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

[Cover of Caecilia Pieri,

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 associated due to the war(s) and sanctions, I saw a modern city which possessed a human shape, whose brickwork and concrete architecture revealed a civilian life, a ...

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

[Cover of Joel Beinin,

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 what they were doing. So I began writing journalistic articles for Middle East Report, Le Monde Diplomatique, and similar outlets. I also wrote a report for the AFL-CIO ...

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

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

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 eviction. Prime land-—a label that haunts almost all built and un-built land in Municipal Beirut-—is subsequently made available for real estate investment. I looked for ...

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

[Cover of Eckart Woertz,

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 Pakistan. So it was an intriguing topic to deal with and it tied into other topics such as development issues, management of sovereign wealth fund assets, heavy reliance on ...

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

[Cover of Ward Vloeberghs,

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 saga, and decided to trace the origins of the construction process once I received funding for my PhD project. By then, the Muhammad al-Amin Mosque had been almost ...

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

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

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 represented the 2003 US invasion of Iraq and its residual effects on the Iraqi population. Since 2003, Iraqi writers and artists have undertaken a wide-ranging cultural ...

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

[Cover of Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants,

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 talked to Saudi youngsters, bloggers, human-rights activists (among them Waleed Abu al-Khair, now in prison), journalists, and academics. In the Eastern Province I mainly ...

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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 important new work in the field, from established names and rising stars alike. As we say goodbye to 2015, with a new set of texts on the horizon in 2016, this is an ...

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

[Cover of Ilana Feldman,

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 effect that were sometimes produced in a system designed for control and containment. I wrote this book in part to explore an analytic and political puzzle: an apparent ...

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

[Cover of Anthony Gorman and Sossie Kasbarian, editors,

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 University of Edinburgh. During my time there, Tony and I set up an MSc in Middle East Diasporas and were teaching the two core courses; one was theory focused, while the other ...

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

[Cover of Jeanette S. Jouili,

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 forms of Islamic practice. At the heart of the debate lay the question of whether this trend toward increased piety was compatible with Europe's secular, liberal values. ...

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New Texts Out Now: Robert Saliba, Urban Design in the Arab World: Reconceptualizing Boundaries

[Cover of Robert Saliba,

Robert Saliba, editor, Urban Design in the Arab World: Reconceptualizing Boundaries. London: Ashgate, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Robert Saliba (RS): The idea for this book was initiated in the wake of City Debates 2012, an international conference on contemporary urban issues that I organized in May at the American University of Beirut. The conference, entitled Reconceptualizing Boundaries: Urban Design in the Arab World, asked: “How are the changing paradigms of urban design in the wake of the new millennium impacting the making and shaping of cities in the Arab World?” This book was conceived to bring together the wide diversity of ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kermit Roosevelt, Allegiance

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 ...

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

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 ...

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New Texts Out Now: Moustafa Bayoumi, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror

Moustafa Bayoumi, This Muslim American Life: Dispatches from the War on Terror. New York: New York University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Moustafa Bayoumi (MB): The War on Terror made me write This Muslim American Life. I believe that the people of the United States aren’t taking sufficient notice of how much the War on Terror is structuring contemporary life, both in this country and abroad. Muslim Americans will feel differently. We have been subjected to sweep arrests ...

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New Texts Out Now: Joris Luyendijk, Swimming with Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers

Joris Luyendijk, Swimming with Sharks: My Journey into the World of the Bankers. London: Faber & Faber, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joris Luyendijk (JL): I wanted to know how bankers can live with themselves. I was a complete outsider to finance when the Guardian approached me in 2011 to do an anthropological investigation into the world of London-based bankers. The idea was to try to open up for our readers a complex field such as finance by asking those Guardian readers ...

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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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