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Derailing Democracy?: The Anti-Boycott Playbook Explained

[Logo of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions]

[This piece was first posted on the website of Anthropologists for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions on 28 April 2016.] As members of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) cast their ballots on a proposed boycott of Israeli academic institutions, outside organizations are desperately mobilizing to pressure the Association and derail the initiative. In the interests of educating all members of the Association—whatever their position on the boycott—we are sharing information about these attempts to interfere in the AAA’s democratic processes. We believe sunlight is the best disinfectant, and that an informed membership can better stand together ...

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Après Ben-Guerdane : dépossessions, déstructurations et insécurité alimentaire dans le Sud-est tunisien

Paysage du sud-est tunisien, par Habib Ayeb (CC 3.0)

Le Sud-est tunisien est de plus en plus sous les regards croisés des observateurs, des décideurs et des médias. Marginalisée et oubliée pendant des décennies, cette vaste région « frontalière » est ainsi devenue l’espace surveillé et l’objet d’un contrôle rapproché faisant appel à tous les moyens humains, techniques et technologiques dont disposent les autorités sécuritaires nationales et régionales (armée, forces de sécurité…) mais aussi les puissances et les organisation militaires régionales et internationales. Ce contrôle a été resserré d’un cran après l’attaque « terroriste » d’envergure (probablement plus de 50 ou 60 attaquants) sur la ...

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Entertainment and Consumption: The Impending Destruction of the Armenian Memorial Trchnotz Puyn

[The graveyard in the foreground, with the main orphanage building in the background. Photo taken by author.]

I attended Armenian grade school in the suburbs of Philadelphia until I was thirteen years old. As we grew older, the extent of Armenian language classes within the curricula decreased, and by seventh and eighth grade it had been relegated to the realm of the “cultural.” We still had Armenian language and history lessons, and bible class was often taught in Armenian, but by and large we engaged with the language mostly through theatrical and musical school performances that reenacted significant historical moments in Armenian history. One of the most memorable yearly events occurred when we would perform the destiny that awaited Armenians. Every April, for Armenian ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

[Cover of Joel Beinin,

Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joel Beinin (JB): I lived in Cairo for most of the time between September 2004 and December 2008. During this period, the wave of strikes and collective actions by Egyptian workers escalated dramatically. Workers invited me to visit factories and other workplaces where strikes were underway and asked that I write about what they were doing. So I began writing journalistic articles for Middle East Report, Le Monde Diplomatique, and similar outlets. I also wrote a report for the AFL-CIO ...

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Syria’s Leopard (Part 2)

[Explosions from the war in Syria can be seen from a hill on the Golan Heights: Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Maleh's relationship with the Syrian authorities deteriorated after Fragments, which the director sees as the end of an era in his professional life. A pivotal incident occurred on his birthday in September 1981. As the filmmaker drove by the Foreign Ministry, a guard signaled him to pull over and let an official car pass. The director stopped, but apparently not quickly enough, for the guard beat him on the head with a rifle butt. Maleh passed out and woke to the voice of an officer apologizing in a police station. He decided to leave Syria and traveled to the United States on a Fulbright Grant, despite his longstanding hostility to the country's foreign policy. Maleh ...

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Syria’s Leopard (Part 1)

[Windy road around Syrian hillside: Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Syrian filmmaker Nabil Maleh epitomizes the figure of the artist-activist, the socially committed and politically engaged cultural producer. Over decades of production and across genres, his work has challenged artistic, cultural, and political regimes. Maleh often cites a defining moment of childhood resistance: the seven-year-old Nabil confronted a soldier who tried to keep him off a public park swing so that military officers' children could have free rein. In return for his defiance, the boy received a slap which, as Maleh puts it, echoed throughout his life.[i] Maleh was born in 1936, the son of a high ranking army physician, and eldest of four siblings in an ...

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The 'Taharrush' Connection: Xenophobia, Islamophobia, and Sexual Violence in Germany and Beyond

[Refugees Welcome Demo London, 12 September 2015. Photo by David Holt via Creative Commons.]

New Year’s Eve 2016 witnessed the collective public sexual harassment and assault of dozens of women during celebrations in Cologne, Germany, reportedly by more than one thousand men. Similar, smaller-scale incidents were reported in other German cities, like Hamburg and Stuttgart. In the aftermath of the attacks, numerous media outlets quoted alleged police sources describing the perpetrators as men “of Arab or North African appearance”; of “Middle Eastern appearance”; or originating from “Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia.” Die Welt later characterized the assailants as “Syrian asylum seekers,” citing an unnamed police source. Still others referred to the harassers as ...

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إله الصدفة رواية الإنسان المستلب في المجتمع الرأسماليّ

”إله الصدفة“ رواية الإنسان المستلب في المجتمع الرأسماليّ بعد الإنتهاء من قراءة رواية "إله الصدفة" للروائية الدنماركية كريستن تورب، ترجمة: دنى غالي، تذكرت " مارتن" جاري الدنماركيّ الذي لا ألتقيه إلاّ صدفة في السوبرماركت القريب من منزلنا. فما أن نتبادل التحية وأسأله عن أحواله، حتّى يقول إنه (يعمل ستين ساعة في الأسبوع -أسبوع العمل هنا خمسة أيام وفي مرّات كثيرة تحتاجه الشركة للعمل من منزله ليلاً، ولا يحب أكل الجبن إلا في يوم السبت فقط!)، ثم يكرر اللازمة المعهودة: (عمل، عمل، عمل!). جاري الدنماركيّ، الذي يعمل في مجال برمجيات الكومبيوتر، أدمن الوحدة ويشعر بالذعر حين أحدثه عن الأطفال والعائلة، يتنقل مسرعاً بين أقسام السوبرماركت ويكمل تبضعه في وقت قصير جداً، ...

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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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البنك الدولي، تلاعب و تزوير من أجل تحرير الاستثمار

1.الإطار العام 1.1. قام فريق بحث من البنك الدولي بنشر دراسة تحت عنوان "الكلّ داخل العائلة: الدولة الرهينة في تونس" بتاريخ 27 مارس 2014 أشارت استنتاجاتها إلى كيفية تلاعب الرئيس السابق زين العابدين بن علي بمجلة التشجيع على الاستثمار من أجل خدمة مصالحه الشخصية ومصالح عائلته. حسب هذه الدراسة، أفضت تدخلات الدولة عند فرض إطار قانوني حمائي يعتمد على التراخيص، إلى سيطرة العائلة الحاكمة على بعض القطاعات الاقتصادية وحمت شركاتها من التنافس. 2.1. وتتأتّى الدراسة المذكورة في إطار إصلاح مجلة التشجيع على الاستثمار. إصلاح قامت بتمويله وصياغته و تسويقه منذ 2012 مؤسسة التمويل الدولية، الذراع المالي للبنك الدولي. ويهدف إصلاح مجلة التشجيع على الاستثمار إلى رفع جميع القيود و ...

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Conference--After Tahrir: Egyptian Revolutionary Experiences and Future Visions (Santa Barbara, 22-26 January 2016)

After Tahrir: Egyptian Revolutionary Experiences and Future Visions January 22-26, 2016 Pollock Theater, McCune Room University of California Santa Barbara Conference Website: http://www.aftertahrir.net Conference Hashtag: #aftertahrir This four-day research collaboration workshop will take place at UC Santa Barbara on the five-year anniversary of the Tahrir Square Uprisings in 2011 that toppled Egypt’s long-term dictator Hosni Mubarak. These uprisings in Egypt accelerated waves of anti-crony-capitalist demonstrations, worker organizing, youth revolts, media insurgencies, and police brutality protests that overthrew ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar, Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East

[Cover of Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar,

Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar, Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar (LD & JW): Fundamentally, we chose to write this book because we need a much better on-the-ground understanding of how US domestic politics and foreign policy shapes higher education, including our day to day lives as academics and the choices we make in research, teaching, and public outreach. In our view, Middle East anthropology provides the perfect lens onto these interactions for a variety of reasons that we detail in the book. There is also a personal, ...

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CUNY Doctoral Students’ Council Adopts Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[This statement was released on 15 April 2016.] The Doctoral Students’ Council (DSC) of The City University of New York (CUNY) has adopted a Resolution Endorsing the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions, by a vote of 42-18 with nine abstentions. At the same meeting, the DSC also overwhelmingly adopted the Resolution Calling for Expanded Tuition Remission for Graduate Center Students. The mission of the DSC includes promoting democracy within CUNY and enabling students to participate in important ...

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The Panoptic Gaze and the Ivory Tower: A STATUS/الوضع Episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom

This episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom examines the state's use of university campuses as sites of surveillance and recruitment, and its effects on students and faculty. STATUS/الوضع host Tareq Radi interviews Muna Sharif, Arshad Ali, Jared Austin, and Danya Zituni about their experiences.  The program episode below includes four parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript below the player.  Muna Sharif is a Palestinian-American organizer based in Anaheim, ...

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Open Letters from CUNY Faculty and Students to President Chase Robinson Regarding the Replacement of Dr. Anny Bakalian, Associate Director of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC)

[The following letters have been sent by faculty, PhD students, MA students, and alumni affiliated with the Middle Eastern Studies Program and the Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at The Graduate Center of The City University of New York, to Chase Robinson, President of the Graduate Center. The letters address proposed cuts that would replace the position of Associate Director, currently held by Dr. Anny Bakalian, with a part-time college assistant. Fifty-two faculty, fifty-nine PhD ...

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الأبعاد البنيوية والرمزية للعنف

حوار مع أحمد المرزوقي، سجين سابق في تزمامارت منذ خمس وعشرين سنة، بدا كما لو أن المغرب يقوم بمحاولة جدية لمواجهة انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان السابقة وتطبيق حكم القانون. فقد تعهّد الملك الحسن الثاني بطي صفحة “سنوات الرصاص”، كما تُدْعى فترة القمع السياسي في المغرب، وتطبيق معايير حقوق الإنسان الدولية في البلاد. وفي أوائل التسعينيات، أطْلقت السلطات سراح السجناء السياسيين، وأغلقت سجن تزمامارت السري سيء الصيت، وعقدت جلسات استماع علنية حول أربعين عاماً من انتهاكات حقوق الإنسان الفاضحة. لكن التغير المفاجئ عكس ضعف ...

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Humanism and Its Others

Who could possibly be against humanism? Wouldn’t this be tantamount to being against humanity—that is, being against oneself? This all depends, of course, on whether you have had the chance to count among those who are considered to be “human” in the first place—or, to put it in the terms of contemporary protests in the United States and elsewhere, whether you are one whose life is seen to matter. The critique of humanism that has emerged in the late twentieth and early twenty-first century is first and ...

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Giulio Regeni: Scattered Facts

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 ...

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Shame on Those Who Try to Justify Giulio Regeni’s Assassination: A Letter by Gilbert Achcar

[This letter by Gilbert Achcar, Professor at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, was originally published in Italian in Il Sole 24 Ore, as a response to public discussions regarding the case of the late Giulio Regeni. The English version appeared in Open Democracy.] Several articles in the Italian press–by journalists and others with no experience or knowledge of research in the Middle East–have suggested that Giulio Regeni’s supervisors bear responsibility for sending ...

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غياب الأدب المعاصر في النظام التعليمي المصري

أثناء التعليم السابق للجامعة في مصر، تُعرِّف مقررات اللغة العربية الطلابَ على نصوصٍ أدبية يزداد غنى شكلها وقيمتها الأدبية بالتدريج. وبينما تزداد جودة الأدب فيما يرتقي الطلاب في مراتب النظام التعليمي، هناك قاسم مشترك واحد في تعليم الأدب في مصر وهو أنه يخلو من أي شيء معاصر. إن للاطلاع على الأدب، من خلال تدريسه وتدريس الكتابة الإبداعية، تأثيراً مباشراً في كيف يفكر الطلاب، ليس فقط حول الأدب بل حول موضوعات أخرى، كالتاريخ والعلوم الاجتماعية وهلمّجرا. وإذا كان الأدب الكلاسيكي هو كل ما يُدرَّس، هل يفقد الطلاب ...

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بعد خمس سنوات من ثورة تونس: هل تسقط الدّولة؟

يستقبل التونسيون شتاءهم الخامس بعد الثورة بكثير من الشكّ في مستقبل مسارهم الديمقراطي الناشئ، واختارت الجغرافيا التي انطلقت منها شرارة 17 ديسمبر 2010 أن تحتفي بالعيد الخامس على طريقتها : في ولاية القصرين، رضا اليحياوي من مواليد 1987 يحتجّ على شطب اسمه من إحدى قوائم التوظيف في القطاع العمومي ويلقى مصرعه إثر تسلقه لعمود كهربائي. على إثر ذلك، تنتشر الاحتجاجات في جلّ مناطق البلاد. في الآن ذاته، يُحتفى بتونس نموذجا للتغيّرات العربيّة المتواصلة وعنوانُ النموذج التوافق، وبرهانُه جائزة نوبل، أمّا مضمونه فهو ...

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January 25 at Five

To mark five years since Egyptians took to the streets demanding bread, freedom, and social justice, Jadaliyya offers its readers a set of articles examining the state of some of the struggles that the January 25 Revolution came to embody. We begin with a look back at earlier struggles for social justice and political change in 1970s Egypt and beyond. Nicola Pratt examines the ways in which western support for regime crackdowns on political dissent compounded the constraints on women’s ...

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Letter to Turkish PM Davutoglu Concerning Turkish Higher Education Council's Condemnation of Scholars for Signing Peace Petition

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 14 January 2016.] Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara, Turkey Via facsimile +90 312 417 0476; +90 312 403 62 82; + 90 312 422 26 67 Dear Prime Minister Davutoğlu: We write on behalf of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) of North America and its Committee on Academic Freedom to express our serious concern over reports that the ...

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Al Jazeera Censors English-Language Article Critical of Saudi Regime

On 3 December 2015, Al Jazeera America (AJAM) published an article by US-based civil rights attorney and analyst Arjun Sethi. Entitled "Saudi Arabia Uses Terrorism as An Excuse for Human Rights Abuses," the article drew on a range of reports by international human rights organizations about the Saudi regime's repression of dissent and the recent increase in the number of planned executions. It also drew direct parallels and connections between the US War on Terror and that of the Saudi regime. ...

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