From the Editors
Mecca During the Hajj As the annual hajj draws to a close, millions of Muslim pilgrims in Mecca celebrate the four-day Eid al Adha together ritually, festively, and with a jubilant spirit of giving. They will pray, eat, and spend time with loved ones. Those who can afford it will give alms to the less fortunate. Most will resist the temptations of sleep in order to enjoy every remaining hour they have in the holiest of all Muslim places. Thousands of medical doctors ...Keep Reading »
In the last decade, Mecca, Islam’s birthplace, has been the target of some of the world’s largest commercial development schemes. Over one hundred buildings are under construction around the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Ḥarām) and will soon replace the historical, architectural and socioeconomic landscape of this rapidly developing city. Whole neighborhoods have been completely gutted out, their residents displaced to the outskirts of Mecca and other neighboring cities.[i] The ...Keep Reading »
When Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz went to see one of Riyadh’s many poor neighborhoods in November 2002, pundits and lay people alike heralded the landmark visit as the beginning of the end of poverty in Saudi Arabia. After all, it was the first-and only- such visit by a high-ranking member of the Saudi ruling family, let alone a Saudi Crown Prince who also happened to be one of the richest men in the world. At the time, the Crown Prince said he wanted to visualize ...Keep Reading »
As we prepare to land at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, I grudgingly wear my abaya and wrap the headscarf around my neck. A few Saudi men in jeans and t-shirts rush to the bathrooms and change into their long, white thobes. When we touch down, I call my wakil, a male agent who has to be physically present in lieu of my male guardian to “collect me.” The word in Arabic is yistilimni. I ask him to meet me at the immigration counter. A few meters outside the door ...Keep Reading »
follow me to the land where the sun always shines and homes bleed into each other stars of dust and lust cityscapes of pain and manicured skylines that dance to the rhythm of my fingertips over your skin calloused with yearnings for a past that stalks you for a past that keeps you its prisoner of shame come look and you will find me waiting behind the sun where hope and lust are retired into an afterlife of what ifs where broken souls are left ...Keep Reading »
Rosie Bsheer is a doctoral candidate in the Department of History at Columbia University. Her research centers on the study of historiography, archive theories, and the spatial politics of oil cities. Rosie is Associate Producer of the 2007 Oscar-nominated film “My Country, My Country” and is Co-Editor of Jadaliyya E-zine. She is also co-editor of Dawn of the Arab Uprisings: End of an Old Order? (Pluto Press, 2012). Her other articles are found here and here.