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Syria Media Roundup The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music Some Torture Facts: Revelations from the Recent SSCI Report on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Making Sense of Tripoli I: The Security Trap or Conflating Cause and Effect to carry sisyphus
Installation view of Hany Rashed's

Historical Realities of Concept Pop: Debating Art in Egypt

Today, every phenomenon of culture, even if a model of integrity, is liable to be suffocated in the cultivation of kitsch. Yet paradoxically in the same epoch it is to works of art that has fallen the burden of wordlessly asserting what is ...

[Wall surrounding a gated community, Saudi Arabia. Image by Amelie Le Renard.]

The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various ...

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Soma, Ermenek, Yirca: Can Anti-Coal Activists Defend Coal Miners and Olive Farmers?

The coal-mining town of Soma in the western Aegean region of Turkey hardly made headlines until last May. A mining disaster that took the lives of 301 mine workers in Soma on 14 May 2014 brought forward the country’s fragile mix of social ...

The Islamic State: The Fear of Decline?

Following a series of military setbacks, Dabiq—the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State (IS)—is issuing calls for the unity of followers to compensate for the dwindling number of its fighters. Through its powerful media apparatus, IS ...


Hassan Khan: Taraban

Taraban is inspired by two Egyptian songs by Youssef El Manialawy from the early 20th century. Hassan Khan worked with a group of singers and musicians to develop a piece that employs the same modes and transitions as the original songs, yet allowing for improvisation. The musicians working with Khan played the oud, qanoun, violin and riqq. On stage, Khan uses filters, processors, virtual synthesizers, live mics, a battery of feedbacking mixers and laptop manipulation on top of the pre-composed and recorded sections. All the music performed is live. Hassan Khan (b. 1975) is an artist, musician and writer based in Cairo. Recent ...

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Historical Realities of Concept Pop: Debating Art in Egypt

Installation view of Hany Rashed's

Today, every phenomenon of culture, even if a model of integrity, is liable to be suffocated in the cultivation of kitsch. Yet paradoxically in the same epoch it is to works of art that has fallen the burden of wordlessly asserting what is barred to politics.                                     -Adorno, “Commitment” Over the past three years, Egyptian street art has become an iconic symbol of protest. It has appeared and reappeared with the same lightening speed as the rapid shifts in the ...

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Syria Media Roundup (December 16)

[Image from Wikimedia]

This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]            Inside Syria Syrian forces ‘use chlorine gas’ on ISIS: monitor The Syrian regime resorts to the use of chlorine gas against ISIS in efforts to prevent further advancement into Deir Ezzor. Bashar al-Assad: airstrikes against Islamic State are failing Assad claims that the U.S. ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (December 16)

[Ahmet Davutoğlu presents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan with a gift, 30 September 2014. Image by Hüsnihat, via Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English AKP / “New Turkey” / Democracy / Authoritarianism A New Threat Looming on Turkey's Horizon: Brain Drain According to Barçın Yinanç, the AKP’s efforts to introduce religion into its secular education system threaten the intellectual strength of Turkey in relation to other Muslim-majority countries. 'Convenient' Murder (1) - (2) Emre Uslu ...

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Aloha Aina: Notes From The Struggle in Hawai’i

[Image by Ed Greevey. Photo of attendees and participants at Closing Event 1 December 2014.]

In late November 2014, I had the honor of visiting the occupied Kingdom of Hawai’i as an invited guest. I prepared for the trip with ample readings J. Kehaulani Kaunaui both wrote and shared with me, along with book recommendations that my hostess, Cynthia Franklin, passed along. (It merits writing a separate article just about Cindy and her phenomenal skills as an organizer and her generosity as a friend. She is fire.) I thought my greatest challenge would be unraveling the competing independence paradigms, namely de-occupation and de-colonization, and understanding their relationship to indigenous nationhood. While we indeed delved into these issues, they were quickly ...

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The Islamic State: The Fear of Decline?

Following a series of military setbacks, Dabiq—the propaganda magazine of the Islamic State (IS)—is issuing calls for the unity of followers to compensate for the dwindling number of its fighters. Through its powerful media apparatus, IS states its ambitions. The Islamic State has shown great capabilities on the field, but also in the virtual sphere. The group has developed a high-quality media industry and mastered this tool like no jihadist group ever has. In comparison, al-Qa‘ida propaganda is a complete "has been." The Islamic State is a product of its time; it is a 2.0 jihadist group that has made use of media as a part of its arsenal. Thus the ...

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Countercurrent: Bahrain Watch: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Reda al-Fardan and Mona Kareem

Reda al-Fardan, the Bahraini software developer behind Bahrain Map, discusses Bahrain Watch's new Fabrigate project, which tracks fabrications that have been published in local and state-controlled media. A CPISP recipient, he received his BA in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and his MSc in Polymer Technology from Loughborough University. He was previously a risk analyst at Gulf International Bank before joining A.T. Kearney as a management consultant in the Gulf region.     

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (December 8-14)

This is a selection of what you might have missed on Jadaliyya last week. It also includes a list of the most read articles and roundups. Progressively, we will be featuring more content on our "Last Week on Jadaliyya" series.     Some Torture Facts: Revelations from the Recent SSCI Report on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music Making Sense of Tripoli I: The Security Trap or Conflating Cause and Effect Farewell Sabah, 1927-2014 Censorship and Detention in Egypt, A Personal Account: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Alaa Abd El Fattah and Lina ...

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'Nefes alamiyorum': Baskaldirinin farkinda misiniz?

[Protest in New York City, 4 December 2014. Image by The All-Nite Images, via Flickr.]

'Nefes alamıyorum': Başkaldırının farkında mısınız? Artık tescillendi. Dünya sistemi derin bir krizde. Balık baştan kokarmış. Sistemin önderi Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ilk olarak 2011’de sallanmıştı. Şimdi ayaklanmalar yine hayatı kilitlemeye doğru gidiyor. Temmuz’dan Aralık’a radikal sokak eylemleri durulmadı. Üç yıl önceki “İşgal Et” eylemlerinde sistemin ekonomik, eşitsizlikçi boyutu ön plana çıkmıştı. Bugün siyasi boyutu dikkat çekiyor. Neresinden tutsanız, devam ettirilemeyecek bir neoliberal hegemonya yani. Ağustos’ta Ferguson, Temmuz’da ise New York cinayetlerinde “yeni” olan polisin siyahlara muamelesi değil, bunun yarattığı toplumsal tepki. 1960’larda ...

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Censorship and Detention in Egypt, A Personal Account: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Alaa Abd El Fattah and Lina Attalah

Alaa Abd El Fattah is a writer, programmer, community organizer and activist who constantly generates new meanings to the notion of activism. He has been in political detention during the Hosni Mubarak era, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces interim rule following the January 25 revolution, the military-appointed government in July 3, 2013 and the ensuing rule of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was threatened with arrest during the short-lived rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.  Abd El Fattah’s last imprisonment in November was on charges related to the protest law. After being released in March, he was re-arrested in June after being ...

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Basim Magdy: Measuring the Last Breaths of Time on a Fading Scale

For his solo show at Gypsum Gallery, Egyptian artist Basim Magdy presents a photography series of subliminal landscapes, produced from film that has been altered with household chemicals. Magdy shot the photographs in various locations and times and then treated them with chemicals, spurring hazy, mythical colors upon the images. He also exhibits a short film titled Time Laughs Back at You Like a Sunken Ship (2012). Shot on super 8 and transferred to HD, the film examines how people construct their memories, and how memories subtly unfold and fade into each other. The film exists without narration, and is accompanied by a soundtrack, composed by ...

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نقش حرّان اللجاة: خيبر أم جُبير؟

[صورة الكلمة التي تمثل الرقم 400 في نقشي أسيس وحران]

يعد نقش حران اللجاة، الذي عثر عليه في جبل العرب (جبل الدروز) في سوريا في القرن التاسع عشر، واحدا من أهم النقوش العربية قبل الإسلام. بل لعله أهم هذه النقوش كما يقول الدكتور جواد على: "وهذا النص هو من أهم النصوص المتقدمة، وأكثرها قيمة بالنسبة لمؤرخ اللغة العربية، لأنه نص دون بلهجة القرآن الكريم، باستثناء أثر سهل للنبطية برز عليه... فأنت أمام نص عربي واضح، تفهمه من دون صعوبة ولا مشقة. على حين نجد النصوص الأخرى وقد كتبت بنبطية متأثرة بالعربية الشمالية بعض التأثر. ولهذا فإني أفرق بين هذا النص وبين النصوص السابقة له، وأعده أول نص وصل الينا حتى هذا اليوم كتب بلهجة عربية القرآن الكريم"(1). ونقش حران هذا ثنائي اللغة، كتب بالعربية واليونانية. أما النص العربي فيقول: ...

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Soma, Ermenek, Yirca: Can Anti-Coal Activists Defend Coal Miners and Olive Farmers?

The coal-mining town of Soma in the western Aegean region of Turkey hardly made headlines until last May. A mining disaster that took the lives of 301 mine workers in Soma on 14 May 2014 brought forward the country’s fragile mix of social injustice, lack of occupational safety, and a fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy. This was by no means the first time that miners had died in a coal pit several hundreds of meters beneath our feet. Indeed, as İş Güvenliği Meclisi reports, 1,235 workers were killed ...

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New Texts Out Now: Isabelle Werenfels, Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics

Isabelle Werenfels, "Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics." The Journal of North African Studies 19.3 (2014). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Isabelle Werenfels (IW): It is a mélange of reasons. First and foremost, I was struck by how little research has been done by political scientists on the contemporary relationship between Sufi orders, the state, and politics in Algeria and Tunisia. Even in Morocco, this relationship has ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations GCC announces steps to bolster security Basma Atassi reports on the final statement issued by members of the Gulf ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (December 15)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Fukuyama: U.S. ‘Got It Wrong’ on the Middle East Political scientist Francis Fukuyama analyzes United States policy in the Middle East during ...

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The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various state institutions, like schools, universities, and the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice—commonly referred to as the “morality police” or “mutawi‘a”—have increasingly rigorously monitored women’s strict dress codes, on which much has been written ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: نظيرة زين الدين

[ينشر ملف من الأرشيف عادة بالتعاون مع جريدة السفير. لكن المادة أدناه من تأليف بنان غرامش]       نظيرة زين الدين  الاسم: نظيرة زين الدين الحلبي. تاريخ الولادة: ولدت عام 1908 لعائلة لبنانية. والدها شيخ ورئيس أول محكمة استئناف في لبنان، وهو القاضي سعيد زين الدين. مكان الولادة: من عائلة ريفية في قرية "محلة نصر" بمحافظة البحيرة في منطقة الدلتا في وقت عانت فيه أسر الفلاحين من الضرائب والقوانين المجحفة التي فرضتها الحكومة في مصر بحق ...

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Mohamed Abla Painting Award

Acclaimed Egyptian painter Mohamed Abla starts a painting competition and prize for the first time in 2014, awarding selected artists a group show at the Cairo Opera House, and one painter EGP 20 thousand. In December, over 100 artists below thirty applied to the competition which accepts works of painting, collage and mixed media. Twenty-two artists were selected to exhibit their work, and Mai Sebai received the first prize. The selection jury was made up of a group of established artists in the local ...

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Open Letter to Mr. Rem Koolhaas

We have recently learned that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to develop a design for a projected development on a prime sea-front location in Beirut (Lebanon): the Dalieh of Raoucheh. Proposing a private development over such a prime social, national, archeological and geological landmark in Lebanon has generated an ongoing public outcry, in the form of protests, letters to officials, discussions, and media mobilization. We are writing today to alert you to the ...

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The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music

I was surprised when I received an email from a Palestinian friend asking if I would like to go to a concert by a Syrian singer, Omar Souleyman, who was performing at a popular club in central London in 2010. The email included a link to a YouTube clip of Souleyman singing at a local wedding in Syria. I was familiar with Souleyman’s genre of music and knew to correctly associate it with the northeast region of the country, known as the Jazira, but I had never heard of him before. A group of us eventually ...

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في الإعتراض على قانون الإيجارات الجديد: رسالة مفتوحة الى المجلس النيابي

بعد ٢٤ سنة من طرح مشاريع قوانين إيجار مختلفة، إعتمد المجلس النيابي إصدار قانون تصحيح الإيجارات القديمة، والذي نشر في الجريدة الرسمية في تاريخ ٢٦ حزيران ٢٠١٤. منذ العام ١٩٩٢، تم وقف العمل بنظام ضبط الإيجارات للعقود الجديدة، في حين بقي ساري المفعول لكافة العقود المبرمة قبل ذلك التاريخ. أما تحرير الإيجارات القديمة تم ربطه بخطة سكنية شاملة (لم تتحقق) تتيح الوصول الى السكن الملائم بأسعار مقبولة‪. أثار صدور مشروع قانون الإيجارات الجديد في العام 2014 تساؤلات عدة، أهمها: هل يعتمد القانون على معايير العدالة ...

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Making Sense of Tripoli II: The Institutional Catch 22

Root Causes: What They Are Not Tripoli’s conflict is not well understood. Media, and even many policy accounts, often focus on either a simplistic sectarian explanation or “Syrian spillover.” Yet, these two explanations are as inaccurate as they are common. Neither of them accounts for the timing of the conflicts. Part 1 of this two-part series explained why neither sectarianism nor spillover adequately explain the conflict. It also challenged the emphasis on militias, arguing that such an emphasis ...

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New Texts Out Now: Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature

Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Abir Hamdar (AH): The whole project was triggered by a question from a friend. She was suffering from a chronic illness and said she found solace in reading about the stories of women with similar experiences. As someone who works on Arabic literature, she had asked me to recommend Arabic literary works that narrate the ...

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