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NEWTON in Focus: Critical Studies of Islam OIL Media Roundup four years on Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government Picture an Arab Man
[In the northern West Bank. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz.]

Snapshot: Palestinian Spring

As a Palestinian photojournalist living in the West Bank my daily work is very far from the quiet and fabulous nature that is seen in these pictures. Every week I spend hours covering protests, clashes, and the military operations of the ...

[photo by Collin Anderson via Flikr Creative Commons]

Yemen at Crossroads: An Interview with Activist Hisham Al-Omeisy

Yemen has grabbed the world's attention as the country’s political crisis appears to have been deepened with the Saudi-led military intervention. According to The Guardian and other news organizations, the U.S. is providing “logistical and ...

[Cover of Don Karl and Basma Hamdy,

New Texts Out Now: Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution

Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, editors, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution. Berlin: From Here to Fame Publishing, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Don Karl and Basma Hamdy (DK & BH): Our main goal ...

[Image from ruins of the Palestinian village of Damoun, featuring a plaque by the Zochrot Truth Comission. Image by the author.]

Boycott, Sovereign Anxieties, and the Decolonizing Temporality of Return: A Note on Adi Ophir’s Remarks on BDS

And so it is not I who make a meaning for myself, but it is the meaning that was already there, pre-existing, waiting for me. – Frantz Fanon[1] It is fair to say that the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign ...


Syria Media Roundup (March 23)

[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 You probably won’t read this piece about Syria Recently, there has been a rapid decrease in coverage of the Syrian conflict. This article sheds light on the importance of continued internal and external support in Syria. Syria's next generation Syria’s children have taken the hardest hit during throughout the conflict, and sadly the ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (28 March)

[Carthage room, Bardo National Museum in Tunis, Tunisia. Image by Alexandre Moreau.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine-Israel Short Doc Looks for the Palestinians in Israeli Elections, +972 +972  features a documentary from filmmakers Tamar Glezerman and Arianna LaPenne on the role of Operation Protective Edge in Israeli elections. Backtracking on Palestinian Statehood?, Josh Ruebner Ruebner writes for The Hill ...

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Harvard Event: Anthony Alessandrini on Fanonian Nonviolence: After the African Spring (6 April)

[Franz Fanon]

The Center for Middle East Studies Director's Series  is pleased to present Fanonian NonViolence: After the African Spring A Lecture by Anthony Alessandrini Date: April 6, 2015 - 4:00pm - 6:00pm Location: CMES, Room 102 38 Kirkland St, Cambridge, MA  Contact: Liz Flanagan elizabethflanagan@fas.harvard.edu Series: Director's Series This event is open to the public; no registration required. This event is off the record. The use of recording devices is strictly prohibited. Anthony Alessandrini is an associate professor of English at Kingsborough Community College-City University of New York, and a member of the ...

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Yemen at Crossroads: An Interview with Activist Hisham Al-Omeisy

[photo by Collin Anderson via Flikr Creative Commons]

Yemen has grabbed the world's attention as the country’s political crisis appears to have been deepened with the Saudi-led military intervention. According to The Guardian and other news organizations, the U.S. is providing “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi forces in Yemen. In the absence of independent on-the-ground reporting by the major media outlets on the turmoil in Yemen, social media platforms are once again providing the much needed platform for activists in the country to post images, express their views, and raise their concerns about the fate of their country. Soon after the bombing began, Yemeni activist ...

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New Texts Out Now: Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail

[Cover of Khalil Bendib,

Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What was the idea behind putting together this collection of political cartoons?  Khalil Bendib (KB): It struck me at some point after the Arab Spring and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima—both following closely in the footsteps of the Wall Street meltdown—that epochal changes seemed to be finally happening all around us. The hubris of so many tyrannies, whether they be political, economic, or ecological, was starting to be challenged by large masses of people in so many different countries at the same time, and it occurred to me that the title Too Big to Fail would fit ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 24)

[Children playing in Ma'alla, Aden. All-out civil war threatens as Houthi, AQAP, and Hadi-aligned forces continue to converge on the city. Image from Brian Harrington Spier/Wikimedia.]

[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 Saudi Prince: Iran ‘expanding occupation of Iraq’ Prince Turki al-Faisal states that Iran’s expanding occupation of Iraq is “unacceptable.” Lebanese families given 48 hours to leave the UAE The Emirati authorities deport hundreds of Lebanese without providing any official reason. Yemen ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 24)

[Newroz celebration in Diyarbakır, March 2013. Image by Fotografadam / Shutterstock.com]

[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 Domestic Politics Is Gladio Still Alive in Turkey? Commenting on the recent debates on the “Cosmic rooms” of the Turkish Armed Forces, where top documents related to the military’s operations are kept, Lale Kemal comments on the ever-presence of paramilitary counter-guerilla forces, also known as Gladio, in Turkey’s political scene. Cosmic ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (March 16-22)

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. The Curious Case of Rula Amin in Jordan: Undermining the Rule of Law? Picture an Arab Man New Texts Out Now: Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1) NEWTON in Focus: Critical Studies of Islam "The Amir of Bahrain and the Beautiful ...

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Twelve Years After Iraq Invasion: An Interview with Rijin Sahakian, and “ A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street” by Sinan Antoon

[U.S. Marines patrol the streets of Al Faw, October 2003. Photo by Ted Banks from Wikimedia Commons]

On 19 March 2015, twelve years will have passed since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, the country is back in the headlines because of the brutality with which ISIS has been trying to destroy what is left of Iraq’s diverse cultural and human landscape. Since ISIS has moved into northern Iraq, they have displaced over a million people and gone after the cultural heritage that makes Iraq such an irreplaceable locus of world history. They have destroyed mosques, burned thousands of books in the library at Mosul and, in the past few weeks, desecrated some of the country’s most significant ancient archeological sites. This week, Malihe Razazan speaks with Rijin ...

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Kareem Lotfy and Andeel: New Folder (2)

Egyptian artist Kareem Lotfy and cartoonist Andeel were prompted by Nile Sunset Annex in Cairo to collaborate remotely and put together a show of extremely large drawings, video art, sculpture, and online/offline presences. The exhibition presents presents a cynical take on “the magic of the ordinary,” mixing craftsmanship and intuition. The artists describe this show as "not an artistic struggle, and at some point it almost got itself called 'Incest.' Thank God it didn’t".

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Picture an Arab Man

Amine, Tunisia

Picture an Arab Man is a portrait series started in 2009 to capture young Arab men of diverse backgrounds. The conceptual aim of this portrait series is two-fold. First, to try to uncover and break the stereotypes placed upon the Arab male, while providing an alternative visual representation of that identity. Second, it is a celebration of  sensual beauty, an unexplored aspect of the identity of the contemporary Arab man, on the cusp of change in a society that reveres an out-dated form of hyper-masculinity.

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Quick Thoughts on the Saudi Transition and Beyond: A STATUS/الوضع conversation with Toby Jones

With the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, there is much press speculation about change in the Kingdom. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status, Toby Jones parses through these debates and highlights the more salient points, identifying how this transition should be analyzed beyond hyperbolic prognostication. Toby C. Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political ...

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Boris Brejcha at D-CAF

The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) opened its 2015 music program with a bustling concert at Schehrazade Nightclub, featuring Egyptian Mahraganat band El Dakhlaweya and German DJ Boris Brejcha. Brejcha is a favorite in today’s club scene. He plays high-tech minimal music, a combination of minimal and electro, that is playful and has endless variations. It’s main features are a pumping bass foundation, driving percussion elements, crazy sound effects, melodies and unexpected turns in the ...

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Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria: An Interview with Aurelie Perrier

The association of the Arab world with Western sexual fantasy figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. Yet beyond the fantasies embedded in Delacroix’s paintings of odalisques, what did sex actually mean in nineteenth-century Algeria? In Ottoman History Podcast #188, Aurelie Perrier begins to answer this question. Building on the groundbreaking work of scholars like Malek Alloula and Christelle Taraud, her research explores the ...

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Snapshot: Palestinian Spring

As a Palestinian photojournalist living in the West Bank my daily work is very far from the quiet and fabulous nature that is seen in these pictures. Every week I spend hours covering protests, clashes, and the military operations of the Israeli occupying forces. In between I give myself some rest time, which I prefer to spend in hills and mountains around the trees and flowers, away from the usual places I work. Every year I try to take advantage of the spring season to take some green frames before ...

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New Texts Out Now: Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution

Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, editors, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution. Berlin: From Here to Fame Publishing, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Don Karl and Basma Hamdy (DK & BH): Our main goal in creating the book was for preservation and documentation of the explosive street art of the revolution. But as the project developed, we felt it was not enough to just present photos of the street art, because in this case contextualizing it became important to ...

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New Vision for 13th Festival of Young Creators

The French Institute in Cairo has been organizing an annual festival since 2003 to support the work of emerging theater groups in Egypt. This year, the institute developed its vision to accommodate and better serve the needs of the local scene. As Cultural Project Manager Noemi Kahn explains in this interview, the festival has expanded its out of competition section to show works by established artists alongside early career ones. It has also invited an independent selection committee to assess all ...

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What is the Role of Academia in Political Change?: The Case of BDS and Israeli Violations of International Law - from STATUS/الوضع Panels

In addition to a collection of rich individual interviews and special segments, Status also publishes panels and lectures with every issue of the audio journal. For Issue 2.1, we highlight the debate on academic freedom at the December 2014 meeting of the American Anthropological Association, and provide an exclusive audio recording of the panel.  Leading up to the 2014 American Anthropological Association Meeting, over 1,000 anthropologists signed a boycott pledge to protest ...

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Boycott, Sovereign Anxieties, and the Decolonizing Temporality of Return: A Note on Adi Ophir’s Remarks on BDS

And so it is not I who make a meaning for myself, but it is the meaning that was already there, pre-existing, waiting for me. – Frantz Fanon[1] It is fair to say that the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has today achieved a certain (belated) level of legibility, or audibility. Its opponents still vociferously and viciously fight it. However, in the United States and European academy it has, with some effort, gained the right to be heard. It is, give or take, an ...

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Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

For Kurdish Alevis, music serves as a mode of articulating and transmitting ideas about collective history, identity, and connections to the geography of former homes in the countryside of Anatolia. Our guest in Ottoman History Podcast Episode #187, Dr. Ozan Aksoy, has explored this crucial role of music within the Alevi community from a variety of angles throughout more than two decades as a musician and researcher. As one of the members of the critically-acclaimed Kardeş Türküler ensemble, Aksoy ...

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On Palestinian Cinema: An Interview with Film Director Najwa Najjar

Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian filmmaker based in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. She has worked in both documentary and fiction. Her debut film was the feature  Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009), and her second feature is. Eyes of a Thief (2014). The latter was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated. This interview with Najjar was conducted following the recent release of Eyes of a Thief ...

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"The Amir of Bahrain and the Beautiful Scottish Lady": Political Satire in the Arab World

The Arab world has a rich satirical tradition that has appeared in numerous forms throughout its history, ranging from satirical al-hija1 poetry of the pre-Islamic era to the satirical newspaper Abou Naddara Zarqa, published in late nineteenth-century Cairo by the Jewish Egyptian polyglot Yaqub Sanu. Throughout the twentieth century, satire flourished in theatrical form and the political cartoons of Ali Ferzat and Naji al-Ali as well as in the widespread circulation and popularity of political jokes ...

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Reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary

“You are holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.” Guantánamo Diary, written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi,[i] depicts the continuing incarceration of this Mauritanian national in the military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The book tracks Ould Slahi’s multiple interrogations on three continents, his secret rendition to Jordan and then removal to Afghanistan, torture, degradation and isolation in Guantánamo, and his ongoing struggle to have his day in ...

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NEWTON in Focus: Critical Studies of Islam

Since September 2001, the term “Islam” has proliferated throughout Western media and popular culture. In recent months, there has been a particular level of hysteria to media and cultural discourses surrounding “Islam” in the West. Reports on ISIS, including debates about whether ISIS is “really” Islamic or not really Islamic; analyses of secularism and Islam in France, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack; increased attention to the prevalence and viciousness of hate crimes against Muslims in the US, ...

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