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New Texts Out Now: Negar Mottahedeh, #iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life

[Cover of Negar Mottahedeh,

Negar Mottahedeh, #iranelection: Hashtag Solidarity and the Transformation of Online Life. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Negar Mottahedeh (NM): Writing ‪#‎iranelection was for me about the witnessing of a sea-change brought about in our life as global citizens by an epic solidarity around the first long trending global hashtag in 2009. No social media platform had seen masses of people from all over the world engage one another about something that happened in a country that was largely foreign to many of them. What I saw was people from the remotest corners of the world, like Alaska, to the most ...

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Inheriting More than Loss

[Cover of Siamak Vossoughi,

Siamak Vossoughi, Better Than War. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2015. [Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction] What is it like to grow up in a country that routinely threatens to wage war on the place you are from? What happens to your sense of your self in the world? The Iranian immigrants in Siamak Vossoughi’s short story collection Better Than War become Iranian American in the context of looming US military intervention in Iran, never knowing when or if war will come, but feeling this possibility impinge upon their daily lives in unexpected ways. In the titular story, an Iranian American teenage boy cannot ask out the American ...

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No Decisive Outcome on Syrian Horizon

[Image from]

The view that 2015 has not been a particularly good year for Syrian President Bashar Assad and may get considerably worse has much to recommend it. Within Syria, the government has lost control over most of the province of Idlib in the country’s northwest, including its key towns and military bases. More recently it was almost effortlessly dislodged from Palmyra by the Islamic State (IS) movement. The key cities of Aleppo in the north and Dar’a in the south remain under threat. Increased coordination among Syria’s notoriously fractious armed rebel groups is an important factor in this regard, and reflects improved relations among their sponsors in Qatar, Saudi Arabia and ...

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Gay Hanging in Iran: Atrocities and Impersonations

[Image shown 17 July 2015 on Gay Star News ]

Everybody on earth knows that a deal on Iran’s nuclear program was announced in mid-July. Everybody also knows that this apparent step toward peace launched a new stage in an old war: of propaganda.Proponents praise the possibility of a historic opening. Opponents—who include Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the Republican Party—warn of disaster. Both sides want to expand their constituencies. In Western countries, gay communities—small but politically influential—are more and more the target for just this courtship and recruitment. The right-wing pundit Amir Taheri greeted the nuclear deal with a storm of tweets and screeds condemning it. One ...

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Iran’s Nuclear Deal and the Day After: An Interview with Kamran Matin

[Negotiations about Iranian Nuclear Program - Foreign Ministers and other Officials of P5+1 Iran and EU in Lausanne. Photo via Wikimedia Commons]

For more than a week, diplomats from Iran and six world powers have gathered in Vienna’s Coburg Palace to finalize a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program.   The officials from Iran and the US have told reporters  “we are making good progress on almost all of the issues..But there are a few issues which … remain to be resolved” as a result, the self imposed deadline of June 30th is now extend to Friday July 10th. This week, we spend the hour with Kamran Matin, Assistant Professor in International Relations at Sussex University about the sticking points of the negotiations, the impact of sanctions on Iran’s economy and polity, and what we may expect ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 14)

[Demonstration commemorating the Armenian Genocide, Istanbul, April 2010. Image via thomas koch /]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.] English Hostage Crisis A Murder and Primitive Opposition Commenting on the hostage crisis on 31 March that ended with the murder of the prosecutor and two protesters, Etyen Mahçupyan argues that the murder of the prosecutor might actually have been a chance for the opposition to recover some ground. Prosecutor's Murder and an Alliance of Nihilism ...

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Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government

What has quickly brought together a diversity of individuals—including a former Iranian political prisoner, a celebrated Palestinian filmmaker, important public intellectuals, and various professors, activists, students, artists, poets, writers, and cultural programmers? What has brought them together is their commitment to support the growing Palestinian civil-society call for cultural boycott, which is one element in the Palestinian call for  Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS). This BDS movement, inspired by the international boycott campaign that helped to abolish apartheid in South Africa, aims to pressure Israel and send the message that there will be no ...

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Gender and the Production of Islamic Urban Space in Iran

[Man reading a newspaper at a public newspaper display in central Tehran. Photo by author]

What does an Islamic urban space look like? This question has dogged intellectuals and authorities in Muslim-majority lands for centuries, but in recent decades has acquired a renewed sense of urgency amid the emergence of modernizing Islamist political movements. These groups have not only articulated new visions of the public sphere, mass politics, and economy, they have also increasingly found themselves in positions of authority to shape the cities, regions, and lands they work in. As these groups have found themselves in control, the revolutionary mandate (and widespread protest slogan) to imagine a politics “neither East nor West, but Islamic” has taken on new ...

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The Worker’s Trap: An Interview with Sara Rahbar

[Artist Sara Rahbar in her New York studio. Photo credit Arash Yaghmaian.]

Dirty gold is the color that smothers every surface of Sara Rahbar’s New York City studio. Disembodied casts of the artist’s own anxiously clenched hands and feet are laid out, clinically, on long tables alongside bullet casings, rifle butts, chains, and other found objects. With the same studied intensity that won her the art world’s lofty recognition for her earlier textiles, Rahbar spent the past two years with her ebony hair pulled back out of her face, hunched over these tables, teaching herself how to sculpt. We held our interview in Dubai at Carbon 12, the gallery that represents Rahbar, which is tucked in a warehouse in the gritty industrial area of Al Quoz, a ...

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The Ordinary Man of this Neighborhood

[Artwork by Yusif Abdelke (Syria, 1951). Image from Wikipedia]

The Ordinary Man of This Neighborhood   When all he expected was coldness and pain And all he received in return Was a normalcy of life to a power unimaginable By his afflicted mind, Then he The ordinary man of this neighborhood Living somewhere in the state of New York Has either been exiled, Or has immigrated And thinks of himself as having been exiled. The ordinary man of this neighborhood Now follows the flow; He sometimes may object to the law But in general, favors the order And adapts to normalcy. Once a fighter far away, The ordinary man of this neighborhood Now wakes up on a regular basis Like his other neighbors – His ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (September 2014)

[Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine organized a mock Israeli Checkpoint to raise awareness of human rights abuses and subsequent obstruction of education. Image by Andra Mihail.]

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions,and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to [click "Submissions" on the main page for more information] A Voyage to Toledo: Twenty-Five Years ...

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Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani: A Profile from the Archives

[Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani]

[”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: Sayyid Jamal ad-Din al-Afghani Known As: Al-Husseini – His father is Safdar Date of Birth: August 1838 Place of Birth: Asadabad (Afghanistan/Iran) Profession: Primarily a politician, he was also a journalist and a public intellectual. He is considered one of the leading pioneers of the ...

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What's Trending? (Summer 2015): A STATUS/الوضع "Quick Thoughts" report by Laila Shereen Sakr

"What is Trending on Social Media in the Middle East?" is a regular feature of the Quick Thoughts special segment on Status. It offers insight into subjects that dominate online discussion in the Middle East. With every Issue, we will talk to Laila Shereen Sakr, who monitors, collects, and analyzes social media trends for R-Shief. The data visualizations for this episode (below) illustrate the patterns of hashtag use in the Middle East pertaining to various topics in Summer 2015 ...

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Israel’s Defeat on the Iran Deal

Since the Iran nuclear agreement was signed on 14 July, Israel has consistently defined it as an existential threat. Demonstrating once again that Israel simply lacks the military capability to eliminate this alleged peril, the Netanyahu government has instead sought to scuttle the accord – since adopted by the United Nations Security Council – by invalidating the American signature on it. In what is perhaps the most intensive and divisive campaign ever undertaken by Israel on US soil, unregistered ...

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IMEU Interview: The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Question of Palestine

[In the following online interview conducted by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani, Palestinian analyst Diana Buttu, and syndicated columnist Rami Khouri respond to questions about the implications of the Iran nuclear agreement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. While welcoming the agreement, they see little prospect of it having a positive impact on broader regional questions] Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU): From what we know about ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Vaez on The Iranian Nuclear Agreement

[On 14 July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif jointly announced the conclusion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council (China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and United States), Germany and the European Union (EU). Later that same day the presidents of Iran and the US, Hassan Rouhani ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, Literary Subterfuge and Contemporary Persian Fiction: Who Writes Iran?

Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami, Literary Subterfuge and Contemporary Persian Fiction: Who Writes Iran? London and New York: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mohammad Mehdi Khorrami (MMK): In the summer of 1997, the Ministry of Information of the Islamic Republic of Iran planned the murder of a number of major Iranian writers. Under the guise of an Iran-Armenia literary exchange conference, it was decided to send more than twenty writers from Iran to Armenia. A bus carrying the ...

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Nargess Hashemi: The Pleasure in Boredom

The Pleasure in Boredom charts Nargess Hashemi’s process of developing over ten years worth of experimentation on graph paper. She has doodled in notebooks from a young age; during long, tedious car journeys, over extended visits with family and at art school where her teacher, artist Farshid Maleki, also assigned her exercises of repeated line drawings. The practice has become somewhat of a lifelong obsession for the artist. Using only the most basic materials, the artist adopts a commonly unfocused and ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (14 March)

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to by Monday night of every other week.] Islamic State The Islamic State's Atrociies--and Our Own, John Feffer Writing for The Nation, Feffer argues that the "public ...

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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means

In the aftermath of Barak Obama's State of the Union Address, and his announcement that he will veto any congressional actions increasing sanctions on Iran, the Republican Party proceeded to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, making the latter on par with Winston Churchill for the most ever appearances by a foreign dignitary before a joint session of Congress. On Sunday, 25 January 2015, Jadaliyya Turkey Page Co-Editor Aslı ...

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Khalvat: Towards Meaning

Sahand Hesamiyan’s Khalvat (2014) resembles a futuristic vessel. Composed of a circular shell, the thin ribs that begin at the work’s oculus create a sense of propulsion as they extend into narrow piers. With triangular pieces adjoined to its lattice frame at forty-five degree angles, the projectile sculpture appears to spin in space, defying the spatial and temporal limitations of a stationary object. In several recent works, Hesamiyan selects an element of Islamic architecture then reconfigures its ...

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New Texts Out Now: Shampa Biswas, Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order

Shampa Biswas, Nuclear Desire: Power and the Postcolonial Nuclear Order. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Shampa Biswas (SB): I am a nuclear abolitionist, and would like to see a world completely rid of nuclear weapons. There are countless other nuclear abolitionists, many of whom have advanced very concrete suggestions for how to move toward a nuclear-free world. In fact, there is a massive, complex, multi-billion dollar nuclear ...

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The Politics of Boycotting Israel while Fighting Sanctions on Iran

As the bombs rained down on Gaza this summer, we were reminded yet again of the failure of peace talks, negotiations, or dialogue to attain meaningful results for the Palestinian people over the last seven decades of Israeli colonialism. Indeed, global demonstrations throughout July and August showed how widespread calls for the boycott of Israel have become, as activists around the world have come out in support of the 2005 Palestinian civil society call for the boycott of Israel. Iranians stand in a ...

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ملف من الأرشيف: محمد جمال الدين الأفغاني

["ملف من الأرشيف" هي سلسة تقوم "جدلية" بنشرها بالعربية والإنجليزية بالتعاون مع جريدة ”السفير“ اللبنانية. الملفات لشخصيات أيقونية تركت أثراً عميقاً في الحقل السياسي والثقافي في العالم العربي.]         الإسم: سيد محمد جمال الدين الأفغاني الشهرة: الحسيني 
- والده صفدر 
 تاريخ الولادة: آب / أغسطس عام 1838 مكان الولادة : أسد آباد التي تقع في إقليم همدان في إيران. المهنة: سياسي بالدرجة الأولى وصحفي ومفكر. يعتبر من أوائل رواد عصر النهضة الإسلامية ومذهب الإصلاح ...

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