I leave the region with all the usual feelings, heavy feelings, the same ones people much brighter and more eloquent than me have described through the years. I just have one small, unfurling seed of optimism; knowing that if water could be disentangled from the war, it presents a genuine opportunity for co-operation and relationship building between neighbours. In all the gloom there is a glimmer of hope and it's right there, in the water.
It is as easy to insist on a political settlement in Syria or in Libya as it is to talk of crushing ISIS. In Syria and Iraq, ISIS gives every indication of denying the legitimacy of compromise, so the concept of settlement would be out of bounds. In Libya, where ISIS is present but far from dominant, there could (and, for their own self-interest, should) be more possibility of arriving at an initial settlement between the Dawn and Dignity rivals.
If you're a traveller looking for something that takes a richer and more longitudinal approach; a business person or civil servant looking for insight beyond the usual Dos, Don'ts, honorifics, platitudes and rituals; a student of the humanities and social sciences wanting something more grounded in the world today; or a seasoned dinner party socialite and pub quiz pro looking for a global Zeitgeist to boost your social capital - then this is definitely the book for you. There's plenty to learn, it sinks in easily, and this is the sort of book that you'll find yourself marking-up and folding page corners on.
For many observers, the Saudi-led campaign against the Houthis is the latest episode in an ongoing wider cold war between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Yemen, many argue, is the latest battleground front - joining Lebanon, Bahrain, Syria and Iraq - where the region's chief power-brokers have been locked in a proxy war for the best part of 20 years.
The desperate measures that Mr Netanyahu went to to achieve his election victory this week were a shock even to jaded old Middle East observers like me. By re-electing him as prime minister at the head of a right-wing coalition, Israeli voters look more than ever as if they have chosen to model themselves on the English football club Millwall, whose supporters' best known chant at matches is "No one likes us, we don't care."