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Media

ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (August-September 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. The Introduction is written by Bassam Haddad and the Roundup's main editor is Basileus Zeno] Everyone has something to say about the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). But only now. When ISIS or its predecessor was taking over towns in Syria last year, and when it grew out of Iraq’s chaos and calamity after the US invasion of 2003, it was just another news item, if that. But when more and more interests were threatened, when the identity of the victims began to change, and when ISIS rolled into cities in Iraq, it became a problem. Followers of the news in/from Syria and Iraq ...

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Media, Activism and the New Political: 'Istanbul Conversations' on New Media and Left Politics

[Image via Shuttershock]

[The following introduction and transcript of an October 2013 roundtable discussion on media, activism, and left politics was published in the journal Media Culture and Society. The roundtable features a number of scholars/activists, including Jadaliyya co-editors Bassam Haddad and Sherene Seikaly.] Introduction Aswin Punathambekar University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, USA Srirupa Roy University of Göttingen, Germany Tarik Sabry University of Westminster, UK Sune Haugbolle Roskilde University, Denmark Held in October 2013, ‘Istanbul Conversations’ was the first public event organized by the Social Science Research Council’s Transregional Virtual Research ...

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Roundtable Introduction: New Media, New Politics? Revolutions in Theory and Practice

[Photo from Malmo Univesity Blog. Courtesy of Ahmed Alwaeli (Creative Commons)]

In April of 2013, the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster's CAMRI hosted its annual Arab media studies conference under the title of “New Media, New Politics?” At a critical juncture in the progress of the region’s uprisings, the common denominator at the event was (the need for) a prevailing dialectical understanding of the Arab revolutions, namely as a process demonstrating important, and often intractable, contradictions. As some forms of knowledge production are challenged by this paradigmatic shift, others are fostered and furthered, therefore making these dramatic transformations difficult to understand at the levels of theory and practice. Studies ...

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Activism on the Move: Mediating Protest Space in Egypt with Mobile Technology

[Graffiti in Cairo depicting a television with the text

The 2011 revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa abruptly captured global attention as the world was drawn breathlessly into the tumult with a profusion of media content, from Tweets to amateur video footage. Amidst the media blitz, analyses yielded two conflated and reactionary narratives of events. One contended that the popular protests of the so-called “Arab Spring” were wholly unexpected, a shocking diversion from the familiar politics of the Middle East in a seeming contravention of the reigning global political apathy at the turn of the millennium. The other narrative pivoted on the role of digital technology, which was quickly cast as a ...

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Education on the Eve of Revolution in Bahrain: Comparing and Contrasting New Media

[Fires burning at the Pearl Roundabout after Bahraini forces enter the square on 26 March 2011. Photo courtesy of Mohamed CJ/Wikimedia Commons]

This reflection arises out of my experience working in education reform in Bahrain during the politically fraught years between 2007 and 2011, and is informed by the concept of “reflective practice” pioneered during the 1970s by MIT educationalist Donald A. Schön, and described in his influential 1983 book The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. Its relevance to the discussion of the new media and new politics arising out of the Arab uprisings is two-fold.  Firstly, like the new media, education reform can been seen as partaking in a new, “reflexive”, or “second” modernity, towards which the post-colonial polities of the Arab world are ...

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Special Address: Digital Media and the Freedom Struggle

[Cartoon by Omar El-Momani. Courtesy of 7iber (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)]

  [Jillian York giving the Special Address at the Westminster Conference] The Special Address tackled the most salient conditions in the region that precipitated the revolutions and the role the new media actors played in galvanizing support for these movements. While states have become increasingly adept at undermining freedom of expression, the press, and the Internet, inventive ways continue to be developed to circumvent the tightening spaces of dissent.  

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The Meme-ing of Revolution: Creativity, Folklore, and the Dislocation of Power in Egypt

[Mubarak's face superimposed on Jacques-Louis David's Napoleon Crossing the Alps. Viral image from Egypt's Sarcasm Society Facebook page].

It was 20 January 2011, just five days before a major protest called for by many youth and opposition groups in Egypt, when Ali came across a hilarious image on Facebook. One of his friends had shared a photoshopped painting depicting Mubarak atop a majestic stallion as if marching into battle. The then president’s face sported the same cheeky imbecilic smile for which he had come to be known and ridiculed privately. Ali recalls laughing out loud at the absurdity of the image, especially since the original painting, which had been edited to include Mubarak, was none other than Jacques-Louis David’s early nineteenth century masterpiece Napoleon Crossing the Alps. ...

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Online and Offline Maneuverings in Syria's Counter-Revolution

[Logo of Syrian Electronic Army. Image from the group's Facebook Page]

The revolutionary advance [is] made headway not by its immediate tragic-comic achievements, but on the contrary by the creation of a powerful, united counter-revolution, by the creation of an opponent, by the fighting of which the party of revolt first ripened into a real revolutionary party. —Karl Marx In the past three years masses of Syrians have engaged in undermining the regime’s legitimacy, they have done this from physical places—squares, churches, mosques, campuses—and virtual spaces—the countless online agora’s facilitated by the Internet. A key issue raised by this paper is what happens when these spaces are no longer the "unique" let alone ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (August 26)

[Zaha Hadid's Al-Wakrah stadium Qatar 2022. Image from www.bilan.ch]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  Qatar condemns Islamic State and rejects funding accusations Qatar declares the Islamic State in Iraq and Greater Syria an extremist group, and rejects accusations that it is funding the group. Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti denounces Iraq's Islamic State group Sheikh Abdulaziz Al ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (24 August)

[Police in Ferguson, Missouri use tear gas against civilians. Image by Wikimedia Commons User

[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 / United States The Shortest Distance Between Palestine and Ferguson, Jaime Omar Yassin Yassin draws a parallel between police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri and Israeli military operations in the Gaza Strip.   Palestinians Express "Solidarity with the People of Ferguson" in Mike ...

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What Can and Should be Done to End the Crisis in Gaza? Public Radio in San Francisco Interview with Mouin Rabbani and Tom Segev

On 13 August, Your Call, a daily call-in show on local public radio station KALW in San Francisco, interviewed Israeli historian Tom Segev and Jadaliyya co-editor Mouin Rabbani about the current situation in Gaza and what the military assault on Gaza reveals about the political landscape in Israel and the occupied territories.   Click to listen  

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Cary Nelson: The Lackey of Power

[Cary Nelson. Image by Sage Ross.]

Israel recommenced its offensive against Gaza by taking the life of a ten-year-old Palestinian child, whose death will now disappear into the anonymity of this assault’s brutal statistics. This latest upsurge in the ongoing violence that is the Israeli occupation has turned around the deaths of children: the Palestinian youths gratuitously killed by IDF snipers; the three settler teenagers murdered on the West Bank by a maverick group, which Israel cynically used as an excuse for its incursion into the occupied territories and the further murder of Palestinians young and old; the hideous torture and burning alive of Mohammed Abu Khdeir by Israeli “nationalists,” ...

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DARS Media Roundup (September 20)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.] News & Commentary The Masked Avengers: How Anonymous Incited Online Vigilantism From Tunisia to Ferguson, by David Kushner Anonymous might be the most powerful ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (September 15)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Foreign Ministry: Egypt Won't be Part of US Alliance Against ISIS Mada Masr reports on Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry’s press conference on ...

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The Built-In Obsolescence of the Facebook Leader

In times like these, when the hopes of the 2011 Egyptian revolution seem to have faded away, it is imperative to understand what went wrong, and in particular what went wrong in the new forms of digitally supported organizations that were displayed in the course revolution and that became a source of inspiration for other activists around the world. The enthusiastic use of social networking sites among Egyptian activists has been widely celebrated, and to a great extent rightly so, given the importance ...

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The BBC and User-Generated Content: How Syrian Grassroots Information Shaped Newsroom Roles

It’s probably the first big story I can remember where UGC has become a real factor in reporting, I think before that the UGC Hub was a department which was a bit unclear how you would best use them...But with Syria we were so exposed out there with not many people we had to use something. And they would become integral to reporting basically because they were only the source of getting some idea of what was happening.[1] It’s just after two o'clock on the morning of 21 August 2013 and in BBC ...

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Keynote Address: Some Reflections on the Role of Media in Egypt’s January 25th Revolution

  [Walter Armbrust delivering the Keynote Address at the Westminster Conference] This lecture delves into the situational and historic dynamics that undergirded the media practices surrounding the January 25 revolution in Egypt. The notion of social revolution is unpacked to evaluate its application to the Egyptian revolutionary context. By looking at the cultural production of revolution–from rap songs against Mubarak to online memes against the Morsi government–the social mobilization is seen as ...

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New Media, New Politics? Theoretical Interventions and International Invocations

As part of the Jadaliyya Roundtable on New Media and New Politics, we offer three audio presentations from the April 2013 Westminster conference that address matters of mediation from theoretical and international perspectives. The topics presented here problematize analyses of the Arab revolutionary action and mediation by looking at these through the prism of "liberation technology," as synerigistic with South American Occupy movements, and as refractions of Marxist theorizations of digital ...

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Palestinianness on Facebook: Portrayals, Profiles, and Encoding the Self

I would like to think that we are not just the people seen or looked at in photographs: we are also looking at our observers….we too are scrutinizing, assessing, judging. We are more than someone’s object. We do more than stand passively in front of whoever…has wanted to look at us. -- Edward Said, After the Last Sky  Over the course of several decades in the Palestinian history, Palestinians have been the subject of thousands if not millions of photos, frequently taken by ...

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Open Letter on Gaza and BDS from the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies

[The following statement was issued by the Middle East Caucus of the Society for Cineman and Media Studies on 11 August 2014.] As scholars, artists and community organizers, and as members of the Middle East Caucus(MEC) of the Society for Cinema and Media Studies (SCMS), we are deeply disturbed by the indiscriminate and disproportionate violence that has been waged these past weeks by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) against the civilian population of Gaza. This is a population which has ...

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Syria Media Roundup (August 15)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Note to readers: we are ten days behind but we will catch up during the first week of September. Hold tight! Regional and International Perspectives  Exclusive interview with ...

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One Year after Raba'a: An Interview with Adam Sabra and Mona El Ghobashy

Egypt has been the subject of media attention for its role as a mediator between Hamas and Israel during negotiations to end the military assault on Gaza. By contrast, Egypt's own very serious political strife has been largely neglected by the international media. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Raba'a massacre of 14 August 2014, during which at least 817 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were killed by security forces. According to the Associated Press, at least ten ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (August 12)

[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 turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] Presidential Elections Will Erdoğan's Presidency Firm up Turkey's Regional Position? Semih İdiz argues that Turkey will suffer from regional policy mistakes during Erdoğan’s ...

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DARS Media Roundup (August 7)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.] News & Commentary The Palestinian Resistance and Its Enemies, by Tariq Dana Division is not new in Palestinian national politics. Political and ideological ...

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