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Causes and Dynamics of the Syrian Uprising: From Civil Protests to the Implications of the Russian Intervention - A STATUS/الوضع Lecture by Bassam Haddad

Sponsored by Stanford University's Center on Democracy, Development, and the Rule of Law's Program on Arab Reform and Democracy and in partnership with the Markaz Resource Center  [This lecture by Bassam Haddad was held on 22 January 2016 at Stanford University]   After nearly five years since the start of the uprising, Syria finds itself divided and embattled, with no end in sight. More significantly, more than half of the Syrian population is displaced and the death toll surpassed 300,000 by all counts. The Syrian tragedy persists and, more than any other case of mass uprising in the region, continues to be shrouded in political ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

[Cover of Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones,

Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, editors, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf. London: Zed Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones (AS & MOJ): Bahrain is small, but significant. Sadly though, it is often overlooked when it comes to writing on the region. We wanted to address the relative gap in the literature on Bahrain, and write a book that analyzed the recent uprising from multiple points of view, yet especially by those who had been directly affected somehow. J: What particular topics, issues, and literatures does the book address? AS & MOJ: Much of the literature ...

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Ici les corps politiques

Alfred Roll – Esquisse – « Le 14 juillet 1880, inauguration du monument à la République » – vers 1881

Place de la République, on se crie «  plus fort ! » « micro !». Ici a lieu la parole, la parole diverse, dissonante, hésitante, lyrique, café du commerce, réfléchie. Depuis le 31 mars la place est jour après jour investie par une parole citoyenne. Des voix qui s’élèvent des quatre coins de la place, des chants, des cris, des slogans, des bêtises, des vers, des jeux de mots, des voix assurées, des voix qui s’éteignent, qui bafouillent, qui se brisent, qui vrillent, partent dans les aigus. C’est de cette réappropriation collective du langage que naît un réel espace public. L’occupation de la place permet à la foule amassée d’imposer sa présence ...

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Hope without Illusion: Ten Signs of Change in Egypt

[Egyptian medical doctors gather in front of the Medical Doctors Syndicate building in February 2016 to protest police abuse against medical professionals. Photo from]

Egyptians occupying streets, blocking traffic, and chanting patriotic slogans: Contrary to conventional wisdom, these images became part of Egypt’s contemporary political arena well before the January 2011 Revolution. We saw them on multiple occasions in 2006, 2008, and even in 2010, when Egypt’s national football team won the Africa Cup of Nations. Those are but a few examples of the intense mobilization that took place during the lead up to the revolution. The tide of that mobilization is what yielded the Kefaya movement, the Youth of April 6 and of the Muslim Brotherhood, bloggers’ activism, the independent students’ union, the famous Facebook groups such as “We Are ...

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حركة الإحتجاج اللبنانية: تاريخها وصراعاتها الحالية

نقاش حول حركة الإحتجاج في لبنان من وجهات نظر مؤرخة ومحام حقوق إنسان وناشط. جويل بطرس - باحثة في تاريخ لبنان ومن فريق عمل المفكرة القانونية. تركز في أبحاثها على الحركات العمالية في لبنان، لا سيما خلال فترة السبعينيات (قبل اندلاع الحرب الأهلية) والتسعينيات أو ما عرف بمرحلة "بناء الدولة". كما تناولت في مقالاتها التدمير الممنهج الذي طال قطاع النقل العام في لبنان من جهة والسطو على الأملاك العامة البحرية من جهة أخرى. تتابع حالياً العمل على مشروع يحاول تعزيز استقلالية القضاء في لبنان من خلال أبحاث ومقابلات ميدانية تهدف إلى رسم صورة عن السلطة القضائية خلال فترة ما بعد الحرب الأهلية.  سارا ونسا - ناشطة حقوقية وباحثة في القانون. تعمل مع المفكرة القانونية في ...

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Empty Tahrir

An Egyptian child with a police costume in Tahrir square. January 25, 2016 (Photo by Jonathan Rashad)

Five years ago, thousands of Egyptians called for protests on the 25th of January to demand "bread, freedom and social justice" and challenge the security apparatus' vast human rights violations. The protesters managed to topple thirty-year autocrat Hosni Mubarak after eighteen days of protests and clashes with the police. Before that day in 2011, January 25 was the national commemorative day of the police. What does that day mean to Egyptians today? Ahead of the anniversary of January 25, authorities arrested activists, shut down cultural spaces, and conducted mass searches of flats in downtown. I decided to cover the situation in the spot where more than 800 ...

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Call for Papers: Graduate Student Conference on Social and Political Change in MENA (April 8, New York)

Call for Papers Avenues of Social and Political Change:  Five Years of Contention in the Middle East and North Africa  April 8, 2016 The Graduate Center, City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue, New York City Abstract Submission Deadline: February 5, 2016 Five years after the eruption of mass protests across North Africa and the Middle East, citizens of these countries now live under contrasting conditions. While some countries, such as Tunisia, have made headway on the road to freedom and social justice, others are embroiled in civil strife, like Syria, or are being crushed by the return of authoritarianism, like Egypt. Yet, despite the zigzagging ...

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The Rise and Decline of a Heterotopic Space: Views from Midan al-Tahrir

“We are fortunate—the world is fortunate—that we had the Tahrir days, that for eighteen days we lived the dream, and so we know—absolutely—that life can be that dream.” (Soueif 2012:187) Centrally located in Cairo’s hectic landscape, strategically positioned near several national and global attractions, a busy hub that allows the mixing of different social groups, and an embodiment of the modern history of the Egyptian capital, Midan al-Tahrir became the site of massive political protests that have shaped the country’s political and social landscape. Drawing on media representations, testimonies by activists and journalists, and ethnographic research, I explore how, ...

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مؤتمر: خمس سنوات على الثورات العربية عُسر التحوّل الديمقراطي ومآلاته


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Conference--After Tahrir: Egyptian Revolutionary Experiences and Future Visions (Santa Barbara, 22-26 January 2016)

After Tahrir: Egyptian Revolutionary Experiences and Future Visions January 22-26, 2016 Pollock Theater, McCune Room University of California Santa Barbara Conference Website: Conference Hashtag: #aftertahrir This four-day research collaboration workshop will take place at UC Santa Barbara on the five-year anniversary of the Tahrir Square Uprisings in 2011 that toppled Egypt’s long-term dictator Hosni Mubarak. These uprisings in Egypt accelerated waves of anti-crony-capitalist demonstrations, worker organizing, youth revolts, media insurgencies, and police brutality protests that overthrew ...

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Syria: An Interview with Samer Abboud

[Cover of Samer N. Abboud's book Syria]

The humanitarian costs of the Syrian conflict have been staggering. Many, including officials at the United Nations, identify this as the worst humanitarian crisis of our time. More than 200,000 Syrians killed, more than four million refugees, approximately eight million displaced inside Syria, close to 650,000 Syrians living in areas under regime besiegement and completely cut off from humanitarian access, and twelve million Syrians inside of the country in need of humanitarian assistance.” In his new book Syria, professor Samer Abboud provides an in-depth analysis of Syria's descent into civil war. He unravels the complex and multi-layered causes of the current ...

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Leading Artists Endorse Cultural Boycott of Israel

[Screenshot from video below.]

Eight leading artists, all with ties to New York, state their support for the cultural boycott of Israel in our new video. The eight artists recount the hardships that Israel imposes on Palestinian artists, and the history of Israel’s oppression of the Palestinian people. They explain the Palestinian boycott call, and why they endorse a cultural boycott. The video marks the launch of a New York-based initiative calling for more artists and cultural workers in New York, the US and around the world to pledge to respect and support the Palestinian boycott call. Visit the Amplify Palestine website. 

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Five Years After the Arab Uprisings: An Interview with Asef Bayat

This interview was conducted on the occasion of the publication of the Turkish editions of Asef Bayat’s Making Islam Democratic and Life as Politics (Stanford University Press, 2007 and 2013 respectively), and originally appeared in Cumhuriyet Kitap 1366 (21 April 2016): 14–15. It is a follow-up of our first public correspondence, “‘Our Revolution Is Civil’: An Interview with Asef Bayat on Revolt and Change in the Arab World,” that was published in The Hedgehog Review five years ago. Özgür Gökmen ...

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Showing Up From Palestine to Ferguson

On the ground in Ferguson, Missouri exactly one year after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown, a team assembled by an American human rights organization and hosted by the St. Louis Palestinian Solidarity Committee (STLPSC) comprised of 50 Shades of Black Creator, Carlton Mackey and a human rights lawyer advocating for the rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel was assigned to chronicle the journey of a father, Siam Nowara, who had traveled all the way from Palestine to bear witness to a ...

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الفيلم الوثائقي تعز بين المطرقة والسندان

يوثق هذا الفليم الاستثنائي لصفاء الاحمد، والذي عرض على بي بي سي العربية بتاريخ ٢٢ شباط/ فبراير ٢٠١٦ رحلتها الشجاعة إلى مدينة تعز في اليمن. وتعيش هذه المدينة تحت الحصار منذ نيسان/ابريل ٢٠١٥، فرضته الميليشيا الحوثية، مما أدى الى نقص حاد في وصول الاغذية، المساعدات الطبية، والوقود، وزاد الأزمة الانسانية المتفاقمة في البلاد جراء الحصار المفروض من السعودية. ويحتاج أكثر من ثمانين بالمئة من السكان إلى مساعدات انسانية بينما تم تشريد مليونين ونصف يمني. أدى الصراع الجاري حول المدينة بين ...

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An Open Letter in Solidarity with Muhammad Al-Ajami

An Open Letter to Participants in the Seventh Annual International Translation Conference In light of the continued imprisonment of Qatari poet Muhammad Al-Ajami we urge you to consider the ethical dimensions of your participation in the upcoming conference on translation sponsored by the Translation and Interpreting Institute of Hamad bin Khalifa University (TII). Like other Gulf autocracies, the State of Qatar has tried to promote the idea that the region produces more than carbon-based fuels. By any ...

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من النفايات إلى النظام: الصلات والانقطاعات

كشَفتْ ما يقال له "أزمة النفايات" ـ ربما من حيث لم يكن متوقعاً ـ معانٍ ومستويات من أحوالنا هنا في لبنان، وأيضاً بما يخص أماكن أخرى من المنطقة العربية. كان تراكم الزبالة في شوارع العاصمة خصوصاً، ووصول أحجامها علواً واتساعاً إلى حدود أثارت حتى المخيلة الروائية لبعض الكتّاب، يوحي بمدينة منكوبة، بينما كانت الحياة العادية مستمرة. وفي هذا تناقض أول صادم. وهو يستدعي الانتباه إلى خاصية متكررة وملفتة في المجتمع اللبناني على اختلاف فئاته، هي الاستعداد للتأقلم والقدرة عليه، من المهم إدراكها والتوجه ...

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Democracy Dialogue: Global Conversations Inspired by Egypt’s January 25 Revolution

Democracy Dialogue (DD) is a multimedia project inspired by the Egyptian revolution of January 25, 2011. Developed with a team from the Global Studies in Education (GSE) program at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the website houses original videos and transcripts in Arabic, Urdu, Chinese, English and Korean, all licensed under the Creative Commons and available for free download. Though the project takes Egypt’s January 25 uprising as a starting point, it aims to probe pressing ...

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January 25 at Five

To mark five years since Egyptians took to the streets demanding bread, freedom, and social justice, Jadaliyya offers its readers a set of articles examining the state of some of the struggles that the January 25 Revolution came to embody. We begin with a look back at earlier struggles for social justice and political change in 1970s Egypt and beyond. Nicola Pratt examines the ways in which western support for regime crackdowns on political dissent compounded the constraints on women’s ...

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Phoenix Rising from the Ashes? The Internal State of Affairs of the Muslim Brotherhood at the Start of 2016

Today, Egyptians are commemorating the fifth anniversary of the revolution of 2011. It is not yet clear what the outcome of these events will be, but the high level of repression against civil society indicates that the regime is nervous. And this is with good reason: after all, its old rival, the Muslim Brotherhood, while severely reduced in terms of its mobilizing and organizing capacity, is still in business. In anticipation of 25 January 2016 it is worth taking stock of the current state of the ...

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Conference--The Arab Revolutions: Five Years On The Arduous Road of Democratization and Future Prospects (Beirut, 21-23 January 2016)

Click here to download the below program as a single PDF document.  

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Monsoon Revolution

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. [This review was originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Abdel Razzaq Takriti’s excellent book will quickly be established as the definitive account of the revolutionary Arab nationalist and third worldist armed struggle in Dhufar, waged against the ...

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Whose University? Criminalizing Student Organizing on Campus: A STATUS/الوضع Episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom

In this episode of Reclaiming Academic Freedom, Status//الوضع host Tareq Radi interviews four students on the university’s stifling of political organizing via the criminalization of student activities that challenge institutional decisions and policies.  The program episode below includes four parts that you can click on separately. Please find the transcript below the player. Khalil Antonio Vasquez grew up in Spanish Harlem and the Bronx raised by his Puerto Rican grandmother and ...

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Filming Revolution: An Interview with Alisa Lebow

[Alisa Lebow, a filmmaker and film scholar who teaches at the University of Sussex, is the Creator/Director/Producer/Writer of Filming Revolution, an interactive data-base documentary archive about independent and documentary filmmaking in Egypt since the revolution, which was launched in October 2015.] Anthony Alessandrini (AA): Could you talk a bit about what made you put together this project: when did you decide to set Filming Revolution in motion, how did the specific form of the project come ...

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