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Authoritarian Rule

Causes and Dynamics of the Syrian Uprising: From Civil Protests to the Implications of the Russian Intervention - A STATUS/الوضع Lecture by Bassam Haddad

Sponsored by Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law's Program on Arab Reform and Democracy and in partnership with the Markaz Resource Center  [This lecture by Bassam Haddad was held on 22 January 2016 at Stanford University]   After nearly five years since the start of the uprising, Syria finds itself divided and embattled, with no end in sight. More significantly, more than half of the Syrian population is displaced and the death toll surpassed 300,000 by all counts. The Syrian tragedy persists and, more than any other case of mass uprising in the region, continues to be shrouded in political ...

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Follow-up Statement from Mashrou' Leila on Their 'Banning Incident' in Jordan

[The following statement was issued by the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila on 28 April 2016 as a followup to the social media mobilization highlighting the Jordanian government's decision to ban the group from performing in Jordan, and the its subsequent last-minute reconsideration of that ban.] We, Mashrou’ Leila, would like to express our gratitude to the global media, and the band’s audience in Jordan, and around the world, for their support throughout the past two days. We take pride in playing music for an audience like ours. We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the great number of artists, musicians, intellectuals and civil society ...

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Joint Letter to the King of Bahrain on the Arrest of Zainab al-Khawaja

[Zainab al-Khawaja. Image by Conor McCabe via Wikimedia]

[The following letter to the king of Bahrain was issued by the below signatories and published on Civicus on 19 April 2016.] Dear King Hamad, We, the undersigned Bahraini and international non-governmental organizations (NGOs), would like to unequivocally condemn your government’s arrest of human rights defender Zainab Al-Khawaja along with her infant son. The implementation of Ms. Al-Khawaja’s prison sentence for merely exercising her right to free expression and assembly amounts to arbitrary detention is wholly unacceptable. While Foreign Minister Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed Al-Khalifa indicated an intention to release her, she has not yet been freed from prison and we ...

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Suspend US Military Aid to Egypt: An Open Letter to President Barack Obama

[The flag of the Arab Egyptian Republic.]

[The following is an open letter, signed by scholars of Egypt and the Middle East, calling on US President Barack Obama to support civilian, democratic rule in Egypt by suspending military aid to the country.] An Open Letter to President Barack Obama 18 April 2016 Dear President Obama, As scholars of Egypt and the Middle East, we the undersigned would like to urge you, on Tax Day, to support civilian, democratic rule in Egypt by suspending military aid to the country. For more than thirty years, the US government has spent billions of dollars to help build and sustain a system of rule that does not serve the interests of the Egyptian people. The core of that regime ...

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الشيعي والشاعر والأستاذ

ثلاثة مشاهد... ثلاثة عناوين أزمة... ثلاثة رموز لمقياس واحد هو معضلة المؤسسة والفاعل، والأدهى علامات الخور والحول الحضاري. أعدم شاعر لقصيدة، وأعدم داعية لفكرة وهشم رأس أستاذ لطلب حق، المضمون سنابك خوف ورهاب تتوسل بالسيادة المزعومة والوحدة المنشودة، وتستجدي كل معاني البطولة على الفكرة والرأي والاختلاف، إنها بحق المشهد الحضاري المعبر عنه "أسد علينا وفي الحروب نعامة " . إن طرح السؤال في هذا المقام والبحث عن جوابه أشبه بحلم وتيه وضلالة وغي، بل و تعبير يجد في الإمعان في أزمته، ما دامت البنية الحضارية والثقافية قد رسخت لكل معاني الإحباط والفشل والإفشال، وانتصبت العصبية العرقية والدينية والأمنية إلها على كلماته يحتال، يمرغ نفسه في عوالم اللذة والشبقية والرهز، تحت ...

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الإرث الفكري لفرانز فانون

[صورة الكاتب الثوري فرانز فانون]

تُوُفّيَ فرانز فانون قبل أشهر قليلة من استقلال الجزائر في شهر يوليو عام 1962، ولم يعش ليرى بنفسه تحرر بلده بالتبني من الهيمنة الاستعمارية الفرنسية، وهو شيء كان يعتقد أنه أصبح أمرًا حتميًا. وكان هذا المفكر الراديكالي والثوري قد كرّس نفسه وجسده وروحه للتحرر الوطني الجزائري، وكان يُعَدّ مرآة من خلالها فهِم عدد كبير من الثوريين الموجودين في الخارج الجزائر ، وأحد الأسباب التي ساهمت في أن تصبح البلاد مرادفًا لثورات العالم الثالث. وبفضل ثِقَل نضالها في الماضي القريب، وعلى وجه الخصوص نضالها الطويل لنيل الاستقلال الذي مثّل نموذجًا يحتذى به للعديد من جبهات التحرير في شتى أنحاء العالم، ونظرًا لدبلوماسيتها الحازمة وسياستها الخارجية الجريئة في عقد الستينيات والسبعينيات من القرن ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 22)

[Cizre, 3 March 2016. Image by Mahmut Bozarslan.]

English Bombings in Ankara and Istanbul Reporting on March 13 Ankara bombing from Reuters, and The Economist PKK Taking a Page From DAESH’s Playbook The Daily Sabah editorial board accuses the HDP leadership of “radicalizing” Kurdish youth and calls on the intelligence services to take “necessary measures” to prevent further terrorist acts.  Are Deserted Streets, Shops the New Normal in Ankara? Şükrü Küçükşahin writes that gripped by fear and panic after an unprecedented string of bombings, Ankara’s residents are shying from streets and shopping malls, hurting the local economy. How Terror Attacks Drive Politics in Ankara Metin Gürcan writes about the the ...

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Giulio Regeni: Scattered Facts

[Giulio Regeni]

In the mid-December cold, the young man with European features left his home in the Cairo neighborhood of Doqqi, passing by a building marked “owned by artist Mohamed Rushdi.” The building hosted a small gym,  outside of which  several young men usually loitered, their imposing bodies covering a faded yellow wall, whose color, with the crowd of boys in front of it, broke up the normally calm rhythm of the street, just a few meters from the racket of Tahrir Street. He then passed into the din of the metro station and then into the quietness of a late Friday afternoon at the beginning of Qasr al-Aini Street. From there, he made his way to two open rooms ringing ...

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The Dashed Hopes of the Tunisian Revolution: Complicity between Nidaa Tounes and Ennahda

[An image of Beji Caïd Essebsi delivering a speech in Palais des Congrès. Image by Magharebia/Flickr]

In their hearts and minds, Tunisians were not in a mood to rejoice on the fifth anniversary of their revolution. While Tunisians are often told that theirs is the only revolution that remains from the "Arab Spring," they know full well that its goals have not been achieved. The discrepancy between the way the Tunisian revolution is viewed around the world and the way the Tunisians who carried it out experienced it may account for the difficulties Tunisians now have in defining and evaluating it. On the anniversary of the revolution, 14 January, this difficulty was made all the greater as the center of the political stage was occupied by the crisis rocking the ...

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In Turkey, the Regime Slides from Soft to Hard Totalitarianism

[Justice and Development Party rally, Turkey, 2007. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

“Humanitarian aid to [civilians] must be allowed immediately. ‘Surrender or starve’ tactics are directly contrary to the law of war.” Any western leader might easily use these words to scold the Turkish state, and its starvation of Kurdish towns to the south-east of the country. But it would be highly unlikely. In fact, John Kerry’s tweet was aimed at the Syrian regime, not the Turkish one. Why do American leaders describe Assad’s strategy of ‘surrender or starve’ as a war crime, while they ignore Erdoğan’s? Perhaps because Turkey is an American ally, the hypocrisy is natural. But take one look at America’s mainstream press, and the reality is clearly far more ...

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بيان الاشتراكيين الثوريين: لم يعد الصمت ملاذ المقهورين

ليلة أمس، مرة أخرى في استكمال للسلسلة الطويلة من انتقام الداخلية وبطشها بالجميع، قتل أمين شرطة سائق شاب في حي الدرب الأحمر برصاصة في الرأس، ليتجمهر أهالي الحي ويحاصرون مديرية أمن القاهرة مطالبين بالقصاص من أمين الشرطة. هؤلاء المجرمون من جلادي وقتلة الداخلية، رغم أنهم يختالون بجبروتهم وتسليحهم يرهبون المصريين، إلا أن أشد ما يفزعهم هو أن يتحرك الأهالي احتجاجًا، أن يردوا بأي مظهر احتجاجي ضد همجيتهم. هذا ما يفزع، ليس فقط الداخلية، بل كل النظام الذي يحميه هؤلاء المجرمون. وكلنا شهدنا الحملات الإعلامية المسعورة التي تشنها وسائل الإعلام الحكومية – والكثير من وسائل الإعلام الخاصة أيضًا – على الأطباء بسبب قرارهم بالإضراب ضد اعتداءات الداخلية. بل أن هذا النظام لا يريد حتى أن ...

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Hollow Words: Egypt, Italy, and Justice for Giulio

[Giulio Regeni]

Multiple fractures, cigarette burns, abrasions, fingernails forcibly removed and every finger broken, dozens of lacerations all over the body, on the soles of feet and ears all ending in a broken neck and suffocation. Giulio’s body was found semi-naked by the side of the road.  The marks of Egypt’s security services are instantly recognizable. No one has any doubt about who killed Giulio Regeni. And so Egypt and Italy’s diplomatic and economic relationship has been thrust into the spotlight.  Strong statements are coming out of the Italian government. The Foreign Minister insisted, “We will not settle for alleged truths,” while the Interior Minister claimed ...

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Doctors Without Borders Update on Airstrike at Al Quds Hospital on Syria

[The following statement was issued by Medicins Sans Frontiers (Doctors Without Borders) on 29 April 2016.] Syria: Update on Airstrikes at Al Quds Hospital The situation in Aleppo is critical as airstrikes leave no part of the city untouched. Already today there are reports of another health centre (not MSF-supported) being struck. MSF is desperately worried about the estimated 250,000 people in increasing danger of being totally cut off and without medical care. The sky is falling in Aleppo,” said ...

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Pro-AKP Media Figures Continue to Target Academics for Peace

On 22 March 2016, Yıldıray Oğur, a pro-government media figure, wrote a column targeting the Academics for Peace, Bosphorus/Boğaziçi University, the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and Jadaliyya, among others.  The piece problematically conflates terrorism with Academics for Peace, and blatantly asserts that signatory academics manipulate facts. At the same time, the author appears to obscure the fact that after the Suruç bombing on 20 July 2015, the ruling party AKP, together with ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 19)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] English Refugees' Deportation So The Greece Deportations Are Going ‘Smoothly’? Take A Closer Look Apostolis Fotiadis expresses concerns about coercion and force being used during ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 5)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] English Erdogan's US Visit Erdoğan's Uncomfortable US Visit Semih İdiz writes of the US' displeasure over anti-democratic developments in Turkey, mainly the oppression of freedom ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 29)

English Violence in Turkey Bosporus 'Bulls' Defy Terrorist Threat Kerim Karakaya reports that investors remain positive about Turkey as an investment prospect, having factored the country’s instability into their calculations over the course of 2015. The Wrong Mindset to Fight Terrorism Yasin Aktay, member of parliament for the AKP, claims that the differential mourning for terrorist attacks in Turkish cities versus those in Europe is rooted in the fact that Europeans are “nonchalant towards PKK ...

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Urgent Call for Solidarity with Academics in Turkey (Letter to the US Department of State)

[This letter was written by a group of US-based scholars and educators and was released on 22 March 2016.] Tom Malinowski, Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights US Department of State Email: Dear Mr. Malinowski: We are a group of US-based scholars and educators who have grown deeply alarmed and shocked by the blatant violations of human rights to which our academic colleagues and counterparts in Turkey have been subjected under an increasingly authoritarian Turkish ...

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Hope without Illusion: Ten Signs of Change in Egypt

Egyptians occupying streets, blocking traffic, and chanting patriotic slogans: Contrary to conventional wisdom, these images became part of Egypt’s contemporary political arena well before the January 2011 Revolution. We saw them on multiple occasions in 2006, 2008, and even in 2010, when Egypt’s national football team won the Africa Cup of Nations. Those are but a few examples of the intense mobilization that took place during the lead up to the revolution. The tide of that mobilization is what yielded ...

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دفاعا عن صحيفة العالم الجديد العراقية

  نص البيان الذي تلته اليوم المنظمات والنقابات المدافعة عن حرية الصحافة، اثر تهديدات هيئة الاعلام والاتصالات بحق صحيفة ”العالم الجديد“ الالكترونية. مايلي: التاريخ : 29/02/2016 تعرب المؤسسات الحقوقية والصحفية الموقعة أدناه عن إدانتها للتهديدات بالحجب والملاحقة التي تعرضت لها صحيفة "العالم الجديد" الالكترونية، يوم الجمعة الموافق 12 شباط/ فبراير 2016، من قبل رئيس هيئة الاعلام والاتصالات. وكانت الصحيفة قد نشرت تقريراً يزعم تورط رئيس الهيئة في مخالفات مالية، مستندة إلى مصادرها، مما حدا ...

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قتل الأم بحث في رمزية حضور الأم في الرواية العربية في حقبة ما بعد الاستعمار

قتل الأم: بحث في رمزية حضور الأم في الرواية العربية في حقبة ما بعد الاستعمار (1) مدخل نظري في هذه المقالة تكثيف لانشغال نظري بحضور الأم في الرواية العربية، نجم أول الأمر عن رصد هذا الظهور ومحاولة إيجاد أنماط له، ثم من تركيز النظر في الروايات ما بعد الكولونيالية لفحص نمط ظهور متوتر للأم متلازم مع وجود المرأة البيضاء. ما أوصل إلى اقتراح مقاربة نظرية معتمدة على الروايات المحللة ثم محللة لها. وكان البدء في نقاش لطروحات فانون المساجلة لفرويد ومحاولة تطوير استطالات لها. بين فانون وفرويد يقوم شطر ...

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Something Is Rotten in the State

[This is the introduction to a special supplement of Theory & Event, entitled Something Is Rotten in the State, devoted to the contemporary political context in Turkey. The table of contents and complete issue can be accessed here.] The political everyday never ceases to be eventful for those who live in Turkey or who follow it closely: the consolation of a smooth veneer disguising the wretched operations of structural violence is a luxury rarely exported to the global south. But what has been ...

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تراجيديا الثقافة العربية

يناقش الدكتور مازن عرفة في كتابه الجديد "تراجيديا الثقافة العربية”، الصادر عن دار التكوين في سوريا إشكالية المشهد الثقافي العربي بشكل علمي بعيد عن الرؤية الشخصية الذاتية، فقد اعتمد على الأسس العلمية والنظرية التي وضعها في كتابه السابق "سحر الكتاب وفتنة الصورة: من الثقافة النصية إلى سلطة اللامرئي”، الصادر عن دار التكوين 2007، مستعيناً بمناهج بحث علمية مستمدة من تخصصه في علم الكتاب كأداة اتصال جماعي. يتخذ المؤلف من أزمة القراءة والكتاب في العالم العربي منطلقاً للبحث طارحاً تساؤلات عديدة عن أزمة ...

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Speaking Truth to Power: A Panel on Academic Freedoms and the War Against Kurds in Turkey (17 February, CUNY Graduate Center, New York)

February 17, 2016 6:00-8:00 PM The Graduate Center, CUNY 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY Room C198 (Concourse Level) Reception to follow. Please bring ID to enter the building. More information can be found here. A panel discussion with David Harvey, Nazan Üstündağ, Aslı Iğsız and Kamal Soleimani, moderated by Anthony Alessandrini. Following the June 2015 general elections, Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) renewed the state’s forty-year-long war against Kurds. This move ended the ...

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