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New Texts Out Now: Behrooz Ghamari, Remembering Akbar: Inside the Iranian Revolution

Behrooz Ghamari, Remembering Akbar: Inside the Iranian Revolution. New York: OR Books, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Behrooz Ghamari: (BG): Originally, I did not conceive this as a book. Every New Year’s Eve I began writing little vignettes and character portraits about my years as a political prisoner in Iran. I was released from prison on New Year’s Eve of 1985, so that was the significance of the day for me. For one day every year I removed myself from the routines of everyday life and spent the whole day writing. Writing these stories for me was a mode of meditation and remembrance honoring a life that seemed so distant and disconnected to the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Erik Freas, Muslim-Christian Relations in Late-Ottoman Palestine: Where Nationalism and Religion Intersect

Erik Freas, Muslim-Christian Relations in Late-Ottoman Palestine: Where Nationalism and Religion Intersect. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Erik Freas (EF): The greater part of my research on Muslim-Christian relations in Palestine has, until now, focused primarily on the British mandatory period. Nonetheless, while the creation of the mandatory regimes following the collapse of the Ottoman Empire marks an obvious starting point for relating the history that ensued, one should not underestimate the degree of continuity and relevancy of certain developments (see below) that were already well underway during the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Karine Walther, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921

Karine Walther, Sacred Interests: The United States and the Islamic World, 1821-1921. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2015.   Jadliyya (J): What made you write this book? Karine Walther (KW): As my parents were both French immigrants to the United States, I have always been interested in what constitutes “American identity” and the history of how religious, ethnic and “racial” differences have been dealt with in the United States. After I finished my BA at the University of Texas, Austin, I pursued a Masters in France, where I studied the experiences of second and third generation French Muslim women. In the process, I learned quite a ...

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New Texts Out Now: Alex Lubin and Marwan M. Kraidy, eds., American Studies Encounters the Middle East

Alex Lubin and Marwan M. Kraidy, eds. American Studies Encounters the Middle East. Durham: University of North Carolina Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Alex Lubin and Marwan Kraidy (AL and MK): In 2011, just as the so-called “Arab Spring” was underway, the Center for American Studies and Research at the American University of Beirut hosted an international conference to explore historical and contemporary connections between the United States and the Middle East. The conversations at the conference ranged from historical analyses of the role of Muslim immigrants in the United States to the contemporary United States geopolitical ...

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New Texts Out Now: Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar, eds. Gaza as Metaphor

Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar, editors. Gaza As Metaphor (London: Hurst, 2016).  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Helga Tawil-Souri and Dina Matar (HTS and DM): During and in the immediate aftermath of the Israeli attacks against Gaza in July 2014, we shared a sense of anger and a responsibility to respond to the ways in which Gaza was a target of both military and representational violence. We were struck by the disconnect between how mainstream media, for example, talked about Gaza, that was generally ahistorical, and our own experiences and realities of Gaza. We were equally struck by how the word “Gaza” came to substitute for processes ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadya Hajj, Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps

Nadya Hajj. Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nadya Hajj (NH): My book was motivated by something I heard in more than two hundred interviews in Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The central Palestinian refugee narrative was that the community searched for ways to find communal protection in the midst of fawda or chaos in the camps. Refugees felt the camps were chaotic because there was no central authority governing the camps. Property rights were one tool, among many, that Palestinians used to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Vincent Lemire, Jérusalem 1900. La ville sainte à l'âge des possibles

Vincent Lemire, Jérusalem 1900. La ville sainte à l'âge des possibles. Paris: Points-Seuil, 2016. Jadaliyya (J) : Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait écrire ce livre? Vincent Lemire (V.L.): La réédition de Jérusalem 1900 en format poche (Points-Seuil, septembre 2016) récompense le succès de la première édition (Armand Colin, 2012), mais en fait c’est une plus longue histoire car le projet du livre est né au départ d’un cours magistral enseigné à mes étudiants de Licence à l’Université Paris-Est/Marne-la-Vallée en… 2008-2010! Ce cours s’intitulait "Pour une histoire urbaine et contemporaine de Jérusalem." Je voulais proposer à mes étudiants un enseignement ...

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New Texts Out Now: Syrie, anatomie d’une guerre civile

Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, Arthur Quesnay. Syrie, anatomie d’une guerre civile. Paris: CNRS Editions, 2016. Jadaliyya (J) : Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait publier ce livre? Adam Baczko, Gilles Dorronsoro, Arthur Quesnay (AB, GD, AQ) : L’idée de conduire des recherches en Syrie a émergé durant l’année 2012. Menant des recherches sur d’autres guerres civiles, nous voyions se dérouler en Syrie des processus similaires à ceux que nous observions sur nos terrains respectifs (processus de territorialisation, d’institutionnalisation, de politisation, d’internationalisation…). Les échos dans la presse de l’existence d’une administration civile ...

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New Texts Out Now: Salim Yaqub, Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s

Salim Yaqub, Imperfect Strangers: Americans, Arabs, and U.S.-Middle East Relations in the 1970s (Cornell University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Salim Yaqub (SY): I wanted to continue my previous work on the history of US-Arab relations but to focus on an era I personally remembered. (I was born in 1963, so the 1970s coincided with my childhood and teenage years.) Also, when I started the project in the early 2000s, the US and British governments were starting to declassify secret documents in large numbers, giving scholars a much more detailed and candid view of official decision-making and action than had previously been available. A ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mandy Turner and Cherine Hussein, guest eds. "Israel-Palestine after Oslo: Mapping Transformations in a Time of Deepening Crisis." Special Issue of Conflict, Security & Development

Conflict, Security and Development, Volume 15, No. 5 (December 2015) Special issue: "Israel-Palestine after Oslo: Mapping Transformations in a Time of Deepening Crisis," Guest Editors: Mandy Turner and Cherine Hussein. Jadaliyya (J): What made you compile this volume? Mandy Turner (MT): Both the peace process and the two-state solution are dead. Despite more than twenty years of negotiations, Israel’s occupation, colonization and repression continue–and the political and geographical fragmentation of the Palestinian people is proceeding apace. This is not news, nor is it surprising to any keen observer of the situation. But what is surprising–and thus ...

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New Texts Out Now: Betty S. Anderson, A History of the Modern Middle East: Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues

Betty S. Anderson. A History of the Modern Middle East:  Rulers, Rebels, and Rogues Stanford:  Stanford University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Betty Anderson (BA): For years, I used William Cleveland’s A History of the Modern Middle East in my classes and supplemented it with readings from my colleagues’ monographs on social and intellectual history and with lectures from my own research. I had to do that because Cleveland presented a clear political narrative but left out the influence, for example, of students, workers, peasants and women on Middle Eastern history and spent little time discussing the ideas and identities ...

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New Texts Out Now: Madawi Al-Rasheed, Muted Modernists: The Struggle Over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia

Madawi Al-Rasheed, Muted Modernists: The Struggle over Divine Politics in Saudi Arabia (Hurst and Oxford University Press, 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Madawi Al-Rasheed (MA): My interest in Islam and politics in Saudi Arabia has been ongoing for a couple of decades. The project engaging this focus started with a historical account about how the relationship gave birth to several attempts to create a state. From history, I moved to a more social science approach to look at the contemporary period. Most observers of Saudi politics assume that Wahhabiyya, the eighteenth century religious movement, was simply a pretext to establish ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jens Hanssen and Max Weiss, eds. Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Nahda

Jens Hanssen and Max Weiss, eds. Arabic Thought Beyond the Liberal Age: Towards an Intellectual History of the Nahda. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jens Hanssen (JH): The partnership for this project with Max Weiss was born at a workshop in Chicago in April 2011. I had long anticipated the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of Albert Hourani’s seminal Arabic Thought In the Liberal Age, 1798-1939. When I suggested the idea of a conference ...

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New Texts Out Now: Henri Lauzière, The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century

Henri Lauzière, The Making of Salafism: Islamic Reform in the Twentieth Century. New York: Columbia University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Henri Lauzière (HL): I wrote the book in an attempt to solve a nagging problem in Islamic intellectual history. For the last three decades or so, scholars who sought to define and tell the story of Salafism always faced something of a paradox. On the one hand, a lot of the secondary literature tells us that Salafism, or salafiyya, was ...

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New Texts Out Now: Alia Malek, The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria

Alia Malek, The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria. New York City: Nation Books, 2017. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Alia Malek (AM): I’ve always wanted the opportunity to dive into my family’s history, specifically that of my great-grandfather and my grandmother, in order to better understand their lives against the backdrop of Syrian history. At the same time–like so many others–I have become increasingly distressed with what has happened in Syria (and what has been ...

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New Texts Out Now: Marwan M. Kraidy, The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Creative Insurgency in the Arab World

Marwan M. Kraidy, The Naked Blogger of Cairo: Creative Insurgency in the Arab World. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Marwan Kraidy (MK): I was inspired by a desire to grapple with enduring and fundamental issues of power and resistance, as well as an intense curiosity to come to terms with the Arab uprisings. I came of age in Lebanon during the so-called Arab satellite revolution and since then I have dedicated my professional life to ...

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New Texts Out Now: Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad, eds. Land of Blue Helmets: The United Nations in the Arab World

Karim Makdisi and Vijay Prashad, Land of Blue Helmets: The United Nations in the Arab World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Karim Makdisi (KM): This book was in the pipelines for a very long time! It began with my renewed interest in the politics of the UN following Israel’s 2006 war on Lebanon and Israel’s various Gaza wars. Before that I had been working at the UN regional commission for West Asia (ESCWA), based in Beirut. I ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jean Pierre Frey, Les voies erratiques de l'urbanisation. Etre architecte et devenir urbaniste en Afrique du Nord

A propos de : Jean-Pierre Frey, Les voies erratiques de l’urbanisation. Être architecte et devenir urbaniste en Afrique du Nord (Éditions L’Harmattan : Paris, 2016) Jadaliyya (J.) : Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait écrire ce livre? Jean-Pierre Frey (J.-P. F.) : Mes expériences d’enseignement et de montage de formations de troisième cycle pour permettre à des architectes de devenir docteurs et de s’engager pleinement dans des carrières d’enseignants du supérieur. C’est à ...

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New Texts Out Now: Gilbert Achcar, Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising

Gilbert Achcar, Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising (Stanford: Stanford University Press and London: Saqi, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Gilbert Achcar (GA): Two reasons: one general and one practical. The general reason is the need to assess the new counter-revolutionary phase in the Arab upheaval, which started in 2013. Since early on, I have been describing what began in December 2010 in Tunisia and spread to the whole Arab-speaking region in 2011 as a ...

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New Texts Out Now: Christa Salamandra and Leif Stenberg, Syria from Reform to Revolt, vol. 2

Christa Salamandra and Leif Stenberg, eds. Syria from Reform to Revolt, volume 2. Culture, Society, and Religion (Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Christa Salamandra and Leif Stenberg (CS and LS): Syria from Reform to Revolt, Vol. 2 is the second collection of essays drawn from “Syria under Bashar al-Asad,” the first international, interdisciplinary gathering of scholarly experts on contemporary Syria, held Lund University’s Center for ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mostafa Minawi, The Ottoman Scramble for Africa: Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz

Mostafa Minawi, The Ottoman Scramble for Africa, Empire and Diplomacy in the Sahara and the Hijaz (Stanford University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mostafa Minawi (MM): I did not set out to write this book. I was not particularly interested in questions of diplomacy, international Law, or even empire. I was interested in the lived experiences and life worlds of Ottomans during a time of transition from the late nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. I started ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anaheed Al-Hardan, Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities

Anaheed Al-Hardan, Palestinians in Syria: Nakba Memories of Shattered Communities (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Anaheed Al-Hardan (AH): Much of the interdisciplinary literature that can be brought under the broad label of Middle East Studies continues to treat the region that is defined as the “Middle East” as the object of study, the place where the raw material and “culture” to be processed by the researcher is produced. In contrast, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jonathan Wyrtzen, Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity

Jonathan Wyrtzen, Making Morocco: Colonial Intervention and the Politics of Identity. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jonathan Wyrtzen (JW): This book was deeply influenced by my experiences over the course of a decade that began in 2001. A few weeks before the attacks of 11 September, my wife and I moved to Morocco to teach at Al Akhawayn University, up in the town of Ifrane in the Middle Atlas Mountains. That initial period shaped a set of ...

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New Texts Out Now: Farah Al-Nakib, Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life

Farah Al-Nakib, Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Farah Al-Nakib (FA): This book is the culmination of nearly ten years of research on Kuwait’s urban social history, which I began working on in 2006 for my doctoral dissertation. But in many ways, I have been thinking about the kinds of urban and social transformations that I address in this book for much longer, ever since I was a teenager. Kuwait in the ...

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About NEWTON

Jadaliyya’s NEWTON (New Texts Out Now) section features interviews with writers of recently published and forthcoming books, articles, and translations, along with short excerpts from these new works. The idea of NEWTON is to provide readers with a brief background of a new text, and to help readers to find out about a work that they might not otherwise encounter.

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