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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means New Texts Out Now: Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East Against All Odds Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq It's Official: In 2006, The Lebanese Government Was Hoping Israel Would Disarm Hezbollah For them Tripoli’s Unseen Faces
[Cover of Toby Matthiesen,

New Texts Out Now: Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism

Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Toby Matthiesen (TM): I became interested in the issue of ...

 [poco a poco/صورة من الأرشيف لمجمع التحرير رمز البيروقراطية المصرية في سبتمبر 2011. مصدر الصورة: ويكيميديا]

انتصار البيروقراطية: عقد من إجهاض التغيير السياسي والاجتماعي في مصر

بالإمكان القول أن النظام السياسي الآخذ في التشكل في مصر برئاسة المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي وبدعم من القوات المسلحة وأجهزة الدولة هو انتصار للبيروقراطية المصرية بمكوناتها العسكرية والأمنية والمدنية على ثلاث عمليات سياسية هدفت خلال العقد الماضي ...

[A protest for Palestine in Porto Alegre, Brazil, on 29 March 2012. Image by author.]

Palestinian Authority Security Cooperation and the Internationalization of Occupation: The Case of Ahmad Sa’adat

“Security coordination is sacred.” Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas made that statement in Ramallah in May 2014 to an Israeli audience. He was referring to the policy of high-level intelligence and security cooperation ...

[Beirut Downtown by Abdsayady92 via WikiCommons]

Cities Media Roundup (January 2015)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the ...


انتصار البيروقراطية: عقد من إجهاض التغيير السياسي والاجتماعي في مصر

 [poco a poco/صورة من الأرشيف لمجمع التحرير رمز البيروقراطية المصرية في سبتمبر 2011. مصدر الصورة: ويكيميديا]

بالإمكان القول أن النظام السياسي الآخذ في التشكل في مصر برئاسة المشير عبد الفتاح السيسي وبدعم من القوات المسلحة وأجهزة الدولة هو انتصار للبيروقراطية المصرية بمكوناتها العسكرية والأمنية والمدنية على ثلاث عمليات سياسية هدفت خلال العقد الماضي لإحداث تغيير سياسي في مصر، إما من خلال تعديل تكوين النخبة السياسية الحاكمة لتكون من خارج البيروقراطية، وإما إلى تعديل علاقة الدولة بالمجتمع والانتقاص من سيطرة الأجهزة البيروقراطية على الموارد الاقتصادية ومن القدرة على إدارة المجال العام.  كان أول هذه المشروعات هو توريث السلطة لجمال مبارك والمقرون بصعود نخبة من رجال الأعمال منذ  2004 تقريباً، والدفع برئيس مدني في خضم التحرير الاقتصادي الذي مثل الغطاء لنقل السيطرة على القرار ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 30)

[Image of the Arch of Trajan in Timgad, Algeria. Image by zedamnabil/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week] Algeria Is a Late ‘Arab Spring’ Knocking on Algeria’s Doors from the Desert? Adam Al-Sabiri considers the implications of the vast protest movement against shale gas operation in southern Algeria. Corporate management: Need to draft charter on governance of public companies As Algeria looks to diversify its economy and ...

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Gender and the Production of Islamic Urban Space in Iran

[Man reading a newspaper at a public newspaper display in central Tehran. Photo by author]

What does an Islamic urban space look like? This question has dogged intellectuals and authorities in Muslim-majority lands for centuries, but in recent decades has acquired a renewed sense of urgency amid the emergence of modernizing Islamist political movements. These groups have not only articulated new visions of the public sphere, mass politics, and economy, they have also increasingly found themselves in positions of authority to shape the cities, regions, and lands they work in. As these groups have found themselves in control, the revolutionary mandate (and widespread protest slogan) to imagine a politics “neither East nor West, but Islamic” has taken on new ...

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The Guide for Using Life: A Graphic Novel and Exhibition

In late November 2014, Cairo based journalist and author Ahmed Naji and comic and storyboard artist Ayman Al-Zorkany launched their new novel, titled The Use of Life at Medrar in Cairo. The novel which develops over three time periods and is inspired by life in Cairo was published by Dar Al Tanweer. It follows a non traditional structure where a mixture of standard and colloquial Arabic as well as illustrations complete different parts of the story.  The book signing event was accompanied by a week-long exhibition of illustrations and sketches from the book, as well as an animated video. Zorkany envisioned the solo show as a "guide" to the book, outlining ...

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Deadline for Applications: M.A. in Middle East and Islamic Studies at George Mason University

[MEIS logo]

The Middle East Studies Program and the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University announce the deadline for applications for the Fall/Spring 2015-2016 academic year: 1 March 2015. The aim of this degree program is to reposition the study of the Middle East and Islam within a global context to help students better analyze particular issues in light of current events and shifting historical paradigms. The program’s core classes provide a solid background in both fields of study, however students can choose to focus their coursework on either Middle East Studies or Islamic Studies. A variety of fascinating electives allow students to gain a ...

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Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-59)

[Image of a Moroccan Liberation Army march in Nador around 1955. Image from mondeberbere.com]

“The people of the North have previously known the violence of the crown prince; it will be best for them not to know that of the king’s.” It is in this way that Hassan II (1961-1999) addressed himself to the inhabitants of northwest Morocco—and to the rest of the population—in reaction to the riots of 1984. Adopting a scornful and serious tone, the monarch reminded his subjects that he is capable of anything for the sake of conserving power. To refresh their memory, he did not hesitate to make a brief and symbolic allusion to the ferocious repression he carried out against the same regions twenty-five years beforehand. The sovereign's rhetorical choice to refer to the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 27)

[The late Saudi King Abdullah, who passed away this week, with his successor Salman in 2012. Image from Reuters/Saudi Press Agency.]

[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 Saudis Expand Regional Power as Others Falter David Kirkpatrick examines Saudi Arabia’s regional politics. US charges Yemenis over alleged murder plot Saudi Arabia arrests and extradites two Yemeni nationals accused of attacking US troops. Regime collapse threatens Yemen's key role in US ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (January 27)

[19 January marked the eighth anniversary of the murder of Hrant Dink. Image from March in Istanbul in January 2012; photo by fulya atalay / 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 “Erdoğan as President,” the AKP, and Authoritarianism An Elected President Must Show He is in Command İlnur Çevik argues that Erdoğan’s unprecedented use of constitutionally guaranteed presidential powers are part of his mandate as the first elected president in the history of the Turkish Republic. Is This the First Step towards the ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (January 26)

[8 February 2011, Tahrir Square, Cairo. Photo by Mona 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 In Rafah, A Tale of Two Cities Mohammed Omer writes, “Egypt’s decision to raze Rafah city in Sinai, in order to establish a buffer zone with the besieged Gaza Strip, will tear families apart.” Egypt Does Not See Oil Price Drop Hitting Investments from Gulf Egypt’s Minister of Investment Ashraf Salman does ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (January 19-25)

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.   Charlie Hebdo and the Limits of the Republic Tripoli’s Unseen Faces Evolution and Debates about the Concept of Terrorism It's Official: In 2006, The Lebanese Government Was Hoping Israel Would Disarm Hezbollah For them Live Stream Event -- Joel Beinin on Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (21 January 2015 at Stanford University) الجسد والسلطة في السينما New Texts Out ...

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STATUS/الوضع: Episode -3

Status is an evolving, critical, collaborative, and independent monthly Audio Journal combining analysis, reporting, and satire. It will feature interviews/conversations, on-the-scene reports, reviews, informed commentary, and readings. Interviews from the region and beyond feature activists, journalists, scholars, and citizens. With every Status Audio Journal issue, there will be an accompanying Status Hour show hosted by Bassam Haddad and Sinan Antoon. In this first Status Hour show, Bassam and Sinan introduce the concept of Status and plans for the future of the project. Through conversations with some of the hosts, they also discuss and synthesize the content ...

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Zajal on Arak

[Image of zajal performance in Byblos from The Times of Malta]

I remember when electricity came to my village. I must have been about seven or eight.  The government installed a transformer in the village center. The thing was housed in a metal locker. The villagers called it ‘The Clock.’  At first, The Clock was a thing of contention. It was installed in the winter and was prone to overloading. Villagers would shout to each other from their warm perches, urging each other to flip the switch so they could enjoy the warm distractions of their new electric luxuries. Before the arrival of The Clock, we used kerosene lamps for lighting and wood stoves and charcoal grills for heating. Some villagers would throw in lemon peels ...

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Triumph of the Bureaucracy: A Decade of Aborted Social and Political Change in Egypt

The developing military-backed regime under Abdel Fattah al-Sisi signals the triumph of the Egyptian bureaucracy, with all of its military, security and civilian components, over three processes of political change in the last decade. The first was the political project led by Gamal Mubarak and his allies to succeed his aging father Hosni Mubarak. The succession project aimed at altering the political elite composition and redefining the state’s economic role. The second abortive process was the January ...

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DARS Media Roundup (January 2015)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.] News & Commentary Glimpse Into 2014 Struggles Draws Image of Upcoming Year, by Roqayah Chamseddine This year was a powerful amalgamation of torment, dissent, and ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (29 January)

[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.] Law From Inside Prison, a Terrorism Suspect Shares His Diary, Scott Shane The New York Times covers a recently published diary of Mohamedou Ould ...

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Cities Media Roundup (January 2015)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to cities@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com] Urban and Real Estate Development  Redevelopment of Beirut ...

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Revolution and Despair

Things in the Middle East usually appear far worse than they really are when looked at from the outside. But  on my recent visit to Egypt—as I talked and listened to people, watched local television, read daily papers and made observations—it became clear that revolutionaries were going through painful times. A deep disenchantment seemed to color the sentiments of many who once held high hopes for their remarkable revolution, but now have to face the vulgar triumphalism of the counter-revolution ...

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New Texts Out Now: Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism

Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Toby Matthiesen (TM): I became interested in the issue of sectarianism in Syria and Lebanon, where I studied Arabic and spent several summers. I wanted to understand the historical context of sect-formation and at what times these markers of identity became important in the political process. During my MA at the School of Oriental ...

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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means

In the aftermath of Barak Obama's State of the Union Address, and his announcement that he will veto any congressional actions increasing sanctions on Iran, the Republican Party proceeded to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, making the latter on par with Winston Churchill for the most ever appearances by a foreign dignitary before a joint session of Congress. On Sunday, 25 January 2015, Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor Aslı ...

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Palestinian Authority Security Cooperation and the Internationalization of Occupation: The Case of Ahmad Sa’adat

“Security coordination is sacred.” Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmoud Abbas made that statement in Ramallah in May 2014 to an Israeli audience. He was referring to the policy of high-level intelligence and security cooperation with the Israeli occupation military. For Palestinians, security coordination has meant interrogation and imprisonment in PA prisons and a “revolving door” between PA and Israeli jails. This policy consumes over one-quarter of the PA’s budget. In practice, PA security ...

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Composer Maurice Louca on Salute the Parrot

Composer and musician Maurice Louca is an exciting and distinct voice coming out of Cairo, Egypt. Having been part of numerous bands over the past decade including: Bikya, Alif Ensemble and Dwarfs of East Agouza, in addition to his solo compositions (Garraya, 2011), he has made a name for himself locally and internationally. In November 2014, Louca released his second solo album, titled 'Salute the Parrot'. As he explains in this interview with musician and critic Rami Abadir, Louca developed the project ...

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (November-December 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series] English Articles        ISIS threatens the Islmaili capital of Syria (30 October 2014) The fear of ISIS continues to haunt the local residents, especially in Silmiya. Citizens believe the Syrian regime will shelter them from harm Syria: ISIS Tortured Kobani Child Hostages (4 November 2014) According to Human Rights Watch, ...

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January Culture Bouquet

The trumpet of a prophecy! O Wind / If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind? — Shelley Even in winter, some flowers will bloom. Their blossoms may be fragile, sad and short-lived, but the strongest of all flowers are those which fight the ice. Each petal reminds us that the dead land is yet not dead, and that dull roots soon will stir with spring rain and with that, memory and desire may mix. Here is a bouquet of long-stem pieces that do not fear the frost.  — Zein El-Amine recounts a ...

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Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: Ramparts

Beneath the walls, walls. And beneath them, walls. Ur, Jericho, Ninevah, Nimrud— On the debris where the sighs of lovers went to die Where chattered then vanished the teeth of captives, stripped bare There, now are hills that bloom each spring Now home to crickets and ants, Refuge to sparrows in the late morning Feeling the last traces of the evening dew Through tattered feathers Beneath their tails lies a head Before which millions once kneeled Which ladies’ hands once anointed with ...

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