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

[Image of a ships graveyard in Nouadhibou, Mauritania. Image by slosada/Flickr]

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 been the most vocal opponent of the equitable steps contained within the previous agreement, Spain has once again voiced its discontent following the latest collapse in ...

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

[Cover of Myriam Ababsa,

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 reference to Jordan’s social and political dynamics. In the following two decades, several publications attempted to present synthetic historical views of Jordan, but ...

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Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs

[The Nile in Egypt. Image courtesy of greenprophet.com]

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 statement was a result of an encounter between Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, during the African summit in ...

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Miners and the Ottoman State: Ryan Gingeras Interviews Donald Quataert

[Zonguldak Mines, late Ottoman period. Image via Ottoman History Podcast.]

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, which was widely interpreted as a sign of flagrant insensitivity and indifference, also inadvertently raised the question of whether Turkish workers today are subjected to ...

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Abdullah Al-Tariki: A Profile from the Archives

[From the Saudi newspaper: Al-Yaum]

”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: 1997 Nationality: Saudi Place of Birth: Al-Zalfi Category: Politician Profession: Minister   Abdullah Al-Tariki Born on 19 March 1919, in the town of ...

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ACRI Petitions High Court: Restore Water to East Jerusalem

[Logo of the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. Image from acri.org]

[The following press release was issued by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel on 25 March 2014] For some three weeks now, tens of thousands of residents of Jerusalem neighborhoods east of the Separation Barrier have been without running water. In response, local residents, community leaders and the Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) have filed a petition to the High Court of Justice. In the petition, ACRI Attorney Karen Tzafrir noted that most of the homes in the neighborhoods of Ras Hamis, Ras Shahada, Dahyat a-Salam, and the Shuafat Refugee Camp (all inside Jerusalem’s municipal boundaries) have either no water or at all or water pressure so weak ...

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Ghaniyeh bil miyah (Riche en eau): Un film sur la réforme de l’eau au Liban

[Capture d'écran du film

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Where the Tigris Flows: Water Security in Post-War Iraq and Turkey

[Hasankeyf at Dusk. Image by Julia Harte, NG Newswatch All Rights Reserved, via Ottoman History Podcast.]

Media coverage of Iraq in recent years has been dominated by the horrifying images of the American occupation, its impacts, and its aftermath. Sometimes lost among the political turmoil are the stories of how daily life continues and persists and how it is affected by the issues of the day. What will be the legacy of the past decade in the eyes of the future? One issue that has gained attention from scholars of the Middle East in recent years is ecology. Historians have come to view the relationship between human society and the environment as a critical one for understandings of the past and as an issue of the utmost relevance in a time when the problems of pollution, ...

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Drug Trafficking in Northwest Africa: The Moroccan Gateway

[Madrid regional government delagate Cristina Cifuentes, right and the chief of Spain's national police force, Ignacio Cosido second right, look at part of a haul of hashish and marijuana in Madrid, Wednesday, 26 December 2012. Spanish police have seized eleven metric tons of hashish smuggled from Morocco on trucks with tanks rigged to hide the drugs. Thirty five people were arrested in what was described as the breakup of a major smuggling ring that fed the European market. Authorities said in a statement Wednesday that the hashish was sent to a Madrid suburb for distribution to countries including Belgium, Britain, France and Holland. Image from Paul White/AP Photo.]

Since the beginning of the twenty-first century, West Africa has become a pivotal platform and crossroads for terrorism, drug and human trafficking, crime and insurgency. However, in analyzing drug trafficking in the Sahel, it is paramount to also look at the role and geographical location of Morocco, where Moroccan drug barons are increasingly linked to their African and Latin American counterparts. Indeed, the Moroccan kingdom plays an important role between the African continent and Europe. The country occupies a key geostrategic location and is a gateway between the Mediterranean region and the rest of Africa. Morocco also provides a passage to mainland Europe from ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nelida Fuccaro, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East

[Cover of

Nelida Fuccaro, editor, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East. Special issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (April 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this issue? Nelida Fuccaro (NF): It was my interest in the urban history of oil producing countries, combined with the availability of stimulating interdisciplinary research on oil cities, a topic that is relatively new to Middle Eastern studies. I find this research very appealing. First, it challenges standard portrayals of oil development throughout the region, a portrayal that was already identified and critiqued in the early 1990s by Eric Davis ...

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The New European Union and Mauritania Fisheries Agreement: Between Sustainability and Vested Interests

[European Union officials meet with their Mauritanian counterparts to discuss the renewal of a fishing pact. Image by Bakari Gueye/Magharebia.]

On 29 May, the Fisheries Committee of the European Parliament voted to reject a new European Union-Mauritania fishing agreement, negotiated in July 2012. The grounds for rejection were that the new clauses regarding licensing for European fleets to fish in Mauritanian waters would be neither profitable nor to the benefit of either party.  The waters off the coast of Mauritania are some of the richest and most biologically diverse in the world. As a result, they are of great importance to European fishing fleets, which have increasingly been forced to fish beyond their own shores due to a catastrophic depletion of fish in Europe.  Historically, the European ...

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Hydropolitics and the Hajj: An Ottoman Pre-History of Saudi Geological Imperialism, With Michael Christopher Low

[Water Distillation Machine Installed in Jidda in 1911. Source: Kasım İzzeddin, Hicaz'da teşkilât ve ıslahat-ı sıhhiye (1330).]

In Ottoman History Podcast Episode 101, Chris Gratien interviews Michael Christopher Low to discuss his current research on the history of water infrastructure, disease, and the ecological transformations of the Arabian Peninsula over the past two centuries. As Toby Jones argues in Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (2010), Saudi power has always been predicated on the state’s ability to wield technical expertise and master the environment. The two pillars of Saudi geological imperialism have been oil and water. Yet, there is a tendency to forget that despite the initial discovery of oil in 1933, oil revenues did not begin to radically alter ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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New Texts Out Now: Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond

Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Valeska Huber (VH): The origins of this book lie in my general interest in the history of mobility, particularly as it connects to justice and equality. Does globalization—in the present day or historically—mean that everyone can move at an ever-quicker pace? I wanted to unpack this story for the ...

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EIPR Report Reveals $10 Billion Lost in Corrupt Gas Contracts as Daily Blackouts Spread in Egypt

[The following report was published by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights on 13 March 2014] Egypt lost $10 billion in gas revenues from 2005-2011, according to a report launched yesterday by EIPR. Contracts signed during the Mubarak years allowed the export of billions of cubic metres of underpriced gas to Jordan, Spain and the Israeli state. Some of the individuals behind these deals were convicted of corruption. EIPR's new report uses court data to quantify the revenues lost to Egypt by ...

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New Texts Out Now: Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, Roman Stadnicki, Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula

Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, and Roman Stadnicki (eds.), "Villes et dynamiques urbaines en péninsule Arabique / Cities and Urban Dynamics in the Arabian Peninsula." Special issue of Arabian Humanities 2 (2013). Jadaliyya (J): Can you first tell us about Arabian Humanities, and why you chose to publish this collection of essays in this particular journal? Claire Beaugrand, Amélie Le Renard, and Roman Stadnicki (CB, ALR, and RS): Arabian Humanities is a newly launched, peer-reviewed ...

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Ethiopian and Yemeni Migrants under the Saudi Crackdown

[This report was originally published by Migrant Rights under the title of "Spotlight on Ethiopian and Yemeni Migrants" on 6 December 2013.] The Saudi crackdown has impacted migrants across a spectrum of nationalities, but here we focus on two groups facing particularly adverse reverberations of Saudi’s unrelenting crackdown, in part due to pre-existing predicaments and mismanaged policies of their origin countries. Saudi’s deportations compounded the pre-existing humanitarian crisis at the ...

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جولة عبر محطات خط سكة حديد درعا ـ حيفا

[مرّت في الرابع من أكتوبر/تشرين الأول ذكرى افتتاح خط السكّة الحديدية الواصلة بين المدينتين حيفا ودرعا في العام 1905. كانت انطلاقة هذا الخط في عهد الدولة العثمانية جزءاً من مشروعها الحداثي لتعزيز سلطتها عبر ربط المناطق الاستراتيجية في هذا الشق من امبراطوريتها المتداعية حينذاك. حمل القطار معه تغييرات حياتية اجتماعية واقتصادية وسياسية شتى إلى المدن والقرى التي مر بها وساهم في تطورها وتطور أهلها. إلا أنه، كما هو الحال في بقاع أخرى، كان أداة وظفها الاستعمار لبسط سيطرته ونفوذه في الأراضي التي ...

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Vineyards of Colonial Algeria: A History of French or Algerian Wine?

The history of wine production in Algeria during French colonial rule reflects the role of food and drink in enhancing, building, and contrasting national identities, and in mirroring the power relationship that connects the colonized to the colonizer. Algerian wine represents a particularly interesting example of the gap between the role that the colonizer intended for wine to serve and the ambiguous consequences of wine production in French Algeria. Wine also offers an acute illustration of the ...

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No British Petroleum Gas Project without Our Consent (Video)

The Mosireen media collective has completed a new video entitled “Idku: No BP Gas Project Without Our Consent”. It deals with the response of Egyptians from the fishing town of Idku to plans by multinational firm British Petroleum (BP) to build a gas processing plant on their shores. The video features interviews with local residents, who explain that waste dumping in Idku’s waters by oil and gas companies has driven away fish and polluted agricultural lands, threatening the livelihoods of fishermen and ...

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Theorizing the Arabian Peninsula Roundtable: Capital and Labor in the Gulf States: Bringing the Region Back In

[This is one of seven contributions in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the symbolic and material practices of knowledge production on the Arabian Peninsula. Moderated by Rosie Bsheer and John Warner, it features Toby Jones, Madawi Al-Rasheed, Adam Hanieh, Neha Vora, Nathalie Peutz, John Willis, and Ahmed Kanna.] (1) Historically, what have the dominant analytical approaches to the study of the Arabian Peninsula been? How have the difficulties of carrying out research in the Arabian Peninsula ...

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