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Laws - Processes

City Talks: Timothy Mitchell on the Materialities of Political Economy and Colonial History

[City Talks provides a platform for conversations around the social, political, economic, cultural, and environmental transformations that define the historical and contemporary geographies of the Middle East and beyond. Bringing together voices from critical scholars, activists, and artists, it seeks to explore the ways racialized, gendered, and class-based social orders come into being, materialize, and are resisted through the fabric of bodies, space, and time.]  In this first installment of City Talks, Omar Jabary Salamanca and Nasser Abourahme discuss with Timothy Mitchell his latest work and his ongoing thinking around questions of urban political economy and ...

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الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية

الثورة القادمة إلى شمال أفريقيا: الكفاح من أجل العدالة المناخية حمزة حموشان وميكا مينيو-بالويللو بلاتفورم لندن، مؤسّسة روزا لوكسمبورغ وعدالة بيئيّة شمال أفريقيا. مارس 2015 يمكنكم قراءة الكتاب وتحميله هنا.   1- ماهو غرضكم من تأليف هذا الكتاب؟ هدفنا هو إلقاء الضّوء على عنف تغيّر المناخ في شمال أفريقيا والتّأكيد على الحاجة إلى استجابة محليّة. أردنا الإشارة إلى أنّ بقاء الإنسانيّة على قيد الحياة مرهون بالتغيير الهيكلي وعلى مواجهة تحدّي الحديث عن العدالة المناخيّة بالّلغة العربيّة. تغيّر المناخ هو حقيقة موثقة في شمال أفريقيا. عدة أشخاص يلاقون حتفهم والكثيرون يجدون أنفسهم مجبرين على ترك أراضيهم بسبب موجات الجفاف والعواصف الّتي أصبحت أكثر حدة ومتكرّرة ...

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نقابة الصحفيين: احتكار بالقانون

يواجه شادي سمحان ذات المعضلة التي يعاني منها أكثر من 500 صحفي أردني محرومين من حق الانضمام لنقابة تدافع عنهم وتنظم عملهم، وغير معترف بهم كصحفيين أمام القانون. سمحان عمل لعشرة سنوات كمراسل صحفي في صحف «الشاهد، الأنباط، الإعلام البديل، الإخبارية، الهلال»، وفي عام 2011 أنشأ موقعه الإلكتروني «عمان جو». في حزيران 2014 مثُل أمام المدعي العام كشاهد، ورفض كصحفي الكشف عن مصدره الذي اتهمته الشركة التي يعمل فيها بإفشاء أسرار الشركة. وما كان من المدّعي العام إلا أن وجّه إليه تهمة شهادة الزور باعتباره منتحلا لصفة صحفي لأن اسمه غير مدرج في سجلات نقابة الصحفيين، بحسب سمحان. وحُكم عليه بالحبس لمدة ثلاثة شهور، لكنه سيستأنف الحكم. «كيف يمكن أن أحاكم على شهادة الزور باعتباري منتحلا لصفة ...

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المفكرة" : قانون حق السكن بدلا من قانون تحرير الايجارات في لبنان"

[رسم رائد شرف]

منذ اقرار قانون الايجارات، سعت المفكرة الى الاحاطة بالاشكاليات الناشئة عنه، خصوصا على صعيد التوازن المناسب بين حقّي السكن والملكية. واذ هي تنوي مع شركاء آخرين انشاء فريق متعدّد الاختصاصات لبدء العمل على مسودة مشروع قانون حول حقّ السكن، يهمّها أن توضح المنطلقات التي توجّهها في هذا الصدد مخضعةً اياها للنقاش العام. وبالامكان اختزال موقفها في هذا المكان بنقاط خمس 1- حق السكن لا يعني المستأجرين القدامى وحدهم..    أن أهم ما أسفر عنه النقاش العام الحاصل تبعا لقانون الايجارات وخصوصا قرار المجلس الدستوري الصادر في 6-8-2014 هو تكريس حق السكن، أي حق التمتع بمسكن لائق، كحق دستوري(1). وقد تم ربط هذا الحق بمجموعة من الأهداف الوطنية "ذات القيمة الدستورية" ...

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Corporatization: Are Public Services still Public?

[Screenshot from

Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet, many state-owned utilities are now undergoing “corporatization,” i.e. they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services or a slippery slope toward privatization? Sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there are examples of corporatization that could herald a brighter future for equity-oriented public services. The Municipal Services Project, both a scholarly and activist network based at Kingston University (Ontario, Canada), recently released a book, a blog post and a video, presenting the results of in-depth research dealing with the ...

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Lebanon: Rejecting the New Rent Law: An Open Letter to the Parliament


[After twenty-four years of putting forth different rent bills, the Lebanese Parliament has issued a law to liberalize old rent contracts, published in the Official Gazette on 26 June 2014. A committee to protect the rights of tenants in Lebanon has been formed to oppose this new rent law, and has organized a number of protests throughout Beirut to demand its revision. A blog providing information about the law and documenting activists' initiatives against the new law has also been set up.  Protests have been multiplying over the past week, and a march towards the Speaker's House in Ain el-Tineh is organized on Wednesday 10 December to further pressure on ...

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Debt and Obligation in Contemporary Ramallah

[Banners by Bank of Palestine advertising savings. Photo by C. Harker]

A recent advertisement for a Bank of Palestine savings scheme, reproduced on billboards and in magazines all over the Ramallah-al-Bireh-Beitounia conurbation (hereafter Ramallah), tells residents “Together We Are a Family.” We are clearly meant to think that the Bank of Palestine wants, or considers itself, to be part of the family. Although counterintuitive, this proposition embodies the ways in which banks have become increasingly part of intimate urban life in the central city of the occupied West Bank. This is not least because residents owe increasingly large sums of money to those banks. In this essay I chart the ways financial debt has proliferated in Ramallah. ...

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Le projet de ville nouvelle Bio-Istanbul: Un urbanisme spéculatif, ségrégatif et durable

Maquette Bio-Istanbul. Photo Elvan Arik.

Ekolojik (écologique), yeşil (vert), doğal (naturel) ou akıllı (intelligente équivalent du smart anglais), tels sont les nouveaux concepts de plus en plus mis en avant par les brochures publicitaires des projets immobiliers à Istanbul. Labélisés du sceau de la «durabilité» (sürdürülebilirlik en turc), terminologie ayant signé son entrée dans le vocabulaire des politiques urbaines depuis le début des années 2000 en Turquie (Pérouse 2011), ces projets témoignent-ils pour autant des nouvelles manières de penser et de produire l’urbain dans la métropole stambouliote? Pour répondre à cette interrogation, il nous paraît utile dans un temps introductif de ...

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Cities Media Roundup (August 1-30)

[View of Cairo Surroundings. Image by Kormoran via Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on] War and Cities Isreali Strikes Destroy Urban Infrastructure in Gaza Al Jazeera World repeats this episode aired in January 2013 that highlights the everyday challenges facing the people of Gaza in light of Israel’s recent strikes on the ...

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New Report: Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon

[Cover Page of the Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon Report]

The UNHCR and UN-Habitat have recently launched a new report assessing the Syrian refugee crisis in Lebanon by studying issues of housing, land and property. Entitled Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon: Implications of the Syrian Refugee Crisis, the report is authored by lawyers Nizar Saghieh and Karim Nammour and Mona Fawaz, associate professor of urban studies and planning at the American University of Beirut, and is accessible through UNHCR’s “Syria Regional Refugee Response” sharing portal. The report is organized in five chapters: the first presents key findings and recommendations (and is available in Arabic), the second discusses the context of housing, ...

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Call for Papers: Medinas in the 20th and 21th Centuries. (Algiers, February 2015)

Call for Papers/Appel à Contributions: Les médinas à l'époque contemporaine (XX-XIe siècles): Oscillations entre patrimonalisation et marginalisation Alger, 13-14 février 2015 ANR Métamorphoses des sociétés : "inégalité-inégalités" Source de débats, parfois âpres, une patrimonialisation est rarement le fruit d’un consensus, mais au contraire, "le produit de négociations, d’arbitrages, d’enjeux de pouvoirs et, inévitablement de conflits", à plus forte raison lorsqu’elle concerne des ensembles urbains anciens, ces espaces "vivants" polarisant un grands nombre d’enjeux, notamment économiques (liés notamment au foncier et au ...

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Decentralization in the Arab World Must be Strengthened to Provide Better Services


Introduction: Decentralization on the Agenda One of the major features of democracies is the extent to which the state is decentralized. With the advent of democratic transformations in the Arab world, decentralization already is or will soon be on the reform agenda. Decentralization is desired for two reasons: one, it enhances democracy, and participation in managing local affairs; two, it consequently leads to better developmental outcomes. The assumption here is that delegating authority to lower echelons of authorities will make service provision more effective, as it will be more responsive to the actual needs of the beneficiaries, while political representation ...

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Roundtable On Refugee Crisis: Historical Legacies, Political Context, and Legal Mechanisms

Seemingly overnight Europe is confronted with a phenomenon already being experienced in Amman, Damascus, Beirut, Gaziantep and other cities in the Middle East: large numbers of desperate refugees fleeing war, destruction and economic destitution. The policy response of Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon to this influx has come under deserved scrutiny. Still, whatever their faults these countries have hosted millions of refugees despite, in the cases of Lebanon and Jordan, strained resources and weak ...

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Urban Governance: Field Study in Rabat and Casablanca

Fifty-two masters students from Sciences Po Paris’ “Governing the Large Metropolis” (GLM) graduate program visited the metropolitan region of Casablanca-Rabat-Salé in Morocco, from 11 to 17 January 2015. The trip aimed at understanding the metropolitan development of Casablanca, and its links with Rabat. How is this process of metropolization governed, by whom, and with which kind of outcomes? What are the priorities in terms of infrastructural policies? What is not governed? What is the role of flows ...

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Palestine Becomes a State Party to the ICC: An Occasion to Return to the Register of Israel’s Racialized Violence

Today, Palestine will formally become a member of the International Criminal Court. This will give it the authority to refer a situation in its territory for investigation as well as give the Office of the Prosecutor the authority to initiate an investigation based on her discretion (propio motu). When Palestine, or the representatives of a shadow of a state, submitted an application for ad-hoc jurisdiction as well as acceded to the Rome Statute in late December 2014, analysts wrote a flurry of articles ...

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Bio-Istanbul: A Speculative, Segregationist, and Sustainable Urbanism

Ekolojik (ecological), yeşil (green), doğal (natural), or akıllı (smart): these are the new concepts increasingly emphasized in brochures advertising real estate projects in Istanbul. Stamped with the seal of “sustainability” (sürdürülebilirlik), a terminology that signalled its entry into the vocabulary of Turkey’s urban policies in the early 2000s (Pérouse 2011), do these projects really reflect new forms of urban design and spatial production in the metropolis of Istanbul? In order to ...

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تقييم حالة الإعلام الخاص فى مصر

يُعدُّ الإعلام بوسائله المختلفة، التقليدية والحديثة، إحدى أهم ركائز المجتمع، نظراً لوظيفته الأساسية المتمثلة في تشكيل اتجاهات الرأي العام تجاه القضايا المجتمعية المختلفة، وكونه عاكساً لطبيعة العلاقة بين الدولة والمجتمع، من ناحية، وبين النخبة والجماهير، من ناحية أخرى. غير أن العديد من العوامل من شأنها التأثير في أداء وسائل الإعلام لهذه الوظائف، منها عوامل تتصل بالبيئة التي يمارس فيها الإعلام دوره، وأخرى تتصل بالإطار التشريعي الحاكم له، وثالثة تعنى بالقائمين على الإعلام والعاملين فيه. يتوقف أداء وسائل ...

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Cities Media Roundup (November 2014)

Cities Media Roundup (November 2014) [This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on] Urban Development and Real ...

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المهجرون السوريون ونظام اللجوء في تركيا

رغم أن تدفق اللاجئين السوريين إلى تركيا بدأ منذ نحو ثلاث سنوات ونصف، إلا إن وجودهم لم يصبح قضية عامة إلا بعد الهجمات التي تعرضوا لها في عينتاب ومرعش وأضنة واسطنبول. لقد هوجموا في الشوارع وفي منازلهم، وأحرقت أو حطمت سياراتهم، وصارت وسيلة السوريين لتجنب الاعتداءات في عينتاب وغيرها هي وضع العلم التركي على منازلهم ومحلاتهم، أي حجب أنفسهم وطمس هويتهم. مع ذلك، ليس هناك إلا القليل من المعلومات حول وضعهم القانوني وعددهم وشروط عيشهم وعملهم. مؤخرا أعلنت الأمم المتحدة أن العددد الإجملي لللاجئين السوريين ...

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عندما يكون اسمك على "القائمة السوداء"

قرأتُ، مرةً، أنَّ عدد المسجلين على القائمة الاميركية "السوداء" يبلغ نحو مليون شخص. ولكنَّ ذلك قبل الحادي عشر من سبتمبر. بعده لا أحد يعلم كم بلغ العدد! قد يخطر في بال من يسمع بوجود هذه القائمة أن الأمر يتعلق بأسماء المتورطين بـ "الارهاب"، مشاركة ً وتمويلاً وتمجيداً، أو بارونات المخدرات الذين يدمِّرون شباب العالم، أو تجار السلاح الذين يسلّحون نزاعات الشعوب بأدوات القتل، ولكن كلا. فقد كان عليها عدد من أبرز كتاب وفنانين العالم ممن ساندوا نضال الشعوب ضد الاستعمار، أو حقِّها في تقرير ...

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Enhancing Municipal Capacities in Lebanon

The Civil Society Knowledge Center (CSKC) of Lebanon Support featured last month a paper by Marwa Boustani discussing the potential role of Lebanese municipalities and unions of municipalities in addressing needs generated by the Syrian refugee crisis. The author advocates the strengthening of their capacities through establishing Regional Technical Offices (RTOs)—an institution previously established by UN-Habitat in 2006 in the aftermath of the Israeli war on Lebanon. The role of municipal unions ...

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Cities Media Roundup (July 1-28)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page, please check details on] Urban Planning and Policies More Investments in Tangier ...

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Fractured Space: The Case of Souk al-Ahad, Beirut

Beirut’s weekend market Souk al-Ahad attracts about thirty-five thousand visitors a day and has four hundred registered stalls, providing a living to five thousand families. It is located on the eastern edge of the city near its river and a highway (Figure 1). Beyond the physical collection of stalls, vendors, and affordable goods, the Souk is also the locus of a long conflict over land ownership between the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water and the municipality of neighboring Sin el-Fil. In the case ...

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Egypt - One Court, One Month: 1212 Death Sentences

[The following briefing was published by the Alkarama Foundation on 29 April 2014] Within a month, the Al Minya Criminal Court handed down in two separate verdicts 1212 death sentences following blatantly unfair and speedy trials in relation to the demonstrations that happened on 14 August 2013. In the first case, 37 Muslim Brotherhood supporters had their death sentence, issued on 24 March 2014, upheld, while the 491 remaining accused had their sentence commuted into life imprisonment. In the second ...

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