, you know, history or medieval history or something like that”.

10:24  JT

Shiyanthi Thavapalan made a fortunate mistake, and a fateful decision:

10:30  ST

So I was an undergraduate at York University in Toronto, in Canada. And I was in my very first semester. And I at that time, I was interested in philosophy. So I wanted to take a class on Asian philosophies. First week of classes, first semester, I found the classroom. Went and sat down. The lecture begins, and it’s an introduction to the ancient Near East by Maynard Maidman. {LAUGHS} And uh … but I was so petrified, I was too scared to leave. So I just, I just stayed. I did and it was interesting. And I stayed and stayed, and stayed and here I am.

11:10  JT

Fabienne Huber-Vuillet had a chance encounter:

11:14  FHV

I was at the university and looking for doing some Russian studies, maybe some Middle Ages painting to do with. And then I had the project to go away somewhere in Russia to study painting. {LAUGHS} So that was there I encountered Francoise Bruschweiler, which was teaching at this time. And she was all alone in the library. That was the open day for the new students, you know. She was all alone. And I came there and saw her. And had a kind of pity feeling for her. So I sat, and we begin to discuss, and there it is.

12:02  JT

As a child, I was always really interested in history. I would hunt through bookshops for whatever I could find on the subject. One of those books introduced me to the Assyrians. It opened a new world for me. Other media also play a role, as Paul Collins remembers:

12:23  PC

I began certainly as a boy, but I think I probably started in Egypt, and moved out from there. And it was very much what would be described today is an orientalist approach to the ancient Middle East, which was through Hollywood and Sinbad the Sailor in the Arabian Nights. And it was really only when I got to university and began to be taught about the real ancient Middle East, I began to get a different appreciation of it. And actually much more excitement about it.

12:56  JT

There is a special thrill about seeing and working with actual ancient objects and places. Laith Hussein describes how they fired his imagination:

13:07  LH

Well, it’s a lovely story. In the 70s of the last century, my father took the family for a trip to the archaeological site in Babylon. And I was there, I am a young boy, and I wandered around the site and looked with a great admiration at the bricks sealed with the seal of King Nebuchadnezzar. And from that moment, I grew in my imagination to be reader of this interesting writing. And I think it is a matter of deep love and passion for the cuneiform writing. And you must admire to be creative in this field. I think it’s one of the important things–you must like it, and you can work on it.

13:55  JT

I always loved visiting archaeological sites. As a young boy, I remember being quite impressed with some well-preserved Roman toilets. For me, it made the Romans more approachable; it was somehow more alive and real than statues of emperors. Elynn Gorris describes the impact on her of travelling the Mediterranean.

14:19  EG

My interest in Middle Eastern history goes way back. When I was young, I traveled with my parents in the eastern Mediterranean and Northern Africa. And got really interested in Middle Eastern history in particular. That’s why I decided to study assyriology at university. And in my Master’s, we had to choose one what they call “peripheral” region. So I did some reading and research and the Elamite civilisation caught my attention. As a small kingdom, you know, holding its ground between the great empires. {LAUGHS} Perhaps because of my Belgian background, I could identify myself with the brave little Elamites. {LAUGHS}  But I really think their underdog position in the history of the ancient Near East still keeps me interested. Because I’m convinced that in order for them to survive that long, they must have had an incredible political, diplomatic and military skills of which we are presently unaware of, and which gives us plenty of hypothesis to investigate in the forthcoming years.

15:36  JT

Childhood dreams are one thing. Making a living is quite another. Sooner or later, we all have to face the big question: is there a career in this? Selim Adalı describes his journey:

15:52  SA

I lived in Egypt for three years when I was a child. And ancient civilization really struck up on me. What I thought, however, was that I could not find a job in ancient antiquity, like researching ancient history. So I took interest in other things, but I couldn’t resist. When I was an undergrad in international relations, I even wrote two historical novels. One about the Hittites and the other one about the Sumerians, and so on. And finally, I couldn’t resist. For postgraduate studies, I started ancient Near Eastern history.

16:25  JT

Xiaoli Ouyang originally signed up to study a subject with much clearer job prospects, before following her heart:

16:34  XO

I went to college at Peking University, from 1994 to 1998. When I was a junior, I took an introductory course on ancient Mesopotamia, taught by my Master’s advisor. And I just became interested in assyriology. Later, when I had the chance to pursue an MA degree, I switched from accounting to assyriology.

17:04  XO

I think my story, my experience, illustrates quite a bit the profound changes that the Chinese society has experienced in the past few decades. I was born in the late 70s. And I’m the first one in my family to go to college. And when it came to what I should study in college, my parents … I mean of course, after discussing with me, helped me pick the field of accounting, in management school at the Peking University. Because in their opinion, if you do accounting, you can find a job anytime, anywhere in China. {LAUGHS} So they had the financial security on their mind when they thought about my future. But I was always interested in history in high school. So later on, when I had the chance to switch, I just went from accounting to assyriology.

18:10  JT

Many of us started out with a different interest, before changing our minds when something even more fascinating came along. Often our first interest was in something closely related, such as Egyptology—as in the case of Strahil Panayotov:

18:28  SP

Yeah, it was not on a certain day for sure. It took a while. I started studying Egyptology, first. Egyptology and archaeology. I changed different subjects. I kept Egyptology to the end. But then as a second sub-subject, I chose assyriology when I was studying in Heidelberg. And later on, I moved to Canada. And I think there I got really interested in Assyriology.

19:00  JT

Aaron Tugendhaft came from biblical studies:

19:04  AT

And I was doing a PhD in biblical studies, and not particularly liking Biblical Studies. To be honest. I got really interested in just studying the cultures around the languages that I was learning, supposedly, as supplement to the Bible. So specifically, Akkadian and Ugaritic. And that’s really what got me into it from a scholarly perspective, I sort of abandoned biblical studies for the most part, and shifted over to assyriology. And the study of the history of the ancient Near East.

19:39  JT

For Jaafar Jotheri, his interests combined. The history was embedded in the landscape of where he lived:

19:48  JJ

So the question about the past is always in my mind. Anyway, I went to the science. I did geology, but always I’m thinking about the archaeology of Iraq. How did the… you know … they invent writing? Why we have like this number of sites. And why we have lots of rich civilizations, I mean, in Iraq. And why we have lots of capitals? We have Ur, we have Nippur, we have Babylon, Baghdad, Samarra, and Kufa. Why Iraq is so rich in these capitals? Why lots of empires made their capitals in Iraq? So this is my question. Even if I went to, let’s say, science, because geology is a science here in Iraq. So, the question actually has taken my … in my mind. And then I went to the geomorphology. Because, you know, I live close to the river. I’m dealing with the river and the marshes, and the farm every time.

20:56  JJ

And then I switched to geo-archaeology, because I submitted my application and I get a job in the faculty of Archaeology, rather than Faculty of, let’s say, Earth Ssciences. And then I met the late Tony Wilkinson. So I became interested in the Near East in a whole, let’s say. You know, the irrigation system, of course, connected with, you know, with Syria, with Iran, with southern Turkey.

21:26  JT

Often our first interest can be something very different though. Here’s Reinhard Pirngruber:

21:33  RP

Well, I actually stumbled into Assyriology. Because when I enrolled in university, I started with political science and history. However, it soon became clear to me that I was particularly interested in ancient history. The older, the better.

21:55  JT

Gina Konstantopoulos came from another direction:

21:59  GK

When I was an undergraduate, I actually studied East Asian history and language. I focused on Japanese and Japanese history. I wrote my undergraduate honours thesis on the kamikaze pilots of World War Two, actually. Which I’ve had to explain more than a few times when moving about postdoctoral positions. So I was always very much interested in the use of ideas and language, and history as well. After undergraduate, I spent a year in New York, actually, teaching Middle School. Different story. Spent a lot of time in the Met. And consequently spent an enormous amount of time in the Neo Assyrian reliefs of Ashurnasirpal, the second room.

22:43  GK

And my other big interest had always in the ancient world, particularly the ancient Near East, and its connections with other societies and other cultures. And particularly, you know, ancient religion and ancient ritual–magic and demons in point of fact. And moved increasingly we can say to the west, and back in time until I ended up in Mesopotamia from there. I like to think that I tricked Michigan, which is where I went to graduate school into accepting me, because my writing sample was from my undergraduate honours thesis on the kamikaze pilots to study the ancient Near East. After I graduated, one of my professors finally copped to the fact that they basically got my application and went, “Well, this might be interesting. Let’s see what happens”.

23:31  JT

Carlos Gonçalves had specialised further, before finding his true passion: had specialized further, before finding his true passion:

23:37  CG

It was a surprise for me. Because in my doctoral thesis, I studied Greek mathematics. I translated some chapters of Euclid’s elements into Portuguese. I never published this translation. I thought it was not really adapted for the public. And I was never really able to decide in which direction to follow.

23:59  CG

Yet, at that time, I was constantly being invited in my country to give talks on the history of ancient mathematics in general. Then, one of these invitations came asking me to teach a four hour crash course on ancient Mesopotamian mathematics. I took it really seriously and read a lot at that time. The result was I fell in love with the subject and decided to provide myself some sort of training. So I started studying Akkadian all by myself at that moment. And in 2009, I was able to spend some time in Vienna at the Institut fuer Orientalistik of the University of Vienna. Where with the generous guidance and help of Professor Hermman Hunger, I improved a lot and the plan of my book on the Tell Harmal mathematical tablets was conceived.

24:52  JT

Having found the field, there is of course the problem of which part of it to specialise in. We’re forced to choose between archaeology and cuneiform studies, for example. In my case, I was intrigued, but also daunted, by cuneiform, so veered towards archaeology. Eventually, I plucked up enough courage to take the leap of faith. Here’s what happened to Jana Matuszak:

25:20  JM

I was always interested in ancient things, and then decided to become an archaeologist at the age of 12. And I did actually start studying archaeology, but signed up for Akkadian as a minor. And within weeks, I was so hooked by the cuneiform writing system and the beauty of the Akkadian language, that I switched to assyriology. That was even before I started Sumerian, then. I think studying the languages of ancient Iraq matched my general interest in literature more closely, because I like to work with texts.

25:53  JT

This is Ilgi Gerçek’s story:

25:57  IG

I studied archaeology as an undergraduate. My two interests then were language and the ancient Near East. So my favourite classes were Hittite archaeology, Mesopotamian archaeology, and Latin–which I continue to teach. We didn’t have Ancient Near Eastern languages in our curriculum then. So I applied for graduate school, to study Hittite and Mesopotamian language and history. So I discovered my love of the ancient Near East, through archaeology actually.{LAUGHS}

26:30  JT

HB gives a lovely example of how you can combine two areas of expertise:

26:37  HB

Yes, well, this is quite a long story, because I actually first trained as an archaeologist. And after finishing my first degree in archaeology, I worked on excavations for several years, both in the UK and abroad. Because I wanted to travel. So I went to work on an excavation in southern Iraq, and I got completely hooked on the archaeology of the region. And so I spent quite a few seasons working on different projects in Iraq. And then I went back to university to study cuneiform. And at the very same time, political events made it impossible to return to Iraq. So basically, although I’ve been studying assyriology ever since, at least working on the Babylonian cities, I’ve been able to combine study of texts with archaeology. Because the study of urbanism is a subject that is really ideal for combining the two different sources of evidence.

27:32  JT

So what is it the sparks our interest in the ancient Middle East in particular? One attraction, in the early days at least, is just how long ago those cultures lived. Sophus Helle recounts his early fascination:

27:49  SH

I remember very vividly: I was 18. I was doing my first semester at the University of Copenhagen. And during that first semester, one has to pick between Egyptology, Mesopotamian archaeology, Egyptian archaeology, and Assyriology. And I had just settled on Assyriology, when I was invited to have a conversation with my bank counselor, because I just moved out of my parents apartment, and that’s routine. So I went down to the bank. And, you know, they asked various questions to figure out what kind of customer I was going to be. And they asked what I was studying. I said, “Well, I’ve just decided that I want to study Assyriology”. And that was the … I think, the first–definitely not the last, but the first–time I was asked, in this perplexed tone, “Why ever that?” {LAUGHS} And I just remember, yeah, as an 18 year old launching on this tirade about how I wanted to get back to the beginning of history, and see what humanity was like in the earliest preserved sources.

28:56  SH

Of course, now, I think that’s silly. I don’t think that assyriology can give us the origins of culture or anything like that. I just think that, you know, in my attempt to go as far back in time as I could, I kind of got stuck on Babylonian culture and fell in love with it. I’m not drawn very much to the idea of going as far back as I can anymore, because I’ve just become fascinated with Babylonian culture and Babylonian poetry. But that was the instinct that led me there.

29:30  JT

Another attraction is much detail we can find out about the lives of these ancient people, as Dahlia Shehata explains:

29:40  DS

Well, this happened actually quite early. I was about nine or 10 years old, and I lived back then in Kuwait. And I got interested in … well … in the secrets of mankind’s first civilisation. And even though I was half Egyptian, and I already knew about Pharaonic times, and all these great pyramids and so on, I still had the feeling that there was more to know about. And there were even older civilisations. And so I came and discovered the ancient Near East, and especially Mesopotamia. And then I realised that this must be the real cradle of civilisation. And then I gained interest in studying this area and these early civilisations of Iraq and Syria.

30:30  DS

But of course, in the beginning, I always wanted to become an archaeologist and to dig in ancient Iraq or Syria. But then later, when I started to study at the University of Hamburg, I realised that learning the languages might be even more exciting, because then you get to know about the people and the culture in more detail. And this is something I really liked a lot. During my study, I read a lot of texts, and I read letters. And it was fascinating to read about these people with their names, you know, to hear that there was a mother, and here was some person or some husband taking care of his wife, or whatever, you know. And these letters, they’re very personal. And you really have the feeling that you get into a time machine and turn back then and get to know these people quite well, even though they have lived about 4- or 5-000 years ago. {LAUGHS}

31:28  JT

Here’s Gojko Barjamovic:

31:32  GB

And I went to a few lectures, I was completely sold. I had no idea how dense this Mesopotamian material is. That you have there this oddity that is linked to clay. It means that we can understand describe and write about and think about history that happened 4000 and 3000 years ago, in ways that we can’t really hope to do again before we get into the early modern period. So I was stuck. So I was stuck.

31:59  JT

And Strahil Panayotov:

32:01  SP

I just found the stuff really interesting, and especially the huge amount of texts. I think this was the thing: that there was so much writing in assyriology.

32:15  JT

There is the thrill of discovery, and the love of a challenge to overcome or a puzzle to solve:

 In Jana Matuszak’s words:

32:25  JM

What attracted me to archaeology as a teenager was the romantic notion of discovering things in the desert. And I still like discovering things. But now it’s more hitherto unknown literary compositions hiding in some museum instead. It’s a different thrill. But I personally love resurrecting texts from broken bits and pieces, knowing that I’m essentially the first person in 4000 years to read them. They offer fascinating glimpses into a long lost civilisation, which is obviously remote in time and space, but it’s still relatable. The modes of literary expression may have changed. But the sentiments expressed in these texts, they remain essentially the same. It’s great to be reading such ancient texts.

33:14  JT

And of course, you can make a clear contribution. Here’s Reinhard Pirngruber:

33:21  RP

And what appealed most to me about assyriology was the fragmentary state of our data. So it gives you lots of possibilities for you to create your own narratives on how things may have happened. This is a very fun challenge for me.

33:40  JT

Many of us grow up near heritage sites of some sort. That can foster an interest in history and heritage. Then, when you encounter the ancient Middle East, you find your goal. Here’s Stefania Ermidoro:

33:58  SE

So I was born in Rome. So I think the idea of studying archaeology and ancient history was always present ever since I was a child. I think the moment in which I decided to study the ancient Near East was during my very first class of ancient Near Eastern history. Because I sat down in the classroom and I heard about this world, which was quite unknown to me. Because in Italy, we do not really study ancient Mesopotamia in the normal school curriculum. And I simply fell in love with what I was hearing. So that was the moment in which I decided that instead of classics, or Roman archaeology, I was going to study Ancient Near Eastern archaeology and history. So definitely, my very first class of ancient Near Eastern history was the moment for me. {LAUGHS}

34:47  JT

But of course it’s only those in the Middle East who grow up with Hittites, Sumerians, Assyrians, and Babylonians as local history. And this history holds a special appeal, and a deeper significance. As Jacob Jawdat puts it:

35:04  JJ

Because I’m living in Mesopotamia, I like this field of archaeology. From the second year of my study in BA, I try to develop my knowledge of this field. This was by reading and working with my professors. But it is come from our heritage, because it’s our heritage. This a main reason to be assyriologist or archaeologist for me.

35:34  JT

I hope you enjoyed this special episode. I’d like to thank all our guests for sharing their stories. I’d also like to thank our patrons: Tyler Russell, Enrique Jimenez, Jana Matuszak, Nancy Highcock, Jay C, Rune Rattenborg, Woodthrush, Elisa Rossberger, Mark Weeden, Jordi Mon Companys, Thomas Bolin, Joan Porter MacIver, John MacGinnis, Andrew George, Yelena Rakic, Michael Katsevman, Mend Mariwany, Kathryn Topper, Zach Rubin, Sabina Franke, Sophus Helle, Shai Gordin, Aaron Macks, Jonathan Stökl, Maarja Seire, Jaafar Jotheri, Morgan Hite, Chikako Watanabe, Mark McElwaine, Heather Baker, Sukanya Ramanujan, Laura Battini, Jonathan Blanchard Smith, Vanessa Richards, as well as those who prefer to remain anonymous.

36:32  JT

I really appreciate your support. It makes a big difference. Every penny received has contributed towards translations. Thanks of course to the lovely people who have worked on the translations on a voluntary basis or for well below the market rate. For Arabic, thanks in particular to Zainab Mizyidawi, as well as Lina Meerchyad and May Al-Aseel. For Turkish, thank you to Pinar Durgun and Nesrin Akan. TEW is still young, but I want to reach a sustainable level, where translators are given proper compensation for their hard work.

37:12  JT

And thank you for listening to Thin End of the Wedge. If you enjoy what we do, and you would like to help make these podcasts available in Middle Eastern languages, please consider joining our Patreon family. You can find us at patreon.com/wedgepod. You can also support us in other ways: simply subscribe to the podcast; leave us a five star review on iTunes or your podcatcher of choice; recommend us to your friends; follow us on Twitter: @wedge_pod. If you want the latest podcast news, you can sign up for our newsletter. You can find all the links in the show notes and on our website at wedgepod.org. Thanks, and I hope you’ll join us next time.