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Deposed Tyrants Retirement Home

[Image from unknown archive]

What is to become of already-deposed dictators? And who will follow? Khalil Bendib portrays some of the issues implicated in these questions and more.    

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At the Table: Sharif Waked's Khumus

[Sharif Waked, Khumus (2008). Image from artist's archive]

Just outside a Palestinian restaurant, named “al-Bayt” in the recently recognized village of Ayn Hawd southeast of Haifa, a table and two chairs stand precariously balanced on a steep slope. From a distance it is a pretty scene that promises the serenity of a picnic. On closer look, there is deformity and fragility. Together they offer an incisive reflection on those many moments when the Palestinian everyday in Israel meets the persistent apprehension and restlessness of memory. Sharif Waked’s installation Khumus tells of the inextricability of two communions—one that is untenable in the present and another in the past that has been made absent. On this slippery slope ...

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Screening of "Arna's Children" in memory of Juliano Mer Khamis

[Event Flyer from Jadaliyya]

The Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies, The Middle East Studies Program, and The Middle East Etc. Film Club present a screening of Arna's Children in memory of Juliano Mer Khamis, this Sunday, April 10th, 1:00 pm, at George Mason University's Johnson Center's Cinema. Juliano, 52, who was the Artistic Director of The Jenin Freedom Theater and the co-director of the award-winning documentary Arna’s Children, was shot by unknown assailants in Jenin [on April 4th, 2011] as he was leaving the theater. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all who worked with him and loved him. Juliano was born in Nazareth in ...

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Statement by Family of Juliano Mer Khamis

[Juliano Mer Khamis. Image from]

[The below statement was issued by the family of Julian Mer Khamis on Tuesday April 5, 2011. For more on Juliano Mer Khamis, see here.] We are shocked and devastated by the death of our beloved Juliano. Juliano dedicated his life to love, people and freedom. Freedom was the essence of Juliano’s being and he fought for justice and equality on the collective and individual level. He was a caring and nurturing father to Keshet, Milay and Jay—a legacy they will surely share with their siblings, his yet unborn twins. He was a loving and supportive son, brother, husband, partner, friend and comrade. He was an amazing, talented and inspiring human being. For Juliano, ...

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"A Space Exodus": A Truly Palestinian Film

[Still image from Larissa Sansour,

Larissa Sansour, A Space Exodus. Video (5' 29"). 2009. “Jerusalem, we have problem,” a woman’s voice says, as female fingers run over the controls of a space ship. “No . . . We are back on track,” she then mutters, breathing heavily; the only response from Jerusalem is a deafening silence. In a white spacesuit bearing her name, a Palestinian flag, and embroidery that looks like traditional tatrizz, the woman lands on the moon and plants a Palestinian flag. “A small step for a Palestinian, a giant leap for mankind,” her voice echoes through her space helmet. She waves to planet Earth; the camera pans down to her boots bouncing on the surface of the moon, and ...

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The Arab Spring: Two Dictators Down, Twenty To Go

[Image from]

Dictators in Libya, Bahrain, Oman, Yemen, Jordan, Syria and other Arab countries have resorted to increasingly repressive and brutal tactics to hold on to power. Khalil Bendib's two cartoons succinctly portray the current state of the 'Arab Spring' as well as its future prospects.      

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Narrating the Past, Confronting the Present

[Still image from

The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Directed by Dahna Abourahme. Lebanon, 2010 Could I do today what I was able to do then, questions Nadia, one of the women in Dahna Abourahme’s latest documentary film The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Based on stories of the women of Ein El Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in South Lebanon, between 1982-4 during the Israeli invasion and the imprisonment of the majority of the male population (those between the ages of 14-60), the film is also a reflection on the act of narration itself. The weaving of the women’s voices with tangible objects — letters from their husbands written from inside Israeli prisons, rich embroidery ...

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French Wildflowers and Algerian Gangsters: Humanism and Violence at the Movies

[Image from the publicity poster for

Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men). Written and directed by Xavier Beauvois. France, 2010. Hors la loi (Outside the Law). Written and directed by Rachid Bouchareb. Algeria/Belgium/France, 2010. Recently, two movies have offered Algeria a starring role at the post-colonial box-office. Des hommes et des dieux (Of Gods and Men), which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes film festival and César award for Best Film, is the story of seven Trappist monks who lived in Algeria during the civil-war of the 1990s. Hors la loi (Outside the Law), which is directed by Rachid Bouchareb (who previously directed Ingidène) and received an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language ...

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Mahmoud Darwish: Standing Before the Ruins of Al-Birweh

[The remains of the cemetery at al-Birweh. Image by Maqbula Nassar, from]

March 13th is Mahmoud Darwish’s birthday. He departed on August 9th, 2008, but he is seventy today and his poems are t/here for us. Jadaliyya celebrates his presence by publishing this translation.   Standing Before the Ruins of Al-Birweh   Like birds, I tread lightly on the earth’s skin so as not to wake the dead I shut the door to my emotions to become my other I don’t feel that I am a stone sighing as it longs for a cloud Thus I tread as if I am a tourist and a correspondent for a foreign newspaper Of this place I choose the wind I choose absence to describe it Absence sat, neutral, around me The crow saw it Halt, my two companions! Let ...

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Intervention, Libya, Jadaliyya: A Documentary Remix

[Image from VJ Um Amel.]

The following is an audio-visual documentary remix by VJ Um Amel of "On International Intervention and the Dire Situation in Libya," an article by Asli Bali and Ziad Abu-Rish originally published on Jadaliyya on February 23, 2011. See video below. 

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الخروج من الميدان [Exiting the Square]

[Signs and Slogans at Tahrir Square. Image by Haytham El-Wardany]

لم نكن نسمع بكلمة «ثورة» سوى في الكتب والأفلام. الثورة الفرنسية، الثورة البلشفية، الثورة الإسلامية، الثورة الثقافية، الثورة الكوبية، ثورة الطلبة... كل ثورة كانت تزيد مهابة الكلمة، وتجعلها ـــــ بفضل جسامة أحداثها وعظمة أفكارها، ثم ما آلت إليه مصائرها ــ مشحونةً وملتبسة. وشقّت الكلمة حياةً لها في مخيّلاتنا. كانت الثورة تلوح في أذهاننا كاستدعاءات متخيلة للحظات استثنائية «يكافح» الجميع فيها لـ «صنع التاريخ». لحظات تشبه مرجلاً ضخماً يتضاءل حجمنا بجانبه، وينصهر فيه الجميع. لذلك، كنا في حيرة ونحن نضع الكلمة على ألسنتنا، فكنا نتحسسها شيئاً فشيئاً، نتلعثم في نطقها كأننا نتعلم الكلام لتونا. تارةً تتملّكنا حيادية المنطق، فنفضّل استخدام كلمة انتفاضة، وتارةً أخرى تغلبنا العاطفة ...

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"The Poetry of Revolt" by Elliott Colla Nominated for Award - Vote Now!

[Screen shot of Elliott Colla's

We are very excited that Elliott Colla's article, "The Poetry of Revolt," (published by Jadaliyya on January 31, 2011), has just been nominated for the Three Quarks Daily Prize in Arts and Literature. Show your support of Elliott Colla's piece and Jadaliyya by participating in the public voting for "Best Blog or E-zine Writing on Arts and Literature." Public voting will narrow the list of nominees down to the top-twenty, from which the editors of Three Quarks Daily will select the top-six. The top-three finalists will be selected by Laila Lalami. To participate and cast your vote, click here, select the entry entitled "Jadaliyya: The Poerty of ...

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In the Shadow of Words: Le Trio Joubran in Memoriam of Mahmoud Darwish

It is inevitable that a dancer watching a dance performance, a film-maker watching a film, a musician watching a concert will take notice of details and little tricks that are not available to most others. A skilful camera movement, a new interpretation of a well-known choreography, a note that is played with a new insight…But, albeit rarely, there are instances when something happens on the stage or screen so that, in a moment, something flashes from the spectacle with such extreme power that ...

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Update from Islamophoberia

Islamophoberia, a place millions of Americans call home, will get a lot colder come 2012 because the main gasbag is being shut down in December. The decision of Fox News to cancel The Glenn Beck Show will leave the idiosphere scrambling for a new source of fuel to motor anti-Muslim ranting. Sure, there are alternative sources, like bacon-bookmarked Qur’an burning proponent Ann Barnhardt, who admonished her blog readers: “Go out, buy a Koran, video yourself burning it and post that on YouTube. Do it NOW. ...

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Interview with Juliano Mer Khamis (2005)

This is an interview I conducted with Juliano Mer Khamis about his remarkable documentary, Arna's Children, in 2005. It was aired on "Voices of the Middle East and North Africa" on KPFA Radio in Berkeley, California.

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Juliano Mer Khamis

Jadaliyya is tremendously saddened to report the murder of Juliano Mer Khamis earlier today. Juliano, 52, who was the Artistic Director of The Jenin Freedom Theater and the co-director of the award-winning documentary Arna’s Children, was shot by unknown assailants in Jenin as he was leaving the theater. We offer our deepest condolences to his family, his friends, and all who worked with him and loved him. Juliano was born in Nazareth in 1958. He was the son of Saliba Khamis, a Palestinian citizen ...

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Waiting for Death: I Will Not Carry Flowers to my Grave

It’s not true that, when Death comes, it will have your eyes! And it’s not at all true that the desire for love resembles the desire for death. It’s not the same moment - maybe those desires are similar in nothingness because both are swimming in dissipation. In love, we merge with the other. In death, we merge with existence and transform from the tangible, the material into an idea. Humans’ ideas have always been nobler than their existence. Otherwise, what’s the meaning of that sacredness surrounding ...

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Two Poems by Rashid Hussein

March 30th is Yam al-Ard (Land Day). It marks the general strike and marches organized in Palestinian towns in Israel on that day in 1976 to protest the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of land for “security and settlement purposes.” Six Palestinians were killed in the confrontations. The day and its events marked a turning point in national mobilization and the relationship between Palestinian citizens and the Israeli state. It became an annual day of commemoration for ...

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Elia Suleiman's Time

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at the end of a long hallway. We have some sense of why he is so harried: we have just watched the car that was driving him to the meeting being repeatedly menaced by a low-flying propeller ...

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Focus on Freedom: In Solidarity with Iranian Filmmaker Jafar Panahi

In December 2010, a court in the Islamic Republic of Iran sentenced filmmaker Jafar Panahi to six years in prison for collusion against the government. Even after his body is released from prison, the government wants to control his thoughts, his dreams, his words and prevent him from expressing them in cinematic form. The court also banned him from writing scripts, making films, traveling abroad, and speaking with any media for twenty years. “It’s depressing,” said director Martin Scorsese, “to imagine ...

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عصافير العقيد [The Colonel's (Gaber) Asfours]

في لحظات احتضار نظامه، وسط الجنون والخراب، لا يبقى من العقيد الليبي سوى صورة المهرّج. مهرّج مغطى بالدم والريش والدولارات، يعيش الوحدة محاطاً ببعض ابنائه، عاجزاً عن التصديق بأن الزمن انقلب به، والهاوية في انتظاره.الاحتضار الدموي الطويل لنظام 'الكتاب الأخضر'، يأتي في سياق ثورة شعبية تجتاح العالم العربي، وتؤسس لشرعية سياسية جديدة، تقطع مع الانقلاب العسكري، ومع نظام الجمهوريات الوراثية، القائم على القمع والنهب والخوف. يستدعي هذا التحول نقداً جذرياً للخيانات الثقافية، التي اتخذت اشكالا مختلفة، في ...

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Don't Blame the King for Islamophobia, Blame the Kingdom

Peter King and the Homeland Security Committee’s hearings on the radicalization of American Muslims are upon us. Mainstream op-ed pieces have increasingly suggested the "divisiveness" of this New McCarthyism, especially after the Southern Poverty Law Center listed Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller’s Stop Islamification of America as a hate group and after the Nuremburg-like Tea Bagging of a Yorba Linda Mosque.       Muslim-baiting is not new nor is the strategy to divide and ...

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The Peter King "Radicalization of Muslims" Hearing and American Democracy

Republicans clearly think that they have found a political winner in Muslim-bashing. Peter King, Republican representative from New York’s Third Congressional District (in Long Island), is the new chair of the House Homeland Security Committee. He was way ahead of the Muslim-bashing curve. Most Republicans didn’t get excited about the possibilities of using an anti-Muslim platform as a wedge issue until 2010, after the wild popularity of the "Obama is a secret Muslim" meme and the meteoric rise ...

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Iraq Too?

Many cast doubts that the lung through which Tunisia breathed freedom could give birth to kindred lungs in Arab lands to the east or west. Even after Egypt shook the earth to dethrone its last Pharaoh, doubts were cast again as to the mobility of the phenomenon. Then came Libya, which is on the verge of casting away its dangerously delusional and brutal despot. Tunisia is everywhere. The spirit of the mythical bird, al-Bouazizi, hovers, together with those of other martyrs, in every Arab sky, from ...

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About Culture
Jadaliyya’s Culture page is an open space for creative, original and creative texts about culture(s). Jadaliyya understanding of culture encompasses the production and dissemination of meanings in all sites, contexts and in a variety of media and genres.