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Jeremy Corbyn Hasn’t Got an “Anti-Semitism Problem,” His Opponents Do

Labour has a “Jewish problem.” Or so it has been widely alleged. Headline after headline in recent weeks has claimed that the party, in whose last-but-one leadership election both front-runners were Jewish, has become infested with anti-Semitism. The outbreak has been blamed on the veteran socialist Jeremy Corbyn and the mass influx of new members who were inspired by his leadership to join. With a long-time Palestine solidarity campaigner at the helm, the party is now said to be attracting “anti-Semites like flies to a cesspit”. Respected commentators warn that the Jewish community is “fast reaching the glum conclusion that Labour has become a cold house for Jews”, ...

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Art as Interruption: On 'Homeland,' Revolutionary Utterances, Surveillance - A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Heba Y. Amin

In this interview with STATUS/الوضع host Adel Iskander, artist Heba Y. Amin discusses and reflects on her most jarring works, which include hacking the set of televions series Homeland with subversive graffiti, a videographic documentation of long-lost online audio messages from the Egyptian revolution (Speak2Tweet), and how birds relate to surveillance, the Bible, and the British takeover of Jerusalem.  Heba Y. Amin is an Egyptian visual artist, researcher and currently, visiting assistant professor at the American University in Cairo. She received her MFA at the University of Minnesota and is a DAAD grant recipient, a Rhizome Commissions grant winner and a ...

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Islamic Reformation?

[Martin Luther's Rycina Chrystusa i Antychrysta. Wikicommons .Some rights reserved.]

We keep hearing calls for an “Islamic Reformation,” assumed to be the remedy for a fundamentalist Islam behind the conservative Salafi brand as well as the Jihadist. Islam, under these assumptions, generates problems because it had not been “reformed.” The assumed model is the Christian Reformation of the sixteenth century, the Protestant reformers, Luther, Calvin, and their followers. Informed writers on religion and history have pointed out the problematic nature of these suppositions, with regard to the histories of both Christianity and Islam. I argue here that Islam has undergone many reformations, in radically different directions: Wahhabism, much like Protestant ...

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The Impeccable Narrative Around Tunisian Workers' Syndicate

[Image of the headquarters of the UGTT in Tunis, Tunisia. Image by Democracy International/Flickr]

[The below piece was written before the current wave of protests in Kasserine in the marginalized southern region of Tunisia. The protests, which soon expanded to the whole country, started after a young unemployed man climbed an electric power tower and was electrocuted. He was protesting in front of the local governorate after his name was removed from a list of possible jobs in the public administration. Five years after the ousting of Ben Ali, unemployment rates had risen especially in the South. In order to stop the protests, the Tunisian government announced a new employment scheme which is supposed to create 5000 new jobs. This piece is based on several interviews ...

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ICGG Endorses Academic Boycott of Israel

[Image from internationalcriticalgeography.org]

Forging Solidarity, taking a stand on Palestine  International Critical Geography Group votes by an overwhelming majority to endorse Academic Boycott of Israel in its seventh conference PRESS RELEASE   13 October 2015 – This past summer the International Critical Geography Group (ICGG) convened its seventh conference in the occupied city of Ramallah, Palestine. Following a two-decade tradition and nearly three years of preparation, the conference brought together scholars and activists committed to combating social exploitation and oppression. This was our first gathering in the Middle East, one that was ...

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سلام فياض: المجتمع المدني يحصد ما زرعته يداك

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ترددت في نشر هذا المقال، وخفت أن يُفهم أنه اصطفاف مع الرئيس واجراءاته ضد سلام فياض، وللأمانة أنا ضد سياسات الرجلين الذين تحالفا لسنوات وأوصلانا لما نحن فيه! لماذا ألوم سلام  فياض ولا ألوم الحمدلله؟ سلام فياض قدم نفسه صاحب رؤية ومشروع وفوق ذلك لديه أيديولوجية وفكر ليبرالي (بعيداً عن اقتصاد السوق المفتوح) يؤمن بالحريات والتعددية والديمقراطية.  في حين أن الحمدلله لم يقدم نفسه إلا موظف عمومي ينفذ ما تم خطه لحكومته من مهمات أربع ليس عليه الاجتهاد ليضيف لها مهمة خامسة. الحمدلله- رئيس جامعة عريقة- لم يطلب منه أحد أن يقدم مشروع حكم ولا وجهة نظر في طبيعة النظام السياسي ولا طبيعة الحكم.  الحمدلله جاء لاستكمال ما بدأه سلفه وتنفيذ ما يأمره به رئيسه ...

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The Falah School in Jeddah: Civic Engagement for Future Generations?

Beginning in 1869, the Ottoman state attempted to build a state education system, largely in reaction to the establishment of foreign missionary schools throughout the empire. During this period, education also became a prominent field of civic engagement, understood as ways in which citizens participate in shaping community life.[1] Local initiatives like the Falah school in Jeddah—largely financed through the time-honored tradition of religious endowment or waqf, itself a form civic engagement—developed in different parts of Ottoman territory. Al-Falah was remarkable as a collective and decidedly civic initiative by people who might be called the "sons of the ...

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Quick Thoughts on the Saudi Transition and Beyond: A STATUS/الوضع conversation with Toby Jones

With the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, there is much press speculation about change in the Kingdom. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status, Toby Jones parses through these debates and highlights the more salient points, identifying how this transition should be analyzed beyond hyperbolic prognostication. Toby C. Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political ...

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The Quest for a Way Out of Tunisia’s Constitutional Quagmire

[Image of candidate posters on a wall in Tunisia. Image by Malek Khadraoui for Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung/Flickr]

Successfully passing the tests of democracy while the whole region seems to be doomed to a chronic state of turmoil, Tunisia is considered to have set a good example for the “Arab Spring” countries and is expected to prove that a happy ending is actually possible. In fact, Tunisia has come a long way from the shadows of the police state to the perspective of a sustainable democracy. And it is Tunisian political life that has witnessed the biggest shift from a vegetative state to an interesting and complicated case study. From one crisis to another, the Tunisian political landscape evolved into the site of recent elections, which resulted in redistributing the cards ...

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UCLA's Center for Near East Studies Response to Smear Campaign

[Image from www.shutterstock.com]

Response to Criticisms of the G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies at UCLA The G.E. von Grunebaum Center for Near Eastern Studies (hereafter CNES) of UCLA is one of the oldest such centers in the United States. It is also one of the largest, currently including seventy-six affiliated faculty (among whom are seventeen lecturers/adjuncts and fifteen academically active and productive emeriti), representing such diverse departments/fields as Anthropology, Art History, History, Comparative Literature, Economics, English, Ethnomusicology, French and Francophone Studies, Law, Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Political Science, Public Health, and World Arts ...

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قل انتهاكات الحقوق الاقتصادية ولا تقل جرائم الفساد

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كنتُ قد حضرتُ ورشةَ عمل مؤخراً في كيب تاون في جنوب أفريقيا، وهي المدينة التي قضى فيها مانديلا سنوات سجنه السبع وعشرين، قبل أن يُطلق سراحه عام 1990 ليقود مفاوضات مع نظام الفصل العنصري (الأبارتايد) حتى يصبح أول رئيس أسود لجنوب أفريقيا عام 1994، لينتهي بعدها نظام الفصل العنصري في جنوب أفريقيا. لكن برغم انتهاء نظام الفصل العنصري رسمياً وقانونياً، ما زالت التركيبة الاجتماعية والاقتصادية للمجتمع الجنوب الأفريقي كما كانت قبل سقوط النظام، ويعتقد كثير من المهتمين بالشأن العام في جنوب أفريقيا أن الديمقراطية الوليدة في خطر بسبب التوتر الاجتماعي ما بين الفئات ذات الأصل الأوروبي، التي تشكل أغلبية الطبقة الوسطى والطبقات الغنية والأوفر حظاً، والمواطنين السود و"الملونين" الذين ...

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Muhammad Abduh: A Profile from the Archives

[Public intellectual Muhammad Abduh]

[”A Profile from the Archives“  is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Name: Muhammad Abduh son of Hussein Khair-Allah Date of Birth: 1849 Place of Birth: Born to a prominent rural family in the village of Mahellet Nasr, Beheira Governorate, in the Nile Delta region of Upper Egypt, during a time when farmers suffered from heavy taxes and unjust laws imposed upon them by ...

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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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Call for Submissions: BBC Arabic Film and Documentary Festival 2017

March 30, 2016 // BBC Arabic invites film and documentary-makers to submit works to the 3rd BBC Arabic Festival. The work must have been made after January 1, 2015, and reflect on current situations in the Arab world. Now in its 3rd year, the BBC Arabic Festival has successfully brought live audiences ground-breaking films, with selected films further being shown on BBC Arabic TV which has an international, Arabic speaking audience of 28 million people. The official selection, along with the winner ...

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التعليم العالي في الجزائر: قراءة في ثنايا نظام الأل أم دي

لا يزال اكتشاف المعارف الجديدة و نشرها وتفعيلها في المجتمع الإنساني في طليعة ما يدفع بعجلة التنمية نحو الأمام، و يظل التفكير المنهجي، الناقد والمبدع مفتاح نجاح هذه الأنشطة. و من الواضح اليوم أن مؤسسات التعليم العالي قد اكتسبت وكادت أن تنفرد تماما بذلك الدور الحيوي الذي يكمن في تكوين ورعاية مثل هذا النوع من التفكير. أما في بلد كالجزائر، حيث تُقوَّض استقلالية مؤسسات التعليم العالي عبر سياسات مركزية، لا بد أن تقع مسؤولية الرعاية تلك على عاتق سياسات الحكومة في إدارة و تسيير التعليم العالي. فما هي إذن وضعية ...

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الكهرباء في الحقبة الأولى للاستقلال في لبنان

[هذا الجزء الثاني من مقابلة أجراها المركز اللبناني للدراسات مع محرر جدلية والباحث زياد أبو الريش، وهي  تركّز على قطاع الكهرباء ومسائل تتعلق بمؤسسات الدولة في بداية عهد الجمهوريّة اللبنانيّة. وتجدر الإشارة إلى أنه تم إجراء هذه المقابلة قبل انطلاق الحراك الكبير في بيروت في شهر أيلول 2015. أما الجزء الأول فناقش خلاله تاريخ مؤسسات الدولة في بدايات الاستقلال في لبنان وبعض الموروثات التي خلفتها. يمكن قراءة الجزء الأول هنا] *** تحدث المركز اللبناني للدراسات مؤخّرًا مع الدكتور زياد أبو الريش لمناقشة ...

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Social Dialogue Under The Gun in Tunisia

Tunisia’s democratic transition has been idealized as the bright light of the Arab Uprisings. In addition to avoiding the bloody crackdowns of Egypt, Libya, and Syria, the country held the promise of making real gains on the issues of social justice—low wages, unequal development, and crony neoliberal capitalism—that triggered the uprising. Led in part by the country’s powerful trade union, the democratic transition was supposed to provide a re-energized economy, tripartite negotiation on wages and work ...

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Against Terror, No Way Forward Without Respect for Human Rights

[The following is the text of a presentation given by Bahey Eldin Hassan, Director of Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) during the EU Parliament Human Rights Subcommittee Session of 28 May 2015 in Brussels] Last week the student union at Ain Shams University’s School of Engineering issued a statement announcing their resignation in protest at the killing of Islam Atito, one of their peers, by security forces. The Interior Ministry had just claimed Islam was suspected of having ...

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In the Service of the Whole Community? Civic Engagement in Saudi Arabia (1950s-1960s)

Civic engagement in Saudi Arabia has been viewed mostly from the angle of labor, nationalist, or sectarian activism that evolves in phases of political or social tension.[1] In this essay, I examine civic engagement in the 1950s and 1960s through the lens of the city. I argue that the above stated categories are too rigid,[2] and furthermore that civic engagement in the 1950s and 1960s appears as a "practice of the everyday." In the Saudi oil towns of Dammam and al-Khobar, actors with different ...

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المفكرة" : قانون حق السكن بدلا من قانون تحرير الايجارات في لبنان"

منذ اقرار قانون الايجارات، سعت المفكرة الى الاحاطة بالاشكاليات الناشئة عنه، خصوصا على صعيد التوازن المناسب بين حقّي السكن والملكية. واذ هي تنوي مع شركاء آخرين انشاء فريق متعدّد الاختصاصات لبدء العمل على مسودة مشروع قانون حول حقّ السكن، يهمّها أن توضح المنطلقات التي توجّهها في هذا الصدد مخضعةً اياها للنقاش العام. وبالامكان اختزال موقفها في هذا المكان بنقاط خمس 1- حق السكن لا يعني المستأجرين القدامى وحدهم..    أن أهم ما أسفر عنه النقاش العام الحاصل تبعا لقانون الايجارات وخصوصا قرار ...

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Le Père Lebret, chroniqueur de l’Etat libanais en construction

Prêtre dominicain, fondateur d’Economie et Humanisme (1941), directeur de l’IRFED (Institut de recherche et de formation en vue du développement) depuis 1958, le père Louis-Joseph Lebret est une grande figure du Tiers-mondisme catholique dont l’itinéraire et la pensée ont été magistralement étudiés par l’historien Denis Pelletier dans son ouvrage Économie et Humanisme: De l'utopie communautaire au combat pour le tiers-monde (1941-1966). En opposition avec les deux modèles idéologiques dominants de son ...

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Tunisia: The Victory of Secularism over Islamism?

To the layman’s eye, the recent results of Tunisia’s legislative elections read like the triumph of progressive secularism over backward Islamism. Champions of modernization and secularization theory, in Arab and Western media alike, have hailed the victory of Nidaa Tounes  (the Call of Tunisia), a conservative patchwork movement composed of ancien régime figures, technocrats, and leftists, united under the vague banners of Bourguibism and anti-Islamism. The Islamist movement of Ennahda, the ...

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تنقيب السماء

 توصيف المشروع  يسعى هذا المشروع إلى استكشاف التحوّلات، البديعة والمرعبة في آن، لأرض مهددة بتصاعد الصراعات الوطنية، وهي أيضاً موقع الصراعات هذه. ننبش الذكريات المُغفَلة واللحظات الهاطلة من السماء، لاقتراح سرديات بديلة للصدمة. ثم نلتفت إلى كيفية إنتاج الدولة الحديثة وأراضيها من باطن الأرض. ننطلق من الطيران الميكانيكي الثقيل، كنموذج لتجربة حداثوية في الفضاء وإنتاجه، أيام السِّلم والحرب، لننقل العنف والنشوة، المتساميَين والمرتبطين بالسموات، إلى الأرض، فنضيء على أملٍ كليّ الوجود وسط حطام التجربة ...

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Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

On 6 June 2014, the Kuwait pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition opened with a restaging of an event that took place three decades earlier: the ceremonial opening of the Kuwait National Museum. Under the heading “Acquiring Modernity” (responding to the overall Biennale theme “Absorbing Modernity”), the Kuwait pavilion seeks to “articulate the nation’s history of modernization” by focusing its participation on the history of the national museum, first ...

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