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A Teenager Contemplates Life and War in the Gaza Strip

[Image of author.]

Who I Am I am Noor Omar Shaban Ismail, a sixteen year-old teenager who lives and grew up in one of the most dangerous areas in the world, the Gaza Strip. I have only one brother who is studying civil engineering in France. I really hope to follow in his footsteps and become successful to achieve my dreams and goals. My Story The Gaza Strip is one of the most densely populated areas in the world. It has absolutely no kind of infrastructure and one of the highest rates of people living below the poverty line. Every year there are 20,000 new college graduates who have the enthusiasm to work and achieve success for their country. Sixty per cent of the people are ...

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Kateb Yacine: A Profile from the Archives

[Algerian writer Kateb Yacine]

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Kateb Last Name: Yacine Date of Birth: 1929 Date of Death: 1989 Place of Birth: Smondo - Constantine Wife’s Name: Zobaida Sharghi Category: Writer Profession: Playwright, novelist, and poet Kateb Yacine   Algerian national. Born in a town called Smondo near Constantine on 6 ...

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From the World Cup to the 'Great Replacement': Football and Racist Narratives in France

[Image from the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Image by Gisele Teresinha/Flickr.]

Football is the greatest of all sports. And yet, despite the beauty of the game, what happens can become so distasteful that it is difficult to continue watching. I cannot help but feel that during the World Cup, a wide coalition of imbeciles is actively plotting to ruin my pleasure. I am not speaking of Luis Suarez and the biting incident but instead of France and Algeria. If you are following the competition, you already know that Algeria qualified for the knockout stage on Thursday night for the first time, after a draw against Russia. The team is not particularly brilliant, but they have some gutsy players who demonstrate both discipline and ability to counter ...

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The Black Box of French History

[Book cover image courtesy of Macmillan.]

Andrew Hussey, The French Intifada: The Long War Between France and Its Arabs. London: Granta, 2014. In 2005, a series of disturbing events occurred in France. In February, the parliament attempted to pass a law to force schools to teach “the positive role of French presence overseas, especially in North Africa.” That same autumn, riots erupted in a number of suburbs northeast of Paris, gradually spreading to other French cities and provoking the government to declare a state of emergency that had not been issued since the Algerian War. Many commentators drew a straight line from one to the other: France’s unresolved colonial past was coming to haunt it through an ...

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'Justifications of Power': Neoliberalism and the Role of Empire

[Anti-WEF grafitti in Lausanne, Switzerland, after the 2004 WEF in Evian (France). The writting reads:

[This article is the second in a three-part Jadaliyya series that looks at Foucault's work in relationship to the legacy of French colonialism in North Africa. Read the first installment here: "The Dangers of Liberalism: Foucault and Postcoloniality in France" by Diren Valayden] “I am like the crawfish and advance sideways.”[1] So Foucault warns us in the Birth of Biopolitics. And indeed, one would need to be an extremely nimble, if not heroic, crawfish to claim that Foucault espoused a serious reflection on French colonialism in North Africa. Point taken. What is irrefutable, however, is that his writings have had an enormous impact on ...

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The Present Flies, the Past Remains

[Still image from

Le passé [The Past], directed by Asghar Farhadi. France/Italy, 2013. In an interview given last year, Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian filmmaker best known for his Oscar-winning film, A Separation (2011), discussed the influence of theater on his work: “What I tried to take from theater to cinema is that every viewer sees his own movie, and that nothing is imposed to him or her. This means that we cannot see the world with a precise angle. There should always be different angles,” like in theater where everyone sees a different play by virtue of sitting in a different seat. Le passé [The Past], his most recent film, is a perfect example of this principle. Emotions are ...

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Drug Trafficking in Northwest Africa: The Moroccan Gateway

[Madrid regional government delagate Cristina Cifuentes, right and the chief of Spain's national police force, Ignacio Cosido second right, look at part of a haul of hashish and marijuana in Madrid, Wednesday, 26 December 2012. Spanish police have seized eleven metric tons of hashish smuggled from Morocco on trucks with tanks rigged to hide the drugs. Thirty five people were arrested in what was described as the breakup of a major smuggling ring that fed the European market. Authorities said in a statement Wednesday that the hashish was sent to a Madrid suburb for distribution to countries including Belgium, Britain, France and Holland. Image from Paul White/AP Photo.]

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, West Africa has become a pivotal platform and crossroads for terrorism, drug and human trafficking, crime and insurgency. However, in analyzing drug trafficking in the Sahel, it is paramount to also look at the role and geographical location of Morocco, where Moroccan drug barons are increasingly linked to their African and Latin American counterparts. Indeed, the Moroccan kingdom plays an important role between the African continent and Europe. The country occupies a key geostrategic location and is a gateway between the Mediterranean region and the rest of Africa. Morocco also provides a passage to mainland Europe from ...

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الجزائر إعادة تخيّل الحقبة الجميلة

[. أوائل السبعينات، سواحل خالية وفيلا دون جدار]

 إعادة تخيّل "الحقبة الجميلة": تذكّر بناء الأمة في الجزائر الجزائر، صيف 1972. عَقْدٌ بعد الاستقلال، والصحف تزدهر. الجزائر هي أول دولة في المنطقة أمّمتْ نفطها واحتياطها من الغاز بنجاح؛ المواطنون يتمتعون بالتعليم الشامل المجانيّ للمرة الأولى؛ الإنتاج يبدأ في مصنع الفولاذ الجديد العملاق في الحجار؛ يُنجز العمل في قرى السكن الاشتراكي الألف الأولى قرب تلمسان، يحظى العمال الزراعيّون بملكية الأرض في ظل الثورة الزراعية؛ عمليات البناء قائمة في فندق الأوراسي الفخم، وكذلك الملعب الأولمبي الذي صمّمهُ المهندس المعماري أوسكار نييمير، ومدينة باب الزوار الجامعية في الجزائر؛ تبدأ برامج الإدارة الذاتية للعمال في الشركات التي تملكها الدولة؛ تنتقل العائلات الأولى إلى آلاف ...

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سنة 1962 كحدث واستعارة في التواريخ الشفوية للنساء في الجزائر

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فيما يلي ملخص لبعض الأفكار التي أستقصيها في دراستي القادمة التي ستصدر عن مطبعة جامعة مانشستر: شقيقاتنا المقاتلات: الأمة، الذاكرة والجندر في الجزائر، 1954 – 2012 "لم أفعل شيئاً بعد الحرب" كانت هذه المقولة، أو التنويعات عليها، أحد الأجوبة الأكثر شيوعاً التي حصلتُ عليها حين سألتُ النساء الجزائريات، وخاصة الريفيات منهنّ، اللواتي شاركْنَ في حرب التحرير (1954- 62): ماذا فعلتنَّ بعد الاستقلال؟ كانت النساء اللواتي حاورتهنّ يتحدّثْنَ لساعات عمّا فعلْنهُ أثناء الحرب (قلن إنهنّ يستطعْنَ التحدث أياماً وأسابيعَ عن الأمر). وحين عدتُ إلى سنة 1962، نظرْنَ إليّ، وعلى وجوههنّ علامة استفهام: لماذا تريدين أن تعرفي عن هذا؟ إن وجهة النظر هذه، حول سنة 1962، كـ ...

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Colonisation Pacifique?: Examining the Contradictions of Xavier Coppolani’s Expansion into Mauritania

[Image of Xavier Coppolani. Image from Wikimedia Commons.]

In 1899, Louis Gustave Binger, the head of African affairs at the French Ministry of Colonies, received a proposal outlining a plan to bring a large swath of North African tribal territory under French control. The proposal covered a vast expanse of land, primarily desert, stretching up from the Senegal River to the bottom of the Kingdom of Morocco and eastward toward the south of Algeria. The name used in the proposal to delimit this geographical area was “la Mauritanie occidentale.” This was the first time that the name Mauritanie had been used in reference to this particular expanse of territory; the third-century Berber kingdom of Mauretania that later became a ...

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Roundtable Introduction: The Afterlives of the Algerian Revolution

[The Algerian flag painted on a wall near Notre-Dame d’Afrique in Algiers. Photo taken by Thomas Serres.]

When Étienne Balibar wrote that “Algeria and France, taken together, do not make two, but something like one and a half,” he was probably offering a political provocation as well as a historiographical injunction.[1] Yet the statement poses the question of how to think about Algeria’s independence as an Algerianist rather than as a historian of France. It poses the question as to why the amnesia that has long marked the French academy vis-à-vis Algeria has been reproduced in the current historiography, which rarely attempts to delve into the nitty-gritty of state building—not to mention the amnesia of the American academy which still wonders what to do with the Maghreb. ...

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Reimagining the Belle Epoque: Remembering Nation-Building in an Algiers Neighborhood

[Empty beaches, public access and villas without walls. Club des Pins, early-1970s. Image from Société Nationale d'Edition et de Diffusion (SNED).]

[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.] Algiers, summer of 1972. A decade after independence and the newspapers are teeming. Algeria has recently been the first country in the region to successfully nationalize its oil and gas reserves; citizens enjoy free universal education for the first time; production begins at the gigantic new steel complex at El Hadjar; work is completed on the first of the 1000 villages socialistes near Tlemcen, ...

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بغايا بغداد التعيسات

الى بدر شاكر السياب الذي قال "بغداد مبغى كبير" في ليلة حالكة من عام 1938، كانت العاصمة العراقيّة معرّضة للطوفان بسبب ارتفاع منسوب المياه في نهر دجلة. في حالات كهذه، تستعين الشرطة بالمارّة من أجل حثّهم على إنقاذ مدينتهم. إلا أن شوارع المدينة كانت خالية بسبب البرد القارس وتأخر الوقت، فسارع عدنان محيي الدين، معاون الشرطة، إلى التفكير بمنطقة قريبة من النهر ومن "السدة"، مكمن الفيضان، لا تنام بسبب طبيعتها. إنها منطقة "الكلجيّة"، الحاضنة الرئيسة لبيوت الدعارة في جانب الرصافة من ...

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Baya Mahieddine: A Profile from the Archives

[A Profile from the Archives is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic  and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Baya Mahieddine (aka Fatima Haddad) was an Algerian plastic artist of tribal origin. She was born in 1931 in the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Gulcin Erdi-Lelandais, Understanding the City: Henri Lefebvre and Urban Studies

Gülçin Erdi-Lelandais, editor, Understanding the City: Henri Lefebvre and Urban Studies. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Gulçin Lelandais (GL): The idea of this book was born during a panel session on Henri Lefebvre at the 2011 Congress of the European Sociological Association, during which researchers from Hungary, the UK, France, and Turkey presented their approaches on Lefebvrian concepts like the right to the city, ...

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Foucault, Fanon, Intellectuals, Revolutions

[This article is the final in a three-part Jadaliyya series that looks at Foucault's work in relationship to the legacy of French colonialism in North Africa. Read the first and second installments here: "The Dangers of Liberalism: Foucault and Postcoloniality in France" by Diren Valayden and "Justifications of Power": Neoliberalism and the Role of Empire by Muriam Haleh Davis.] My theoretical ethic is…“antistrategic”: to be respectful when a ...

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The Dangers of Liberalism: Foucault and Postcoloniality in France

[This article is the first in a three-part Jadaliyya series that looks at Foucault's work in relationship to the legacy of French colonialism in North Africa.] “For with Napoleon’s occupation of Egypt processes were set in motion between East and West that still dominate our contemporary cultural and political perspectives.” So writes Edward Said in Orientalism regarding the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt in 1798, which he describes as “the very model of a truly scientific appropriation of one ...

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Proverbs, Politics, and Paris: An Interview with Nancy Kricorian

Nancy Kricorian loves proverbs, especially Armenian ones. She has been collecting them for years, finding them in various books and corners of the internet and then saving them in her ever growing collection, which she shares through social media. Her current favorite—“Law is written for the rich, punishment for the poor”—is more than fitting for the novelist, poet, and activist, who strives to highlight those standing at the margins of society, whether through her novels or the various campaigns she has ...

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الثورة الجزائرية: محاورة الماضي

انطلقت ثورة الفاتح من نوفمبر في العام 1954 بنداء وجهته رسالة جبهة التحرير الوطني إلى الشعب الجزائري قائلة "إذا كان هدف أي حركة ثورية في الواقع هو خلق جميع الظروف الثورية للقيام بعملية تحريرية، فإننا نعتبر الشعب الجزائري في أوضاعه الداخلية متحداً حول قضية الاستقلال والعمل"، داعية بذلك الشعب للانخراط بكليته في الثورة التي أنهت في العام 1962 الاستعمار الفرنسي الذي رابط في الجزائر منذ العام 1830، بإعلان استقلال الجزائر وإنشاء الجمهورية الجزائرية. خصت جدلية ذكرى انطلاقة الثورة الجزائرية بملف ...

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الجزائر تلقي الحجاب

["إذا أردنا أن نضرب المجتمع الجزائري في صميم بنيته وفي قدرته على المقاومة، فيجب علينا قبل كل شيء كسب النساء، ويجب علينا السعي للبحث عنهن خلف الحجاب حيث يتوارين، وفي المنازل حيث يخفيهن الرجل"، لم تكن هذه المقولة للمستعمِر الفرنسي التي يأتي فرانز فانون على ذكرها في مقدمة مقالته "الجزائر تلقي الحجاب"، سوى واحدة من ترددات سياسة التدمير الثقافي التي اتّبعها الاستعمار في الجزائر لتفكيك المجتمع وتفتيته، مستهدفاً أحد أركانه الأساسية لا سيّما وقد كانت المرأة الجزائرية ركيزة أساسية في نضال ...

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أعيدوا لنا نفطنا

"أعيدوا لنا نفطنا": مطالب بالعدالة في ضوء ماضي الجزائر الاستعماري أهدف في هذا المقال إلى تبيان أن ماضي الجزائر الاستعماري استُخدم من أجل التعبير عن شعور بالظلم ولشجب احتقار وعنف النخبة الحاكمة. وبفعلي لهذا، أشدّد على أن معنى "الاستعمار" مثير للجدل على نحو كبير؛ وتستخدم الخطابات غير المهيمنة في الجزائر المصطلح على نحو مختلف بحسب أهدافها الاستراتيجية وحالات فهمها للمصالح الاجتماعية والسياسية. الأزمة الإبستمولوجيّة للنظام ما بعد الاستعماريّ ثمة في قلب حجّتي زعمٌ بأنّ الجزائر يمكن ...

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باية محي الدين: الرسم على إيقاع الطفولة

باية محي الدين (أو فاطمة حداد) هي فنانة تشكيلة جزائرية من أصول قبائلية. ولدت سنة 1931 في بلدة برج الكيفان، وفقدت والديها حين كانت في الخامسة من عمرها فتولت جدتها رعايتها، ولم تقصد المدرسة قط في حياتها. عملت باية فيما بعد في منزل فنانة فرنسية اسمها مارجريت كامينا، حيث تنبهت هذه الفنانة إلى أشكال الحيوانات التي برعت باية في صنعها من الطين، فشجعتها على الرسم وتطوير موهبتها، وعرّفتها على الألوان وعدة الرسم، فأقامت أول معرض لها وهي في السادسة عشرة من عمرها في باريس. أثناء مكوثها في فرنسا تعرّفتْ باية على ...

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Still Standing: Algeria’s Future Past

[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.] Among the events that marked the fiftieth anniversary of Algerian independence in 2012 were a large number of historical conferences and colloquia. Many were high-profile, public events, attended ...

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“Give Us Back Our Oil:” Claims for Justice in Light of Algeria’s Colonial Past

[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.] In this article, I aim to show how Algeria's colonial past is used in order to express a feeling of injustice and to denounce the contempt and violence of the ruling elite. In so doing, I ...

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