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Protests-Revolts

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.]

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 partisanship—are often ...

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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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Open Letter to Mr. Rem Koolhaas

[Banner facing the Raoucheh Rock:

We have recently learned that the Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA) has been commissioned to develop a design for a projected development on a prime sea-front location in Beirut (Lebanon): the Dalieh of Raoucheh. Proposing a private development over such a prime social, national, archeological and geological landmark in Lebanon has generated an ongoing public outcry, in the form of protests, letters to officials, discussions, and media mobilization. We are writing today to alert you to the disturbing facts behind the project, and solicit your support in outlining an alternative vision for Beirut’s seafront. Here are the facts fuelling the dispute over the ...

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Censorship and Detention in Egypt, A Personal Account: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Alaa Abd El Fattah and Lina Attalah

Alaa Abd El Fattah is a writer, programmer, community organizer and activist who constantly generates new meanings to the notion of activism. He has been in political detention during the Hosni Mubarak era, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces interim rule following the January 25 revolution, the military-appointed government in July 3, 2013 and the ensuing rule of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. He was threatened with arrest during the short-lived rule of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi.  Abd El Fattah’s last imprisonment in November was on charges related to the protest law. After being released in March, he was re-arrested in June after being ...

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خطة دي ميستورا ... استكمال لصيغة جنيف وليست انقلاباً عليها

[عن مجلة

سنتان ونصف السنة منذ إعلان بيان جنيف الأول ولم يتم تطبيق أي جزئية منه في القضية السورية، على الرغم من أن جميع اللاعبين الرئيسيين، السوريين والدوليين، إما أعلنوا موافقتهم على بيان جنيف أو بالحد الأدنى لم يبدوا اعتراضهم عليه. فهل ينقلب دي ميستورا حقاً على جنيف كما يحاججنا إبراهيم حميدي ("الحياة" 18/11/2014) أم أنه يستكمله في النواقص التي عطلت تطبيقه؟ أولاً لنتذكر أن جنيف هو اتفاق دولي تم التوصل إليه من دون أي مشاركة سورية، وبالتالي فإن تطبيقه كاملاً سيبقى رهناً بالتوافق الدولي. تركزت جهود الأخضر الإبراهيمي على تحقيق هذا المستوى من التوافق المطلوب لتطبيق جنيف، من دون أن يقوم بالكثير من الخطوات داخل البلد نفسها، لكن أصبح جلياً الآن أن هذا التوافق هو سراب لا يمكننا ...

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New Texts Out Now: Maha Abdelrahman, Egypt's Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings

[Cover of Maha Abdelrahman,

Maha Abdelrahman, Egypt's Long Revolution: Protest Movements and Uprisings. London and New York: Routledge, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Maha Abdelrahman (MA): The idea for the book began to crystallize in the second half of the 2000s, but the book I started writing was not the same as the one I finished! At the time, I was one of a group of researchers that was studying the rise of new forms of activism and a new political culture of resistance in Egypt during this tumultuous decade of protest. The country was teeming with unprecedented levels of mobilization in this period. I am not referring only to the intensifying activities of pro-democracy ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 11)

[Ali Abdullah Saleh, the deposed president of Yemen, has regained political prominence following the ascendancy of the Houthi movement, with which he is reputedly allied. Image from whitehouse.gov]

[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 The emergent Egyptian-Gulf alliance: Libya and Yemen in the crosshairs Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Kuwait discuss the possibility of an alliance to fight “fanatics” in Libya and Yemen. Qatari fund bids for Canary Wharf owner Songbird Julia Kollewe analyzes the ...

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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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'Nefes alamiyorum': Baskaldirinin farkinda misiniz?

'Nefes alamıyorum': Başkaldırının farkında mısınız? Artık tescillendi. Dünya sistemi derin bir krizde. Balık baştan kokarmış. Sistemin önderi Amerika Birleşik Devletleri ilk olarak 2011’de sallanmıştı. Şimdi ayaklanmalar yine hayatı kilitlemeye doğru gidiyor. Temmuz’dan Aralık’a radikal sokak eylemleri durulmadı. Üç yıl önceki “İşgal Et” eylemlerinde sistemin ekonomik, eşitsizlikçi boyutu ön plana çıkmıştı. Bugün siyasi boyutu dikkat çekiyor. Neresinden tutsanız, devam ettirilemeyecek bir neoliberal ...

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Racism, Alliances, and Misery: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Moe Ali Nayel and Bassam Haddad

Moe Ali Nayel, a freelance journalist, fixer, and translator based in Beirut, Lebanon, discusses the question of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how the landscape of Lebanon receives them. In addition to his insights and observations, Moe Ali provides signs, posters, warnings, and maps from Beirut. Please find the transcript of the interview below the player. The interview includes three parts that you can click on separately. Moe Ali writes for Lebanese-based and International English publications. ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 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 Affairs Saudi Arabia leans on Gulf states to close ranks as region boils William MacLean and Amena Bakr report on Saudi Arabia’s ...

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Exhibiting the War in Syria: Interview with Khaled Malas

[Khaled Malas is a Syrian architect who curated a series of events on the production of the landscape in Syria from before the First World War until today, entitled “excavating the sky” (12-14 August, 2014), at the 14th Venice International Architecture Biennale (7 June to 23 November 2014). In this interview, he talks with Mona Harb about his trajectory, the project’s threads, processes and goals, building wells as resistance, the support of colleagues and friends, next stages and future plans, and the ...

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Why Anthropologists Should Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions

On Israel and Palestine: Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israeli Institutions In its best moments, anthropology is a discipline that is dedicated to social justice. It is a discipline that has historically stood up for marginalized peoples around the world. Anthropologists have not always lived up to these best ideals, of course, and the history of our discipline includes cooperation with colonial and imperial regimes and with war machines. Yet there have always been anthropologists who have criticized ...

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