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Protests-Revolts

New Texts Out Now: Bedross Der Matossian, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire

[Cover of Bedross Der Matossian,

Bedross Der Matossian, Shattered Dreams of Revolution: From Liberty to Violence in the Late Ottoman Empire. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Bedross Der Matossian (BDM): I have always been interested in the history of the late Ottoman period, in particular the era of Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) and the Second Constitutional Period (1908-1918). Most of the scholarship about the period in the past has been written from the perspective of the dominant ruling elite/political center. It is only in the past decade that we see new studies that provide a broader picture of the period by incorporating non-dominant groups. It ...

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الثورات العربية في سياق الربيع العربي والديمقراطية

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كثر الحديث عما سمي بالربيع العربي والذي يعبر في حقيقته عن سلسلة الثورات العربية السياسية التي اجتاحت أقطاراً عديدة في بلاد الشرق الأوسط العربية ضد ديكتاتورية الحكومات، انطلاقاً من تونس ثم مصر ثم ليبيا وأقطار عربية أخرى أبرزها سوريا التي لا تزال تشغل حيزاً في الإعلام الدولي حيث لا يعرف الكثير كيف ستنتهي هذه الثورة داخلياً، على الرغم من أن آثارها خارجياً أصبحت واضحة للعيان، فمنها انطلقت داعش وتوسعت داخل العراق لتحتل أراض واسعة تمتد عبر حدود البلدين، وتؤسس لكيان يعرف باسم" الدولة الاسلامية"، وقد دفعت أخيرا هذه الخطوة، متبوعة بسياسة الكيان العنيفة في إدارة الأراضي التي يسيطر عليها، قوى التحالف الأمريكي الأوروبي للتصدي إليه باعتباره خطراً كبيراً يهدد الإنسانية ...

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On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere!

[Image via mustereklerimiz.org]

[This statement, by Müşterekler (Our Commons), was first published in Turkish on 28 April 2015. The original version can be found here. It was translated into English by Cihan Tekay.] We Have Been Here for a Thousand Years! On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere! Look there, there, under that tree There, under that tree We are the there, rising from nature in that square. Look closely there, at that square, and you will see... Because we have been here for almost a thousand years!  Our voices, which have been bottled up in factories, offices, campuses, and homes, are filling the streets to the brim. Our anger resonates in Soma, Yırca, Akkuyu, ...

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Setups and Slander against Morocco's Dissidents: Sex, Drugs, Money, and Videos

[Image of a 2011 protest in Morocco. Image by Imrane Binoual/Wikimedia Commons]

A series of cases have touched resistance leaders and activists who participated or supported the 20 February Movement, from al-Adl wal-Ihsane (AWI) Islamists to members of secular institutions. Sex, financial, or drug scandals: for each activist, a "crime" was deployed to play on a taboo of their ideology in order to discredit and undermine the Moroccan version of the "Arab Spring."  On 17 March, a dozen plainclothes police officers arrested Hicham Mansouri, a journalist and activist with the Moroccan Association of Investigative Journalism (known by its French acronym as AMJI). The door to his apartment was violently smashed. He was beaten on ...

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What Brings them There? Reflections on the Persisting Symbolism of Tahrir Square

Cairo’s Tahrir Square presents a riddle. This irregular expanse of land and surrounding building surfaces has acquired a central symbolic place in Egyptians’ collective memory, demonstrated by its recurrent use for decades as the primary site for voicing people’s grievances and proclamations. To its romantics and its detractors, what happens in or around Tahrir Square remains crucial as an index to some perceived collectivity. Despite being a twentieth-century addition to a city with a much longer history, and despite the presence of older squares with central locations and considerable sizes (including Maydan Ramsis and Maydan Abdin), Maydan al-Tahrir now sits ...

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1)

[Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh. Photo by Muhammed Muheisen/AP Photo.]

[See Part II here] After four years of killing and mayhem, the truth remains that there are no easy answers in Syria. What might appear to be natural liberal solutions are not only lacking in realism, but are also embedded in half-baked world views about freedom, justice, development, international relations, and even human dignity—contested as some these terms might be. No consequential camp or political actor approximates the pure. No camp is immune to faults, even to despicable behavior. Those groups who escape that harsh realism—the heroic Syrian men and women who keep life moving on a daily basis outside the confines of militarism, violence, and blind ...

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The Wanted 18: On Film, Comedy, and Resistance in Palestine: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Amer Shomali and Noura Erakat

In this interview, Amer Shomali discusses his film debut The Wanted 18, including the filmmaking process, creative resistance during the first Palestinian Intifada, and why he chose talking cows as his protagonists. Shomali tells Noura Erakat that the mix of animation, comedy, and documentary was a vision that many funders dismissed as impossible, but that he believed the non-traditional resistance of the first intifada also required a non-traditional way of telling the story. Wanted 18 premiered at the Toronto Film Festival in September 2014 and was screened at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival (Best Documentary from the Arab World), the Montreal ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 10)

[Souad al-Shammary, co-founder of Saudi Liberal network. Image from Gulf Center for Human Rights]

[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  Moussaoui claims Saudi royals ‘funded 9/11 attacks’ Zacarias Moussaoui claims that members of the Saudi ruling family helped fund the September 11, 2001 attacks. Pre-9/11 Ties Haunt Saudis as New Accusations Surface Ben Hubbard and Scott Shane analyze the implication of Zacarias ...

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Stanford Event: Steven Heydemann on Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics (2 February 2015)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Authoritarianism in the Era of Mass Politics Featuring: Steven Heydemann Vice President, Applied Research on Conflict United States Institute for Peace Date and Time: Monday, February 2 12PM-1:30PM *Lunch will be served* Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University Abstract The uprisings that spread across the Middle East in 2011 created new hope for democratic change in the Arab world.  Four years later, the euphoria that greeted the Arab uprisings has given way to a far more somber ...

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Live Stream Event -- Joel Beinin on Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia (21 January 2015 at Stanford University)

CDDRL’s Program on Arab Reform and Democracy (ARD), in partnership with the Arab Studies Institute (ASI), presents: Workers and Revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia Featuring: Joel Beinin Donald J. McLachlan Professor of History Stanford University Date and Time: Wednesday, January 21 12PM-1:30PM (Pacific Standard Time) Location: Goldman Conference Room (4th floor East Wing) Encina Hall Stanford University This event will be Live-Streamed. To watch, click on video below: Live streaming video by Ustream Abstract Arab workers participated prominently in the popular uprisings of 2011.  They shared the outrage of many of their compatriots ...

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‘I Can’t Breathe’: Are You Aware of the Uprising?

[Protesters in New York City, 7 December 2014. Image by a katz / Shutterstock.com]

It is official. The world system is in deep crisis. Corruption really does start at the top. The United States, the leader of this system, first wavered in 2011. Yet another wave of protests shook the US from July to December 2014. At the “Occupy” protests three years ago, the system’s inequitable economic dimensions came to the fore. At the end of last year, its political-racial dimensions drew attention. Almost simultaneously, Europe witnessed the rise of anti-Muslim mass sentiment. Right-wing street demonstrations and mosque burnings have recently spread throughout the continent. Such actions are bound to garner more sympathy after the Charlie Hebdo attack. This event ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[The Olympic Village in London, part of the real estate portfolio acquired by Qatar's royal family. Image from Oast House Archive.]

[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 GCC announces steps to bolster security Basma Atassi reports on the final statement issued by members of the Gulf Cooperation Council at the end of the Doha summit. GCC: In search of a vision Al Jazeera English interviews six Gulf scholars on the challenges facing the Gulf Cooperation ...

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المملكة العربية السعودية وحرب الشرعية في اليمن

 في 21 نيسان\إبريل، 2015 أعلن التحالف العسكري للدول العربية الذي تقوده السعودية أن "عملية عاصفة الحزم"، الحملة العسكرية ضد اليمن التي شُنّتْ في 25 آذار\مارس، دخلت في طور جديد أكثر سلمية، تحت مسمى "إعادة الأمل". بعد ذلك بوقت قصير، ألقى الرئيس اليمني عبد ربه منصور هادي خطابه الأول للأمة من منفاه في المملكة العربية السعودية، مكرراً الكثير من التهم والإنذارات نفسها ضد الحوثيين. وقد استُؤنف القصف بعد ساعات فقط من إعلان التحالف، وبعد أكثر من أسبوع، لم يُظهر أي إشارات تباطؤ. ويبدو أن ...

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تقرير خاص: اليمن: الصحفيون والمدافعون عن حقوق الإنسان معرضون للخطر أثناء الحرب

أصدر مجلس الأمن التابع للأمم المتحدة، في نيسان، قراراً يدعو لاستئناف سريع لمحادثات السلام ووضع حد للعنف في اليمن. ومع ذلك تواصل القتال في جميع أنحاء البلاد مع استمرار الغارات الجوية السعودية التي تستهدف قوات الحوثيين خلال الشهر الماضي والتي يدفع ثمنها المدنيون، وكذلك فإن القوات الحوثية تستهدف الأشخاص أو المجموعات التي تعمل ضدها بما في ذلك التحالف الذي تقوده السعودية. وفي الوقت الذي وعدت فيه المملكة العربية السعودية هذا الأسبوع  بإنهاء حملة القصف التي خلفت 1000 قتيل على الأقل وآلاف ...

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Academics for Palestine Ireland supports the organisers of the Southampton conference

Academics for Palestine, a group of Irish academics – from both the Republic of Ireland and the North of Ireland – set up to create awareness and build the academic boycott of Israel campaign in Ireland, expresses its support for the organisers of the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism conference which was due to take place on 17-19 April 2015, at the University of Southampton, UK. The University blocked the conference citing reasons of ‘health and ...

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The Stages of Peaceful Resistance in the Occupied Western Sahara

Introduction In any history of occupation, the forms of resistance the colonized populations adopted have been shaped by, and shape, the modes of occupations. Peaceful resistance in the Western Sahara has been no different; Saharawi methods of nonviolent protest underwent transformations, first during Spanish colonialism and throughout several phases under Moroccan occupation. The Saharawi peoples’ ongoing struggle to secure their independence has faced repressive ways and means, either during the ...

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part II)

[See Part I here. Parts II and III are combined below] The Irony of Calamity There are no easy answers in Syria. Though undramatic, this is not how most seem to approach the Syrian tragedy in practice. What follows is not a recipe for an answer as much as it is a reminder against repeating the same mistakes if/when calling for solutions. If one’s vision is not yet clear regarding what path to take, or what existing combination of forces to support, one should be steadfast in understanding what went ...

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R-Shief and Scholarship on Digital Activism Featured in The Chronicle of Higher Education

[The following article on R-Shief was written by Ursula Lindsey and published in The Chronicle for Higher Education on 9 March 2015 under the title "Scholar Re-Examine Arab World's 'Facebook Revolutions.'"] In January 2011, Laila Shereen Sakr realized something momentous was happening in the Middle East when her server crashed. Shereen Sakr, at that time a graduate student in the University of Southern California’s media arts and practice program, had been monitoring digital activism in ...

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Who Are the People? A Conversation on the Assemblages and the Archives of the People

Scholars of the Middle East have grappled for several decades with what seemed to be the death of “formal” or “official” politics in their attempt to explain the seemingly impenetrable force of authoritarianism and the pacification of Arab politics. Some work reified older understandings of the idea of agency and the centrality of state institutions. Others broke new ground on the idea of the individual, critically deconstructing the seemingly self-evident meaning and universal values of “freedom” and ...

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Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-59)

“The people of the North have previously known the violence of the crown prince; it will be best for them not to know that of the king’s.” It is in this way that Hassan II (1961-1999) addressed himself to the inhabitants of northwest Morocco—and to the rest of the population—in reaction to the riots of 1984. Adopting a scornful and serious tone, the monarch reminded his subjects that he is capable of anything for the sake of conserving power. To refresh their memory, he did not hesitate to make a brief ...

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Mubarakism on Steroids: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Hesham Sallam Interviewed on the Anniversary of the Revolution

Jadaliyya Egypt Page Co-Editor Hesham Sallam gave an interview to KPFA 94.1 Berkeley on the current state of the Egyptian revolution and the return of authoritarianism in the country on the fourth anniversary of the uprisings that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Sallam argues that the level of repression witnessed today far eclipses the Mubarak era. He outlines the ways in which the country's transition was a tumultuous battle between the political elite, the military establishment, and the ...

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دور المجتمع المدني في الثورة التونسية. محادثة لـ"الوضع" بين فاتح عزام وعبد الباسط بن حسن

عبد الباسط بن حسن هو رئيس المعهد العربي لحقوق الإنسان. يعمل المعهد على تعزيز تعليم حقوق الإنسان في المنطقة العربية من خلال بناء المقدرات وبرامج التدريب. و هو أيضا رئيس اللجنة الوطنية التونسية لدعم اللاجئين. شغل منصب عضو في اللجنة العليا لتحقيق أهداف الثورة والإصلاح السياسي والانتقال الديمقراطي. في هذه اللجنة، شارك بن حسن في صياغة تشريعات ما بعد الثورة حول حرية تكوين الجمعيات و حرية التعبير والتجمع والانتخابات. انتخب رئيسا للمعهد العربي لحقوق الإنسان في مارس 2011.  مع خبرة عقدين ...

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Yemen's Time of Turmoil (New Issue of Middle East Report)

Midway through Barack Obama’s second term as president, there are two Establishment-approved metanarratives about his foreign policy. One, emanating mainly from the right, but resonating with several liberal internationalists, holds that Obama is unequal to the task of running an empire. The president, pundits repeat, is a “reluctant warrior” who declines to intervene abroad with the alacrity becoming his station. The other, quieter line of argument posits that Obama is the consummate realist, a man who ...

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Countercurrent: Bahrain Watch: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Reda al-Fardan and Mona Kareem

Reda al-Fardan, the Bahraini software developer behind Bahrain Map, discusses Bahrain Watch's new Fabrigate project, which tracks fabrications that have been published in local and state-controlled media. A CPISP recipient, he received his BA in Chemical Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and his MSc in Polymer Technology from Loughborough University. He was previously a risk analyst at Gulf International Bank before joining A.T. Kearney as a management consultant in the Gulf ...

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