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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 possibility of what was then al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) establishing a “Salafist principality” in eastern Syria. It further claims that, according to their intelligence, ...

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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 testimonies of first generation Palestinian refugees in Lebanon. POHA is a joint project between the Arab Resource Center for Popular Arts (ARCPA/AL-JANA), the Nakba ...

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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 older methods have also persisted. In an attempt to document the structure of censorship in Egypt,Visualizing Impact andMada Masr collaborated in creating a series of ...

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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. Politics is intrinsic to many health issues and a legitimate subject for health commentary and debate, especially in the world’s leading global health journal. ...

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Call for Applicants: Library Archival Research Fellowship at the Archives of AUB's Jafet Library (June - August 2015)

The Arts and Humanities Initiative Mellon Grant and The Archives and Special Collections at Jafet Library At the American University of Beirut Announce a call for applications for Library Archival Research Fellowship At the Archives of Jafet Library: June 15th- August 21st, 2015 The American University of Beirut Libraries and the Arts and Humanities Initiative (Mellon Grant) at AUB are offering a short-term Summer Archival Research Fellowship to encourage scholarly engagement with one of two of the following AUB Libraries’ Special Collections: The AUB Libraries’ Arabic Manuscripts Collection, and the Constantine Zurayq’s Archival ...

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67. Filistin ‘Nakba Gunu’ Etkinlikleri

67. Filistin “Nakba Günü” Etkinlikleri 15 Mayıs 1948; İsrail bağımsızlığının değil Siyonist işgalin yıldönümü 15 Mayıs 1948’de modern tarihin en önemli felaketlerinden biri yaşandı. O gün bir milyona yakın Filistinli, İsrail silahlı güçleri tarafından, tarihsel Filistin’deki evlerinden zorla çıkartıldı ya da kaçmak zorunda kaldı. Bu olayın öncesinde birçok köyde aynı güçler tarafından katliamlar yapılmıştı. Birçok Filistinli terk ettikleri evlerine bir süre sonra dönebileceklerini düşünüyordu. Aradan 67 yıl geçti, dönemediler. Büyük Felaket yani Nakba, Filistin’de ve dünyanın her yerinde Filistinliler ve Filistin halkının dostları tarafından her yıl lanetleniyor, ...

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On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere!

[Image via mustereklerimiz.org]

[This statement, by Müşterekler (Our Commons), was first published in Turkish on 28 April 2015. The original version can be found here. It was translated into English by Cihan Tekay.] We Have Been Here for a Thousand Years! On May Day, We Are in Taksim and We Are Everywhere! Look there, there, under that tree There, under that tree We are the there, rising from nature in that square. Look closely there, at that square, and you will see... Because we have been here for almost a thousand years!  Our voices, which have been bottled up in factories, offices, campuses, and homes, are filling the streets to the brim. Our anger resonates in Soma, Yırca, Akkuyu, ...

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AAUP Findings on the Steven Salaita Case

[The following announcement and referenced investigative report on the case of Steven Salaita was issued by the American Association of University Proffessors (AAUP) in April 2015] Today, we are releasing the report of a committee that investigated the case of Steven Salaita (http://www.aaup.org/report/UIUC). The report finds that the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) administration and the board of trustees of the University of Illinois violated principles of academic freedom when they withdrew a tenured faculty appointment that had been offered to Salaita. The job offer was withdrawn after Professor Salaita made a series of impassioned tweets ...

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Armenians in the Ottoman Empire

[This bibliography was published as part of the Ottoman History Podcast’s “Books and Bibliographies” feature, a monthly series curated by Heather Hughes. More information about the series can be found here.] This April marks the centennial of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide. Our monthly reading list includes a selection of books, dissertations, and articles in English pertaining to the history of Ottoman Armenians before, during, and after the First World War. Works about other Christian communities in Eastern Anatolia and the Middle East are also included. We hope this list will provide a useful starting point for those interested in the history of Ottoman ...

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Call for Papers: Fragments of Empire after the American Century (Beirut, 13-16 January 2016)

CASAR’s 6th International Conference: Fragments of Empire after the American Century January 13-16, 2016 Beirut, Lebanon  Abstracts are due on 30 April 2015 The Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal bin Abdulaziz Alsaud Center for American Studies and Research is now accepting abstract submission for its 6th international conference, titled “Fragments of Empire after the American Century,” which will be held at AUB next January.  The conference will provide a forum to focus on and debate the consequences and residues of imperial (and neo-imperial) presences across the Middle East, as well as the legacies of empire in the so-called metropoles or in ...

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Event--ISIS: Origins and Illusions (14 April, Princeton University)

Princeton Middle East Society invites you to a panel discussion: ISIS: Origins and Illusions Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Computer Science Building (Room 104) Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Co-sponsored by The Mamdouha S. Bobst center for Peace and Justice Distinguished Panelists Chris Hedges: Pultzer Prize winning journalist, former Middle East Beureau Chief for The New York Times  Eric Davis: Professor of Political Science and past director of the Middle East Studies Program at Rutgers University Bassam S. Haddad: Director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University, and  co-founder of Jadaliyya E-zine ...

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Imre Azem on ‘Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits’ (New York, 16 April)

[Still image from

Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits: Screening and Discussion with Imre Azem Thursday, April 16 at 7pm CUNY Graduate Center, Room 5414 365 5th Ave, New York, NY 10016 Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits (2013) tells the story of Istanbul on a neo-liberal course to destruction. It follows the story of a migrant family from the demolition of their neighborhood to their ongoing struggle for housing rights. The film takes a look at the city on a macro level and through the eyes of experts, going from the tops of mushrooming skyscrapers to the depths of the railway tunnel under the Bosphorous strait, from the historic neighborhoods in the south to the forests in the ...

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Urban Governance: Field Study in Rabat and Casablanca

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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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The Palestinian Museum’s Family Album Project: The Intimate Side of History in Palestine

[The following press release was issued 13 May 2015 by the Palestinian Museum.] The Palestinian Museum’s Family Album Project: The Intimate Side of History in Palestine Ramallah: The Palestinian Museum researchers have been traveling around the occupied West Bank for months now. They are gathering photos and testimonies of events that happened before and after the 1948 Nakba, when 750,000 Palestinians - 60% of the population of Palestine at the time - were dispossessed from their land. Under the ...

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Conference--Excavating Absence: Histories of the (Im)material (Cairo, 15-16 May)

Excavating Absence: Histories of the (Im)material Ewart Memorial Hall, AUC Tahrir Square May 15 - 16, 2015 The Theory and Practice in the Humanities and Social Sciences Workshop at The American University in Cairo (AUC) is pleased to announce its first international conference. The conference will discuss, through a range of disciplinary lenses, the relationship between the material and the immaterial; the exploration of various archival absences and ethnographic silences; and new techniques for the ...

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Call for Papers: Ohio Symposium on Middle East Studies (Dayton, 8-9 April 2016)

Call for Papers: Ohio Symposium on Middle East Studies (April 8-9, 2016) Beyond the Margins: Researching and Teaching the Middle East in Ohio Introduction Over the past several years, numerous universities, colleges, and community colleges across the state of Ohio have hired new faculty whose research focuses on the MENA region. Some have created minors, majors, and/or public events programs that center on the topic. Nevertheless, many scholars of the MENA region that are based in Ohio institutions ...

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Bassam Haddad on Syria at Harvard: 'A Stateless Regime or State with Many Regimes?'

On 2 April 2015 at Harvard University's Middle East Institute (MEI), Bassam Haddad presented a lecture in MEI Visiting Scholar Michael C. Hudson's Spring 2015 Study Group "Rethinking the Arab State." In his lecture, Haddad assessed the fluctuating political reality in Syria and how various groups, including Bashar al-Assad's regime, as well as ISIS and the unarmed civilian opposition, organize and govern areas and people under their control. Listen to the full recording of the April 2, 2015 ...

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Let Us Make a New Beginning: Speech for the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in Istanbul

[The following is a speech delivered by Heghnar Watenpaugh in Armenian and Turkish on behalf of Project 2015 at a ceremony commemorating the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. The ceremony was held in Taksim Square in Istanbul on 24 April 2015. Project 2015 has been a two-year-long effort to organize members of the Armenian diaspora and others committed to human rights and genocide prevention in the US, Europe, and the Middle East to travel to Turkey to join this centennial commemoration.] Let Us Make ...

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Turkiyeli Ermeniler’den Cagri: Bak Kardesim

Türkiyeli Ermeniler’den Çağrı: Bak Kardeşim [Ermeni Soykırımı'nın 100. yıldönümü sebebiyle Nor Zartonk'un Türkiyeli Ermeniler adına kaleme aldığı çağrıyı aşağıda yayımlıyoruz. Metnin orijinaline buradan ulaşabilirsiniz.] Bak Kardeşim, Ermeni Soykırımı’nın üzerinden 100 yıl geçti. Bir halk, ninenin, dedenin birlikte yaşadığı bir halk, devlet tarafından sistematik olarak katledildi. Bundan 100 yıl önce sokakta karşılaşacağın beş kişiden biri Ermeni iken bugün sokakta Ermenilere rastlamak o kadar kolay ...

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Academics for Palestine Ireland supports the organisers of the Southampton conference

Academics for Palestine, a group of Irish academics – from both the Republic of Ireland and the North of Ireland – set up to create awareness and build the academic boycott of Israel campaign in Ireland, expresses its support for the organisers of the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism conference which was due to take place on 17-19 April 2015, at the University of Southampton, UK. The University blocked the conference citing reasons of ‘health and ...

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The Business of Backlash: The Attack on the Palestinian Movement and Other Movements for Justice

[The following report, the executive summary of which is excerpted here. was issued by the International Jewish anti-Zionist Network. The full report may be read here.] Introduction In the United States, criticism of Israel is increasing and support for the Palestinian movement for justice is growing. From the growing number of divestment resolutions by student bodies and academic associations across the U.S., to successful community campaigns to boycott or de-shelve Israeli ...

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Letter to the UAE Minister of the Interior Concerning Denial of Entry to the UAE of NYU Professor Andrew Ross

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 25 March 2015] His Excellency Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan Minister of the Interior, United Arab Emirates via fax 971-2-4022762 and 971-2-4415780 His Excellency Yussef Al Otaiba Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the United States 202-243-2432  Dr. John Sexton President of New York University john.sexton@nyu.edu Dr. Al Bloom Vice-Chancellor of NYU-Abu ...

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