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Algeria

A Dangerous Dualism: The Myth of Two Algerias

[Image of a square in Wahrane. Image by Maya-Anaïs Yataghène/Flickr]

In his last column for the magazine Rupture, the writer and journalist Tahar Djaout introduced his dichotomy of an Algeria divided between “the family that advances and the family that regresses” (“la famille qui avance et la famille qui recule”). This was in May 1993, just before his assassination. The dualist representation expressed in this phrase puts those who advance modernity in opposition to those who defend authenticity. In the Algeria of 2015, this problematic dichotomy is still relevant and is expressed in various forms, despite the end of the civil war and the considerable social fragmentation that history has bequeathed. Take, for example, the notion that ...

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Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy

Marlène Ghorayeb, Beyrouth sous mandat français, construction d’une ville moderne. Paris: Karthala, 2014.   This is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of Beirut’s early days of modern planning, during the transition from Late Ottoman to French Mandate, and later. In the lineage of Jens Hanssen’s Fin de Siècle Beirut, Eric Verdeil’s Beyrouth et ses urbanistes, Carla Eddé’s Naissance d’une capitale, and Robert Saliba’s Beyrouth architectures: Aux sources de la modernité, the book is a must-read for those interested in the key spatial transformations of Beirut during the first part of the twentieth century. It nicely complements and enriches earlier texts by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice

[Cover of

Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, editors, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice. Platform (London), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (North Africa), and Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA), 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello (HH & MM-P): The idea was both to highlight the violence of climate change in North Africa, and the need for an indigenous response. We wanted to point out that survival relies on structural change, and on facing the challenge of talking about climate justice in Arabic. Climate change is already a reality in North Africa. People are dying ...

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Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria: An Interview with Aurelie Perrier

[Postcard depicting street of Ouled Nails, Biskra. Image via Ottoman History Podcast.]

The association of the Arab world with Western sexual fantasy figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. Yet beyond the fantasies embedded in Delacroix’s paintings of odalisques, what did sex actually mean in nineteenth-century Algeria? In Ottoman History Podcast #188, Aurelie Perrier begins to answer this question. Building on the groundbreaking work of scholars like Malek Alloula and Christelle Taraud, her research explores the nature of illicit sex in nineteenth-century Algeria under both Ottoman and French rule. Perrier situates the topic in the fluid boundaries of Ottoman-administered sex ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

[Cover of Andrea Khalil,

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written by the editor, Andrea Khalil, in May 2014.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a book, I was sensitized to the profound problems that women in Tunisia were facing since the Revolution, and more generally, the urgency to address gender issues and ...

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Workshop: Carbon Democracy and Revolution: Perspectives from the Middle East and the Mediterranean

Social revolutions, civil war and crippling economic crises: What is going on in the Middle East and South Eastern Mediterranean? Are the revolutions and wars in Egypt, Syria or Libya connected to the economic crises in Greece, Italy or Cyprus? How do carbon resources and energy competition affect these tense social, economic and environmental inter-relations? What is the future of 'carbon democracy' and what are its geographic and political ramifications? Inspired by Timothy Mitchell's work Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, this workshop will probe the relationship between energy, political power, history and ideology in the broad area of the Middle ...

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More on Laïcité in Historical Context

[Image from the cover of Joan W. Scott,

[This is the first of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Naomi Davidson's response, "The Vagaries of Laïcité," click here.] I find Muriam Haleh Davis’ commentary on Charlie Hebdo and French secularism (by way of a review of three books, one of which is mine) to be clear and to the point. Davis insists on the importance of placing in historical context the paradoxical claim that laïcité is a universal principle peculiar to the French republic, and she does it well. In this brief contribution I want simply to add some more context to the one she has so ably set forth. My ...

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‘A Distinctly French Universalism’: Translating Laïcité after Charlie

[The Grande Mosquée de Paris. Photo by Arthur Asseraf.]

Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Naomi Davidson. Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. Joan Wallach Scott. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007. It was impossible to avoid the discussion, despite my repeated protests. In Lyon, as in the rest of France, there was nothing else to talk about—especially when I found myself seated across from a colleague who teaches at an international lycée, the crucible of Republican education. He was visibly emotional as he said: “I told my ...

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Charlie Hebdo et les limites de la République

[Une manifestation après les attentats à Paris. Image par canal6hn/Flickr]

Tout de suite après le massacre aux bureaux de Charlie Hebdo, les commentateurs se sont émus d’une attaque sur « l’Occident et la démocratie » « les valeurs fondamentales de la République française. » Ces valeurs « républicaines » sont invoquées avec unanimité, sans débat, comme si elles étaient d’une origine parfaitement pure. Mieux, les requêtes se multiplient pour exiger des musulmans qu’ils démontrent qu’ils partagent les valeurs sacrées de la laïcité et de la liberté d’expression. Par une ironie dévastatrice, on exige que les musulmans prouvent leur allégeance à des valeurs qui ont historiquement été construites pour les ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 21)

[Image of a home in Choum, Mauritania. Image by Ammar Hassan/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   Appel au meurtre contre Kamel Daoud A Salafi imam called for the assassination of Kamel Daoud, an award winning journalist and novelist from Oran, after an appearance on the French channel France 2. Bouteflika continue son tour d’Europe des hopitaux The medical plane for Algeria’s president ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 4)

[Screenshot from a video of a home getting destroyed in Guelmim, Morocco due to major recent flooding. Image from video uploaded by Ali Bedar on Facebook]

[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 Are There Lessons to be Learnt From Algeria’s Past? Dalia Ghanem-Yazbeck examines similarities and differences between Algeria’s struggle with the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) in the 1990s and the rise of the Islamic State.  الجزائر: مقتل اثنين في أعمال شغب Two people were killed last Friday in clashes between ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (November 8)

[Image of homes in Essaouira. Image by flikr/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 Algérie : 1er novembre 1954, retour sur la « Toussaint rouge » de l’indépendance Algeria celebrated the sixtieth anniversary of its war for independence this week. Hostility along the Algeria-Morocco border? Not to worry, it’s just volleyball…3,700 participants have signed up for a ...

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Un dualisme pernicieux ou le mythe des deux Algéries

Dans sa dernière chronique pour le magazine Rupture qu'il dirige, l'écrivain et journaliste Tahar Djaout introduit sa dichotomie partageant l'Algérie entre « la famille qui avance et la famille qui recule ». Nous sommes en mai 1993, juste avant son assassinat. La représentation dualiste qui s’exprime dans cette formule oppose porteurs de la modernité et défenseurs de l'authenticité. Dans l'Algérie de 2015, cette dichotomie particulièrement problématique reste toujours d’actualité sous une forme ...

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الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية

الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية حمزة حموشان وميكا مينيو-بالويللو بلاتفورم لندن، مؤسّسة روزا لوكسمبورغ وعدالة بيئيّة شمال أفريقيا. مارس 2015 يمكنكم قراءة الكتاب وتحميله هنا.   1- ماهو غرضكم من تأليف هذا الكتاب؟ هدفنا هو إلقاء الضّوء على عنف تغيّر المناخ في شمال أفريقيا والتّأكيد على الحاجة إلى استجابة محليّة. أردنا الإشارة إلى أنّ بقاء الإنسانيّة على قيد الحياة مرهون بالتغيير الهيكلي وعلى مواجهة تحدّي الحديث عن العدالة المناخيّة بالّلغة العربيّة. تغيّر ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kamran Rastegar, Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East

Kamran Rastegar, Surviving Images: Cinema, War, and Cultural Memory in the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kamran Rastegar (KR): I tend to agree with the adage that all (or perhaps, the best) scholarship is in one sense or another autobiographical, and my own childhood experiences in Iran during the Iran-Iraq war certainly set a backdrop for a long interest I have had in war and post-war themes in cinema and ...

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A New Secularism?

[This is the third of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here; for Naomi Davidson’s response, “The Vagaries of Laïcité,” click here.] In bringing the work of Joan Scott and Naomi Davidson together with mine, Muriam Haleh Davis demonstrates the importance of undertaking a history of the present. This history enables us to identify some of the ...

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The Vagaries of Laïcité

[This is the second of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here.] A cartoon by the French cartoonist Gil from 10 January, titled “Communion nationale,” shows a white policeman frisking an ambiguously raced man standing against the wall with his hands in the air. “Je suis Charlie,” says the man, and the policeman replies, “Yeah, yeah, me too.” ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism

Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mayanthi Fernando (MF): When I first went to the field, I imagined a more conventional ethnography of the Islamic revival in France. I was interested in how a French (and more broadly European) context, in which Muslims are a minority, transforms the ritual and hermeneutical practices of the Islamic tradition. I was asking, ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 30)

[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 ...

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Charlie Hebdo ve Cumhuriyetin Sinirlari

Charlie Hebdo and the Borders of the Republic Charlie Hebdo's office immediately after the attack on the reviewers " West and democracy "," the core values ​​of the French Republic "against a huge thrill to have doors undertaken against these attacks. This "republican" values ​​in an unquestionably, that came up as a completely pure emanating from the origin. Moreover, Muslims demand forces to show that they share the sacred values ​​of secularism and freedom of expression ...

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Charlie Hebdo and the Limits of the Republic

Immediately following the massacre at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, commentators denounced an attack on "Democracy and the West," an attack on "the fundamental values of the French Republic." Everywhere in France, people are rallying around these apparently pure, unproblematic “Republican values.” There have been many requests for Muslims to demonstrate that they share in the Republic’s cherished values of secularism and freedom of speech. It is bitterly ...

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New Texts Out Now: Isabelle Werenfels, Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics

Isabelle Werenfels, "Beyond Authoritarian Upgrading: The Re-Emergence of Sufi Orders in Maghrebi Politics." The Journal of North African Studies 19.3 (2014). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Isabelle Werenfels (IW): It is a mélange of reasons. First and foremost, I was struck by how little research has been done by political scientists on the contemporary relationship between Sufi orders, the state, and politics in Algeria and Tunisia. Even in Morocco, this relationship has ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (November 21)

[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 L’instance de coordination de la CNLTD appelle à l’organisation d’une élection présidentielle anticipée One of Algeria’s main opposition movements met ...

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“Hamel, Leave!”: The Men in Blue and the Fracturing of the Order

On Tuesday 14 October, I received a text from a friend—an activist who lives in the center of Algiers: “Urgent: the police are marching on Algiers. They are protesting next to my apartment, this is the end!” The protests started in the basin of Ghardaïa, eventually reaching the capital. One might have the impression that the structure of power in Algeria is suddenly threatening to collapse. Surely, this social movement in particular raises important questions. In a country where the state struggles ...

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