From the Editors
I thank Becht De Smet for replying to my critique of his “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt.” Theoretical debates seeking to evaluate the applicability of general social science concepts to Middle East studies are all too rare. Engaging in them de-exceptionalizes the region and may help make it legible to a broad intellectual audience beyond the ranks of specialists. For that reason it is important to clarify that De Smet and I do not disagree at ...Keep Reading »
Brecht De Smet begins his recent article on “Revolution and Counter Revolution in Egypt” by demurring from my statement on Jadaliyya on the occasion of the second anniversary of the 25 January 2011 Egyptian popular uprising that, “The January 25 Revolution is not over. Rather, it has not yet occurred.” De Smet does not, in fact, disagree with the substance of my judgment about the balance of political forces in Egypt. Neither of us believes that Egypt has experienced a ...Keep Reading »
New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine
Joel Beinin, “Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine.” Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXI No. 1 (Spring 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Joel Beinin (JB): It grew out of a conference on late Ottoman Palestine at the University of Lausanne. I was invited to make a link between the democratic possibilities opened by the 1908 Young Turk Revolution and the state of affairs one hundred years later. We tend to think ...Keep Reading »
The “January 25 Revolution” has already taken its place in Egyptian national historical memory along with the “1919 Revolution” and the “July 23 Revolution.” Assigning dates to these events, whose significance in the modern history of Egypt is undeniable, is perhaps a necessary convenience. Calling them all “revolutions” emphasizes their popular character and, at least in 1919 and 2011, the political mobilization of large parts of the nation. However, this form of dating and ...Keep Reading »
In the first round of the 2012 presidential election, more than thirty-nine percent of Egyptians voted for candidates representing neither the Muslim Brotherhood nor former President Hosni Mubarak's regime. The combined vote of Hamdeen Sabbahi and Abdel Moneim Abouel Fotouh, the biggest winners in this category, together with those of leftist candidates Khaled Ali and Abul Ezz al-Hariry, is substantially more than those who voted for Mohamed Morsy or for both Ahmed Shafiq ...Keep Reading »
Many people in Suez proudly claim that they initiated Egypt’s “January 25 Revolution.” There were several demonstrations in opposition to Gamal Mubarak inheriting the presidency from his father as early as July 2010. Relations between the police and the people were tense after a police general was assassinated on November 29, 2010. On January 25, when protests in Cairo and Alexandria were relatively peaceful, the demonstration in Suez was particularly ...Keep Reading »
Thousands of demonstrators filled expressing anger and determination rallied in Tahrir Square on Friday, July 1. Sharp clashes between youth on the one hand and police and regime thugs on the other on Tuesday and Wednesday June 28 and 29 were the immediate impetus for the demonstration. But in addition to outrage about police brutality, which most Egyptians had hoped was a thing of the past, there is growing dissatisfaction with the limited changes since the fall ...Keep Reading »
President Obama’s June 2009 speech in Cairo was widely received as a sincere expression of his desire for a “new beginning between the United States and Muslims around the world.” He acknowledged the historic injuries of colonialism, quoted the Qur’anic injunction to “speak always the truth,” recognized the plight of the Palestinian refugees, allowed for the possibility of Hamas participating in realizing the aspirations of the Palestinian people, and clearly called for a ...Keep Reading »
Let’s say that you have a plot of land in Germany, and you don’t work it. Someone else does. You don’t pay attention because you aren’t using it. Then you return and claim the land. When the German legal authorities look into it they will say it is no longer your land. It belongs to the one who worked the land for ten years. This is how Yochanan, a resident of the unauthorized “outpost” of Mitzpe Ya’ir explains why he has the right ...Keep Reading »
Early in the morning a car packed with Israelis and internationals leaves Tel-Aviv for al-Nabi Saleh, a small village about 30 kilometers northeast of Ramallah in the central West Bank. Our objective is to observe and participate in the weekly Friday demonstration in the village. We leave very early because Israeli military forces have been sealing off all the entrances to al-Nabi Saleh by 9:30 am, hours before the demonstration begins. The occupation forces ...Keep Reading »
Joel Beinin is the Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History and Professor of Middle East History at Stanford University. From 2006 to 2008 he served as Director of Middle East Studies and Professor of History at the American University in Cairo. In 2001-02 he served as president of the Middle East Studies Association of North America. He has been associated with the Middle East Research and Information Project (MERIP) since 1980, serving as an editor and contributing editor of Middle East Report.
He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in 1982, his A.M. from Harvard University in 1974 and his A.B. from Princeton University in 1970. His research and writing focus on modern and contemporary Egypt, Israel, Palestine, the Arab-Israeli conflict, political Islam, and US policy in the Middle East.
Beinin has written or edited nine books, most recently Social Movements, Mobilization, and Contestation in the Middle East and North Africa (Stanford University Press, 2011), co-edited with Frédéric Vairel; The Struggle for Worker Rights in Egypt (Solidarity Center, 2010); and Workers and Peasants in the Modern Middle East (Cambridge University Press, 2001)
His articles have been published in leading scholarly journals as well as The Nation, Le Monde Diplomatique, Middle East Report, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The San Jose Mercury News, The San Diego Union-Tribune, The Jordan Times, Asia Times, and several blogs. He has appeared on Al-Jazeera TV, BBC radio, (US) National Public Radio, and many other TV and radio programs throughout the world, and he has given frequent interviews to the global print media.