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New Texts Out Now: Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

[Cover of Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones,

Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, editors, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf. London: Zed Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones (AS & MOJ): Bahrain is small, but significant. Sadly though, it is often overlooked when it comes to writing on the region. We wanted to address the relative gap in the literature on Bahrain, and write a book that analyzed the recent uprising from multiple points of view, yet especially by those who had been directly affected somehow. J: What particular topics, issues, and literatures does the book address? AS & MOJ: Much of the literature ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ramy Aly, Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity

[Cover of Ramy Aly,

Ramy Aly, Becoming Arab in London: Performativity and the Undoing of Identity. London, Pluto Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ramy Aly (RA): My motivations were both personal and political, but at the outset the personal was more compelling. I was born and raised in London to Egyptian immigrant parents. It is a beautifully complex city that I love, but all too often I was made to feel that being brought into this world in Hammersmith Hospital in 1977 was some kind of cosmological mistake that I should spend my life correcting. In 2003 I went to live in Dubai very briefly; it was my first attempt to “return” to an Arab world that I had never ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kishwar Rizvi, The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East

[Cover of Kishwar Rizvi,

Kishwar Rizvi, The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kishwar Rizvi (KR): The idea for this book emerged through my research travels in Europe and the Middle East, where I would encounter monumental mosques that looked historical in design but were built in the past thirty years. I wondered why a community of immigrant Turks in Germany, for example, chose to worship in a neo-Ottoman style mosque that appeared anachronistic and out of place (see Figure One); similarly, why were mosques in Dubai copying the Mamluk architecture of ...

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New Texts Out Now: Abir Saksouk-Sasso, Making Spaces for Communal Sovereignty: The Story of Beirut's Dalieh

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015]

AbirSaksouk-Sasso, “Making Spaces for Communal Sovereignty: The Story of Beirut's Dalieh,” in Arab Studies Journal(Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 296-319. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? AbirSaksouk-Sasso(AS): When I started working on this article back in 2012, I had just finished a collaborative project entitled “This Sea Is Mine” about the coast of Beirut. The project had triggered a series of questions in relation to the coast and public space in Beirut. In fact, in a debate that took place at Beirut Art Center where the Dalieh case was presented, some argued that “public space” in Lebanon is “an ideal”. They considered public space as a ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World

[Cover of Mona Harb and Sami Atallah,

Mona Harb and Sami Atallah, editors, Local Governments and Public Goods: Assessing Decentralization in the Arab World. Beirut: LCPS-OSF, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Mona Harb and Sami Atallah (MH and SA): We wanted to write this book since we first met at a conference on local governments at the current Institut Français du Proche-Orient of Beirut in 2000, which led to a publication that remains a reference on the topic. Mona was presenting her work on local governments’ participatory practices in south Beirut, and Sami was speaking of fiscal decentralization in Lebanon. Fourteen years later, the opportunity to realize this ...

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New Texts Out Now: Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tugal, Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society

[Cover of Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tuğal, editors,

Cedric de Leon, Manali Desai, and Cihan Tuğal, editors, Building Blocs: How Parties Organize Society. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Cihan Tuğal (CT): Why did “moderate” Islamists fail so miserably throughout the Arab Spring? Why did the Turkish Islamists first stumble, but then re-emerge even more powerful (even if, in the way, they dropped their “moderation”)? Our edited volume allows us to answer these questions by drawing attention to political creativity. The book includes analyses of politics in several countries and in different eras. Here I will focus on the overall theoretical claims, as ...

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New Texts Out Now: Mike de Seve and Daniel Burwen, Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East

[Cover of Mike de Seve and Daniel Burwen,

Mike de Seve and Daniel Burwen, Operation Ajax: The Story of the CIA Coup that Remade the Middle East. Foreword by Stephen Kinzer. London and New York: Verso, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Mike de Seve (MdS): Well, being an American gets stranger the more you know about our covert history. Having grown up in a time and place where America stood for peace and democracy, and Iran was considered the devil (in my town, Khomeini dart boards were a big seller) I was fascinated to find out some of the historical factors that put such an extremist regime in power, and to see the United States’ own fingerprints all over that history. Then, once you learn ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ella Shohat, The Question of Judeo-Arabic

[Cover of Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015]

Ella Shohat, “The Question of Judeo-Arabic,” Opening Essay for Arab Studies Journal Vol. XXIII No. 1 (Fall 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Ella Shohat (ES): This essay revolves around a very personal question for me—the name of the language I spoke with my grandparents and parents. Baghdadi-Jews like my family spoke the language, first in Iraq, then in Israel, and later in the US. For us, it was simply Arabic, although we also knew of course that it was a dialect, a specific form of an ‘amiyya; in our case, Iraqi, Baghdadi, Jewish Arabic. Within the Jewish-Baghdadi dialect itself, we commonly referred to it as haki mal yihud (the speech of the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar, Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East

[Cover of Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar,

Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar, Anthropology’s Politics: Disciplining the Middle East. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Lara Deeb and Jessica Winegar (LD & JW): Fundamentally, we chose to write this book because we need a much better on-the-ground understanding of how US domestic politics and foreign policy shapes higher education, including our day to day lives as academics and the choices we make in research, teaching, and public outreach. In our view, Middle East anthropology provides the perfect lens onto these interactions for a variety of reasons that we detail in the book. There is also a personal, ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sherene Seikaly, Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine

[Cover of Sherene Seikaly,

Sherene Seikaly, Men of Capital: Scarcity and Economy in Mandate Palestine. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sherene Seikaly (SS): When I started my dissertation research I was interested in looking at Palestinian consumer practices in Israel as a form of truncated citizenship and contained social mobility after 1948. Such a project appeared to entail more focus on Israeli institutions and state structures than Palestinians. To move away from such a focus, I began exploring periodicals from the 1940s, when Palestine was under British rule. The figure of the consumer was ubiquitous, as were the institutions that ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kermit Roosevelt, Allegiance

[Cover of Kermit Roosevelt,

Kermit Roosevelt, Allegiance. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What led you to write this novel? Kermit Roosevelt (KR): In 2007, two years after the publication of my first novel (In the Shadow of the Law), my editor said to me that he wanted my next one to be set in the Supreme Court. I told him I wasn’t sure I could do it. I would love to write about the Court, but I didn’t want anyone to think I was revealing secrets from my time working there. (I clerked for Justice David Souter in 1999-2000, and he is a very private person.) My editor said, “No problem! Set it ten years in the future when there are nine new Justices.” That also seemed like ...

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New Texts Out Now: Safinaz El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism, and Authoritarianism in Egypt

[Cover of Safinaz El Tarouty,

Safinaz El Tarouty, Businessmen, Clientelism, and Authoritarianism in Egypt. London and New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Safinaz El Tarouty (SET): This book is based on my PhD dissertation that I completed in 2014 at the University of East Anglia. The topic I chose for my dissertation was authoritarian survival in Egypt. I decided to examine this topic by focusing on the role of Egyptian businessmen in politics and their relationship to authoritarian survival. Since 2000, the visibility of businessmen in politics has been growing. This was evident in their election to the parliament, appointment in the ruling party, and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jacob Mundy, Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics

Jacob Mundy, Imaginative Geographies of Algerian Violence: Conflict Science, Conflict Management, Antipolitics. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jacob Mundy (JM): At first, I wanted to write a book about the unanswered questions surrounding the violence in 1990s Algeria, particularly the extraordinary massacres of late 1997 and early 1998. The typical question asked in response to those atrocities, even today, is: “Who killed who?” That is, who ...

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New Texts Out Now: Caecilia Pieri, Bagdad. La construction d'une capitale moderne, 1914-1960

Caecilia Pieri, Bagdad. La construction d'une capitale moderne, 1914-1960. Beyrouth : Presses de l’Ifpo, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Caecilia Pieri (CP): Having seized an opportunity to go to Baghdad in June 2003,[1] I unexpectedly discovered an interesting modern vernacular landscape, which remains important to this day—in terms of quality and, still today, in terms of quantity. Instead of the black hole of information and of desolation with which the city’s name was ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt

Joel Beinin, Workers and Thieves: Labor Movements and Popular Uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joel Beinin (JB): I lived in Cairo for most of the time between September 2004 and December 2008. During this period, the wave of strikes and collective actions by Egyptian workers escalated dramatically. Workers invited me to visit factories and other workplaces where strikes were underway and asked that I write about ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadine Bekdache, Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon's Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles

Nadine Bekdache, “Evicting Sovereignty: Lebanon's Housing Tenants from Citizens to Obstacles,” in Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 320-51. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Nadine Bekdache (NB): I started by researching the urban transformation of ‘Ain al Mraysseh, the seaside neighborhood in which I grew up, and mapping the demolition of old buildings, as well as buildings awaiting demolition whose residents live in a state of uncertainty and are constantly expecting ...

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New Texts Out Now: Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East

Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, paperback edition 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Eckart Woertz (EW): In 2007-08, at the height of the global food crisis, I was living in Dubai, working for the Gulf Research Center. Food price inflation became a hot topic, and in 2008 Gulf countries started to make all these announcements about agro-investments in food-insecure countries like Sudan and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ward Vloeberghs, Architecture, Power, and Religion in Lebanon

Ward Vloeberghs, Architecture, Power, and Religion in Lebanon: Rafiq Hariri and the Politics of Sacred Space in Beirut. Leiden and Boston: Brill, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ward Vloeberghs (WV): While studying in Beirut in the early 2000s, I witnessed a construction site on the corner of Martyrs’ Square. Back then, contrasting rumors circulated as to what exactly was emerging on this central location, and who was in charge of the project. I became intrigued by this ...

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New Texts Out Now: Haytham Bahoora, Writing the Dismembered Nation: The Aesthetics of Horror in Iraqi Narratives of War

Haytham Bahoora, “Writing the Dismembered Nation: The Aesthetics of Horror in Iraqi Narratives of War,” in Arab Studies Journal (Vol. XXIII No. 1), Fall 2015: 184-209. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Haytham Bahoora (HB): The article came out of a conference at Haverford College, organized by Professor Zainab Saleh, commemorating the tenth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, titled “Shades of Occupation: Iraq After Ten Years.” I was interested in how Iraqi fiction and art have ...

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New Texts Out Now: Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Peril

Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, Saudia Arabia: A Kingdom in Peril. London: Hurst, 2015. J: What made you write this book? Paul Aarts (PA): Two years ago I had a chance to visit Saudi Arabia again (after many years). My co-author Carolien Roelants also managed to get a visa—which is not easy—and separately we interviewed quite a few Saudis, from different backgrounds. I travelled to Jeddah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province (al-Khobar, Dammam, and Qatif). In Jeddah and in the capital city I ...

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NEWTON 2015 Year in Review

Since it was first launched in the fall of 2011, the New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) Page has been honored to have the opportunity to feature an astonishing range of books, articles, special issues of journals, and films for Jadaliyya readers. This past year was no exception. With authors generously agreeing to discuss their new works, offer background information on their research, and allow us to post excerpts from their books and articles, we have been able to offer first looks at some of the most ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ilana Feldman, Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule

Ilana Feldman, Police Encounters: Security and Surveillance in Gaza under Egyptian Rule. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ilana Feldman (IF): Police Encounters is a study of policing and security practices in Gaza during the period of Egyptian rule (1948-67). It explores the range of matters that occupied police personnel, the mechanisms through which Gazans came to participate in the police project, and the avenues for influence and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community

Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, editors, Diasporas of the Modern Middle East: Contextualizing Community. Edinburgh: Edinburgh Universtiry Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Sossie Kasbarian (SK): The book came out of a workshop that we convened at the University of Edinburgh in October 2011. At the time, I was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for the Advanced Study of the Arab World (CASAW) based at Islamic and Middle East Studies (IMES) at the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Jeanette S. Jouili, Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe

Jeanette S. Jouili, Pious Practice and Secular Constraints: Women in the Islamic Revival in Europe. Palo Alto: Stanford University Press 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Jeanette Jouili (JJ): I began research for this book in 2002, the year after 9/11. The global impact of that event was made evident in Europe as the media and European scholars increasingly scrutinized the activities and affiliations of young European-born Muslims, many of whom were adopting more visible and orthodox ...

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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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