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Authoritarian Rule

Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-59)

[Image of a Moroccan Liberation Army march in Nador around 1955. Image from mondeberbere.com]

“The people of the North have previously known the violence of the crown prince; it will be best for them not to know that of the king’s.” It is in this way that Hassan II (1961-1999) addressed himself to the inhabitants of northwest Morocco—and to the rest of the population—in reaction to the riots of 1984. Adopting a scornful and serious tone, the monarch reminded his subjects that he is capable of anything for the sake of conserving power. To refresh their memory, he did not hesitate to make a brief and symbolic allusion to the ferocious repression he carried out against the same regions twenty-five years beforehand. The sovereign's rhetorical choice to refer to the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 27)

[The late Saudi King Abdullah, who passed away this week, with his successor Salman in 2012. Image from Reuters/Saudi Press Agency.]

[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 Saudis Expand Regional Power as Others Falter David Kirkpatrick examines Saudi Arabia’s regional politics. US charges Yemenis over alleged murder plot Saudi Arabia arrests and extradites two Yemeni nationals accused of attacking US troops. Regime collapse threatens Yemen's key role in US ...

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Mubarakism on Steroids: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Hesham Sallam Interviewed on the Anniversary of the Revolution

[Al-Sisi, as Minister of Defense, following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 3 November 2013. Photo: Department of State]

Jadaliyya Egypt Page Co-Editor Hesham Sallam gave an interview to KPFA 94.1 Berkeley on the current state of the Egyptian revolution and the return of authoritarianism in the country on the fourth anniversary of the uprisings that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Sallam argues that the level of repression witnessed today far eclipses the Mubarak era. He outlines the ways in which the country's transition was a tumultuous battle between the political elite, the military establishment, and the Muslim Brotherhood. While arguing that the status quo is unsustainable, he nevertheless laments the continued victimization of the revolutionaries that is taking place in ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 20)

[Riyadh and Doha have asked the US administration to impose a no-fly zone over Syria. Image from Ronny Przysucha.]

[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 Jeremy Scahill on Paris Attacks, the al-Qaeda Link & the Secret U.S. War in Yemen Amy Goodman interviews Jeremy Scahill on al-Qa‘ida in Yemen and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Al-Qaida in Yemen uses video to claim responsibility for Charlie Hebdo attack Jason Burke and Monica Mark report ...

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Stanford Event: Joel Beinin on Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (21 January 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia Featuring: Joel Beinin Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Stanford University Date and Time: Wednesday, January 21 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract Arab workers participated prominently in the popular uprisings of 2011.  They shared the outrage of many of their compatriots over daily abuse by internal security forces, widespread corruption, and foreign policies ...

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The Roots of Conflict: From Settler-Colonialism to Military Occupation in the Western Sahara (Part 1)

[Landscape shot of Laayoune from the south-west of the city. Image by author.]

[The following article is the first in a two-part series tracing the roots of settler-colonialism and military occupation in the Western Sahara. Read the second part here.] Upon entering the Occupied Territories of the Western Sahara, I organized a focus group in the private living room of a Sahrawi activist’s home in Laayoune, Western Sahara, where nine activists were brought together. They were each imprisoned for varying periods of time between 1980 and 1991, while the Moroccan state warred with the Polisario Front. They met each other while in the prison of Kela’at Megouna, and were determined to share their stories in vivid and haunting detail. Sukeina was ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 30)

[Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates will maintain current production levels despite the price slump. Image from EIA/Wikimedia Commons.]

[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 Saudi and UAE oil ministers defend Opec response to falling prices The Saudi and Emirati ministers of oil assert that their countries will maintain current production levels despite the price slump. Oil price drop weakens Saudi’s foes Joseph Kechichian analyzes Saudi Arabia’s motivation to ...

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On the Margins Roundup (December)

[Image of a pottery manufacture in Kalabougou, Mali. Image by Marco Bellucci]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to info@jadaliyya.com.]  Mauritania Mauritania Will Toughen Anti-Corruption Laws Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz announced plans to strengthen laws against corruption on United Nations Anti-Corruption Day. Migration, Fisheries, and the Supremacy of European Interests in Mauritania Hassan Ould Moctar discusses ...

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Requiem for Tunisia’s Revolution?

[Tunisian man facing Ben Ali’s security forces with a loaf of bread, the use of the baguette is symbolic for the regime's failure to provide public goods and a reminder of the 1984 bread riots in Tunisia. Image from Tixup]

The Arab uprisings seemed to herald a fatal rupture in orientalist narratives, challenging as they did essentialized renderings of the region as one mired by "authoritarian resilience" and failures to democratize. However, four years after the uprisings, familiar forms of reductionist analysis about the regions persist, albeit more subtly. The latest readings of the Tunisian experience have not shied away from condescending tropes regarding the success of its stable, liberal transition as opposed to the volatility and illiberal failings of other “Arab spring” countries. The Economist’s rationale for choosing Tunisia as the magazine’s “country of the year” ...

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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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Stanford Event: Steven Heydemann on Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics (2 February 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics Featuring: Steven Heydemann Vice President, Applied Research on Conflict United States Institute for Peace Date and Time: Monday, February 2 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract The uprisings that spread across the Middle East in ...

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تقييم حالة الإعلام الخاص فى مصر

يُعدُّ الإعلام بوسائله المختلفة، التقليدية والحديثة، إحدى أهم ركائز المجتمع، نظراً لوظيفته الأساسية المتمثلة في تشكيل اتجاهات الرأي العام تجاه القضايا المجتمعية المختلفة، وكونه عاكساً لطبيعة العلاقة بين الدولة والمجتمع، من ناحية، وبين النخبة والجماهير، من ناحية أخرى. غير أن العديد من العوامل من شأنها التأثير في أداء وسائل الإعلام لهذه الوظائف، منها عوامل تتصل بالبيئة التي يمارس فيها الإعلام دوره، وأخرى تتصل بالإطار التشريعي الحاكم له، وثالثة تعنى بالقائمين على الإعلام والعاملين فيه. يتوقف أداء وسائل ...

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New Texts Out Now: Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East

Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti, editors, Informal Power in the Greater Middle East: Hidden Geographies. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Luca Anceschi, Gennaro Gervasio, and Andrea Teti (LA/GG/AT): It seemed to us that a wide variety of informal power dynamics and their interaction with formal institutions were not being taken particularly seriously—at least, beyond general and often Orientalist claims about “culture.” This ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 13)

[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 Saudi Arabia is right to be anxious over its ideological links with Isis Brian Whitaker argues that though the Saudi regime ...

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The Roots of Conflict: From Settler-Colonialism to Military Occupation in the Western Sahara (Part 2)

[The following article is the second in a two-part series tracing the roots of settler-colonialism and military occupation in the Western Sahara. Read the first part here.]  Morocco’s Shift from Settler-Colonialism to Military Occupation Morocco is dedicated to establishing a permanent and stable political authority in the territories, and is achieving this through military occupation. The occupation today consists of a highly militarized security sector in each city in the Occupied Territories to ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 6)

[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 Saudi Arabia to reopen Baghdad embassy after 25-year chill A Saudi delegation will travel to Baghdad to start ...

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Yemen's Time of Turmoil (New Issue of Middle East Report)

Midway through Barack Obama’s second term as president, there are two Establishment-approved metanarratives about his foreign policy. One, emanating mainly from the right, but resonating with several liberal internationalists, holds that Obama is unequal to the task of running an empire. The president, pundits repeat, is a “reluctant warrior” who declines to intervene abroad with the alacrity becoming his station. The other, quieter line of argument posits that Obama is the consummate realist, a man who ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 23)

[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  Saudi and UAE oil ministers defend Opec response to falling prices The Emirati and Saudi oil ministers affirm that ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 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   Appel au meurtre contre Kamel Daoud A Salafi imam called for the assassination of Kamel Daoud, an award winning journalist and novelist ...

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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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