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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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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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A French Atlas of the Gulf States

[Cover of Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier,

Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier, Atlas of the Gulf States. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Mapping as a French Academic Tradition and its Critics It seems that English-speaking geographers and urbanists publish many fewer atlases, and draw fewer maps, than their French and—at least until recently—German counterparts. In France, there has been a frenzy of publishing atlases of everything and everywhere since the 1990s. What was first, at the advent of digital cartography, limited to academia, soon became a larger movement covering many topics and countries or regions of the world. The academic tradition of regional geography contributed to the launching of scientific books ...

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

[Dubai and Skyline. Photo by jensimon7 via Wikimedia Commons]

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 hundred homes, housing approximately 1,500 low and moderate-income[1] residents, including those with special needs. In addition, Fenway CDC has supported residents through ...

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Labor Strikes in the GCC: Deportations and Victories in 2014

[Migrant Rights logo. Image from migrant-rights.org]

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 29 October 2014.] The crackdowns on migrant workers in the GCC do not succeed in silencing migrant dissent. Last year, hundreds of thousands were deported, after being targeted, detained, and mistreated in the Gulf region. Stringent nationalization laws maintain a xenophobic atmosphere around migrant populations who constitute the majority in GCC (up to 85% in countries such as Qatar). As authorities and media continue to make migrants more vulnerable, some resort to labor strikes as a solution to their continuing oppression. Here, we examine the different ways in which major strikes were handled by ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 28)

[Saudi king receives Qatari emir in Jeddah. Image from Al Arabiya News.]

[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   UK police asked to investigate alleged Bahraini hacking of exiles’ computers Privacy International asks the National Cyber Crime Unit to investigate allegations that the computers and mobile phones of Bahraini activists living in the United Kingdom “are under illegal surveillance.” Qatar Emir ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 30)

[An American F/A-18C Hornet aboard the USS George H.W. Bush prior to the launch of operations over Iraq. Image from 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.comby Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Saudi Arabia confirms role in strikes against Islamic State in Syria Saudi Arabia announces that the its air force participated in the US-led air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria. US gives 'strong support' to Yemen government despite Shia rebel ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 16)

[US Secretary of State John Kerry at an ISIS coalition-building meeting in Saudi Arabia, 12 September 2014. Image from www.salzburg.com]

[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 CIA's Mop-Up Man: L.A. Times Reporter Cleared Stories with Agency Before Publication The Intercept published email exchanges between CIA public affairs officers and a reporter regarding a story on drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan.  US military helicopter crashes in Gulf of Aden ...

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Education on the Eve of Revolution in Bahrain: Comparing and Contrasting New Media

[Fires burning at the Pearl Roundabout after Bahraini forces enter the square on 26 March 2011. Photo courtesy of Mohamed CJ/Wikimedia Commons]

This reflection arises out of my experience working in education reform in Bahrain during the politically fraught years between 2007 and 2011, and is informed by the concept of “reflective practice” pioneered during the 1970s by MIT educationalist Donald A. Schön, and described in his influential 1983 book The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Its relevance to the discussion of the new media and new politics arising out of the Arab uprisings is two-fold.  Firstly, like the new media, education reform can been seen as partaking in a new, “reflexive”, or “second” modernity, towards which the post-colonial polities of the Arab world are ...

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Message From Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja

[Maryam al-Khawaja. Image from Flickr/andycarvin]

[This statement of concern was published by the Bahrain Center for Human Right on 29 August, 2014, shortly after Maryam al-Khawaja was detained in Bahrain].  The Bahrain Center for Human rights expresses its grave concern over denying the human rights defender and co-director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, Maryam al-Khawaja, entry to her native country Bahrain. Maryam al-Khawaja decided to fly to Bahrain to visit her father, the detained human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who began an open hunger strike on 26 August, 2014. Al-Khawaja's health has been rapidly deteriorating. Upon arrival to Bahrain airport hours earlier, Maryam ...

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UAE-Linked NGO Whitewashes Migrant Abuse

[Construction workers in Dubai. Image from tyglobalist.org]

 [This Migrant Rights report sheds light on the response of Gulf regimes in general and the Geneva-based NGO International Gulf Organization (IGO) in particular to international criticism of migrant labor rights in the region.]  This past year, the crackdown that resulted in the deportation of over a million migrants from Saudi Arabia, the mistreatment of Saadiyat Island construction workers in the United Arab Emirates, and the spotlight on World Cup workers in Qatar has generated significant public criticism of migrant rights in the region. States responded to this intensified scrutiny primarily by intensifying propaganda and public relations stunts, ...

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Home Surveillance and the Rights of Domestic Workers

[Migrant Rights logo. Image from @MigrantRIghts.]

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 25 July 2014 under the title "Home Surveillance Marketed Against Domestic Workers' Privacy Rights."] The alleged link between migrants and crime is a commonly regurgitated misconception in much of the migrant receiving world. In the Gulf States, local media particularly dramatize the ‘danger’ of migrant domestic workers to family privacy and child safety. Authorities further fuel these xenophobic narratives, regularly scapegoating migrants for any and all social problems, including the loss of cultural heritage and language. Saudi discourse particularly demonizes Ethiopian migrants, condemning ...

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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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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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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 11)

[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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 4)

[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 ...

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الحق في المدينة، في الأرض، وفي البحر

[تنشر جدلية بالاشتراك مع مجموعة الـدكتافون ومؤسسة "آرت-ايست" نصوصاً تتناول الحق في الوصول إلى الشاطىء في العالم العربي تحت عنوان "من هنا البحر". نشرت هذه النصوص باللغة الانكليزية على موقع آرت-ايست. تنشر سلسلة "من هنا البحر" تباعاً على موقع جدلية خلال الأسبوع القادم. ] لطالما ارتبط الإنسان بالأرض والبحر معاً فأمسى الإثنان حقاً مكتسباً ولا سيما في جزيرة صغيرة كالبحرين حيث اعتمد فيها الناس على البحر منذ قديم الأزل. عمل سكان الجزيرة في الزراعة والصيد أو التجارة من خيرات ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 14)

 [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 warns of more Yemen violence Riyadh urges the immediate implementation of the peace deal between the ...

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أسباب الثورة في البحرين: حوار مع مريم الخواجة

  نُشرت المقابلة بالأصل في كانون الأول\ديسمبر ٢٠١٢، قبل شهر من تمكن مريم الخواجة من الدخول إلى البحرين في المرة الأخيرة. حاولت أن تعود إلى البحرين فيما بعد في آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٣، لكنها مُنعت من الصعود إلى الطائرة بسبب أمر حكومي من البحرين. مؤخراً، في ٣٠ آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٤ قامت مريم بمحاولة أخرى للدخول إلى البحرين لزيارة والدها المريض، عبد الهادي الخواجة، المضرب عن الطعام. لدى وصولها، صادرت السلطات البحرينية جواز سفرها، وزعمت أنها ليست مواطنة بحرينية وسجنتها. مذاك، سُجنت مريم الخواجة في سجن بلدة عيسى ...

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Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja

[This interview was originally published in December 2012, a month before Maryam Al-Khawaja was last able to enter Bahrain. She attempted to go back to Bahrain later in August 2013, but was prevented from boarding her flight due to a government order from Bahrain. Recently, on 30 August 2014, Maryam made another attempt to enter Bahrain to visit her ailing father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike. Upon her arrival, Bahraini authorities seized her passport, claimed she was not a Bahraini ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 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 Relations You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia Alastair Crooke argues that ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 19)

[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 State Department Taking Passports Away from Yemeni-Americans The Middle East Research and Information ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 12)

[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  From Egypt to Saudi Arabia, the Arab World Has Abandoned the Palestinians Mehdi Hasan provides a critique of the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 5)

[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 Arab Leaders, Viewing Hamas as Worse Than Israel, Stay Silent David Kirkpatrick argues that Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the ...

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