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Protests-Revolts

Turkey after Gezi: An Interview with Simten Cosar

[Simten Coşar. Image via the Red Quill Books website.]

As developments in Turkey continue to take shape in the aftermath of Gezi and Erdoğan’s Presidential election, Gülden Ozcan interviews Simten Coşar (co-editor with Gamze Yücesan-Özdemir of Silent Violence: Neoliberalism, Islamic Politics and the AKP Years in Turkey (Red Quill Books, 2012) about these turbulent times. Interest in the AKP and its integration of neoliberal and Islamic politics into continued electoral success has garnered increasing scrutiny both domestically and internationally. Silent Violence (Red Quill Books, 2012) was recently published in Turkish. Given recent developments, especially after Gezi, we thought it is time to revisit the current social ...

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Yemen: The Peace and National Partnership Agreement

[Jamal Benomar. Image from Wikipedia.]

[What follows is the text—taken from the announcement by Jamal Benomar—of the Peace and National Partnership Agreement signed by representatives of Ansarallah, the umbrella organization of the Houthi movement, and the leadership of major political factions in Yemen, including the sitting government. It was signed late on 21 September 2014 after Ansarallah militarily seized control of Sanaa. It has been “welcomed” by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the General-Secretary of the United Nations.] The Peace and National Partnership Agreement 21 September 2014 Preamble: Pursuant to the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference, which have been agreed upon ...

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Breaking: Yemeni Political Alliances Shift as Houthis Capture Sanaa

On 21 September 2014, the Houthi movement militarily won control of the Yemeni state. This was quickly followed by a Peace and National Partnership Agreement, signed by most significant political players, which will have serious implications for the structure of national politics going forward. I interviewed John Warner, Co-Editor of Jadaliyya's Arabian Peninsula Page. He analyses the local and regional dynamics that led to these important political developments and their future implications. This interview is part of the Arab Studies Institute and its partners' upcoming Audio Journal Project, in progress.

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Behind the Bahraini Revolution: An Interview with Maryam Al-Khawaja

[Protesters in Bahrain stand on the ground they were evicted from just three days before. Image from Flickr.]

[This interview was originally published in December 2012, a month before Maryam Al-Khawaja was last able to enter Bahrain. She attempted to go back to Bahrain later in August 2013, but was prevented from boarding her flight due to a government order from Bahrain. Recently, on 30 August 2014, Maryam made another attempt to enter Bahrain to visit her ailing father, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja, who is on hunger strike. Upon her arrival, Bahraini authorities seized her passport, claimed she was not a Bahraini citizen, and detained her. Since then, Maryam Al-Khawaja has been in jail at the Isa Town Detention Center for Women. She is facing three charges: insulting the king; taking ...

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Roundtable Introduction: New Media, New Politics? Revolutions in Theory and Practice

[Photo from Malmo Univesity Blog. Courtesy of Ahmed Alwaeli (Creative Commons)]

In April of 2013, the Arab Media Center at the University of Westminster's CAMRI hosted its annual Arab media studies conference under the title of “New Media, New Politics?” At a critical juncture in the progress of the region’s uprisings, the common denominator at the event was (the need for) a prevailing dialectical understanding of the Arab revolutions, namely as a process demonstrating important, and often intractable, contradictions. As some forms of knowledge production are challenged by this paradigmatic shift, others are fostered and furthered, therefore making these dramatic transformations difficult to understand at the levels of theory and practice. Studies ...

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Activism on the Move: Mediating Protest Space in Egypt with Mobile Technology

[Graffiti in Cairo depicting a television with the text

The 2011 revolutionary uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa abruptly captured global attention as the world was drawn breathlessly into the tumult with a profusion of media content, from Tweets to amateur video footage. Amidst the media blitz, analyses yielded two conflated and reactionary narratives of events. One contended that the popular protests of the so-called “Arab Spring” were wholly unexpected, a shocking diversion from the familiar politics of the Middle East in a seeming contravention of the reigning global political apathy at the turn of the millennium. The other narrative pivoted on the role of digital technology, which was quickly cast as a ...

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Keynote Address: Some Reflections on the Role of Media in Egypt’s January 25th Revolution

[Tahrir Square during the January 25 Revolution. Image from Wikimedia Commons]

  [Walter Armbrust delivering the Keynote Address at the Westminster Conference] This lecture delves into the situational and historic dynamics that undergirded the media practices surrounding the January 25 revolution in Egypt. The notion of social revolution is unpacked to evaluate its application to the Egyptian revolutionary context. By looking at the cultural production of revolution–from rap songs against Mubarak to online memes against the Morsi government–the social mobilization is seen as more than just bodies in the street. Confrontations against the architecture of the state, particularly the attacks on police stations across the country, are addressed ...

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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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Palestinianness on Facebook: Portrayals, Profiles, and Encoding the Self

[The viral solidarity with Palestinian prisoners campaign design. By Hafez Omar]

I would like to think that we are not just the people seen or looked at in photographs: we are also looking at our observers….we too are scrutinizing, assessing, judging. We are more than someone’s object. We do more than stand passively in front of whoever…has wanted to look at us. -- Edward Said, After the Last Sky  Over the course of several decades in the Palestinian history, Palestinians have been the subject of thousands if not millions of photos, frequently taken by others: the UN, Israel or Arab States, and nongovernmental organizations. Some of these photos became what Edward Said described as” iconic” images in both Western and Arab ...

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Egypt Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (August 2014)

[Raba'a sit-in during the 14 August 2013 dispersal. Photo by Amsg07 from Wikimedia Commons]

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on Egypt. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of Egypt-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to post@jadaliyya.com [click “Submissions” on the main page for more information]. Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs Sharif S. Elmusa argues that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia ...

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Anthropologists In Defense of Intellectual and Academic Freedom at U. Illinois

Dear Chancellor Wise,  We write as anthropologists to regretfully inform you that we will refuse to speak as guest lecturers or participants in public events at the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign until you reverse your decision to prevent Professor Steven Salaita’s appointment to the Department of American Indian Studies at the UIUC. We find your decision to block Professor Salaita’s appointment disturbing for a number of reasons. Like many colleagues in various academic and professional fields, we agree with legal scholars who maintain that your decision is a violation both of academic freedom and of freedom of speech, values that we as academics hold to ...

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One Year after Raba'a: An Interview with Adam Sabra and Mona El Ghobashy

[Raba'a sit-in during the 14 August 2013 dispersal. Photo by Amsg07 from Wikimedia Commons]

Egypt has been the subject of media attention for its role as a mediator between Hamas and Israel during negotiations to end the military assault on Gaza. By contrast, Egypt's own very serious political strife has been largely neglected by the international media. Last week marked the one-year anniversary of the Raba'a massacre of 14 August 2014, during which at least 817 supporters of ousted Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi were killed by security forces. According to the Associated Press, at least ten protesters were killed by Egyptian police on the anniversary of the brutal dispersal. This coincides with the release of a year-long investigation by Human Rights Watch ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Q&A: What's behind MB leaders leaving Qatar? Ismaeel Naar argues that a shift in Qatar’s foreign policy, in order to end ...

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اليمن: نص اتفاق السلم والشراكة الوطنية

[نص الاتفاق من إعلام جمال بنعمر] اتفاق السلم والشراكة الوطنية 
 21 أيلول (سبتمبر) 2014 مقدمة
: بناء على مخرجات مؤتمر الحوار الوطني الشامل، التي توافقت عليها جميع المكونات اليمنية والتي أرست أسس بناء دولة يمنية اتحادية ديموقراطية جديدة مبنية على مبادىء سيادة القانون والمواطنة المتساوية واحترام حقوق الإنسان والحكم الرشيد، والتزاماً بوحدة اليمن وسيادته واستقلاله وسلامة أراضيه، واستجابة لمطالب الشعب في التغيير السلمي وإجراء إصلاحات اقتصادية ومالية وإدارية وتحقيق الرفاه الاقتصادي، وخدمة للمصلحة ...

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أسباب الثورة في البحرين: حوار مع مريم الخواجة

  نُشرت المقابلة بالأصل في كانون الأول\ديسمبر ٢٠١٢، قبل شهر من تمكن مريم الخواجة من الدخول إلى البحرين في المرة الأخيرة. حاولت أن تعود إلى البحرين فيما بعد في آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٣، لكنها مُنعت من الصعود إلى الطائرة بسبب أمر حكومي من البحرين. مؤخراً، في ٣٠ آب\أغسطس ٢٠١٤ قامت مريم بمحاولة أخرى للدخول إلى البحرين لزيارة والدها المريض، عبد الهادي الخواجة، المضرب عن الطعام. لدى وصولها، صادرت السلطات البحرينية جواز سفرها، وزعمت أنها ليست مواطنة بحرينية وسجنتها. مذاك، سُجنت مريم الخواجة في سجن بلدة عيسى ...

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New Texts Out Now: Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet

Linda Herrera, Revolution in the Age of Social Media: The Egyptian Popular Insurrection and the Internet. London and New York: Verso, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Linda Herrera (LH): In the months prior to the Arab uprisings, I had been conducing research on Egypt’s “wired generation”—their social media habits, ways of doing politics, and networks. When it became known that Egypt’s popular mobilization on 25 January 2011 was launched from a Facebook page, I literally found myself ...

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The Built-In Obsolescence of the Facebook Leader

In times like these, when the hopes of the 2011 Egyptian revolution seem to have faded away, it is imperative to understand what went wrong, and in particular what went wrong in the new forms of digitally supported organizations that were displayed in the course revolution and that became a source of inspiration for other activists around the world. The enthusiastic use of social networking sites among Egyptian activists has been widely celebrated, and to a great extent rightly so, given the importance ...

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The BBC and User-Generated Content: How Syrian Grassroots Information Shaped Newsroom Roles

It’s probably the first big story I can remember where UGC has become a real factor in reporting, I think before that the UGC Hub was a department which was a bit unclear how you would best use them...But with Syria we were so exposed out there with not many people we had to use something. And they would become integral to reporting basically because they were only the source of getting some idea of what was happening.[1] It’s just after two o'clock on the morning of 21 August 2013 and in BBC ...

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Special Address: Digital Media and the Freedom Struggle

  [Jillian York giving the Special Address at the Westminster Conference] The Special Address tackled the most salient conditions in the region that precipitated the revolutions and the role the new media actors played in galvanizing support for these movements. While states have become increasingly adept at undermining freedom of expression, the press, and the Internet, inventive ways continue to be developed to circumvent the tightening spaces of dissent.  

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The Meme-ing of Revolution: Creativity, Folklore, and the Dislocation of Power in Egypt

It was 20 January 2011, just five days before a major protest called for by many youth and opposition groups in Egypt, when Ali came across a hilarious image on Facebook. One of his friends had shared a photoshopped painting depicting Mubarak atop a majestic stallion as if marching into battle. The then president’s face sported the same cheeky imbecilic smile for which he had come to be known and ridiculed privately. Ali recalls laughing out loud at the absurdity of the image, especially since the ...

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Online and Offline Maneuverings in Syria's Counter-Revolution

The revolutionary advance [is] made headway not by its immediate tragic-comic achievements, but on the contrary by the creation of a powerful, united counter-revolution, by the creation of an opponent, by the fighting of which the party of revolt first ripened into a real revolutionary party. —Karl Marx In the past three years masses of Syrians have engaged in undermining the regime’s legitimacy, they have done this from physical places—squares, churches, mosques, campuses—and virtual spaces—the ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 2)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia Alastair Crooke argues that ...

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An Open Letter

At 4 p.m. today, I celebrated with my colleagues my last meal in prison.  I have decided—when I saw my father fighting against death locked in a body that was no longer subject to his will—to start an open hunger strike until I achieve my freedom. The well-being of my body is of no value while it remains subject to an unjust power in an open-ended imprisonment not controlled by the law or any concept of justice. I've had the thought before, but I put it aside. I did not want to place yet another ...

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The Terror Metanarrative and the Rabaa Massacre

Just after dawn prayers on the morning of 14 August 2013, Egyptian security forces raided a large sit-in based at Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiyya Square and another at al-Nahda Square. Six weeks earlier, military leader and Minister of Defense Abdel Fattah al-Sisi staged a coup to remove Egypt’s first democratically elected president, the Muslim Brotherhood’s Mohamed Morsi, from office. In response, hundreds of thousands of Egyptians across the country congregated in public spaces to protest the coup and the ...

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