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The Legacy of Turkish in the Armenian Diaspora

[The cover of

There we sat, the proverbial Turk and Armenian, at neighboring tables in a university student center in New Jersey. My back to his, I drew my eyes out of the book I was reading to concentrate on the voice behind me. The gliding vowels of Turkish always sound familiar in the split second it takes for my brain to mark the language as unknown. As the man shouted into his cellphone, unaware of the aspiring eavesdropper nearby, a surge of recognition startled me each time I managed to catch a hiç or a hemen. These words were, after all, part of my language too. That was the microcosmic encounter between two nations notoriously divided: a non-conversation through a handful of ...

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New Media, New Politics? Theoretical Interventions and International Invocations

[Protesters march through the financial district in New York. Photo by David Shankbone from Wikimedia Commons]

As part of the Jadaliyya Roundtable on New Media and New Politics, we offer three audio presentations from the April 2013 Westminster conference that address matters of mediation from theoretical and international perspectives. The topics presented here problematize analyses of the Arab revolutionary action and mediation by looking at these through the prism of "liberation technology," as synerigistic with South American Occupy movements, and as refractions of Marxist theorizations of digital media.  

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W Radio (Colombia) Interviews Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani on Gaza

  The W interviews Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani on the Israeli political endgame in its latest Gaza incursion. They also discussed his article "Israel Mows the Lawn."      

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Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency

[The following report was issued by the International Crisis Group (ICG) on 3 2014.]   Executive Summary Boko Haram’s four-year-old insurgency has pitted neighbour against neighbour, cost more than 4,000 lives, displaced close to half a million, destroyed hundreds of schools and government buildings and devastated an already ravaged economy in the North East, one of Nigeria’s poorest regions. It overstretches federal security services, with no end in sight, spills over to other parts of the north and risks reaching Niger and Cameroon, weak countries poorly equipped to combat a radical Islamist armed group tapping into real governance, corruption, impunity and ...

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Quick Thoughts: Vijay Prashad on India’s Parliamentary Elections

[Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader and India's next prime minister Narendra Modi on 17 May 2014. Image by Altaf Qadri via Associated Press]

  [Between 7 April and 12 May 2014, more than half a billion Indians voted to elect 543 members of the sixteenth Lok Sabha, the lower house of India’s parliament. The result, announced on 16 May, stunned many observers. For the first time since 1984, a single party–the rightist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) led by Narendra Modi–achieved an outright majority. Modi’s party garnered 282 seats in the Lok Sabha, while the outgoing Congress Party managed to retain a mere forty-four seats. Jadaliyya asked Vijay Prashad, professor of International Studies at Trinity College and the outgoing Edward W. Said Chair in American Studies at the American University of Beirut, to ...

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Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Between Political Fields

[Tempelhofer Park. Image by author.]

Sitting in Engels—one among many of Neukölln's cosy, candlelit, hipster-friendly cafés—I read on a sticker the slogan: “Tah[r]ir, Taksim, Tempelhof: Das Feld gehört uns allen!” (Tahrir, Taksim, Tempelhof: The Field belongs to us all!). Tempelhof itself is a former airport located in former West Berlin, famous for its mythological role in the Berlin airlift during the Cold War. The airport was closed in 2008, but its vast runways and grass fields were re-opened to the public in 2010. People have adopted these as a space for outdoor sports, from kiting to cycling, while some skateboarders make best use of Tempelhof’s almost perfectly flat runways by attaching wind surf ...

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Press Release: Bahrain Activists Return from Korea Seeking to Ban Tear Gas Exports

[Logo of Bahrain Watch. Image from]

[The following press release was issued by Bahrain Watch on 26 March 2014] A Bahrain Watch delegation has returned from a weeklong visit to Seoul, at the invitation of South Korean civil society activists.  The purpose of the trip was to educate the government and public about ongoing human rights violations and misuse of tear gas in Bahrain, in support of a draft legislative amendment to block arms sales to human rights violators.  The amendment, sponsored by MPs Kim Hyun and Jang Hana, would block sales like last year’s bid by Dae Kwang Chemical Corporation to export 3 million tear gas canisters to Bahrain.  That proposed sale was successfully halted ...

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MEETING POINTS 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks

[Artist Jumana Manna looks at the contradictions and possibilities of the middle class in Palestine through a historical masquerade.]

MEETING POINTS 7: Ten Thousand Wiles and a Hundred Thousand Tricks February — March 2014 Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo   Meeting Points 7 is a series of exhibitions taking place between September 2013 and June 2014 in Zagreb, Antwerp, Cairo, Hong Kong, Beirut, Vienna, and Moscow. Organized by the Young Arab Theatre Fund, Meeting Points is a biennial program of exhibitions, screenings, and performances held at several international venues over the course of several months. This latest installment of the touring festival was organized around two themes: the unfinished social and political processes of the recent Arab uprisings and the current ...

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Ghosts of Yogas Past and Present

[Adivasi Ekta Parishad (Conference of Adivasi Unity) gathering in Rajasthan, India. Photo by Satish Londhe.]

My Facebook feed has recently been saturated with posts and articles regarding yoga in the United States. It has been very frustrating to read about how white people teaching and doing yoga is apparently “traumatic” for South Asian Americans. I grew up in a village eight hours away from Mumbai. As someone from a Bahujan (lower-caste) farmer family in rural India, “yoga” was something very distant to me. It lived in the culture of the brahmanic upper middle class of urban India. Only recently, I have seen formal yoga being introduced into the vocabulary of the people I grew up with, and see “yoga mats” for sale in stores in some of the bigger towns near my village. This ...

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تأملات في الجسد

[مشهد مواجهة الجدار من

لأجسادنا وجهان/جلدان، وجه/جلد على العالم الخارجي، في الـ"هناك" البعيد القريب، حيث يتماس "الآخر" مع سطحه، فنعرف به ذواتنا وحدوده، ووجه/جلد على ذواتنا يطل في الـ"هنا"، هو الوجه القريب للمسافة البعيدة التي تهجس فيها أرواحنا بما يضج فيها وبها، هي المسافة الرمزية للأنا، فهيها –مثلًا- يرتع "إسمنا" بما يحمل لنا من خارجنا إلى داخلنا والعكس، هناك تتراتب أسئلتنا الوجودية في مقاعدها بوجاهة طفل، وفوهتها إلينا، وإن أخطأت إلى الـ"هناك". ************************************* بقراءة بسيطة –وإن مختزلة كانت- لأعمال أحد أشهر الفنانيين الأوروبيين في فترة "مابعد الحرب" وهو إيف كلاين (بالفرنسية إييف كلييه) 1928 – 1962 والذي يعد ...

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حوار مع ديبيش شاكرابرتي القانون هو الذي يحمي الأسس الحقيقية للحداثة

[المؤرخ الهندي ديبيش شاكرابرتي]

ديبيش شاكرابرتي Dipesh Chakrabarty من مفكري الحداثة وهو يدعو إلى فهم جديد لها في سياقاتها المختلفة، ويدعو أيضاً إلى "حداثة بديلة" يتحدث عنها باستفاضة في كتابه ”مواطن الحداثة: مقالات في صحوة دراسات التابع“، الذي صدر حديثاً في ترجمة عربية لمجيب الرحمان وصدر عن ”كلمة“. بالإضافة إلى ذلك، هو مؤرخ متخصّص في تاريخ الأديان، ودرس العنف الطائفي الذي عايشه شخصياً في الهند، كما أنه مفكر يعيد النظر في المقولات السائدة ويفكك التمركز الأوربي فاتحاً الحداثة على إعادة التشكل الكوني خارج المركزية الأوربية. ديبيش شاكرابرتي أستاذ التاريخ واللغات والحضارات في شرق آسيا في جامعة شيكاغو، من مؤلفاته كذلك:  ”إعادة التفكير بتاريخ الطبقة العاملة: البنغال: ...

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A Portrait of Kuwaiti Artist Monira Al Qadiri

[Much of Monira Al Qadiri's work is inspired by research on the aesthetics of sadness in the Middle East. Image copyright the artist.]

 A Portrait of Kuwaiti Artist Monira Al Qadiri Monira Al Qadiri's diverse background and personal history are reflected in much of her work, yet in the most unexpected ways. Her parents--an ex-diplomat and a visual artist--had lived in Russia before she was born in Senegal. Al Qadiri grew up in Kuwait, and at the age of sixteen set off to Japan to study animation. She now lives in Beirut, Lebanon. Al Qadiri has spent years studying the aesthetics of sadness in Eastern cultures. Her work in animation, film, performance, and mixed media continues to evoke an eerie sense of humor while reflecting on her surroundings and the region's history and various social norms, ...

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The Growing Phenomenon of Pro-Israeli Advocacy in Chinese Academia

Over the last decade, a network of loosely affiliated pro-Israeli organizations—embracing a number of think tanks, universities, lobbyist groups, foundations, activist-scholars as well as donors—have successfully established a foothold in Chinese academia. The aim of these groups in China has been to provide a platform for espousing hasbara—a Hebrew term for “explanation” denoting the utilization of diplomatic, media, and political mediums to clarify and defend Israel’s positions and actions—that would ...

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Kenya: On Edge, Rights at Risk

Kenya is in a bad place. Violent attacks from Al-Shabaab, an Islamist group out of Somalia and an Al Qaeda affiliate, and smaller violent attacks and conflicts involving known and unknown sources in rural and urban settings, as well as a rise in general street level crime, have created an insecure, anxious, and deeply divided population. They have also created a problematic context for the protection of democratic rights. Last September Al-Shabaab said it executed the attack on the upscale Westgate Mall ...

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Press Release: Librarians and Archivists with Palestine Launches New Website and Solidarity Network

[The following press release was issued by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine on 5 June 2014.] On the 47th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, and after 66 years of dispossession of the Palestinian people, a group of librarians and archivists is launching a network of information workers in solidarity with the Palestinian struggle for self-determination. In summer 2013, information workers from the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Trinidad & Tobago, and Palestine ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kimberly Wedeven Segall, Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa

Kimberly Wedeven Segall, Performing Democracy in Iraq and South Africa: Gender, Media, and Resistance. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kimberly Wedeven Segall (KWS): The origins of this book began twenty years ago, when I lived for a year in northern Iraq, recording the stories of Kurdish guerrilla fighters and female survivors of the Al-Anfal, while living in Shaqlawa. Many survivors spoke of the role of song, communal dances, and poetry as part ...

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Sharjah Art Foundation's March Project

March Project March - June 2014 Bait Al Shamsi, SAF Art Spaces Sharjah, UAE   The March Project is a group exhibition, showcasing seven newly commissioned, site-specific artworks. The show is the result of an educational residency program for early career artists that the Sharjah Art Foundation launched for the first time at the end of 2013; it opened at SAF Art Spaces in parallel to the annual March Meeting. The residency program aims to offer artists opportunities to research, realize, and ...

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Partha Chatterjee on 'Nationalism, Internationalism, and Cosmopolitanism: Some Lessons from Modern Indian History'

On 3 April 2014, Partha Chatterjee gave a lecture on "Nationalism, Internationalism, and Cosmopolitanism: Some Lessons from Modern Indian History" at the London School of Economics. The lecture inaugurated the Internationalism, Cosmopolitanism and the Politics of Solidarity research group convened by Ayça Çubukçu at LSE's Centre for the Study of Human Rights. Below is the audio recording of that event. The lecture deals with four strands of trans-regional ...

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New Texts Out Now: India: Wounded States (Special Issue of Warscapes)

India: Wounded States. Special issue of Warscapes, edited by Bhakti Shringarpure and Aruni Kashyap. February 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue? Warscapes (W): Since the inception of Warscapes we have had a stream of submissions from India that recount experiences of military occupation and state violence in places like Assam and Kashmir. Meanwhile, if you look through the pages of most western mainstream media, as well as Indian outlets, they are projecting a ...

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New Texts Out Now: John Tofik Karam, On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972

John Tofik Karam, "On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972." Journal of Latin American Studies 45.5 (November 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? John Tofik Karam (JTK): I didn’t set out to do the kind of research that resulted in this article. I was on leave in 2008-9, during which time I worked in some archives in Asunción, Paraguay for my current book project on Arab diasporic networks at the ...

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العمل المشترك بين القوى اليسارية والعلمانية والديمقراطية

يتم الفصل في المجتمعات الحديثة ما بين الذاكرة وعلم التاريخ، الذي أصبح هو الذي يحدد ويفسر أحداث الماضي. وينتقد الفيلسوف نيتشه، المؤرخين الذين ينتهجون ذاكرة انتقائية في ٳختيارهم، فقط لما يعتبرونه مفيداً للمجتمع وللإنسان. فقد شهد القرن العشرين اهتماماً ملحوظاً بمسألة الذاكرة. فبحسب أبحاث سيجموند فرويد، فإن (الذاكرة الواعية) لا تمثل أبداً ماضي الإنسان، حيث يمكننا الوصول ٳلى الحقائق فقط عن طريق ٳعادة ترتيب بعض التجارب المكبوتة. ومن ناحية أخرى أدت الأحداث العالمية في القرن العشرين وبالتحديد بعد الحرب العالمية ...

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On Protests in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Quickly and Darkly

Two Vignettes Conversation One was with the waiter in a large Sarajevo hotel, where we were generally a bit sheepish to be attending our conference (the deciding factor was that it was big enough for all of the participants, the down side was its odd business history and the fact that the main conference room was also where Radovan Karadžić liked to hold his soirees with the media). A colleague and I had heard that the employees of the hotel had not been paid for several months, so we asked. It was ...

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A Bomb, With Ribbon Around It

South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, A Bomb, With Ribbon Around It. Queens Museum, Queens, New York, 14 December 2013 – 18 January 2014. A Bomb, With a Ribbon Around It, at the Queens Museum through 18 January 2014, is an eclectic collection of contemporary works from the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective, more commonly known as SAWCC. The show is part of SAWCC’s ongoing work—since its inception sixteen years ago as a grassroots, feminist arts collective in New York—to magnify the voices of ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ralf Brand and Sara Fregonese, The Radicals’ City: Urban Environment, Polarization, Cohesion

Ralf Brand and Sara Fregonese, The Radicals’ City: Urban Environment, Polarization, Cohesion. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sara Fregonese (SF): The book is based on the research project “The Built Environment: Mirror and Mediator of Radicalization?” which ran from 2008 to 2010 at the University of Manchester, UK. It builds strongly on the significant amount of primary research data that the project produced. Our aim was to tell about radicalization and ...

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