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Natural Resources

TandemWorks Launches its Rehabilitation Scheme of Beirut River

[Screenshot from TandemWorks website]

The founders of TandemWorks, Mayssa and Alia Badawi, are pleased to announce their inaugural project, Hammoud Badawi, in collaboration with theOtherDada (tOD) Integrated Architecture Lab, the Lebanese Center for Energy Conservation (LCEC), and UN-Habitat, as part of a scheme to rehabilitate the Beirut River. TandemWorks is a new, Beirut-based non-profit arts organisation which advocates social, cultural, and environmental change by means of multidisciplinary interventions in public places. Under the guidance of tOD’s founder and architect, Adib Dada, the strategy is informed by biomimicry (design inspired by nature) to restore the lost ecosystem, and bring Beirut River ...

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Snapshot: Palestinian Olive Trees

[Olive tree, Burqin, north Palestine, 2 July 2015. Photo by Bryony Dunne.]

Text by Elle Kurancid, photos by Bryony Dunne. Olive tree felling is a longtime strategy of Israel’s occupation regime in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Since 1967, an estimated 800,000 Palestinian olive trees have been destroyed by Israeli authorities and settlers. In February 2015, Irish-born filmmaker and photographer Bryony Dunne traveled across the West Bank and encountered evidentiary support for such activity (in tree stumps and civilian stories). Over the course of one week, she moved through Israeli checkpoints, and around Israeli settlements and military bases, while heading north to the Palestinian city of Jenin, staying with five Palestinian families along ...

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البروليتاريا الفلاحية والإقطاع الجديد : أسئلة الريف المفكك


بينما كان القطار المكيف المتجه إلى الوجه القبلي يشق طريقه مخترقا حقول ريفية شاسعة على جانبي الطريق، كان رفيقي في المقعد المجاور يُبدي تبرمه من عدم لحاقه بالطائرة المخصصة له، فهو وكيل شركة متعددة الجنسيات تعمل في مجال صناعة مواد البناء، ولها مصنعها الضخم في قلب الصعيد، فالوكيل لا يحتمل طول ساعات السفر في هذا الطقس الحار، حيث القطار المزدحم يقلل من برودة المكيف، كما أن المناظر الطبيعية مُملة - في نظره -؛ فهي متكررة وغير مثيرة، ولكن القطار - في لحظة الصدق- يتعطل قليلا فتزداد معاناة الوكيل، في ذات الوقت الذي تتحول نافذة القطار إلى نافذة اجتماعية تعكس بناء المجتمع الريفي المحيط ؛ فالوكيل الذي لا يحتمل الطقس الحار في القطار المكيف يشاهد من النافذة الزجاجية السميكة فتيات ...

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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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The Present and Future of Climate Change in Turkey and Beyond: An Interview with Umit Sahin

[Ümit Şahin. Image via the author.]

[In this interview, Dr. Ümit Şahin, an Sabanci University Istanbul Policy Center Senior Scholar and an ecological, anti-nuclear, and human rights activist in Turkey, discusses the politics of climate change in Turkey and the globe. In November 2014, Şahin published a thorough report called “Mapping the Actors of Climate Change Policies in Turkey.” Şahin explicitly states that Turkey’s antidemocratic and neoliberal developmentalist policies are in stark contrast with what is needed to fight climate change. Şahin believes that the upcoming UN Climate Change Conference to be held in Paris will be an insufficient, yet crucial step for establishing a legally binding, ...

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Workshop: Carbon Democracy and Revolution: Perspectives from the Middle East and the Mediterranean

Social revolutions, civil war and crippling economic crises: What is going on in the Middle East and South Eastern Mediterranean? Are the revolutions and wars in Egypt, Syria or Libya connected to the economic crises in Greece, Italy or Cyprus? How do carbon resources and energy competition affect these tense social, economic and environmental inter-relations? What is the future of 'carbon democracy' and what are its geographic and political ramifications? Inspired by Timothy Mitchell's work Carbon Democracy: Political Power in the Age of Oil, this workshop will probe the relationship between energy, political power, history and ideology in the broad area of the Middle ...

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Soma, Ermenek, Yirca: Can Anti-Coal Activists Defend Coal Miners and Olive Farmers?


The coal-mining town of Soma in the western Aegean region of Turkey hardly made headlines until last May. A mining disaster that took the lives of 301 mine workers in Soma on 14 May 2014 brought forward the country’s fragile mix of social injustice, lack of occupational safety, and a fossil-fuel-dependent energy policy. This was by no means the first time that miners had died in a coal pit several hundreds of meters beneath our feet. Indeed, as İş Güvenliği Meclisi reports, 1,235 workers were killed while working in 2013, ninety-three of whom were from the mining sector. Many more followed in the months preceding the Soma disaster. Yet what further made Soma a tragedy ...

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A French Atlas of the Gulf States

[Cover of Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier,

Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier, Atlas of the Gulf States. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Mapping as a French Academic Tradition and its Critics It seems that English-speaking geographers and urbanists publish many fewer atlases, and draw fewer maps, than their French and—at least until recently—German counterparts. In France, there has been a frenzy of publishing atlases of everything and everywhere since the 1990s. What was first, at the advent of digital cartography, limited to academia, soon became a larger movement covering many topics and countries or regions of the world. The academic tradition of regional geography contributed to the launching of scientific books ...

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Yirca'da Acele Kamulastirma, Hukuksuzluk ve Direnis: Olcay Bingol ve Deniz Bayram ile Roportaj

[Image by Ayşegül Ersoy.]

Yırca'da Acele Kamulaştırma, Hukuksuzluk ve Direniş: Olcay Bingöl ve Deniz Bayram ile Röportaj [Boğaziçi Üniversitesi öğrencileri Çiğdem Artık ve Mustafa Kaba'nın Yırca'da zeytinliklerinin bölgeye termik santral yapımı için kamulaştırılmasına karşı direnen köylülerin yanında gönüllü olan ekoloji aktivisti Olcay Bingöl ve Greenpeace Akdeniz avukatı Deniz Bayram ile Yırca’da devam eden direniş ve acele kamulaştırma süreci hakkında Boğaziçi Mensupları Tüketim Kooperatifi için yaptıkları röportajı burada yayımlıyoruz.] Mustafa Kaba (MK), Çiğdem Artık (ÇA): Acele kamulaştırma ne zaman oldu? Çiftçiler bilgilendirildi mi? Ne zaman haberleri oldu? Deniz Bayram (DB): Acele ...

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Djerba, Tunisia: Garbage Disposal, the Environmental Crisis, and the Awakening of Ecoconsciousness

[An Italian restaurant-owner chains herself to a traffic sign to protest the burning of trash in front of her property in Djerba. Image via mosaiquefm.]

Djerba is an island in the south of Tunisia, often referred to as “the island of dreams.” In Homer’s Odyssey, Djerba is the enchanting land of the lotus-eaters; the land whose flowers charmed the companions of Odysseus and made them forget all thoughts of return. Today Djerba is one of Tunisia’s top tourist destinations. Home to al-Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue, the island annually attracts hundreds of Jewish pilgrims from all over the world. Djerba also boasts fifteen centers of thalassotherapy and is branding itself more and more as a bio-friendly destination. For the past few weeks, however, tension has been mounting in the island over what seems to be the worst ...

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New Texts Out Now: Pascal Menoret, Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Revolt

[Cover of Pascal Menoret,

Pascal Menoret, Joyriding in Riyadh: Oil, Urbanism, and Revolt. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Pascal Menoret (PM): I started working on the urbanization of Riyadh in 2001. I initially came to the city to teach French as a second language, and I was blown away by the place. With its single-family houses, its endless grid of avenues, and its absolute reliance on cars, the landscape of Riyadh looked very American to me. Yet it was a Greek urbanist, Constantinos Doxiadis, who designed the city, and a French company, SCET International, who revised its master plan. How did these people end up working ...

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Soma Katliami Tanikliklari (Interview with Selcuk Kozagacli with English Subtitles)

[Still image from the video]

Soma Katliamı Tanıklıkları Çağdaş Hukukçular Derneği Başkanı Selçuk Kozağaçlı, Soma'daki madenin çalışma prensiplerini, olayın neden kaza değil cinayet olduğunu anlatıyor. Rödovans sistemi nedir, Soma'da olanlarin sorumluları kimlerdir, katliamı hazırlayan düzen nasıl bir şey, hükümet sistematik problemleri nasıl örtbas edebilir, bunları merak edenlerin izlemesi gereken bir röportaj. Selçuk Kozağaçlı, President of the Progressive Lawyers Association (ÇHD), was among the lawyers violently detained in Soma by the police on Saturday. Here he speaks about the conditions that paved the way for last week's mining disaster and explains why it should be referred to as a ...

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قمامة لبنان من الفساد إلى صفر- نفايات: مقابلة للوضع بين زياد أبي شاكر ورانية المصري

في الحوار التالي يناقش المهندس والمنظّم زياد أبي شاكرسياسات الإدارة الفاسدة والفاشلة لنفايات لبنان الصلبة المسببة للتلوث، بالإضافة إلى الخيارات العقلانية لصفر نفايات.تتضمن المقابلة التالية أربعة أجزاء، بحيث يمكنكم أن تنقروا.عليهما بشكل منفصل. بوسعكم أن تقرأوا أيضاً النص العربي المدوّن المرافق. زياد أبي شاكر مهندس متعدد الاختصاصات متخصص في بناء مصانع لتدوير النفايات البلدية على المناطق المختلفة ويعمل ضد اتجاه  مصنع إعادة تدوير مركزي ضخم. وحين كان يقوم بالأبحاث في جامعة روتجرز في نيو جيرسي، في ...

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New Texts Out Now: Franck Mermier, Récits de villes: d’Aden à Beyrouth

Franck Mermier, Récits de villes: d’Aden à Beyrouth. Arles: Actes Sud/Sindbad, 2015.         Jadaliyya (J): Qu’est-ce qui vous a fait publier ce livre? Franck Mermier (FM): Après des recherches sur la ville de Sanaa et sur l’édition dans le monde arabe, particulièrement à Beyrouth, j’ai réalisé des enquêtes sur cette dernière ville où j’ai vécu de 2002 à 2009. Je me suis intéressé notamment à la question des perceptions et pratiques de l’espace urbain ...

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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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Sweeping Waste Under the Oriental Rug

 "Just between you and me shouldn't the World Bank be encouraging more migration of the dirty industries to the Least Developed Countries? […] I think the economic logic behind dumping a load of toxic waste in the lowest wage country is impeccable and we should face up to that […] I’ve always thought that countries in Africa are vastly under polluted; their air quality is probably vastly inefficiently low compared to Los Angeles."  Lawrence Summers, leaked World Bank ...

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Snapshot: Palestinian Spring

As a Palestinian photojournalist living in the West Bank my daily work is very far from the quiet and fabulous nature that is seen in these pictures. Every week I spend hours covering protests, clashes, and the military operations of the Israeli occupying forces. In between I give myself some rest time, which I prefer to spend in hills and mountains around the trees and flowers, away from the usual places I work. Every year I try to take advantage of the spring season to take some green frames before ...

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Corporatization: Are Public Services still Public?

Public water and electricity are back in vogue. Yet, many state-owned utilities are now undergoing “corporatization,” i.e. they have legal autonomy and manage their own finances. Is this a positive development in the struggle for equitable public services or a slippery slope toward privatization? Sometimes driven by neoliberal agendas, there are examples of corporatization that could herald a brighter future for equity-oriented public services. The Municipal Services Project, both a scholarly and ...

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Expropriation, Lawlessness, and Resistance in Yirca's Olive Groves: An Interview with Olcay Bingol and Deniz Bayram

[This interview regarding the ongoing resistance and expropriation processes in Yırca (Soma) was conducted by Boğaziçi University students Çiğdem Artık and Mustafa Kaba. The interviewees are Olcay Bingöl, who is an ecological activist resisting in solidarity with the villagers in Yırca against the expropriation of their olive groves for a coal power plant, and Deniz Bayram, who is a lawyer for Greenpeace Mediterranean, which is following the case. This interview was originally conducted for the ...

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Migration, Fisheries, and the Supremacy of European Interests in Mauritania

A breakdown recently occurred in negotiations between the European Union (EU) and Mauritania over a new fisheries protocol; the protocol is a cornerstone of relations between the two, albeit a contentious one. The previous partnership agreement (expiring at the end of 2014) contained somewhat progressive measures, thanks to the lobbying efforts of local fishermen and activists. However, these measures may now be at risk of reversal due to the breakdown in recent negotiations. Having ...

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New Texts Out Now: Myriam Ababsa, Atlas of Jordan: History, Territories, and Society

Myriam Ababsa, editor, Atlas of Jordan: History, Territories, and Society. Beirut: Presses de l’Institut Français du Proche-Orient, 2013. أطلس الأردن - التاريخ، الأرض والمجتمع Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Myriam Ababsa (MA): Jordan lacked a synthetic book about its historical resiliencies and social dynamics. The Royal Jordanian Geographical Center published the first two-volume Atlas of Jordan in 1984, but this series was dedicated to the country’s physical geography and lacked any ...

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Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs

A ministerial-level meeting in Khartoum including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to establish mechanisms for further investigations of the consequences of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) downstream has concluded, on Tuesday 26 August. The gathering took place two months after Egypt and Ethiopia had issued ajoint communique that stressed the importance of the contested water of the Nile River for the two countries and outlined general principles for future moves to resolve disagreements. The ...

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Miners and the Ottoman State: Ryan Gingeras Interviews Donald Quataert

With the official death toll having exceeded three hundred, the Soma mining disaster has raised new questions about the conditions and rights of laborers in Turkey. Amidst the darkly farcical internet circus surrounding the rescue efforts, public outcry, and official reaction to this catastrophe, one of the more surreal moments has been the Prime Minister’s citation of nineteenth-century mining disasters as examples of the natural and inevitable nature of mining accidents in general. This statement, ...

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Abdullah Al-Tariki: A Profile from the Archives

”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Abdullah Last Name: Al-Tariki Father’s Name: Hammoud Mother’s Name: Lo’lo’a Date of Birth: 1919 Date of Death: ...

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