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Laws - Processes

Enhancing Municipal Capacities in Lebanon

[Syrian Refugees in Sarafand, South Lebanon. Image by Marwa Boustani]

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 and municipalities in Lebanon in local development and planning is an ongoing policy debate in Lebanon, which was previously discussed on Jadaliyya in this article by Mona ...

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Cities Media Roundup (July 1-28)

[The Gaza Strip, 2000. Map by PASSIA]

[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 (Morocco) Fair Observer reports on Renault’s investment in Tangier Mediterranean Port and the development of its free trade zone, which will have a major impact on the city and its ...

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

[Entrance to Souk al-Ahad. Picture by R.Pelgrim]

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 of Souk al-Ahad, “the state” that designates what is legal or illegal is not a unified front. Rather, two public bodies belonging to the state employ the designation of ...

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Egypt - One Court, One Month: 1212 Death Sentences

[Logo of the Alkarama Foundation. Image from]

[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 case, 683 alleged supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, including the Muslim Brotherhood's leader Mohammed Badie, were also sentenced to death on 28 April 2014. ...

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نحو سياسة زراعية بديلة في مصر


تهدف هذه المقالة إلى طرح تصور لسياسة زراعية بديلة. يتطلب هذا أولاً تفكيك الأساطير المنسوجة حول القطاع الزراعي والفلاحين المصريين والتي تشكل حائلاَ معرفياً يعوق التواصل والتضامن الفعال مع حركات الفلاحين الاجتماعية. بدأت عملية التحول الرأسمالي للقطاع الزراعي في مصر منذ عصر محمد علي. كان هذا التحول مشوهاً ومناهضاً للزراعة الفلاحية. أدت عملية التحول هذه إلى نمو قطاع من المزارعين الرأسماليين، وزادت الميكنة الزراعية، والعمال الأجراء فى الريف المصري، وجعلت القرية أكثر خضوعاً لسيطرة آخرين مثل الدولة والسوق بالإضافة إلى الملاك الجدد الغائبين، لكن ظلت الأسرة الريفية هي الوحدة الأساسية للإنتاج[i]. ومنذ 1952، مرت السياسات الاقتصادية في مصر على الأقل بثلاث مراحل أساسية، ...

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Egyptian Organization for Human Rights Condemns Unfair Trial that Sentenced 528 to Death

[Logo of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights. Image from]

[The following statement was issued by the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights on 25 March 2014] The Egyptian Organization Condemns the Execution of 528 in Unfair Trial On Monday 24 March 2014, Seventh Chamber of Minya Criminal Court handed down the death sentence for 528 supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and acquitted 17 others,in the violence acts took place in Matti that followed the disperse of Rabaa, and El Nahdah square sit-ins .The session was held without the presence of the accused or lawyers. EOHR is concerned about  not taking the assurances and standards of fair trial, and the right of defense on behalf of, or as a proxy, particularly in ...

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Les quartiers populaires et les printemps arabes: Elements pour une approche renouvelee

Compte rendu de: Pierre-Arnaud Barthel et Sylvy Jaglin (éds.), Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. Réflexions et perspectives pour l’action urbaine, (Paris: Agence Française pour le Développement, Conférences et Séminaires no.7),159 p. Accessible en ligne. L'informalité est la condition d'habiter majoritaire dans les villes du Monde arabe. Trouver à se loger après avoir fondé une famille ou se maintenir à proximité des opportunités d'emploi se conjuguent pour la multitude populaire avec des stratégies d'auto-construction ou d'insertion dans des filières de production familiale et artisanale de l'habitat. Cette filière populaire n'a de cesse de s'étendre ...

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Nouveau Webdoc: Au centre de Tunis: géographies de l’espace public après une révolution

[Screenshot du site

Un nouveau web-documentaire intitulé Au centre de Tunis: Géographies de l’espace public après une révolution est paru sur le net. Il s’agit d’une recherche universitaire réalisée par des géographes de l’Université de Cagliari (Italie), du Politecnico de Turin et de l’Université Montpellier 3 (UMR GRED), conçue et produite avec des professionnels des médias (photographes, vidéastes et journalistes), en collaboration avec l’agence Prospekt Photographers de Milan, et financée par la Fondazione Banco di Sardegna. Au centre de Tunis est une recherche urbaine multimédia sur le changement des pratiques et des usages des espaces publics de Tunis, à trois ans de la Révolution de ...

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Egyptian Constitutional Drafting: A Comparative Review

[Image from Legal Agenda, Issue 12, November 2013.]

On 3 December 2013, Amr Moussa, the head of the Egyptian Committee of 50 tasked with amending the suspended Constitution of 2012, presented the new Egyptian draft constitution to the interim president of Egypt, Judge Adly Mansour. The draft will be put to a referendum within thirty days of its submission to the president and no later than 3 January 2014. As stipulated by Article 30 of the constitutional declaration promulgated on 8 July 2013, the new constitutional amendments will enter into effect once they get the approval of the people through the referendum. In this commentary, I try to review past events in order to determine future prospects and possibilities, in ...

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The Promise of the Wall: Reflections on Desire and Gated Communities in Cairo

[Dreamland Egypt. Image by Author.]

“Gated communities,” which started to emerge in the US in the 1980s, have quickly spread around the world and became “a global commodity and cultural icon eagerly consumed by urban elites world-wide” (Genis 2007: 771). Since the mid 1990s, dozens of these communities have spread around Cairo. Most of these developments target the rich and present themselves as alternatives to the hectic, polluted, congested, and crowded Cairo. In their attempts to explain the increasing popularity of these spatial forms among the upper and upper middle class, scholars have highlighted fear and the “myth of risk” (Denis 2006), conspicuous consumption, retreat of the elite from the city ...

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إعادة تشكيل النخبة بعد 3 يوليو في مصر


إعادة تشكيل النخبة بعد 3 يوليو في مصر. دراسة مقارنة في تشكيلات لجان الدستور والمجلس القومي لحقوق الإنسان والمجلس الأعلى للصحافة  إن توظيف النخبة وتجديد دمائها بالشباب وإحلال نخب أكثر ثورية مكان النخب القديمة المتحالفة مع السلطة، شكّل على الدوام مطلباً ثورياً منذ اندلاع ثورة الخامس والعشرين من يناير في مصر. إضافة إلى ذلك، فإن جذرية ارتباط النخب بالقطاعات العريضة من الشعب، وتحديد بوصلتها باتجاه الجماهير كمحدد للولاء والشرعية وعدم التحول إلى التماهي مع السلطة، أو قيام النظام باختيار الموالين له فحسب دون بقية الأطياف، أو لجوءه لتعيين أنصاره والمحيطين به دون اعتماد معيار الكفاءة؛ يعد أحد الأمور البديهية التي كان لا بد أن يتم الأخذ بها عقب الثورة. ولذلك نحاول ...

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What Does Morsi Not Understand About Police Reform?

[The Egyptian Police at the presidential palace before the clashes started on February 1st. Image originally posted to Flickr by Moud Barthez.]

In mid-1861, Saeed Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, issued a Sovereign Decree to all police chiefs replacing the penalty of beating with imprisonment. Accordingly, regulations were issued stating that since  penalties in the form of beatings of some criminals are intended to once and for all discipline those who commit crimes and sins, and serve as a deterrence to others, while keeping in mind effect without harm, we have decided to replace the penalty of beating with the penalty of imprisonment. Before these regulations were issued, torture was prevalent and central to Egypt’s judicial system. Most penalty codes issued during the nineteenth century clearly ...

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New Report: Housing, Land and Property Issues in Lebanon

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. ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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Daliyeh and the Ongoing Struggle for Beirut's Public Spaces

Daliyeh, a small peninsula sprouting from the Raouche neighborhood close to Beirut's renowned Pigeons' Rock, is being sealed off from the public. Already, security guards are on site and steel poles—the first sign of a planned fence—have been struck into the ground. A luxurious hotel resort is expected to be built on the land, a resort likely accessible to only a small affluent section of Lebanese society. For everyone else, it is another marker that Beirut's suffocation is accelerating as the struggle ...

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Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Between Political Fields

Sitting in Engels—one among many of Neukölln's cosy, candlelit, hipster-friendly cafés—I read on a sticker the slogan: “Tah[r]ir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Das Feld gehört uns allen!” (Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: The Field belongs to us all!). Tempelhof itself is a former airport located in former West Berlin, famous for its mythological role in the Berlin airlift during the Cold War. The airport was closed in 2008, but its vast runways and grass fields were re-opened to the public in 2010. People have adopted ...

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Actes du colloque Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles?

Parution: Irène Labeyrie et Claude Yacoub (coord.), Actes du colloque Ila Souria 1.0, Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles? (Paris: Association Ila Souria, 2014). L’association Ila Souria a publié en janvier 2014 les actes du colloque "Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles?", organisé les 9 et 10 octobre 2013 à Paris, à L’Institut du Monde arabe. L’association Ila Souria est une association de droit français sans but lucratif. Elle "est pour l’instant ...

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القانون الانتخابي في تونس بين فخّ المال السياسي والصعوبات القانونية واللوجستية

استخدام المال السياسي في الانتخابات التشريعية والرئاسية هي جريمة استفحلت في جميع الدول ولكن بمستويات مختلفة. وتتباين خطورة هذه الجريمة بين دول العالم بمدى التزام كل منها بتطبيق قانون انتخابي ذي معايير دولية يراعي في كل فصوله ضرورة غلق الأبواب أمام أية محاولات لشراء أصوات الناخبين خصوصا من طرف الأحزاب الكبرى. ففي تونس مثلا سجّل المراقبون خلال انتخابات المجلس التأسيسي التي جرت يوم 23 أكتوبر من سنة 2011 آلاف التجاوزات التي تصب أغلبها في استغلال أصوات الناخبين من ذوي الدخل المحدود بمقابل مادي أو من خلال عدم ...

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Cairo: The Myth of a City on the Verge of Explosion

Cairo is a crowded city. It is a truism that is easy to find in reportage about the city, which almost invariably begins with a description of Cairo as teeming, noisy, dusty, and polluted. Vendors and parked cars take over sidewalks for lack of space, while pedestrians walk amongst traffic. Shouts and car horns drown out everything else and traffic jams stretch on for miles. Numbers back up the impression: In 2006, just as the a long-term "visioning" exercise known as Cairo 2050 was beginning, ...

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Le Caire, laboratoire de l'urbanisme insurrectionnel

Review of Beth Stryker, Omar Nagati and Magda Mostafa (eds.), Learning from Cairo. Global Perspectives and Future Visions (Cairo: Cluster and The American University in Cairo, 2013). Faisant référence au succès éditorial mondial de Denise Scott Brown et Robert Venturi sur Las Vegas (Scott Brown, Venturi, 1972), lequel marqua la naissance du postmodernisme en architecture, Learning from Cairo apparaît comme un ouvrage tout aussi innovant, qui devrait marquer les études urbaines sur l’Égypte, le ...

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A propos des mondes urbains de F. Navez-Bouchanine

Recension: Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé (éd.) Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine (Paris: Karthala, 2013). La littérature spécialisée en études urbaines vient de s’enrichir d’un ouvrage exceptionnel par la qualité des contributions qui le composent. Il s’agit du livre intitulé Les mondes urbains. Le parcours engagé de Françoise Navez-Bouchanine, dirigé et édité par Agnès Deboulet et Michèle Jolé, paru aux Éditions Karthala en juillet 2013. Françoise ...

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Lebanon's Sect Addiction

Lebanese MPs outraged secularists and campaigners opposed to sectarian politics this past week by provisionally approving a voting law that would make it so citizens could only vote for candidates of their own sect. The so-called Orthodox Gathering draft law still needs to pass a parliamentary vote—but activists and youth groups have already decried it as a step back from representative democracy and a lurch towards confessional – some claimed racist – politics. The bill was championed by ...

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Egypt’s Anti-Freedom Constitution: The Borhami Video

“This constitution imposes complete restrictions that have never before been imposed by any Egyptian constitution” and it “places restrictions on freedom of thought, expression, and creativity.” These are the words of Sheikh Yasser Borhami, a leading member of the Constituent Assembly. He was explaining Article 10 of Egypt’s draft constitution during a conference with religious experts and Salafist preachers on 22 November 2012. On this same day, President Mohamed Morsi granted himself sweeping powers, ...

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