From the Editors
Over the years it seems like every time I visited Iraq I had to remove names of friends or contacts from my mobile phone because they were dead. Perhaps so death seemed as foretold as that of Abu Omar, an Awakening leader I met in Baghdad's Aadhamiya district in 2009. His predecessor (also called Abu Omar) was killed by a suicide bomber. When I first met Abu Omar he seemed confident and marched around like the local warlord that he was. In February of 2010 I had to meet him in hiding, his son sneaking me through an alley. When I returned in August of 2010 he was dead, shot by a sniper, replaced by a younger man called Abu Amna, whose life expectancy was sure to be ...Keep Reading »
Looking at recent events in Iran, we may contrast the predominant views of Green Movement activists participating inside Iran and the attitudes of many Iranians observing these events from abroad. Iranians inside Iran show no strong interest in defining the movement in totalizing terms as either Islamic or secular, and nor do they oppose the movement to secularism or Islam. By contrast, many Iranian intellectuals and activists outside of Iran (and other interested intellectuals) are visibly eager to place the Iranian democratic movement within one of the two either/or categories. What is surprisingly missing from our discussion is the call for tolerance, inclusion, and ...Keep Reading »
The color of the Jaffa sea was reflected in his blue eyes so that they were even bluer. He had six decades behind him and was in his seventh, but was still laboring as a construction worker in order to pay for his youngest son's tuition at Tel-Aviv University. The campus of Tel-Aviv university is in the Ramat Aviv area or, as he calls it, Al-Shaykh Mwannis. Al-Shaykh Mwannis is a name engraved in Abu Hasan's memory. Whenever he mentions the university's name he mentions it, as if it were a synonym. So many names! Some are engraved in memory, others on street signs. Palestinians in Israel live between two names. Names that once were, and names that refer now to all that ...Keep Reading »
Twenty-five journalists flew on a chartered plane down to Guantánamo Bay on October 22, 2010, to report on the case of Omar Khadr, the Canadian 24-year-old who has been in US custody for one-third of his life. We would have been on the island (Cuba) a week earlier but for a sudden change of plan—again. The original original plan, let’s call it Khadr Trial 1.0, had a start date of August 12, and indeed the trial did start on that day. But at 4:00 p.m., Khadr’s military defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapsed in the courtroom. The trial was suspended. Khadr Trial 2.0: The Resumption would have begun on October 18. But on October 14, word came down: a plea ...Keep Reading »
At one level, Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision, to render coercively procured evidence inadmissible in courts, can be read as unremarkable. After all, the ruling naturally extends from the fifth-amendment right that protects against self-incrimination. Public responses to Kaplan’s ruling, however, suggest otherwise; the decision seems to have come as a surprise to folks on all sides of the political spectrum, suggesting that many have become accustomed to the idea that terrorism-related issues elicit ‘exceptional’ responses, all too often arrived at outside of and in exception to the rule of law. These reactions might also be explained by the fact that, just a few months ...Keep Reading »
Railroad The glass of the subway windows is foggy. Shapes escape across it, as if from a demon, and are sorted out behind us as “bygones.” The shrieking of the wheels on the rail. The appearance of the next station, at the bend of a tunnel full of wailing. A few vagabonds on the platform gulping alcohol from bottles hidden in paper bags. It is the same void rising from night’s end in any city overstuffed with the living and the dead: Paris, Berlin, London, New York. The end of the west. The end of the line. The end rail. A Pouch of Dirt Um Muhammad, the fortuneteller, the woman ...Keep Reading »
On October 1, 2010, President Barack Obama issued an official apology for secret US medical experiments in the 1940s in which 696 Guatemalan prisoners were infected with syphilis and gonorrhea to test the effectiveness of penicillin. The objective of these experiments, according to Susan Reverby, the Wellesley College medical historian who uncovered documents about this study, was to keep American soldiers safe from sexually transmitted diseases. In a joint statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said, “Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible ...Keep Reading »
Fulfillment I used to, I often used to hope as autumn painted forests with gold walnut brown or muted crimson, I so hoped to see Iraq’s face in the morning to loosen water’s braids over me, to satisfy its mermaids with salty tears, to float over Abu l-Khaseeb’s rivulets to ask the trees: Do you, trees, know where my father’s grave is? . . . I often used to hope! Let it be . Let autumn finish its cycle. Iraq’s trees will remain naked. Iraq’s trees will remain high. Iraq’s trees will be secretly in the company of my father’s face. London, 5-21-2003 Conversation As fall winds wailed in the surrounding hills he ...Keep Reading »
We don’t recall how our day started, but we do remember being out of the house with none of our usual spots in sight. Everything was different that day: the number of people in the street, the look in their eyes, and the closed-up stores. Amman isn’t the place to take big risks. The consequences, especially for those of us without wasta, would have been severe should we have been caught. Even without wasta, there was sure to be family drama as well. They always suspected, but never knew for sure. That day, we were in withdrawal and badly in need of a fix. There was nothing to do but get in the car and go get one. She was driving and the place was close. ...Keep Reading »
In the first three posts (1, 2, 3), I discussed two significant liberalization phases and the succession struggle/period. As promised, this is the last post where I discuss the most recent phase of liberalization as a detour into the structural limitations of change and the predicament of independent opposition. Since the adoption of the “Social Market Economy” at the 10th Ba`thist Regional Command Conference in 2005, the economic “face” of Syria has begun to change decisively, no matter what observers, including myself, might say about the nature of the transformation. What we have been witnessing since 2005 is irreversible (less so in the “civil society” sphere, ...Keep Reading »
They tortured the corpse
until dawn broke down
and the rooster rose up in protest.
They thrust nails in its flesh.
They whipped it with electric cables.
They dangled it from the ceiling fan.
When the torturers were finally tired
and took a break,
the corpse moved its little finger,
opened its wounded eyes,
and muttered something.
Was it asking for water?
Did it perhaps ask for bread?
Was it cursing them or asking for more?
ما يحدث الآن في مصر يتجاوز إشكالية التضييق على الإعلام بمراحل حملت الأسابيع القليلة الماضية العديد من نذر الشؤم التي تؤكد أن مساحة التعبير السياسي المستقل في مصر تدخل الآن مرحلة مقلقة للغاية. جاءنا النذير الأول عندما أكدت أحزاب المعارضة عزمها على المشاركة في الانتخابات المقبلة، وهو ما يعني المشاركة في مسرحية هزلية ومزورة بشكل غير مسبوق، وفي ذلك من تزوير للوعي كان يجب على أمثالهم التعفف عنه. وجاء النذير الثاني عندما باع <<عصام إسماعيل فهمي>> صحيفة <<الدستور>> لتحالف من رجال الأعمال يقوده الدكتور <<السيد البدوي>>، رئيس حزب الوفد. ثم توالت نذر الشؤم بسرعة مذهلة لم تتح للمعارضة المستقلة أي فرصة لالتقاط الأنفاس، فما بالكم ...Keep Reading »
The only thing more sickening than the United States cracking down on groups/human beings it does not like in the name of fighting terrorism is when Arab regimes do it. The same goes for Israel except that one should be increasingly prepared to expect literally anything, no matter how morally or politically reprehensible, from its governments. In any case, for those interested in the struggle for any number, or kind, of rights in the Arab world, that phony specter has come to reek of hypocrisy and ...Keep Reading »
In my new book “Aftermath: Following the Bloodshed of America’s Wars in the Muslim World,” I look at sectarianism, civil war, occupation, resistance, terrorism and counterinsurgency from Iraq to Lebanon to Afghanistan. While half of the book looks at how the civil war in Iraq began and how it came to an end, other chapters look at the Taliban, the American military in Afghanistan and the Afghan police. The two chapters I am proudest of however deal with Lebanon, where I lived with my wife and son during ...Keep Reading »
The hallway felt increasingly smaller, tighter. Every minute drew in the baby blue trimmed walls closer to one another compressing me and my breath in between their administration. I tried to distract myself in David Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism—yes uneven geographical development in China, Deng like Reagan like Thatcher...accumulation of wealth or was it capital accumulation or does he mean all out theft? The theories couldn’t embrace my imagination which fought against itself as it flew to the ...Keep Reading »
Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal irrespective of the manner in which it is imposed because a blockade is an act of war and an occupying power cannot declare war upon the territory it occupies. To do so would conflate the right to initiate war (jus ad bellum) with the laws of occupation (jus in bello) and render useless the distinction of the permissible use of force in each case. This analysis is different in kind from the one that characterizes the blockade as illegal for its contravention of ...Keep Reading »
In the last decade, Mecca, Islam’s birthplace, has been the target of some of the world’s largest commercial development schemes. Over one hundred buildings are under construction around the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Ḥarām) and will soon replace the historical, architectural and socioeconomic landscape of this rapidly developing city. Whole neighborhoods have been completely gutted out, their residents displaced to the outskirts of Mecca and other neighboring cities.[i] The once-heroic mountains on which ...Keep Reading »
My research and writing tends to focus on gross injustices, specifically on gross crimes—war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity and genocide. The perpetration of most kinds of crimes—and certainly these—is, by definition, “legal injustice.” While we may quibble about and legitimately criticize various standards and models of criminal justice, when it comes to gross crimes, as I argue here, the prosecution of perpetrators is an essential if elusive means to produce “justice.” To tip my hand to where ...Keep Reading »
حاضرون غائبون: الفلسطينيون في الداخل (١) وكأن لون البحر اليافاوي انعكس في لون عينيه فازدادت زرقتهما زرقة. قطع عقده السادس واقترب من السابع وما زال يعمل في البناء ليؤمن لإبنه الأصغر الذي يدرس في جامعة تل أبيب جزء من تكاليف التعليم الباهظة. جامعة تل ابيب الواقعة في منطقة رمات افيف، الشيخ مونس. الشيخ مونس إسم محفور في ذاكرة أبو حسن ويذكره كلما ذكر إسم الجامعة، حتى ليبدو وكأنه إسم مرادف لإسم الجامعة. أسماء وأسماء، بعضها محفور على اللافتات والبعض الآخر في الذاكرة. بين إسمين يعيش الفلسطينيون في ...Keep Reading »
Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. Much of the implicit political background—the staging-point—of Saba Mahmood’s highly acclaimed ethnography of the women’s mosque movement in Egypt, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, is laid out in the brief preface to the book. In a couple of pages, Mahmood discusses the sense of embattlement and alienation experienced by an entire generation of ...Keep Reading »
[Update: See Arabic translation below . . . by popular demand!] 10- Upon hearing Ahmadinejad’s footsteps in Lebanon, Ariel “Arik” Sharon rises from his coma long enough to learn that Iran is still on the road to becoming the second country in the Middle East to have a nuclear weapon after Israel. He has another stroke. Round two for Ahmadinejad. 9-Upon meeting Ahmadinejad at a fundraiser for Hezbollah, Lebanese-American Miss USA 2010 Rima Faqih assassinates him, flies back to Iran and stages a coup ...Keep Reading »
Review of "Entrapped" (Produced by Anjali Kamat and Jacquie Soohen) The new documentary “Entrapped,” which was aired as a special report by Democracy Now! on October 6 and is due to be released on DVD by Big Noise Films, is that rare documentary that not only informs us about an issue, but in doing so, actually transforms our understanding of this issue. “Entrapped” is a thirty-five-minute documentary that encapsulates months of investigations and interviews by the filmmakers — Anjali ...Keep Reading »
For four days last week, I drank my morning coffee while gazing at Palestine. I was spending the weekend with friends at a house in a border village between Lebanon and what is now the State of Israel. Every morning, I walked from the bed I was sleeping in, to the kitchen to make a cup a coffee, then out onto the balcony where there was a cool breeze. The village is old, its remaining permanent inhabitants are mostly old, but its roads are new. The asphalt is still black in its newness, and its geometric ...Keep Reading »
[See Part 1 here] For a literary editor, Chotiner is quite selective in his application of interpretative skills. When the Granta contributors touch on what we are already programmed to understand as the ills of Pakistani society—misogyny, for example, or religious fundamentalism—he is fully prepared to accept this as a transparent rendering of “the crueler, more vicious aspects of Pakistani society.” When the same writers represent the widespread discontent with the role played by U.S. foreign ...Keep Reading »
Hot on Facebook
Why is NATO conducting an aerial campaign in Libya that is low-key not only in comparison with the air component of the war to grab similarly oil-rich Iraq, but even compared to the air war for economically unimportant Kosovo?click | email | tweet
Jad NavigationView Full Map, Topics, and Countries »
From Jadaliyya Reports
Jadalicious / جدلشس
Latest EntriesView All Entries »
- Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 18)
- فرانكشتاين في بغداد
- O.I.L. Media Roundup (17 June)
- هل يمكن تطوير الجدل حول المثلية الجنسية؟
- Resisting Tear Gas Together
- معتقلو موريتانيا في غوانتانامو
- Last Week on Jadaliyya (June 10-16)
- Will the Presidential Elections “Cure the Pain” of the Iranian People?
- الانترنت والعولمة الثقافية
- #resistankara: Notes of a Woman Resisting
- It Is About the Park: A Struggle for Turkey’s Cities
- 'Ottomanalgia' and the Protests in Turkey
- إصلاح بروتوكول باريس في عامه العشرين: أسئلة وأجوبة لإرضاء الإصلاحي العنيد
- Report from Istanbul: Koray Caliskan on Democracy Now
- Syria Media Roundup (June 13)
- Maghreb Media Roundup (June 14)
- Debunking the Myth of the Zionist Left
- Iran’s Presidential Elections: The Live Embers of a Democratic Opposition Glow
- Sultan of Sultans
- On the Margins Roundup (June)