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Authoritarian Rule

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[The Olympic Village in London, part of the real estate portfolio acquired by Qatar's royal family. Image from Oast House Archive.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations GCC announces steps to bolster security Basma Atassi reports on the final statement issued by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the end of the Doha summit. GCC: In search of a vision Al Jazeera English interviews six Gulf scholars on the challenges facing the Gulf Cooperation ...

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Countercurrent: Bahrain Watch: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Reda al-Fardan and Mona Kareem

Reda al-Fardan, the Bahraini software developer behind Bahrain Map, discusses Bahrain Watch's new Fabrigate project, which tracks fabrications that have been published in local and state-controlled media. A CPISP recipient, he received his BA in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and his MSc in Polymer Technology from Loughborough University. He was previously a risk analyst at Gulf International Bank before joining A.T. Kearney as a management consultant in the Gulf region.     

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Censorship and Detention in Egypt, A Personal Account: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Alaa Abd El Fattah and Lina Attalah

Alaa Abd El Fattah is a writer, programmer, community organizer and activist who constantly generates new meanings to the notion of activism. He has been in political detention during the Hosni Mubarak era, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces interim rule following the January 25 revolution, the military-appointed government in July 3, 2013 and the ensuing rule of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was threatened with arrest during the short-lived rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.  Abd El Fattah’s last imprisonment in November was on charges related to the protest law. After being released in March, he was re-arrested in June after being ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 9)

[Zainab al-Khawaja. Image from wikimedia.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  Why is Saudi Arabia using oil as a weapon? Michael Stephens argues that Saudi Arabia’s decision to lower the price of oil is motivated by its efforts to see Iran’s profits affected.  UK to establish £15m permanent Mid East military Bahraini authorities agree to host the ...

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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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بؤس المعارضة السورية

[مظاهرة ضد النظام السوري. عن اوغن الينين. المصدر

نادراً ما تشرذمت معارضة في بلدان العالم كما هو حال تشرذم المعارضة السورية حالياً، فقد تأسست عشرات فصائل المعارضة السورية في الداخل والخارج، حتى أصبح بإمكان كل عشرة أشخاص، إذا أرادوا، أن يؤسسوا فصيلاً معارضاً، ويتحدثوا باسم الشعب والأمة، ويتوهموا أنهم يرسمون مستقبل البلاد ويحملون عبء تحررها. يحاول بعض فصائل هذه المعارضة كسب ود السلطة من خلال معارضته الشكلية، وتجده في الواقع يبحث في أحاديثه وخطابه السياسي عن مخارج للأزمة السورية ألصق بمصلحة النظام القائم منها بمصلحة الخلاص الجدي للشعب السوري من الأزمة التي تهيمن على مختلف جوانب حياته وتهدد دولته ومستقبله إضافة إلى حاضره، بينما تطرف بعض الفصائل المعارضة الآخر إلى الدرجة التي أصبحت تسيّره فيها غرائزه وبحثه عن الشعبوية ولم ...

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Open Letter to the Organizing Committee of the World Forum for Human Rights in Morocco

[Image calling for the boycott of the World Forum for Human Rights in Morocco. Image from the Mouvement 20 février Rabat Facebook Page]

[The following is an open letter that the Rabat branch of the 20 February Movement has written to the international committee organizing the World Forum for Human Rights in Morocco. Below are also the French and Arabic versions of the letter.] 20 February Movement, Rabat branch 20 November, 2014 Subject: For the reasons below, the 20 February Movement objects to the hosting of the World Forum for Human Rights in Morocco. With your committee's support, Morocco will be hosting the second annual World Forum for Human Rights in Marrakech from 27 November to 30 November 2014. If the expectation of the forum is to provide a platform as the basis for an open international ...

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لم يكن في خطتنا أن ننتصر

[

مدخل حينما تنتهي مباراة في كرة القدم بين أحد فرق القمة وأحد فرق القاع في الدوري المصري بالتعادل غالباً ما يصف المعلق النتيجة بأنها تعادل بطعم الهزيمة لفريق القمة وبطعم الفوز لفريق القاع. ذلك أن المنافسة/المعركة لا تدور في الفراغ بل في واقع يخص الفريقين وأهدافهما من المعركة وبالتالي فإن الفوز والهزيمة يتم تحديدهما طبقاً لأهداف كل فريق قبل المعركة وما أسفرت عنه المعركة. فإن كان هدف فريق القاع من الدخول في المباراة مع فريق القمة هو التعادل فإن نهاية المباراة بالتعادل يُعد فوزا والعكس بالنسبة  لفريق القمة، الذي يّعد التعادل بالنسبة له هزيمة. حين نتفاعل إذن مع ما يعتبره الجمهور الأعظم لثورة يناير هزيمة لهم وللثورة لابد أولاً أن نفهم سياق المعركة التي أسفرت عن تلك ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 19)

[The Holy Mosque in Mecca. Image from commons.wikimedia.org]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Islamic State leader urges attacks in Saudi Arabia: speech Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls for attacks on Saudi Arabia in his most recent speech. £41k a month and 2% on top: Blair's deal with Saudis leads to questions over former PM's lucrative contract John Stevens writes on a secret contract ...

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New Texts Out Now: Elisabeth Longuenesse et Cyril Roussel, Developper en Syrie. Retour sur une experience historique

[Cover of Elisabeth Longuenesse and Cyril Roussel, Developper en Syrie. Retour sur une experience historique]

Élisabeth Longuenesse et Cyril Roussel (dir.), Développer en Syrie. Retour sur une expérience historique. Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait publier ce livre? Elisabeth Longuenesse (EL) et Cyril Roussel (CR): Ce livre est issu du programme Tanmia, le développement: La fabrique de l’action publique qui a associé, entre 2007 et 2010, une trentaine de chercheurs et doctorants, et trois institutions, l’Institut français du Proche-Orient (basé à Damas et Beyrouth), l’Institut de Recherche sur le Maghreb contemporain (basé à Tunis), l’Institut des Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement de Genève, et le ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 11)

[Ali Abdullah Saleh, the deposed president of Yemen, has regained political prominence following the ascendancy of the Houthi movement, with which he is reputedly allied. Image from whitehouse.gov]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations The emergent Egyptian-Gulf alliance: Libya and Yemen in the crosshairs Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait discuss the possibility of an alliance to fight “fanatics” in Libya and Yemen. Qatari fund bids for Canary Wharf owner Songbird Julia Kollewe analyzes the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 4)

[Souad al-Shammary. Image from www.manartv.com.lb]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Regional and International Relations  Qatar and the UK stand together in the fight against terrorism The Qatari prime minister writes an article on the Qatari emir’s visit to the United Kingdom. Emir of Qatar aims to paint positive image of country on UK visit Ian Black reflects on the Qatari emir’s visit to ...

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The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various state institutions, like schools, universities, and the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice—commonly referred to as the “morality police” or “mutawi‘a”—have increasingly rigorously monitored women’s strict dress codes, on which much has been written ...

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Explaining the Bahraini Regime's Land Reclamation Strategy (Video)

The following Financial Times video report reveals the Bahraini regime’s massive land reclamation projects for luxury developments, which solely benefits the ruling elites and takes place at the expense of affordable housing, and as such, has exacerbated anti-regime opposition since 2011.

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Even Morocco’s Friends Know Its Judicial System Is Corrupt and Lacking in Due Process

On 13 August 2014, a US federal court declined to enforce a 123 million dollar judgment issued by a Moroccan court in 2009 against Texas native John Paul DeJoria. In Dejoria v. Maghreb Petroleum Exploration S.A. (W.D. Tex. 13 August 2014), the court laid out various reasons for refusing to recognize the verdict, focusing on the absence of an independent judiciary and the unlimited influence of the Moroccan royal family, especially King Mohammad VI, on the country’s judicial system. In opining ...

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خطة دي ميستورا ... استكمال لصيغة جنيف وليست انقلاباً عليها

سنتان ونصف السنة منذ إعلان بيان جنيف الأول ولم يتم تطبيق أي جزئية منه في القضية السورية، على الرغم من أن جميع اللاعبين الرئيسيين، السوريين والدوليين، إما أعلنوا موافقتهم على بيان جنيف أو بالحد الأدنى لم يبدوا اعتراضهم عليه. فهل ينقلب دي ميستورا حقاً على جنيف كما يحاججنا إبراهيم حميدي ("الحياة" 18/11/2014) أم أنه يستكمله في النواقص التي عطلت تطبيقه؟ أولاً لنتذكر أن جنيف هو اتفاق دولي تم التوصل إليه من دون أي مشاركة سورية، وبالتالي فإن تطبيقه كاملاً سيبقى رهناً بالتوافق الدولي. تركزت جهود الأخضر ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 2)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Affairs Saudi Arabia leans on Gulf states to close ranks as region boils William MacLean and Amena Bakr report on Saudi Arabia’s ...

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Between Ballots and Boycotts: Bahrain’s Political and Electoral Systems Assessed

[The following is an overview of last week’s parliamentary elections in Bahrain that Ala’a Shehabi wrote for Bahrain Watch on 26 November 2014.]  On Saturday 22 November, Bahrain held parliamentary elections. Bahrain Watch looks at the significance of these elections in relation to the political system as a whole and evaluates the election using basic principles from the IDEA’s Book on International Electoral Standards. We find critical breaches of international electoral standards, in ...

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Expropriation, Lawlessness, and Resistance in Yirca's Olive Groves: An Interview with Olcay Bingol and Deniz Bayram

[This interview regarding the ongoing resistance and expropriation processes in Yırca (Soma) was conducted by Boğaziçi University students Çiğdem Artık and Mustafa Kaba. The interviewees are Olcay Bingöl, who is an ecological activist resisting in solidarity with the villagers in Yırca against the expropriation of their olive groves for a coal power plant, and Deniz Bayram, who is a lawyer for Greenpeace Mediterranean, which is following the case. This interview was originally conducted for the ...

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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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An Open Letter to King Mohammed VI

[The following open letter was written by Moroccan journalist Hamza Mahfoud on 11 November 2014, in response to King Mohammed VI's speech marking the anniversary of the Green March. The open letter was originally published in Arabic on Huna Sotak and translated to English by Abdellah Laaraj. Since its publication, the open letter has been widely disseminated on social media, drawing a wide range of responses.] Dear King, I am writing regarding the Sahara after having watched your speech last ...

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Laughing in the Kingdom: On Saudi YouTube Comedy

“No woman, no drive. Said I remember, when you used to sit in the family car, but backseat. Ova-ovaries all safe and well. So you can make lots and lots of babies.”  These are the opening lyrics of a satirical song parodying Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry” and poking fun at a Saudi cleric’s statement in which he asserted that women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and pelvises, ultimately birthing children with “clinical problems.” Performed and produced by Saudi comedians Hisham Fageeh ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (November 8)

[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 ...

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Qui sera l’Etat ? : Le soulèvement du Rif reconsidéré (1958-59)

« Les gens du nord ont autrefois connu la violence du Prince héritier, il vaudrait mieux pour eux qu’ils ne connaissent pas celle du Roi ». C’est ainsi qu’Hassan II (1961-1999) s’adresse aux habitants du nord-ouest du Maroc—et à travers eux à l’ensemble de la population—en réaction aux émeutes populaires de 1984. Adoptant alors un ton grave et méprisant, le monarque rappelle à ses sujets qu’il est capable de tout pour conserver le pouvoir. Pour leur rafraîchir la mémoire, il n’hésite pas à ...

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