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Iraq

نون"... حرف واحدة تكفي فاتحة للخراب الاكبر في العراق"

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ليست "نونا" كسابقاتها، لاتشبه "نون" النسوة مثلا، ولا النون في اية كلمة عربية، "نون" اخرى مختلفة لم يفكر بها مخترع الهجاء العربي، بالضبط لم يفكر بان تكون لها وظيفة اخرى غير ما شاع منها في كلام العرب ومن نطق بلغتهم، ولا "عنترة العبسي"، الشاعر الجاهلي الاسود، فكر باخرى واخرى عندما انشد نونيته " ياطائر البان قد هيجت أشجاني"، وحتما لم تكن حاضرة في مطالع سور القران، كتاب الله الذي يحارب الجميع، الان ومن قبل، تحت رايته، ويدعون نصرته كانت له نونه الباهرة"نون والقلم وما يسطرون ما انت بنعمة ربك بمجنون"، فلم يخرج، قيد انملة، عن الاشارات المنتجة للتواصل الانساني، حتى الجواهري، فكر بنون ثانية، نون ارتبطت عنده، او بادق ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sheila Carapico, Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice, and Representation

[Cover of Sheila Carapico,

Sheila Carapico, Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice, and Representation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sheila Carapico (SC): After the Cold War, European and American professional democracy brokers flocked to formerly Warsaw Pact and Third World states with projects to monitor elections, promote civil society, train human rights activists, and so forth. They played a conspicuous, indispensable role in establishing the Palestinian Authority, and were increasingly visible in several Arab capitals. I began visiting the foundations that sent these delegations and gathering ...

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المثقفون العرب: سحر البيان بديلاً عن المعرفة

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بيان المثقفين العرب الموقع مما يزيد عن (250) مثقفاً، سوريين بدرجة رئيسة (ثمة 149منهم) ولبنانيين، ولا بأس ببعض العراقيين بحسب الخارطة المفترضة للدولة الاسلامية (داعش) التي وصف البيان ظهورها بالردة من دون أن ينتبه موقعو البيان"ترى هل الامر داخل بالفعل في خانة النسيان ؟ أشك!" إن كلمة "الردة" ذات الاصل الديني الضاربة جذورها بعيداً في التراث الاسلامي المتخم بالردات وأحكام المرتد، هذه الكلمة هي من بعض ما يحاول البيان أن يقف ضده، ويجادله ثقافياً، في الأقل، أو إن شئت قل، من منطق المثقف الليبرالي المتنور "حتماً"، مثلما يجادل مثقف عراقي"علاء اللامي" البيان واصحابه في مكان آخر، فكيف أمكن لكاتب البيان، صاحب العقل الليبرالي الحديث، وقد أشيع أنه ...

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

[A guard stands duty in a tower over Camp Delta, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Image by Joseph Scozzari.]

 [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 post@jadaliyya.com (click "Submissions" on the main page for more information).] Quick Thoughts: Lisa Hajjar on ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (28 June)

[Iraqi Army on a patrol in Mosul, 2008. Image by Jason Robertson.]

[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 OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.]  Palestine-Israel Palestinian Prisoners in Israeli Jails Stage Hunger Strike After Inmate Dies, Harriet Sherwood Palestinian security prisoners have announced a three-day hunger strike following the death of inmate Maysara Abu Hamdiyeh. Palestinians Shot Dead by Israeli Fire in West Bank, BBC News Soldiers ...

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NPR Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Elliott Colla on ISIS and the Media

[Screenshot from Al-Iraqiya television channel showing and interview with an Iraqi Army officer and the bust of Grand Ayatollah Sistani imploring Iraqis to defend the country]

In this interview with NPR's Brooke Gladstone, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Elliott Colla discusses his essay "Watching ISIS on TV." Colla does a reading from his essay in which he describes his Iraqi in-laws reflecting on their country's frenzied televisions channels' coverage of the conflict. In the second part of the show, Colla offers his commentary about the deregulation of Iraq's media after the US invasion, the fragmentation and polarization of the public, and the entrenchment of sectarianism. 

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Deciphering the Escalation of Sectarian Violence in Iraq: An Interview with Nida Alahmad

[Academy of Fine Arts, Baghdad, 2003. Image from InCounter Productions]

With the escalation of sectarian conflict in Iraq, the country's future has become the topic of the day for analysts and pundits alike. Until recently, making American media and Middle East watchers remember Iraq was an uphill battle. But now, with the advances of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, low and behold, interest in Iraq and its intricate geographical boundaries along sectarian lines has heightened and the conflict is once again front and center in the media. Shahram Aghamir spoke with Dr. Nida Alahmad, an Academic Associate at the Department of History and Civilization in the European University Institute about the fast changing political ...

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On Recent Events in Mosul and Other Cities in Iraq

[ISIS fighters in Iraq. Image from Creative Commons/Google.]

Mosul and other cities in Iraq are experiencing dramatic, dangerous, and fateful changes. The media, especially that which is allied with the Iraqi government and western states, has been focusing on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant/Syria (ISIS) and its control over several Iraqi cities, provoking its audiences against the militant group. Indeed, ISIS terrorist groupings do exist among armed groups there and its influence in the recent events is clear. However, it is also true that Iraqis generally reject ISIS, whether in the central or southern regions of Iraq or in parts of the country that are no longer under government control: the so-called ...

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حول الأحداث الأخيرة في الموصل ومدن أخرى في العراق

]علم الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام‎. مصدر الصورة

تمر الموصل ومدن أخرى في العراق بتحولات عاصفة وخطيرة ومصيرية. يتناول الإعلام، وبخاصة الموالي للحكومة العراقية وللغرب، أنباء سيطرة الدولة الإسلامية في العراق والشام (داعش) على عدة مدن في البلاد، ويستثير الجمهور ضدها. إن مجاميع داعش الإرهابية موجودة بين المسلحين، وبصمتها واضحة في الأحداث. هذا صحيح. والجمهور عموماً يرفضها، سواء في وسط  البلاد وجنوبها، أو في المناطق التي أصبحت خارج سيطرة الحكومة، أو ما يعرف بالمدن السنية، او المثلث السني، وهو المصطلح الذي اطلقته المؤسسات المخابراتية وبخاصة الأمريكية، وقد كان بحق هندسة للطائفية في العراق. في الوقت نفسه، فإن سياسة المالكي وحكومته المبنية على أساس طائفي مذهبي، هي مرفوضة في عموم العراق، ولكن الأمر يتخذ طابعاً أكثر حدة في ...

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Embedded Poetry: Iraq; Through a Soldier's Binoculars

[Hooded Iraqi prisoner comforting his son. Image by Jean-Marc Bouju from pdnonline.com]

Critics and reviewers greeted Brian Turner’s Here, Bullet (Alice James Books, 2005) with effusive and unanimous praise. His poems were read as “dispatches from a place more incomprehensible than the moon. . . observations we would never find in a Pentagon press release.” I read the poems back then and was not impressed or moved. I was not surprised that these poems would elicit such praise. Although they were read and were circulating in a climate of timid, but rising opposition to the war (not for the right reasons though) their vision did not challenge or problematize, in any way, the reigning official narrative of and about the war. They did represent the visceral ...

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Badr Shakir al-Sayyab: Whorehouse

[Badr Shakir al-Sayyab (1925-1964). Image from as-Safir]

Whorehouse By Badr Shakir al-Sayyab   Baghdad? It’s a giant whorehouse. The singing girl’s glances Like a clock ticking on the wall In a train station departures hall. O corpse flung on the ground, Its worms are a wave of flame and silk.   Baghdad’s a nightmare, a rotten ruin Swallowed up by someone sleeping. Hours are days there, days are years, and a year is toil. A year is a wound boiling in the conscience.   Oryx eyes between Rusafah and the Bridge Are bullet holes dotting the surface of the moon, Which pours cascades of ashes From eye sockets onto Baghdad. The houses are all one; Paths pressed together like threads— A giant ...

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Sinan Antoon’s Third Novel, 'Ya Maryam,' published in Spanish by Turner Libros

[Book cover image courtesy of Turner Libros]

Tuner Libros (Madrid and Mexico City) has just published Jadaliyya Co-Founder/Co-Editor Sinan Antoon’s third novel, Ya Maryam, in a Spanish translation under the title Fragmentos de Bagdad. The novel was translated by Maria Luz Commendador, whose previous translations include Elias Khoury, Jabra Ibrahim Jabra, and Abdelrahman Munif. The events of the novel take place in a single day, with two contradictory visions of life from two characters from an Iraqi Christian family, drawn together by the situation in the country under the same roof in Baghdad. Youssef is an elderly man who is alone. He refuses to emigrate and leave the house he built and where he has lived ...

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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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A Practical Solution for Iraq

The rise of ISIS and the declaration of a Caliphate that controls large swaths of Iraq and Syria signals a moment of exceptional danger not only for Iraq and its future existence as a state, but for US national interests. The United States has sacrificed life and limb and invested billions of dollars to save Iraq from dictatorship and help its people build a thriving democracy. Mistakes were made for sure, but our intentions and objectives were always clear: to stabilize and democratize the region. ...

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The Military-Literary Complex

Poetry cannot serve as an emotional bandage for the blood and guts of warfare; such an industry is doomed to dishonor the dead as well as the living. — Yusef Komunyakaa Not so long ago, American corporate media willingly accepted a set of new conditions and limitations in exchange for the privilege of reporting on the frontlines of Iraq, such as they existed. The military bed was a place of censorship, where reports underwent military review prior to publication. But more importantly, the failures ...

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ليلة سقوط نينوى: احتجاز راوي الحكومة

كما لو أن الملائكة والشياطين هبطوا في الوقت ذاته الى مدينة نينوى. لفّ سماء المدينة غموض مريب ليلة العاشر من حزيران / يونيو. سقطت المدينة بشكل دراماتيكي بيد مسلحي «الدولة الاسلامية في العراق والشام» («داعش») خلال ساعات محدودة، على الرغم من وجود حوالي 56 ألف عنصر أمن متوزّعين بين الجيش والشرطة والمخابرات، وكذلك وجود قائدين يعتبرهما نوري المالكي، رئيس مجلس الوزراء والقائد العام للقوات المسلحة، من الصقور الذين يعتمد عليهما في المهمّات الصعبة. كيف سقطت المدينة هكذا؟ من المسؤول؟ كيف ستستعاد؟ هل سيكون الحل ...

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ابحثوا عن السعودية

فيما يُستأَنَف قرعُ طبول الفتنة مجدداً على امتداد المشرق العربي، ثمة ما يلفت الى الدور السعودي في الفصل الجديد من محنة العراق. ولأن السعودية تجد نفسها اليوم معنيّة بصورة مباشرة بقلب المعادلات الجيوسياسية في المنطقة، فما توافر لديها من معطيات يجعلها طرفاً مستهدفاً في المرحلة المقبلة. ويمكن هنا رصد أهم المعطيات: أولاً: الخسائر المتعاقبة التي لحقت بالسعودية منذ إلغاء الضربة العسكرية الاميركية على سوريا في أيلول العام الماضي، الذي سجّل انتصاراً كبيراً لمصلحة المعسكر الآخر الممتد من ايران مروراً ...

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Quick Thoughts: Zainab Saleh on Iraq

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Iraq has placed that country in the headlines once again. Jadaliyya asked Iraq specialist Zainab Saleh to clarify the background and implications of recent developments]: Jadaliyya (J): Recent events in Iraq have been rather dramatic. What led to these developments? Zainab Saleh (ZS): The fall of Mosul and other Iraqi cities to the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) needs to be understood against the combined background of the 2003 US invasion of ...

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Saadi Yousef: At Kerak Citadel

 At Kerak Citadel   Always, at sunset, the castle walls begin to breathe. The war is over—it has been two or twenty centuries now. But then suddenly when night falls, the war comes back. Soldiers in their towers light their candle, far from the gusting wind And alone, they cry to themselves. The Messenger will come. Most definitely he will come, carrying his head on the tip of a spear. Perhaps he was exhausted and, in his long wait, forgot that spears blossom in the morning. Do you ...

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Watching ISIS on TV

I spent the last few afternoons and evenings with my wife's cousins---dynamic, generous, and patient people from Baghdad who only recently---after eight years of one war, ten years of sanctions, and ten years of violent occupation---decided to permanently resettle in Amman. Besides eating and drinking tea, and talking about the beauty of Ali's sermons, for the most part, we wandered through a labyrinth of Iraqi satellite television. Like most Iraqi households these days, the television is never turned ...

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Still in Bed

Now that ISIS is rattling across Iraq's provinces, we can expect the cheerleaders of US military intervention to return to the podium. Some will say that military actions need to be backed up with political pressure. Some will say this is what we get for not 'finishing the job'. Others will suggest, in a hushed and wise tone, that limited continued US military presence would have helped (and might still help). Others will repeat an absurd claim, floated by the likes of John McCain and others back in ...

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Sargon Boulus: An Attempt to Reach Beirut by Sea

An Attempt to Reach Beirut by Sea Sargon Boulus   One distant evening while I smuggle a fountain through the wreckage or bribe a night with a mediocre poem You bleed in the cold trenches of the ceasefire from your thousand battlefronts I wanted to lay out a path with a carpet of my breaths to where you still stand Your barricade a dove’s skeleton Your face a wounded paradise I wanted to burn a little between your hands No place dreams of my arrival and Life My frightened ...

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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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Can T-Wall Murals Really Beautify the Fragmented Baghdad?

Since April 2007, Baghdad has been experiencing a walling strategy designed by the US-led Multi-National Forces (MNF) occupying Iraq then. Between 2005 and 2008, kidnappings, assassinations and population displacements became the main tactics used by the Sunni insurgency and Shiite militias in their struggle to delimit newly homogenized areas over which they could gain spatial control and power. The MNF justified their strategy of surrounding some neighborhoods with concrete blast walls (also known as ...

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