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Laws - Processes

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 cities@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com] 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

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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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Daliyeh and the Ongoing Struggle for Beirut's Public Spaces

[Daliyeh, Beirut. Image courtesy of Mona Harb.]

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 for inclusive spaces continues. For decades, Daliyeh—amounting to 112,257 square meters of ground and rockKeep Reading »

Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Between Political Fields

[Tempelhofer Park. Image by author.]

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 these as a space for outdoor sports, from kiting to cycling, while some skateboarders make best use of Tempelhof’s almost perfectly flat runways by attaching wind surf ...

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Actes du colloque Syrie: reconstructions, immatérielles et matérielles?

[Couverture du livre, reprenant

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 composée essentiellement de Syriens, de Franco-Syriens et de Français: universitaires, chercheurs, scientifiques et professionnels qui désirent œuvrer pour une Syrie ...

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القانون الانتخابي في تونس بين فخّ المال السياسي والصعوبات القانونية واللوجستية

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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 الالتزام بضوابط الحملات الانتخابية والإشهار السياسي. ورغم توفر الأدلة الموثقة لدى المراقبين إلا أن خلو القانون الانتخابي من بنود حاسمة بخصوص العقوبات الرادعة لهذه ...

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

[Cairo Traffic. Image by Andy Serrano via andyserrano.com]

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, the World Bank estimated Cairo’s population density at 37,136 per square kilometer, while CAPMAS, Egypt’s national statistics agency, more recently (2012) had the number ...

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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 Moyen-Orient et plus largement les pays du Sud et qui, lui non plus, ne devrait pas échapper à la controverse. Précisons tout de suite que l’intérêt de Learning from ...

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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 cities@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page, please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com] 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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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 ...

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

[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 ...

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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 ...

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

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 ...

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Egyptian Constitutional Drafting: A Comparative Review

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 ...

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

“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 ...

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