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Allison L McManus

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The State of the Western Sahara

[Image of Sahrawi women protesting against Moroccan occupation. Image from WesternSahara/Flickr.]

In June 2013, Maghreb Page co-editor, Samia Errazzouki, and I produced an electronic roundtable of articles describing various historical and political contours of the Western Saharan conflict, opening with a brief summary of its history:  Beginning as a post-colonial dispute between regional powers in the 1970s, the conflict developed and was exacerbated as North Africa became an entangled site of Cold War rivalries. Following the 1975 Madrid Accords, in which Spain ...

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Lyrics Revolt

[Arabian Knightz perform at the premiere of Lyrics Revolt at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Omar Chatriwala.]

Lyrics Revolt. Directed by Shannon Farhoud, Melanie Fridgant, Rana Khaled, and Ashlene Ramadan. Torath Productions, 2012. The film is titled Lyrics Revolt. But, as the women from Torath Productions have demonstrated in their documentary, lyrics do much more than just revolt. They have played a significant role in the contemporary history of the Arab world. Lyrics unite. Lyrics express. Lyrics enrage. Lyrics communicate. These modes of expression are not ordered in a ...

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Global Geopolitics of the Western Sahara: Beyond Dominant Narratives on the Western Sahara Roundtable

[Gathering of Saharawi troops, near Tifariti (Western Sahara), celebrating the 32nd anniversary ot the Polisario Front. Image by Saharauiak/Flickr.]

[This is one of seven pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the Western Sahara. Moderated by Samia Errazzouki and Allison L. McManus, it features contributions from John P. Entelis, Stephen Zunes, Aboubakr Jamaï, Ali Anouzla, Allison L. McManus, Samia Errazzouki, and Andrew McConnell.] Immediate steps shall be taken, in Trust and Non-Self-Governing Territories or all other territories which have not yet attained ...

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Exposing Sexual Violence in Morocco: An Interview with Nadir Bouhmouch

[Image from 475: www.facebook.com/475lefilm]

[This article features an interview with Moroccan filmmaker and activist Nadir Bouhmouch. See Bouhmouch’s first film My Makzhen and Me here: My Makhzen and Me and a clip for his upcoming film, 475, here: www.475lefilm.com.] “The state-backed raping of poor women undermined the class solidarity that had been achieved in the anti-feudal struggle. Not surprisingly, the authorities viewed the disturbances caused by such policy…as a small price to pay in the ...

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Politics after Abdessalam Yassine

[The coffin of Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine arrives at the cemetery in Rabat, Morocco, Friday, 14 December 2012, as many thousands of people attend the funeral marching silently through the streets of the capital. Sheikh Abdessalam Yassine, the 84-year old charismatic religious leader and founder of Morocco's largest opposition movement Adl wal Ihsan (Justice and Spirituality), and longtime opponent of two Moroccan kings, died Thursday. Yassine accused the monarchy of being corrupt and dictatorial and questioned its claim to religious legitimacy, and spent a decade under house arrest at the hands of Morocco's former ruler, King Hassan II. Photo by Abdeljalil Bounhar via AP]

Abdessalam Yassine has died. Founder and leader of the Jamaa Al Adl Wal Ihsane, Yassine - known to his followers as Sheikh Yassine - was perhaps the strongest figure in opposition to the power of the Moroccan monarchy. Yassine died early the morning of 13 December 2012, at the age of eighty-four, in his home in Salé, the working class city adjacent to Morocco’s political capital of Rabat. Political expression in Moroccan society must be understood in terms of its ...

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Art, Politics, and Critical Citizenry in Morocco: An Interview with Driss Ksikes

[Reporter Driss Ksikes outside the courthouse, 15 January 2007 in Casablanca. The court handed down three-year suspended sentences to Driss Ksikes, editor of Nichane, and to journalist Sanaa al-Aji, for insulting the Islamic religion, court officials said. Both were barred from any journalistic activity for two months and the independent Arabic-language magazine was suspended for two months. They were fined 80,000 dirhams (US $ 9,280) each. Image by Jalil Bounhar/AP Photo.]

Driss Ksikes’ presence in Morocco is not one that is easily captured by static titles. He is at once an artist, an academic, a journalist, and an activist. However, it is his ability to transcend the rigidity of any one of these roles that has allowed him to evade stereotypes. Both his artistic and political activities have also played a hand in inspiring him as director of the Centre d’Etudes Sociales, Economiques et Managériales (CESEM). Perhaps his best descriptor is the ...

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'Arab Spring,' Moroccan Winter

[An image taken at a February 20th Movement protest in Bab El Had, Rabat on 22 July 2012. Image by author.]

Recent analyses of the Middle East and North Africa indicate that the countries in the region are entering a “third phase” of the Arab Spring.  The first phase was characterized by the massive mobilization of the “street,” and the second phase by elections and emergent political organization; this third phase will require governments to overcome the social and economic challenges that continue to plague the region.  While the Moroccan case does not conform to this ...

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El Haqed: Examining Morocco's Judicial Reform in 2012

[El Haqed after his release from jail on January 2012. Image from L7a9ed/Wikimedia Commons.]

On 9 September 2011, Mouad Belghouat, a 24 year old Moroccan rap musician, was passing out fliers to advertize for a demonstration in his impoverished neighborhood outside the cosmopolitan city of Casablanca.  On the evening he and his friends were handing out fliers for the upcoming march, Belghouat was approached by another young man, Mohamed Dali, later reported to be a member of the “Alliance of Young Royalists,” who verbally targeted Belghouat, calling him a ...

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Bio

Allison L McManus

 

Allison L McManus is a co-editor of Jadaliyya's Maghreb page and recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Global and International Studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Her research and writing focuses on politics, society and human rights in the MENA region, with a particular focus on Morocco. Follow her on Twitter @kulchidiallison.