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Protests-Revolts

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

[Photo by Virginie Nguyen courtesy of Mada Masr]

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 “agency.” In some ways, both conventional and cutting edge approaches worked to obscure the possibility of politics that could effectively challenge authoritarian ...

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Reconsidering the Rif Revolt (1958-59)

[Image of a Moroccan Liberation Army march in Nador around 1955. Image from mondeberbere.com]

“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 and symbolic allusion to the ferocious repression he carried out against the same regions twenty-five years beforehand. The sovereign's rhetorical choice to refer to the ...

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

[Al-Sisi, as Minister of Defense, following a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry after a meeting in Cairo, Egypt on 3 November 2013. Photo: Department of State]

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 Muslim Brotherhood. While arguing that the status quo is unsustainable, he nevertheless laments the continued victimization of the revolutionaries that is taking place in ...

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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 من الزمن في مجال حقوق الإنسان في المنطقة العربية، شغل بن حسن منصب مدير برنامج حقوق الإنسان في مؤسسة فورد (2005-2011). درّس بن حسن حقوق الإنسان في كلية ...

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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 avoids foreign entanglements unless or until they impinge directly upon vital US interests. As usual, the mainstream assessments are more interesting for their unspoken ...

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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 region.     

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'Nefes alamiyorum': Baskaldirinin farkinda misiniz?

[Protest in New York City, 4 December 2014. Image by The All-Nite Images, via Flickr.]

'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 hegemonya yani. Ağustos’ta Ferguson, Temmuz’da ise New York cinayetlerinde “yeni” olan polisin siyahlara muamelesi değil, bunun yarattığı toplumsal tepki. 1960’larda ...

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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. In 2010, he decided to change his tools from fixer to writer and published his first critique. Later in 2011, Nayel began his reporting on Palestinian refugees in Lebanon ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 2)

[Independence Day (30 November) in South Yemen saw numerous protests in favor of the southern movement. Here, demonstrators call for secession in London in 2013. Image from David Holt/flickr]

[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 efforts to reconcile differences among the Gulf states. Analysis: Qatar's foreign policy - the old and the new Jamal Abdullah argues that though regional events have ...

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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 role of architecture in the face of war, power and conflict.]  Mona Harb (MH): Khaled Malas, you are a Syrian architect who conceived and organized a research ...

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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 these relationships. And as a collectivity, we have generally looked back upon these moments of complicity with regret. The AAA has passed resolutions condemning ...

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Symposium Report: 'Researching the Middle East and North Africa after 2011: Challenges, Queries, and Questions'

[Eve Troutt Powell (University of Pennsylvania) delivering the keynote address.]

The Middle East Studies Graduate Forum at Rutgers University hosted “Researching the Middle East after 2011: Challenges, Queries, and Questions” on 17 October 2014. The day-long collaborative, interdisciplinary symposium brought twenty scholars from eleven universities together to discuss producing innovative scholarship about the Middle East and North Africa despite social, civil, and political unrest. Many countries in the region have become unstable or untenable research sites, archives are closed, research contacts have been displaced and funding opportunities have dried up. The symposium gave scholars at all stages of their careers the opportunity to share research ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 10)

[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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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

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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (December 16)

[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 ...

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Open Letter to Mr. Rem Koolhaas

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 ...

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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 ...

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

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 ...

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

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 ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (November 11)

[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 ...

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Qui sera l’Etat ? : Le soulèvement du Rif reconsidéré (1958-59)

« Les gens du nord ont autrefois connu la violence du Prince héritier, il vaudrait mieux pour eux qu’ils ne connaissent pas celle du Roi ». C’est ainsi qu’Hassan II (1961-1999) s’adresse aux habitants du nord-ouest du Maroc—et à travers eux à l’ensemble de la population—en réaction aux émeutes populaires de 1984. Adoptant alors un ton grave et méprisant, le monarque rappelle à ses sujets qu’il est capable de tout pour conserver le pouvoir. Pour leur rafraîchir la mémoire, il n’hésite pas à ...

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After Gezi: Erdogan and Political Struggle in Turkey (Video)

Political struggles over the future of Turkey have left the country profoundly divided. Former Prime Minister, now President, Tayyip Erdogan, has fueled growing polarization through his authoritarian response to protests, his large-scale urban development projects, his religious social conservatism, and most recently, through his complicity in the Islamic State’s war against the Kurdish people in Northern Syria. In the year after the Gezi uprising, protests continue against the government’s urban ...

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