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Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria: An Interview with Aurelie Perrier

[Postcard depicting street of Ouled Nails, Biskra. Image via Ottoman History Podcast.]

The association of the Arab world with Western sexual fantasy figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. Yet beyond the fantasies embedded in Delacroix’s paintings of odalisques, what did sex actually mean in nineteenth-century Algeria? In Ottoman History Podcast #188, Aurelie Perrier begins to answer this question. Building on the groundbreaking work of scholars like Malek Alloula and Christelle Taraud, her research explores the nature of illicit sex in nineteenth-century Algeria under both Ottoman and French rule. Perrier situates the topic in the fluid boundaries of Ottoman-administered sex ...

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New Texts Out Now: Smadar Lavie, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture

[Cover of Smadar Lavie,

Smadar Lavie, Wrapped in the Flag of Israel: Mizrahi Single Mothers and Bureaucratic Torture. New York and Oxford: Berghahn Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Smadar Lavie (SL): In February 1999 I was a star academic, on the eve of becoming a full tenured professor at University of California, Davis. I had to pack two suitcases, the family dog, and my son’s cello, and flee with him from Berkeley to save our lives. We were both victims of domestic violence that I kept secret from my colleagues. The California courts had proven unable to help us. So I fled to Israel-Palestine, where my family resides. Upon arrival, our Israeli and US passports ...

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Memorandum on Equal Citizenship Rights for Libyan Women in the Constitution

[The following is an English translation of a memorandum that was issued by a group of concerned Libyan citizens to the Constitutional Drafting Assembly on 20 August 2014 with respect to the right of Libyan women to pass on citizenship to their children. The introduction that precedes the memorandum was written by Hanan Ghosheh, one of the people involved in the drafting of the memorandum. The original Arabic memorandum is reproduced at the end.] In the three years following the February 17 Revolution of Libya, the status of women’s rights has endured severe setbacks including unprecedented violence and crimes against the female population. The fact that seventeen ...

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The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

[Wall surrounding a gated community, Saudi Arabia. Image by Amelie Le Renard.]

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 (Le Renard, 2011, 2014, Al-Rasheed, 2013). This essay deals with a different relation of power that has received less attention. It shows how the Saudi regime is ...

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New Texts Out Now: Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature

[Cover of Abir Hamdar,

Abir Hamdar, The Female Suffering Body: Illness and Disability in Modern Arabic Literature. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Abir Hamdar (AH): The whole project was triggered by a question from a friend. She was suffering from a chronic illness and said she found solace in reading about the stories of women with similar experiences. As someone who works on Arabic literature, she had asked me to recommend Arabic literary works that narrate the experiences of women with a physical illness and that she could read—except that I couldn’t think of a single novel or short story. I had readily available a list of Arabic ...

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NYC Event--Can Palestinian Men Be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza (3 November 2014)

Join the History of Women and Gender Program, the Middle East and Islamic Studies Department, the Hagop Kevorian Center, and Students for Justice in Palestine on Monday 3 November, 12:30-2:00pm for a discussion with Jadaliyya Co-Editor and Professor Maya Mikdashi about gendered hierarchies of victimhood in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Maya’s original article, published in Jadaliyya, can be found here. A light lunch will be served.  Title: Can Palestinian Men Be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza (3 November 2014) Date/Time: November 3, 12:30pm-2:00pm Location: KJCC (53 Washingston Sq South), Rm 607 RSVP:

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Persian Translation of Maya Mikdashi's 'Can Palestinian Men be Victims'

[Image by Arghavan collective blogspot]

آیا مردان فلسطینی می‌توانند قربانی باشند؟ خوانش جنسیتیِ جنگ اسرائیل علیه غزه هر صبح چشمانمان را بر لیست به‌روز شده‌ی قصابی می‌گشاییم: ١٠٠، ٢٠٠، ٤٠٠، ٦٠٠ فلسطینی کشته شده توسط دستگاه جنگ اسرائیل. این اعداد جزییات ناخوشایند بسیاری را می‌پوشانند؛ اکثریت مردم غزه یعنی یکی از پرجمعیت‌ترین و فقیرشده‌ترین مکان‌های جهان، پناهندگانی مهاجر ازسرزمین‌هایی‌اند که به لحاظ تاریخی به فلسطین تعلق دارند. غزه تحت محاصره‌ای قساوت‌بار است و هیچ جای آن از یورش اسرائیل در امان نیست. پیش از این "جنگ"، غزه شکلی از قرنطینه بود. جمعیتی به اسارت گرفته شده و به استعمار درآمده توسط توانایی اسرائیل در زیرپا گذاشتن قوانین ...

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الاعتداءات الجنسية والاغتصاب في ميدان التحرير

[مصدر الصورة صفحة

  الاعتداءات الجنسية والاغتصاب في ميدان التحرير أثناء الاحتفال بحلف يمين الرئيس دليل على عدم كفاية التعديلات القانونية الأخيرة للتصدي لتلك الجرائم وقوع على الأقل 9 حالات اعتداءات جنسية واغتصابات بالآلات الحادة والأصابع الأسبوع الجاري. تابع الموقعون التعديلات القانونية الأخيرة في قانون العقوبات المرتبطة بجرائم لاعتداءات الجنسية ويؤكدون أن التعديل خطوة غير كافية لمحاسبة مرتكبي جرائم العنف الجنسي التي طالت على الأقل 500 ناجية خلال الفترة من فبراير 2011 إلى يناير 2014، والتي شملت اغتصابات جماعية واعتداءات جنسية جماعية بالآلات الحادة والأصابع، والآلاف من النساء اللاتي تعرضن إلى تحرش جنسي. إن التصدي لهذه الظاهرة يحتاج إلى إستراتيجية وطنية متكاملة لمكافحتها وتشريع ...

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The Empty Promise of State-Sponsored Feminism in the Arabian Peninsula

[lllustration by K. Jones.]

States in the Arabian Peninsula have maintained, and in some cases strengthened, their authoritarian structures in the shadow of the recent Arab uprisings. In spite of this, the US government and many of its allies continue to herald a liberalizing shift in places such as Saudi Arabia or Kuwait largely on the basis of potential reforms meant to further women’s rights. Indeed, some of these states have taken actions to heighten their domestic and international legitimacy through increased political representation for women. However, such efforts are not necessarily indicative of structural or much-needed changes. Rather, they constitute part and parcel of a mechanism of ...

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Joint Statement: Verdict Against Mahienour El-Massry Must be Renunciated, The Protest and Public Assembly Law Needs to be Revised

[Logo of Nazra for Feminist Studies]

[The following statement was issued by the below signatories on 21 May 2014 and published by Nazra for Feminist Studies.]   Confirmation of the Verdict against Mahienour El-Massry: A New Episode in the Series of Incarcerating Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs)…The Verdict Must be Renunciated and the Law Needs to be Revised   The undersigned organizations and groups denounce the continuity of issuing judicial verdicts against Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) and Women Human Rights Defenders (WHRDs) according to the violation of the Protest and Public Assembly Law, and call for the renunciation of the verdict against activist Maheinour El-Massry and ...

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'My Sleep is My Break': Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Qatar

[Logo of Amnesty International. Image from]

[The following report was published by Amnesty International on  22 April 2014] "My Sleep is My Break": Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers in Qatar Introduction and Overview "No day-off and no mobile if you don't want to give. It is as you like madam, the same with  working hours, it is as you like, no problem about hours."  -- A representative of a popular Doha recruitment agency, answering questions about how domestic workers should be treated by their  employer, March 2013 "Lola and her distant children were dependent on our family’s good graces to pay her  regularly, treat her fairly and honor our ...

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A Fashionable Revolution: Veiling, Morality, and Consumer Culture in Iran

[“Tehran Shopping Malls” by Saghar Daeeri 100 x 150 cm Acrylic on canvas, 2008.]

There has been a flurry of commentary recently that claims something of a “silent revolution” is underway in Iran today. It is supposedly a revolution against — or, at the very least, a flagrant disregard for — government prescriptions for public decency. It is situated on the surfaces of women’s bodies and assumes bright colors, brand names, fitted contours, and flowing hair. It is supposedly a revolution against but also of the mandatory veil, or how a new generation of women is taking liberties with it. We see beautiful young women in the streets of Tehran inviting us to reconsider stereotypical images of Iranian women that predominate in mainstream English-language ...

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In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey

This piece is written as a farewell to Ozgecan Aslan, a twenty-year-old university student, who was stabbed to death after she was raped. Her remains were found on 13 February, burnt and thrown into a river by three men. I slept with a heavy heart that night and woke up even grimmer and more outraged. Another terrible piece of news from Turkey, my home country, where nearly every day men brutally kill, sexually harass, and rape women. Where everyday acts of walking on the street, taking a bus, visiting ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written by the editor, Andrea Khalil, in May 2014.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a ...

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سجن النساء يجتاز اختبار بكدال ويتجاوزه

أمتعنا الثلاثي مريم ناعوم (كاتبة السيناريو)، كاملة أبو ذكري (المخرجة)، نيللي كريم (البطلة) هذا العام في رمضان بمسلسل "سجن النسا" كما أمتعونا العام الماضي بمسلسل "ذات". والمسلسل هذا العام مأخوذ عن مسرحية للكاتبة الراحلة فتحية العسال، ولكن السيناريو (الذي كتبته مريم نعوم مع هالة الزغندي) أخذه إلى آفاق أرحب تماماً كما فعلت نعوم العام الماضي بمسلسل "ذات" فأثبتت أنها كاتبة نسوية من الطراز الأول، وإن لم تحظ أعمالها بالتفات على هذا المستوى. فلقد غرقت للأسف في اعتراضات هامشية من قبل ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: نظيرة زين الدين

[ينشر ملف من الأرشيف عادة بالتعاون مع جريدة السفير. لكن المادة أدناه من تأليف بنان غرامش]       نظيرة زين الدين  الاسم: نظيرة زين الدين الحلبي. تاريخ الولادة: ولدت عام 1908 لعائلة لبنانية. والدها شيخ ورئيس أول محكمة استئناف في لبنان، وهو القاضي سعيد زين الدين. مكان الولادة: من عائلة ريفية في قرية "محلة نصر" بمحافظة البحيرة في منطقة الدلتا في وقت عانت فيه أسر الفلاحين من الضرائب والقوانين المجحفة التي فرضتها الحكومة في مصر بحق ...

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Gulf Women's Writing: On Slavery, Migrant Labor, and Statelessness

On 10 November, Mona Kareem will give a talk at Binghamton University (1:00pm in room LT 1506) on how Gulf women writers adopt—or challenge—nationalist narratives. How, Kareem asks, do women writers deal with racialized minorities, migrants, and stateless individuals? What kinds of feminist positions are taken within their discussions of racism? Can citizen-women offer an alternative history or new narratives on issues of slavery, migrant labor, and statelessness? Kareem is herself stateless, ...

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تأملات في الجمالية والخطاب والتفاحة

يعزو البعض تأثير البروباغندا باعتبارها تمظهرًا خطابيًا لمفهوم "الجمالية" إلى تخوم القرنين الثامن والتاسع عشر، تلك المرحلة المركبة، إذ كانت الثورة الفرنسية (1789 – 1794) هي التي شكلت ملامحها الرئيسية لما كان للطباعة من أثر رئيس في ذلك التعبير المادي عن فكرة الحرية، أما بالنسبة لإنجلترا فكان ثمة أهمية خاصة للإنقلاب الصناعي الذي أحل الآلة محل الإنسان واتجه إلى الاستغناء عن الإنسان لعدم الحاجة إليه، ولم يكن ذلك الإحساس موجودًا في فرنسا التي سعت إلى تغيير العالم وظلت على امتداد عشرين عامًا لا تفكر ...

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Can Palestinian Men be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza

Every morning we wake up to an updated butcher’s bill: one hundred, two hundred, four hundred, six hundred Palestinians killed by Israel’s war apparatus as of this writing. These numbers gloss over many details: the majority of Gazans, one of the most populated and impoverished areas in the world, are refugees from other parts of historic Palestine. It is under a brutal siege, and there is nowhere to hide from Israel’s onslaught.  Before this “war” Gaza was a form of quarantine, a population ...

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السيسي رجلنا

على مدار اليومين المقبلين سينزل بعض المصريين إلى الشوارع في تعبير انتخابي فارغ عن الإرادة الوطنية. سوف "يختارون" بين حاكم مصر الحالي ورئيسها المقبل، المشير السابق عبد الفتاح السيسي، ومنافسه غير المقنع، حمدين صباحي. بعضهم سينزل إلى الشوارع ليصوّت لـ "بشرة خير": السيسي ولا أحد غيره. وفي ظل التدمير المتواصل والعنيف لأي مشهد سياسي، سيعتكف البعض الآخر في منازلهم. مهما اختاروا أن يفعلوا في اليومين القادمين، فإن غالبية المصريين قد اختبروا نوعاً جديداً من عبادة الشخصية خلال العام ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kimberly Wedeven Segall, Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa

Kimberly Wedeven Segall, Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa: Gender, Media, and Resistance. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kimberly Wedeven Segall (KWS): The origins of this book began twenty years ago, when I lived for a year in northern Iraq, recording the stories of Kurdish guerrilla fighters and female survivors of the Al-Anfal, while living in Shaqlawa. Many survivors spoke of the role of song, communal dances, and poetry as part ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring

Andrea Khalil, editor, Women, Gender, and the Arab Spring, special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). Forthcoming as a book with Routledge. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a book, I was sensitized to the profound problems that women in Tunisia were facing since the Revolution, and more generally, the urgency to address gender issues and activism in the new context. The ...

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عن علاقة الزيّ بالتحرُّش

يأخذ موضوع الزيّ أو اللبَاس أو السِتر حيزاً كبيراً من خطاباتنا، الثقافية والاجتماعية وبطبيعة الحال، الدينية. وفي مجتمع أبوي ذكري يعتمد البكارية والرجولية والفحولة كمداخل قراءة للعالم، كالمجتمعات العربية عموماً والمجتمع المصري على وجه الخصوص، يُضفي الذكرُ بعداً عَلاقاتياً بين التحرش وأنماط الزيّ، بحيث تنحصر القضية في طرفين هما الزيّ والتحرش، باعتبار نوعية الأول أو نمطه سبب مباشر للثاني أو علّة. يُكذِّبُ هذا التضييق أو تلك العلَاقة، ويخلع عنها كل شرعية، أمران؛ أولاً: حكم الواقع الذي يقول إنّ التحرّش لا ...

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الحركة النسوية الفلسطينية بعد أوسلو: حصادٌ مرّ في تمكين الذات وفي تحرير الوطن

[ هذا المقال جزء من ”أصوات من أجل غزة" وهو ملف خاص تنشره جدلية على مدار شهر كامل. للإطلاع على بقية المقالات اضغط/ي هنا] مع تراجع دور الحركة الوطنية الفلسطينية بعد اتفاقات أوسلو وضعف كافة أشكال التنظيم التابعة لها أو لأحزابها (جاد 2008)، أدّت عملية أوسلو وخصوصاً آليات التمويل للسلطة الفلسطينية إلى هيمنة خطاب "التنمية" و"بناء الدولة"، وتضاؤل خطاب المقاومة والتحرير، وضعف ثقافة المقاومة، وبروز ثقافة الاستهلاك والبحث عن حلول فردية. في هذا المناخ، عانت الأحزاب والتنظيمات من ...

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