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Lebanon: Rejecting the New Rent Law: An Open Letter to the Parliament 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
[Image by Ed Greevey. Photo of attendees and participants at Closing Event 1 December 2014.]

Aloha Aina: Notes From The Struggle in Hawai’i

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 ...

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 ...


Latin America’s Lesson for the US: Prosecute the Torturers

[ People hoping for change at the Guantanamo and Bagram detention facilities. The White House, Washington, DC. January 2009. Image by Mike Benedetti.]

The Senate Select Intelligence Committee report on torture has revived debate worldwide about the US use of torture in the aftermath of 9/11. ­ Some have applauded the report—including organizations such as Human Rights Watch and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which have pushed for a full accounting of the use of methods prohibited by US and international law, as well as accountability for those who made such methods official state policy. They also note significant shortcomings—including the Senate’s failure to release the full report, a four-year delay in the release of the summary and the redaction of key information, ...

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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 while working in 2013, ninety-three of whom were from the mining sector. Many more followed in the months preceding the Soma disaster. Yet what further made Soma a tragedy ...

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

[Cover of

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 not received the scholarly attention it deserves. There is some excellent work by anthropologists touching upon the political dimension of Sufism, but very little by ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[The Olympic Village in London, part of the real estate portfolio acquired by Qatar's royal family. Image from Oast House Archive.]

[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 Cooperation Council at the end of the Doha summit. GCC: In search of a vision Al Jazeera English interviews six Gulf scholars on the challenges facing the Gulf Cooperation ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (December 15)

[Cairo, Egypt. Photo by Hossam El-Hamalawy via Flickr]

[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 a session at the Arab Strategy Forum held in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  Egypt Looks to Roll Back Islamist Militias in Libya       ...

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

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

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 (Le Renard, 2011, 2014, Al-Rasheed, 2013). This essay deals with a different relation of power that has received less attention. It shows how the Saudi regime is ...

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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 الفلاحين. المهنة: مفكرة ومصلحة من المنادين بالإصلاح والتجديد. تجرأت على الدخول في مجال الفقه الإسلامي المُحْتَكر من قبل الرجال. قدمت قراءة تفسيرية جديدة للقرآن فيما يتعلق بالآيات التي ...

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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 scene such as Abla, Adel El Siwi, Zeinab El Seginy and Esmat Dawastashy, and the exhibition was curated by artist Hany Rashed. The annual award, explains Abla, aims ...

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Open Letter to Mr. Rem Koolhaas

[Banner facing the Raoucheh Rock:

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 disturbing facts behind the project, and solicit your support in outlining an alternative vision for Beirut’s seafront. Here are the facts fuelling the dispute over the ...

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The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music

[Crop of Image of Omar Souleyman performing at Perth International Arts Festival 2011. Image by Stuart Sevastos.]

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 went to the concert. Preceded by a Japanese band, Souleyman took the stage wearing the traditional dress of thob and kuffiyya. Seemingly the only Arabs in the club, ...

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

 [ مظاهرة في ساحة ساسين. مصدر الصورة سكن بيروت. وورد براس. كوم]

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 الإجتماعية، مقدّماً بالتالي ضمانات في الحق في السكن؟ ما تأثيره على مستقبل المدينة؟ في خدمة مصالح من تم صياغة هذا القانون وإقراره؟‫ نعتبر، نحن الموقعون أدناه، أن القانون ...

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Making Sense of Tripoli II: The Institutional Catch 22

[Tripoli. Image by author]

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 conflates cause and effect. This second installment identifies the political institutional roots of the ongoing crisis. Root Causes: The Confessional Wound at the Heart of ...

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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 ...

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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 barred to politics.                                     -Adorno, “Commitment” Over the past ...

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Syria Media Roundup (December 16)

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 ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (December 16)

[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 ...

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Aloha Aina: Notes From The Struggle in Hawai’i

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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'Nefes alamiyorum': Baskaldirinin farkinda misiniz?

'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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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نقش حرّان اللجاة: خيبر أم جُبير؟

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 ...

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