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Actors - Figures

Farewell Sabah, 1927-2014

[Beirut newspaper stand, the day after Sabah died. Image by Ahmad Gharbieh]

Jeanette Feghali, known to millions across the world as Sabah, died last week at the age of 87.  By the time of her death, she had been a star for almost seven decades. Sabah began her career while still a teenager, moving from Lebanon to Cairo during the 1940s, the golden age of Egyptian cinema. Her image and voice are stored in more than eighty films, and by the time of her death she had recorded over three thousand songs written by generations of the region’s best poets, songwriters, and composers. Her death sparked a period national mourning in Lebanon, bringing fans from all classes, regions, and ages together to celebrate her life. She was a national figure ...

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Le Père Lebret, chroniqueur de l’Etat libanais en construction

Prêtre dominicain, fondateur d’Economie et Humanisme (1941), directeur de l’IRFED (Institut de recherche et de formation en vue du développement) depuis 1958, le père Louis-Joseph Lebret est une grande figure du Tiers-mondisme catholique dont l’itinéraire et la pensée ont été magistralement étudiés par l’historien Denis Pelletier dans son ouvrage Économie et Humanisme: De l'utopie communautaire au combat pour le tiers-monde (1941-1966). En opposition avec les deux modèles idéologiques dominants de son temps, le capitalisme et le marxisme (Rome condamne officiellement le marxisme en 1949), le père Lebret a défini une troisième voie: celle d’une économie humaine fondée sur ...

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Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

 [The Kuwait Pavilion in the Arsenale during the public opening on 7 June 2014. Photo by Roberto Fabbri.]

On 6 June 2014, the Kuwait pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition opened with a restaging of an event that took place three decades earlier: the ceremonial opening of the Kuwait National Museum. Under the heading “Acquiring Modernity” (responding to the overall Biennale theme “Absorbing Modernity”), the Kuwait pavilion seeks to “articulate the nation’s history of modernization” by focusing its participation on the history of the national museum, first established in 1957 and then re-opened in 1983 in a structure designed by French architect Michel Ecochard (figure 1).

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Call for Papers: Medinas in the 20th and 21th Centuries. (Algiers, February 2015)

Call for Papers/Appel à Contributions: Les médinas à l'époque contemporaine (XX-XIe siècles): Oscillations entre patrimonalisation et marginalisation Alger, 13-14 février 2015 ANR Métamorphoses des sociétés : "inégalité-inégalités" Source de débats, parfois âpres, une patrimonialisation est rarement le fruit d’un consensus, mais au contraire, "le produit de négociations, d’arbitrages, d’enjeux de pouvoirs et, inévitablement de conflits", à plus forte raison lorsqu’elle concerne des ensembles urbains anciens, ces espaces "vivants" polarisant un grands nombre d’enjeux, notamment économiques (liés notamment au foncier et au ...

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Popular Neighborhoods and the Arab Spring: Elements for a Renewed Approach

Pierre-Arnaud Barthel and Sylvy Jaglin, editors, Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. Réflexions et perspectives pour l’action urbaine [Informal Settlements in an Arab World in Transition. Reflections and Perspectives for Urban Action]. Paris: Agence Française pour le Développement, Conférences et Séminaires 7, 2013. Available online. Housing in most of the Arab world cities is an informal affair. After having founded a family, or to remain near employment opportunities, most people trying to find a place to live in end up building their houses themselves, or participating in construction projects managed either by families or by modest real-estate ...

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Son of UAE94 Detainee Tortured for Four Days

[Logo of the Alkarama Foundation. Image from]

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 3 April 2014] Osama Al Najjar, an Emirati human rights activist and the son of one of the 'UAE94', was tortured for four days during his secret detention by officers from the state security services who arrested him for a tweet. He was arrested on 17 March 2014 on his way back home, the day after he posted a tweet in reply to a radio statement made by the Emir of Sharjah Emirate on the 'UAE94' case. On 19 March, as he was held in secret detention, Alkarama solicited the urgent intervention of the UN Special Procedures with the UAE authorities. It was only two weeks later that Alkarama learned ...

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On Prison & Egyptian Regime’s "War on a Whole Generation": Democracy Now! Interview with Alaa Abd El-Fattah

[Activist Alaa Abd Al-Fattah. Image is a screenshot from his interview with Democracy Now.]

In a Democracy Now! global broadcast exclusive, we spend the hour with one of Egypt’s most prominent dissidents, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, speaking in his first extended interview after nearly four months behind bars. An open Internet and political activist, Fattah has been at the forefront of the struggle for change in Egypt for many years and has the distinction of having been actively persecuted by Egypt’s past four successive rulers. Facing a potential return to prison in the coming months, Fattah sits down with Democracy Now! correspondent Sharif Abdel Kouddous to discuss his case, Egypt’s future and its ongoing crackdown on activists. "They are on a sentencing ...

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Press Release: Seven-Year UAE Prison Sentence for Qatari Doctor Based on Forced Confessions

[Logo of the Alkarama Foundation. Image from]

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 9 March 2014] UAE: Qatari Doctor Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison on Basis of Forced Confessions Dr Abdulrahmane Al Jaidah, a Qatari doctor arrested one year ago at Dubai international Airport by the State Security Services, was sentenced to seven years imprisonment following an unfair trial on 3 March 2014 by the Abu Dhabi Federal Supreme Court for "helping an illegal secret organisation". He is currently imprisoned in Al-Razeen prison, the same detention facility where some of the UAE94 are being unlawfully detained. Today, Alkarama asked the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention to ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: كاتب ياسين

[الكاتب الجزائري كاتب ياسين]

["ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]      الاسم: كاتب الشهرة: ياسين تاريخ الولادة: 1929 تاريخ الوفاة: 1989 الجنسية: جزائري مسقط الرأس: سمندو - قسنطينة اسم الزوجة: زبيدة شرغي الفئة: كاتب المهنة: كاتب مسرحي وروائي وشاعر    كاتب ياسين  • جزائري. &b

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عرض لسوسن بو خالد وحسين بيضون (لبنان) في ”مهرجان وسط البلد“ الثاني للفنون المعاصرة - دي كاف، أبريل 2013،  فندق الـ”فينواز“، وسط القاهرة، مصر. قدمت الكاتبة والمخرجة والممثلة سوسن بو خالد مع الفنان ومصمم الديكور حسين بيضون عرضهما "أليس" لأول مرة بفندق الـ”فينواز“ المهجور بوسط القاهرة لثلاث ليال بمهرجان وسط البلد الثاني للفنون المعاصرة. يستخدم العرض الذي تقدمه بو خالد، والذي يستمر لستين دقيقة، تقنية الحوار الداخلي. يحاور العرض الجمهور حول الأفكار والأحاسيس المتعلقة بالنوم والأرق والحلم والكابوس بأسلوب يتسم بالحنكة والطرافة في آن واحد. ويستخدم الفنانان سريراً وغطاء مصممين بابتكار، بالإضافة لعرض فيديو لخلق عالم جذاب من وحي خيالهما. يتحدث بو خالد وبيضون في هذا ...

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On ‘the Moderate Choice’: Thoughts on the Political Significance of the Iranian Elections

[Image by Gohar Dashti, 'Today's Life and War'

When there is a general change of conditions, it is as if the entire creation had changed and the whole world been altered, as if it were a new and repeated creation, a world brought into existence anew. –Ibn Khaldun, The Moquaddimah Mir-Housein Mousavi, an Islamic revolutionary with leftist political sensibilities, was the Prime Minster of Iran (1981-1989) during the Iran-Iraq war and was highly favored by Ayatollah Khomeini during that period. After two decades of remaining on the margins of national politics, he entered as a candidate in the June 2009 Presidential Elections to run against the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. During these years much had changed. The ...

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قطر والفلسطينيون

[أمير قطر الشيخ حامد بن خليفة ال ثاني ورئيس حكومة حماس إسماعيل هنية. غزة، اكتوبر 2012. تصوير علي علي المصدر ا.ب]

سواء من حيث التوقيت أو من حيث الجوهر، فإنه من الصعب تفسير زيارة أمير قطر الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني إلى غزة في تشرين أول/أكتوبر 2012 بشكل مبسط. وكما هو الحال عادة عندما يتعلق الأمر بالسياسة في فلسطين، فقد تبلورت بشكل سريع العديد من التفسيرات والتأويلات. وبالتالي، فإما أن قطر كانت تسعى لضمان دعم قادة حماس لإعادة انتخاب خالد مشعل لقيادة المكتب السياسي للحركة الإسلامية، وذلك عن طريق استخدام نفوذها الكبير على الإخوان المسلمين للمساعدة في تحويل رفح إلى معبر حدودي اعتيادي ومنتظم بين مصر وفلسطين؛ متذرعة بذلك للمطالبة بحصتها من غاز البحر الأبيض المتوسط، بالاعتماد على التفاهمات غير الرسمية بين حماس وإسرائيل؛ ومروجة لتطوير قطاع غزة المعدم بـ 400 مليون دولار لكي تزيد، وبشكل كبير، ...

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Cities Media Roundup (November 2014)

Cities Media Roundup (November 2014) [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, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on] Urban Development and Real ...

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Promoting a Rare Breed: Private Nonprofit Housing Developers in the GCC

While working as a Project Manager at the Fenway Community Development Corporation (CDC) in Boston and as a Consultant to Phipps Houses in New York City, I experienced firsthand how nonprofit developers can contribute to preserving housing affordability in central locations. Fenway CDC builds and preserves housing and champions local projects that engage the entire Fenway community in protecting the neighborhood’s economic and racial diversity. It has operated since 1973 and has developed nearly six ...

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Cities Media Roundup (July 1-28)

[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, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page, please check details on] Urban Planning and Policies More Investments in Tangier ...

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Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut

Beirut’s weekend market Souk al-Ahad attracts about thirty-five thousand visitors a day and has four hundred registered stalls, providing a living to five thousand families. It is located on the eastern edge of the city near its river and a highway (Figure 1). Beyond the physical collection of stalls, vendors, and affordable goods, the Souk is also the locus of a long conflict over land ownership between the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the municipality of neighboring Sin el-Fil. In the case ...

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Les visages urbains d'un autre Téhéran. Perspectives comparatives sur la mégapole iranienne.

Livre recensé: Mina Saïdi-Sharouz (dir.), Le Téhéran des quartiers populaires. Transformation urbaine et société civile en République Islamique, (Paris: Karthala/IFRI, 2013). Réjouissons-nous de la parution de cet ouvrage. En effet, elle marque le renouveau des études francophones sur la capitale iranienne et des publications de l'Institut français de recherche en Iran (IFRI), via son Observatoire Urbain de Téhéran et des villes d'Iran (OUTI), dont Mina Saïdi-Sharouz est la responsable. Docteure en ...

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Open Letter to Saudi Minister of Interior Demanding Release of Human Rights Activist al-Qahtani

[The following open letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle Eastern Studies Association (MESA)] Your Royal Highness, I write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) to express our concern regarding economics professor Mohammad Fahad al-Qahtani.  In March 2013, Dr. Al-Qahtani was sentenced to 10-years in prison and to a travel ban of equal length following the end of his prison sentence for a series of ...

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Press Release: Where is Jamal Al Hammadi?

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 4 March 2014] Jamal Al Hammadi, a teacher of Islamic education from Khor Fakkan abducted on 20 April 2013 by state security services, was last seen 5 February 2014 in Abu Dhabi's State Security prison. A group of detainees recently transferred from this prison facility reported that Jamal was being detained there in very harsh conditions. Jamal is the brother of Fuad Mohammed Al Hammadi, one of the "UAE94", serving a 10-year ...

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Cairo: The Myth of a City on the Verge of Explosion

Cairo is a crowded city. It is a truism that is easy to find in reportage about the city, which almost invariably begins with a description of Cairo as teeming, noisy, dusty, and polluted. Vendors and parked cars take over sidewalks for lack of space, while pedestrians walk amongst traffic. Shouts and car horns drown out everything else and traffic jams stretch on for miles. Numbers back up the impression: In 2006, just as the a long-term "visioning" exercise known as Cairo 2050 was beginning, ...

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الأحداث القانونية الأردنية في أسبوع

النواب يصرون على عبارة "من أين لك هذا؟" تمسك مجلس النواب بعبارة "من أين لك هذا" في اسم قانون "الكسب غير المشروع" المعاد من مجلس الأعيان مخالفين بذلك تعديلات الأعيان. وأصر مجلس النوابعلى شطب دائرة منع الكسب غير المشروع ووافقوا على قرارهم السابق الذي يقول “تنشأ لدى المجلس القضائي هيئة قضائية أو أكثر برئاسة قاضي تمييز وعضوية قاضيين اثنين لا تقل درجتهما عن الدرجة الخاصة بقرار من المجلس القضائي لمدة سنتين يعاونهما في ذلك العدد اللازم من الموظفين تتولى المهام تلقي الإقرارات ...

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لبنان في حرب... افتراضية

درج الخطاب الرسمي بعد اتفاق الطائف والذي أعلن رسمياً انتهاء الحرب الممتدة بين العامين 1975 و1990، على تصوير لبنان على أنه بلد الأمان والسياحة والازدهار العمراني. فهو أشبه بطائر الفينيق الذي ينتفض دائماً منتصراً من تحت الركام لينعم بحياة مشرقة من جديد. لكن الحروب والأزمات وحلقات العنف ما برحت تتكرر منذ ذلك الحين خصوصاً مع العدوان الإسرائيلي المتكرر (1993، 1996، 2006)، والاغتيالات السياسية المتعددة ومعارك متفرقة وعلى نحو خاص القتال المستمر بين باب التبانة وجبل محسن في شمال لبنان. كل هذه الأحداث شكلت، بما ...

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A (Neocolonial) Musical Introduction to Lebanese Political Actors, complete with Wikipedia Hyperlinks

Lebanon has been in the news a lot lately. From union strikes to legal advocacy to intermittent Sunni-Shiite violence to daily Israeli violations of Lebanese sovereignty to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees currently living in Lebanon to the election crisis to the resignation of Prime Minister Miqati, Lebanon has been boiling for (at least) over two years. While the most interesting political developments have been the work of activist, civil society, and union groups in Lebanon, it is ...

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Remembering Emad Effat

It was exactly a year ago that Nashwa Abdel-Tawab, in a beige veil, red jacket and black long dress, was on the screens of every news channel across the country and the Arab world. Nashwa Abel-Tawab is the spouse of Emad Effat, a Muslim cleric who broke the walls of the all-but-state-controlled oldest Muslim university, Al-Azhar, to reach out to the people and whose faith, uncompromising as it was, inspired a passion for the pursuit of fairness, justice, egalitarianism, and above all, compassion. Today, ...

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