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Remembering Fatema Mernissi

[Fatima Mernissi, The Arab Weekly]

This tribute is to Fatema Mernissi: mentor, insightful teacher, organic intellectual, incisive feminist, powerful voice, charismatic presence, craftswoman, generous host, and friend.  Fatema Mernissi, a writer, professor, sociologist, and central figure of Arab feminism, passed away at the age of seventy-five on Monday, 30 November, in Rabat. Mernissi was a professor at the Mohammed V University of Rabat and a research scholar at the Institut Universitaire de Recherche Scientifique (IURS) in the same city. Fatema Mernissi will remain an inspirational figure to many of us whose lives she marked with her warm presence, ample generosity, and hilarious sense of ...

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1 اللااستثناء المغربي: حزب وجيش وقصر

[صورة من متحف جيش التحرير المغربي في سيدي إفني، المغرب، بعدسة المؤلفة]

 اللااستثناء المغربي: حزب وجيش وقصر (الجزء الأول) كان العام هو 1958، وكان المغرب قد دخل عامه الثاني من الاستقلال عن فرنسا، السلطان محمد الخامس يكتهل ووليّ العهد الحسن الثاني، قائد القوات الملكية المسلحة، بدأ بتأكيد سلطته سياسياً وعسكرياً. وكان الطرفان الشمالي والجنوبي من المغرب، وكلاهما معقل لجيش التحرير المغربي، خارج سيطرة القصر. حافظت أسبانيا، بقيادة فرانكو، على وجودها الاستعماري على طول حدود المغرب الشمالية والجنوبية. وأظهر المهدي بن بركة (الشخصية الوطنية المعروفة) براعة سياسية سببت نزاعاً بينه وبين أعضاء حزبه السياسي، الاستقلال، وبينه وبين القصر. وكان هذا عاماً أعادت فيه سلسلة من التحركات السياسية والعسكرية بناء ترتيبات وتحالفات القوة الموجودة، واضعة أسس ...

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The Ongoing, Steady Gains of Morocco's Islamist Party

[Image of leaders from the Party of Justice and Development celebrating their wins in the 2011 parliamentary elections. Image from Wikimedia Commons]

Moroccans took to the polls on 4 September to vote in the first local elections since 2009. A total of about one hundred forty thousand candidates competed for around thirty-two thousand seats. These local elections were the first to take place after the new constitution in 2011, which the monarch effectively used as a way to steal the 20 February Movement’s thunder and calm the protests by seemingly giving in to some of the protestors’ demands. The new constitution and the subsequent law of regionalization gives more power to regional councils, and also aims to give Morocco’s twelve regions more prerogatives. The Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD) is the ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part I)

[Image from the Moroccan Liberation Army Museum in Sidi Ifni, Morocco. Image by author]

[The following is the first part in the final installment of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] The year is 1958. Morocco has entered its second year of independence from France. Sultan Mohammed V is aging and Crown Prince Hassan II, Commander of the Royal Armed Forces, is beginning to assert himself politically and militarily. The northern and southern extremities of Morocco, both strongholds of the Moroccan Liberation Army, are beyond the palace’s control. Spain, under the leadership of Franco, maintains its colonial presence along Morocco’s northern and southern borders. Renowned nationalist figure, Mehdi Ben ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Conversation with Ahmed Marzouki, Former Tazmamart Detainee

[An image of the Tazmamart prison. Image from kapitalis]

[The following is the first installment in "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] Twenty-five years ago, Morocco seemed to embark on a serious effort to confront past human rights violations and uphold the rule of law. King Hassan II made a solemn pledge to turn the page on the “Years of Lead,” as the period of political repression is called in Morocco, and uplift the country to international human rights standards. In the early 1990s, the authorities released political prisoners, closed down the notorious Tazmamart secret detention center, and held public hearings on forty years of flagrant rights abuses. But the ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (July 22)

[Image of Tamezret, a village in Tunisia. Image by Dennis Jarvis/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Tuesday night of every week] Algeria  A (Silicon) Valley Grows in Algeria Elizabeth Nicholas interviews several entrepreneurs on the difficulties of startups and the tech industry in Algeria.  Le chanteur de raï algérien Cheb Mami et la société d'édition EMI condamnés à 200.000 euros pour plagiat French courts ordered Algerian singer Cheb Mami to pay author Mr. ...

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Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy

Marlène Ghorayeb, Beyrouth sous mandat français, construction d’une ville moderne. Paris: Karthala, 2014.   This is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of Beirut’s early days of modern planning, during the transition from Late Ottoman to French Mandate, and later. In the lineage of Jens Hanssen’s Fin de Siècle Beirut, Eric Verdeil’s Beyrouth et ses urbanistes, Carla Eddé’s Naissance d’une capitale, and Robert Saliba’s Beyrouth architectures: Aux sources de la modernité, the book is a must-read for those interested in the key spatial transformations of Beirut during the first part of the twentieth century. It nicely complements and enriches earlier texts by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice

[Cover of

Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello, editors, The Coming Revolution in North Africa: The Struggle for Climate Justice. Platform (London), Rosa Luxemburg Foundation (North Africa), and Environmental Justice North Africa (EJNA), 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Hamza Hamouchene and Mika Minio-Paluello (HH & MM-P): The idea was both to highlight the violence of climate change in North Africa, and the need for an indigenous response. We wanted to point out that survival relies on structural change, and on facing the challenge of talking about climate justice in Arabic. Climate change is already a reality in North Africa. People are dying ...

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Urban Governance: Field Study in Rabat and Casablanca

[Rabat. Photo by Nicolas Hrycaj]

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 and networks of individuals between the two cities? What is the balance between competition and cooperation between the two centers? Is the process led only by ...

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Setups and Slander against Morocco's Dissidents: Sex, Drugs, Money, and Videos

[Image of a 2011 protest in Morocco. Image by Imrane Binoual/Wikimedia Commons]

A series of cases have touched resistance leaders and activists who participated or supported the 20 February Movement, from al-Adl wal-Ihsane (AWI) Islamists to members of secular institutions. Sex, financial, or drug scandals: for each activist, a "crime" was deployed to play on a taboo of their ideology in order to discredit and undermine the Moroccan version of the "Arab Spring."  On 17 March, a dozen plainclothes police officers arrested Hicham Mansouri, a journalist and activist with the Moroccan Association of Investigative Journalism (known by its French acronym as AMJI). The door to his apartment was violently smashed. He was beaten on ...

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The Stages of Peaceful Resistance in the Occupied Western Sahara

[Image of a demonstrated in Assa, Western Sahara calling for the release of Sahrawi activists imprisoned by Moroccan authorities]

Introduction In any history of occupation, the forms of resistance the colonized populations adopted have been shaped by, and shape, the modes of occupations. Peaceful resistance in the Western Sahara has been no different; Saharawi methods of nonviolent protest underwent transformations, first during Spanish colonialism and throughout several phases under Moroccan occupation. The Saharawi peoples’ ongoing struggle to secure their independence has faced repressive ways and means, either during the Spanish era or the subsequent Moroccan settler occupation. The aim of this paper is to document the dialectics in stages of non-violent resistance and the precipitating ...

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New Texts Out Now: Andrea Khalil, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring

[Cover of Andrea Khalil,

Andrea Khalil, editor, Gender, Women, and the Arab Spring. London and New York: Routledge, 2015. [Editors’ Note: This book was originally published as a special issue of The Journal of North African Studies 19.2 (2014). To mark the publication of this special issue as a book, we are reprinting a NEWTON piece written by the editor, Andrea Khalil, in May 2014.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue?  Andrea Khalil (AK): During my fieldwork in Tunisia (2011-13) working on a book, I was sensitized to the profound problems that women in Tunisia were facing since the Revolution, and more generally, the urgency to address gender issues and ...

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2 اللااستثناء المغربي: حزب وجيش وقصر

 اللااستثناء المغربي: حزب وجيش وقصر (الجزء الثاني) [اضغط/ي هنا لقراءة الجزء الأول من المقال] إن تفاعل الذاكرة والنسيان في صياغة الدولة لتاريخ الخمسينيات في المغرب يأخذ شكلاً كليَّ الحضور في موقع متحف جيش التحرير المغربي. يقع المتحف في بناء المندوبية السامية لقدماء المقاومين وأعضاء جيش التحرير، المتوضع بعيداً في الرباط بين عدد من الفروع الوزارية في حي أكدال.ولا يثير موقع المتحف سؤال هذا المقال المعلن فحسب، بل يثيره أيضاً ما يكمن داخل جدران المتحف. ذلك أنّ المتحف المؤلف من أربعة طوابق، يحتوي على ...

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Morocco: A Bipolarization under Royal Control

The Moroccan electoral race began in September with the local and regional elections, which culminated on Tuesday 13 October with the election of the President of the Chamber of Councillors, the Upper House of Parliament. [1] The 120 elected representatives (217 prior to the constitutional reform of 2011) have designated Hakim Benchemass, from the Party of Authenticity and Modernity (PAM) as the president of the Chamber of Councillors. It took two rounds and a margin of one vote to rule out Benchemass’ ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: A Party, an Army, and a Palace (Part II)

[The following is the final part of "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here. Read the first part of this installment here.] The interaction of memory and forgetting in the state's construction of the history of the 1950s in Morocco takes on a pervasive form at the site of the Moroccan Liberation Army (MLA) museum. The museum is located within the premises of the Haut Commissariat des Anciens Resistants et Membres de l'Armée de Libération, tucked ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: 'Much Loved' and Realism, Colonialism, and Pornography in Moroccan Cinema

[The following is the second installment in "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] A wave of contentious reactions have dominated the Moroccan media landscape following the release of Nabil Ayouch's new film Much Loved, a fictional story about three Moroccan prostitutes in Marrakech. The reactions to the film are based on several extracts and a trailer that emerged online, some of which contained sexually explicit scenes. The excerpts were released ...

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: Roundtable Introduction

Since protests shook the region in December 2010, pundits have rushed to make sense of what is happening in Morocco. In the process, a normative framework has emerged under the guise of "Moroccan exceptionalism," effectively compounding the complexities of the events and processes taking shape. "Impressive though often overlooked, this rare success story from the Arab Spring," describes one report on Morocco, "is occasionally invoked as a possible source of emulation by other ...

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France Decorates a Moroccan Facing Justice on Bastille Day: A Portrait of Abdellatif Hammouchi

Despite objections from human rights organizations in Morocco and France, on 23 June 2015, the National French Assembly adopted a bill that requires judges to refer legal complaints regarding criminal acts committed in Morocco to Moroccan justice. This would also include cases in which French citizens were subjected to acts of torture. The Senate will ratify this decision on 15 July 2015. This ratification comes a little over a year after the French justice system began raising questions about the head ...

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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 ...

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Paradigms Lost in Morocco: How Urban Mega-Projects Should Disturb our Understanding of Arab Politics

When you enter Casablanca by train along the coastal track, you can see the new high-rises of Casablanca Marina appear in the distance. Although still under construction, it has already radically transformed the skyline of Casablanca. The Mrina project is situated just in front of the old medina between the harbor and the magnificent Hassan II Mosque. The medina, the traditional part of the city, with its robust stone walls, its narrow streets, and its numerous small shops, will be hidden from now on ...

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تاريخ النشاط السياسي واقتصاده السياسي في المغرب: مقابلة للوضع بين زكية سليم وسامية الرزوقي

تلقي زكية سالم في هذه المقابلة الضوء على الفروق الدقيقة التاريخية للنشاط الاجتماعي النسوي في المغرب. تتضمن المقابلة التالية أربعة أجزاء، بحيث يمكنكم أن تنقروا عليهما بشكل منفصل. بوسعكم أن تقرأوا أيضاً النص العربي المدوّن المرافق. زكية سليم أستاذة مساعدة في علم الاجتماع ودراسات النساء والجندر في جامعة رتغرز حيث تدرِّس الحركات النسوية، الجندر، العولمة، الحركات الاجتماعية، الامساواة العالمية، وما بعد الكولونيالية. تشمل اهتماماتها كباحثة العرق، والامبراطورية والاقتصاد السياسي والحرب على الارهاب، ...

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Those Who Want To Build, Those Who Want To Fight: The World Social Forum with a North African Twist

Holding the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunisia, for the second time, is doubly significant. It is right on target, since Tunisians have toppled a neoliberal dictator. It is also a painful reminder of capitalism’s power, as Tunisian neoliberalism (along with the dictator’s entourage) is still intact. Not only are the main contours of Ben Ali’s policies still in place, his top bureaucrats are in command. Moreover, they have come back through elections. Voters replaced them for a secular liberal-Islamic ...

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The Economy of Mental Health: Inequalities in Access to Care in Morocco

In 2005, Morocco’s Ministry of Health (Ministère de la Santé) carried out its first-ever epidemiological survey of mental illness in the country. As a Bulletin de Santé later reported, the study found that about fifty percent of the population had suffered from at least one minor psychiatric ailment over the course of their lives: … one in two Moroccans presents with at least one significant sign of impaired mental health, regardless of its degree of severity, ranging from a simple nervous tic ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (January 30)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Thursday night of every week] Algeria Is a Late ‘Arab Spring’ Knocking on Algeria’s Doors from the Desert? Adam Al-Sabiri considers the implications of the vast protest movement against ...

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