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Against Terror, No Way Forward Without Respect for Human Rights

[Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies logo]

[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 killed Colonel Wael Tahoun in April 2015, and had been hiding in the desert of a Cairo suburb; he had allegedly opened fire at security forces who had killed him in the ...

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Besieged: The Economic Impact of the Israeli Siege on Gaza

[Simplified version of infographic featured below. Image by Visualizing Palestine.]

The second in a series of infographics on the Palestinian economy, "Besieged" highlights the scale of the economic impact of the Gaza blockade. Aided by their Egyptian counterparts, Israeli authorities heavily restrict the movement of people and goods into and out of the territory, whilst Palestinians are denied access even to their own natural resources, including farmland, fishing waters and valuable offshore gas reserves. While Palestinians in Gaza face a 45% unemployment rate, Israeli companies profit from a de-facto monopoly on supply of goods to Gaza, from which they made $375m in 2012.

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Discussion: Gulf Youth and the City (17 June 2015, AGSIW)

Gulf cities have followed similar paths of urbanization and architecture shaped by state planning and commercial development. While local differences exist, all reflect the demands of government and business, with little attention paid to civic requirements and public spaces. Recent events across the globe, from the Occupy movements to the 2011 Arab uprisings, have brought the role of cities in political life to the forefront. However, with few exceptions, Gulf cities are known more as glittering global consumer capitals than places of civic engagement or political struggle.  With a dynamic younger generation rising in the Gulf, what is the public’s role, ...

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Introducing Fikra Space: Where Iraqi Youth Can Take Fate into Their Own Hands

It is an unusually hot day in February in Baghdad, even for a city where February is usually hot. But everything else is business as usual. Traffic jams. Car horns. Street vendors. Security situation. Chaos. Except for maybe one thing. In downtown Baghdad, Ahmed Ramz, a twenty-two-year-old electronics engineering graduate, is holding an event on microcontrollers. “Microcontrollers are very simple yet very powerful instruments” Ramz starts the event. “They can be built to control any electronic system. They are the future of DIY. And DIY is the future”. Ramz is part of a makerspace called Fikra Space. “Fikra” is the Arabic word for idea, and Fikra Space gathers young ...

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AMCA Statement on Artistic Freedom in the United Arab Emirates

[Logo of the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey]

[The following statement was issued by the Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey on 29 May 2015] The Association for Modern and Contemporary Art in the Arab World, Iran, and Turkey (AMCA) condemns the entry ban UAE authorities have imposed on artists Walid Raad and Ashok Sukumaran and calls on UAE-based art institutions, including in particular the Guggenheim Museum, to convey their disapproval to UAE authorities and vocally dissociate themselves from the action. AMCA further calls on international arts organizations to condemn the complacency of art institutions that seek to benefit from the affluent Gulf region while condoning ...

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Her Yerdeyiz!

HER YERDEYİZ! 27 Mayıs 2015 Yaşıyorsak ve hala nefes alıyorsak, bilinmelidir ki o güzel çocukların gülen yüzü hürmetinedir!     Herkes biliyor, son iki yıldır artık farklı bir ülkede yaşıyoruz. Havası, suyu,  sesi,  kokusu farklılaştı bu ülkenin. İktidarı, muhalefeti, meslek odası, sendikası, genci, yaşlısı, işçisi, işsizi, Türkü, Kürdü artık farklı… Kabul eden için de etmeyen için de hayat farklılaştı… Bu ülke GEZİ’yi yaşadı. Haziran’ın sıcağını iliklerine akıttı.  Milyonlar şarkılarını dillerinden düşürmeden kararlı ve direngen bir duruşu tarihin içinden geçerek yaşadılar. Cesur yürekli kadınların ve ...

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Visual Culture in an Age of Global Conflict (National Museum of Bardo, Tunis, 28-29 March 2015)

Visual Culture in an Age of Global Conflict The Kamel Lazaar Foundation is pleased to announce that it will stage a two-day conference at the National Museum of Bardo from 28–29 May, 2015. This will be the third iteration of the JAOU initiative to be held there and the first international conference at the Museum since the terrorist attacks on Wednesday, 18 March 2015. Organized in advance of those attacks, the conference has since taken on an additional pertinence in relation to any investigation into the role that culture performs in the personal, social, public, and political discourses that are unfolding across the region. The indiscriminate attacks have further ...

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Letter of Support by Colleagues and Personal Friends of Emad Shahin

[The following letter was issued on 26 May 2015 in support of Emad Shahin, a professor at the American University of Cairo (AUC) whose was charged, tried, and recently sentenced to death (in absentia) as part of a broader set of cases brought forth by the regime of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.] For those familiar with even the barest facts of the case, the provisional sentence of Emad al-Din Shahin,  to death seems appalling.  Professor Shahin is a widely respected and accomplished academic who has taught at Notre Dame, Harvard, Georgetown, the American University in Cairo, and George Washington University.  He has no record of organized political activity. The ...

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Statement on the Anniversary of the Gezi Park Uprising

[This statement was released by the Taksim Gezi Park Association in May 2015.] Gezi Park Is an Indestructible Momumental City Park. Come and Breathe Freely Here As the symbol of the great Uprising of Turkey (2013), Taksim Gezi Park is a city park within the borders of Beyoğlu, a historically cosmopolitan urban district in Istanbul. Located between Taksim Square and Elmadağ, Gezi Park is well known as the first park of the Republican Era. Likewise, Taksim Square, bordering the park on the south side, is the first square that was designed as an open public space. The story of Gezi Park began in ...

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Urban Governance: Field Study in Rabat and Casablanca

[Rabat. Photo by Nicolas Hrycaj]

Fifty-two masters students from Sciences Po Paris’ “Governing the Large Metropolis” (GLM) graduate program visited the metropolitan region of Casablanca-Rabat-Salé in Morocco, from 11 to 17 January 2015. The trip aimed at understanding the metropolitan development of Casablanca, and its links with Rabat. How is this process of metropolization governed, by whom, and with which kind of outcomes? What are the priorities in terms of infrastructural policies? What is not governed? What is the role of flows and networks of individuals between the two cities? What is the balance between competition and cooperation between the two centers? Is the process led only by ...

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Librarians and Archivists with Palestine: 2015 Delegation Report and Solidarity Statement

 [The following was published by Librarians and Archivists with Palestine on 8 May 2015.] May 2015 In April 2015, nine librarians from four countries traveled to Palestine for an in-depth trip to follow up on the work of our 2013 delegation. In 2013, sixteen librarians had met with representatives from academic libraries, cultural centers, community education spaces, family libraries, museums, media centers, special collections, and more. From that delegation, the Librarians and Archivists with Palestine network was formed, and within this network, an advisory board of Palestinian librarians, archivists, information workers, and activists was ...

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Palestine Shrinking/Expanding Israel: Nakba Day Infographic

15 May 2015 marks the 67th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba ("catastrophe"), which refers to the expulsion of over 750,000 Palestinians during the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. Today, nearly seven decades on from these events, the dispossession of Palestinians continues through military, legal and economic means. Headlines were made by the Israeli Supreme Court just this week when it endorsed the eviction of the village of Umm al Hiran in the Negev region, demonstrating that this prevailing and worrying trend affects Palestinian citizens of Israel as well as those under occupation or in exile. The interactive ...

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The Constant and the Changing 2015: The Gulf and the Other

[The following is the 2015 executive summary of the Gulf Centre for Development Policies' third annual report The Constant and the Changing.] In the third annual volume of The Constant and the Changing publication series, the Gulf Centre for Development Policies renews its call for the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states to address the chronic disorders that ail their development trajectory. The objective of this series of publications is to contribute to finding a path toward building independent ...

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Call for Papers -- Five Years after the Arab Revolutions: The Arduous Road of Democratization and Future Prospects (Beirut, 21-23 January 2016)

Call for Papers Five Years after the Arab Revolutions: “The Arduous Road of Democratization and Future Prospects” In association with the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS), the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) is pleased to announce “Five Years after the Arab Revolutions: The Arduous Road of Democratization and Future Prospects”, an academic conference to be held in Beirut from January 21-23, 2016. The conference’s organizing committee welcomes ...

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NYC Event -- Against All Odds: A Night Celebrating Iraq (25 June 2015)

Join War Resisters League & Center for Constitutional Rights for an evening of music, art & activism as we jointly launch Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq, a new book bringing the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground to NYC!  We are honored to have hip hop artist & performer the Narcycist join us & feature the work of Sundus Abdul Hadi, as we all celebrate Iraqi culture, art & movement building! Date and Time: ...

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Report: Criminal Revenues and Warlords in Syria

The Netherlands Institute for International Relations (Clingendael) features a paper authored by Omar Abdulaziz Hallaj entitled The Balance-Sheet of Conflict: Criminal Revenues and Warlords in Syria, written for the Norwegian Peacebuilding Resource Centre (NOREF). The paper argues that as forms of territorial control have changed, the Syrian political economy has transformed alongside them, and examines the implications of this process for peacebuilding. The first section covers the collapse of the ...

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Dispatches from the 2015 Palestinian Festival of Literature

I am lucky enough to have been invited to the 2015 Palestinian Festival of Literature. Here is a despatch from days one, two, and three. Lego State Israel happens so suddenly. There we were one moment on the coach in Amman. Our tour guide, Ruby, started talking about crossing the border into the West Bank at exactly the same moment as the coach suddenly started reversing, a possibly inauspicious sign. Then we sped through Amman and its pleasant emptiness into the Jordanian countryside as Ruby ...

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Press Freedom on Trial in Turkey: A Statement from BirGun

[The following statement and call to action was issued by BirGün, an independent left daily newspaper in Turkey that is being prosecuted for covereage of then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan.] On 2 June, a trial will begin in Caglayan Istanbul Second Criminal Court. Baris Ince, the editor-in-chief of the Turkish independent daily newspaper, BirGün, is being sued under Article 229 of the Turkish Criminal Code for “defamation of the President.” The newspaper printed an acrostic ...

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Revisiting Dalieh: Beirut-Based Events, 31 May - 12 June 2015

The following are a list of events we invite the public to attend and participate in as part of our broader campaign around saving the Dalieh. Sunday May 31, 2015: Join us at Dalieh Campaign Kiosk, 10:00am - 11:00pm Ahla Fawda ''Tout Tout a Beirut " Hamra Street Festival Monday June 1, 2015: Revisiting Dalieh Competition Open Ideas Competition, 11:00am Press Conference Announcing Projects Selected by Jury Ministry of Environment, Lazarieh Center, Green Room  Thursday June 4, 2015: ...

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Video: Do Black Lives Matter in Israel?

In this three-minute episode, originally aired on AJ+ Labs, host Dena Takruri explains how thousands of Ethiopian Jews are protesting police brutality and racism in Israel after a video of a police officer beating up an Israeli Ethiopian went viral online.    

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Declassified 2012 Defense Intelligence Report on Syrian Uprising, Gulf Intervention, and Potential for al-Qa'ida Gains

The declassifed document below was obtained as part of a document trove secured by the right-wing institution, Judicial Watch. It obtained the report through a May 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Defense Intelligence Agency authored the report, which dates August 2012. It demonstrates that the Department of Defense was aware that Western powers, Gulf states, and Turkey were fully supporting the opposition. It also notes that if events unraveled, there was the ...

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Lest We Forget: The Palestinian Oral History Archives

Friday 15 May 2015 marks the sixty-seventh anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba, a day of commemoration and remembrance of nearly seven decades of dispossession for the Palestinian people, and a day of celebrating the resilience of the Palestinian communities everywhere, and their continued struggle against injustice. Today, the Palestinian Oral History Archive (POHA) at the American University of Beirut has released a short video “Lest We Forget”, providing a glimpse into its rich collection of the ...

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Visualizing Egypt: Uncovering Media Manipulation

[The following press release and infographic was issued by Visualizing Egypt on World Press Freedom Day 2015] Throughout the last two years, Egypt has witnessed a renewed state of media censorship, some aspects of which are reminiscent of the regime before the revolution, while others are new in scope and mode. Through the power of state institutions, impunity for those that assault media workers, editorial pressure and a consolidated media ownership, a new practice of censorship has taken root, while ...

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Hands Off The Lancet: Response to the Complaint Sent to Reed Elsevier

[The following open letter and supportive materials were posed on 15 April 2015 via a newly created site to oppose the attempt at silencing The Lancet.] In this public response to the smear campaign and personal attacks on Richard Horton, The Lancet Editor-in-Chief, Lancet Complaint to Reed Elsevier, we assert:- 1. Richard Horton is highly regarded as an exceptional leader in global health and as a campaigning Editor of The Lancet in the best traditions of the Journal. 2. ...

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