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Labor Strikes in the GCC: Deportations and Victories in 2014

[Migrant Rights logo. Image from migrant-rights.org]

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 29 October 2014.] The crackdowns on migrant workers in the GCC do not succeed in silencing migrant dissent. Last year, hundreds of thousands were deported, after being targeted, detained, and mistreated in the Gulf region. Stringent nationalization laws maintain a xenophobic atmosphere around migrant populations who constitute the majority in GCC (up to 85% in countries such as Qatar). As authorities and media continue to make migrants more vulnerable, some resort to labor strikes as a solution to their continuing oppression. Here, we examine the different ways in which major strikes were handled by ...

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Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (Audio Recording)

George Mason University’s Middle East Studies Program, Global Programs, New Century College (NCC) and the Trans-Arab Research Institute welcomed four international law experts to discuss the political and legal implications of an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. This discussion was held on Monday, October 20, 2014. In July and August, hostilities in the Gaza Strip left 2,131 Palestinians and 71 Israelis dead, including 501 Palestinian children and one Israeli child. Of Gaza’s 1.8 million residents, 475,000 are living in temporary shelters or with other families because their homes have been severely damaged. The ...

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UNRWA Spokesperson Challenges Center for Near East Policy Research and Fox News on Gaza (Video)

In this debate on Fox News, UNRWA Spokesperson Christopher Gunness  and the Center for Near East Policy Research's David Bedein debate the issue of the role of UNRWA in Gaza and US funding for the "reconstruction" of Gaza. The power of this debate is the manner with which Gunness exposes the comprehensive fraudulence at the heart of the Center for Near East Policy Research's right-wing agenda and particularly its recent attempted indictment of UNRWA's role in the Gaza Strip. Perhaps more importantly, Gunness takes aim at Fox News and berates it for seeking to give this smear campaign respectability. In Gunness's words, "Shame on Fox News for ...

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Letter to the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights under Law regarding Attack on Title VI-Supported Middle East Studies Centers

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 23 October 2014] Kenneth L. Marcus President and General Counsel Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights Under Law via fax: 202-756-1301 Dear Mr. Marcus: I am writing on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our grave concern about the contents and apparent intent of the report released by your organization in September 2014 titled “The Morass of Middle East Studies: Title VI of the Higher Education Act and Federally Funded Area Studies.” This highly tendentious document, ...

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Press Release: Announcing the Website of Watch/Raqeb -- An Arab Regional Project on Information Access

[Logo of Watch/Raqeb]

 [The following press release was issued on 22 October 2014 by Watch/Raqeb] -Watch/Raqeb- is pleased to announce the launch of its website www.watchinfo.org. Led by a community of youth from several Arab countries, including Egypt, Palestine, and Saudi Arabia, -Watch/Raqeb- is a multi-layered effort to offer Arab citizens a nuanced perspective on how international politics are playing out in the Middle East. It seeks to enhance and nuance public knowledge and to support greater popular participation in deliberating future and existing policies in Arab countries.  Guiding the project’s mission is strong belief in Arab citizens’ right to knowledge ...

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UC Irvine Event: Bassam Haddad on 'The Syrian Tragedy: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences' (23 October 2014)

The Center for Global Peace and Conflict Studies at UC Irvine present: The Syrian Tragedy: Causes, Dynamics, and Consequences With Bassam Haddad, Director of Middle East Studies at George Mason University Date: Thursday 23 October 2014 Time: 3:30pm Location: Social and Behvaioral Science Gateway, Room 1517, UC Irvine  

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Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies

[The following report was authored by Noura Erakat [1], Bianca Isais [2], and Salmah Rizvi [3]. It was published by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at American University of Beirut on 9 October 2014.] Operation Protective Edge and Legal Remedies Introduction On 26 August 2014, Israel and Palestinian resistance groups entered into a long-term ceasefire agreement. The terms of the agreement look almost identical to those established in November 2012, including a lack of implementation mechanisms. Indeed, if the parties fail to make these terms more precise and binding, it will be no more than a holding position ...

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Intervention and the Limits of US Power? A Panel Featuring Vijay Prashad and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Video)

[Left to right: Lisa Hajjar, Karim Makdisi, and Vijay Prashad. Image courtesy of AUB.]

A panel titled "Intervention: Limits of US Power?" was organized by the Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) and the Center for American Studies and Research (CASAR) at the American University of Beirut on 13 Ocotber 2014. The panel featured Vijay Prashad (IFI Senior Research Fellow), whose talk was titled "Obama's ISIS Policy," and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Lisa Hajjar (Edward Said Chair of American Studies at CASAR), whose talk was titled "Interventions from the Sky: Drone Warfare as a Projection of Power without Logic or Forseeable End." Karim Makdisi (Associate Professor of International Politics, AUB) ...

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Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014)

[Crop of image from flyer below.]

Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014) Johnson Center, C October 20, 2014, 4:00 PM   George Mason University’s Middle East Studies Program, Global Programs, New Century College (NCC) and the Trans-Arab Research Institute welcome four international law experts to discuss the political and legal implications of an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation of recent conflict in the Gaza Strip. This discussion will be held in Johnson Center, Room C, at 4 p.m. on Monday, October 20, 2014. In July and August, hostilities in the Gaza Strip left 2,131 Palestinians and 71 Israelis ...

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London Palestine Film Festival (28 November - 11 December, 2014)

From November 28th to December 11th 2014, the London Palestine Film Festival (LPFF) returns with the finest new docs, dramas, and shorts on and from the region. Festival programme: palestinefilm.org  The two week programme, at the Barbican Cinema and University of London venues, showcases over 40 international titles accompanied by director Q&As, panel discussions, and research presentations. Along with hard-hitting docs and political thrillers, audiences can expect comedies, family-friendly adventures, and stoner capers to rub shoulders with the archival and the avant-garde. The Festival opens with the UK Premiere of Najwa Najjar’s Eyes of a Thief – ...

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Panel Event: After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now (CUNY Graduate Center, 20 October 2014)

[Image via MEMEAC.]

The Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center at the CUNY Graduate Center presents: After Gezi, After the Elections, After ISIS: Politics in Turkey Now A conversation with Burcu Baykurt, Ayça Çubukçu, Aslı Iğsız, Duygu Parmaksizoglu, and Emrah Yildiz, moderated by Cihan Tekay Monday, October 20, 6:30-8:30pm The Graduate Center of The City University of New York 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Room C198 This panel will present a conversation about the current political context in Turkey, in the wake of popular protests (Gezi and its follow-ups), parliamentary and presidential elections (which have strengthened the hand of the ruling AK Party), and ...

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Panel Event -- Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (GMU, 20 October 2014)

Co-sponsored by Middle East Studies Program, the Trans-Arab Research Institute, Arab Studies Institute, New Century College, and Global Programs Operation Protective Edge:  Legal and Political Implications  of ICC Prosecution October 20, 2014 4:00-6:30PM  George Mason University Johnson Center, Room C Featuring David J. Luban, Georgetown University Margaret deGuzman, Temple University George Bisharat, UC Berkeley Noura Erakat, George Mason University Kevin Jon Heller, SOAS, University of London  Israel’s offensive against the Gaza Strip, Operation Protective Edge, killed 2,104 Palestinians, including 495 ...

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NYC Event--Can Palestinian Men Be Victims? Gendering Israel's War on Gaza (3 November 2014)

Join the History of Women and Gender Program, the Middle East and Islamic Studies Department, the Hagop Kevorian Center, and Students for Justice in Palestine on Monday 3 November, 12.30-2pm for a discussion with Jadaliyya Co-Editor and Professor Maya Mikdashi about gendered hierarchies of victimhood in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Maya’s original article, published in Jadaliyya, can be found here. A light lunch will be served.  Title: Can Palestinian Men Be Victims? ...

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Press Release: Astral Desire Photo Exhibition by Katie Ramadan

[The following press released was issued on 24 October 2014] ‘Astral Desire’ is a photo exhibition by Katie Ramadan that speaks of human relationships in Palestine, desire and spirituality. ‘Astral Desire’ opens in Haifa, at the Abatjour Café (49 Hillel St.) on 1 November 2014, launching a week of cultural activities to celebrate Abatjour’s one year anniversary. The exhibition will thereafter show in Nazareth and Jerusalem. 
 The photo exhibition tells the story of unrequited love. Girl loves boy, boy ...

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Assault on Academic Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Corporatization of Universities, Live Stream Event with Steven Salaita (27 October 2014 at GMU)

Sponsored by Middle East Studies Program and Cultural Studies Program at George Mason University Assault on Academic Freedom: Neoliberalism and the Corporatization of Universities Date & Time: October 27, 2014 7:15PM George Mason University  Johnson Center, Room 239A Featuring Steven Salaita  Moderated by Bassam Haddad, addressing: The New "Academic" Bullying on Campus and its Remedies Send “Academic Bullying” testimonies to mes@gmu.edu ...

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Declaration by Scholars for Peace in Solidarity with the Saturday Mothers of Turkey

[This week, the Saturday Mothers will be commemorating their five hundredth sit-in protest in Taksim Square, Istanbul. This statement of solidarity was released by the Scholars for Peace Initiative on 25 October 2014. The Scholars for Peace initiative focuses on creating peace among the people, and is comprised of over 150 scholars from over fifty universities who see the Kurdish issue as a Turkey issue. More information can be found here.] On 25 October 2014, the Saturday Mothers will remind us for ...

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Letter to Amcha Initiative Regarding Its Report on UCLA Center for Near Eastern Studies

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 23 October 2014] Amcha Initiative via email administrator@amchainitiative.org To whom it may concern: I am writing on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to express our grave concern about the content and apparent intent of the report released by the Amcha Initiative in September 2014 titled “Antisemitic Activity ...

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LA Event: Spotlight on Egypt (23 October 2014)

On Thursday, October 23, 12-2pm at 450 Tudor Center at the University of Southern California, USC's Middle East Studies' Program (MESP) is hosting a panel discussion on "Spotlight on Egypt."  UC Santa Barbara Professor Paul Amar will examine President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi's Egypt by looking at the new means of control embedded in recently emergent regional, socio-spatial, and geopolitical patterns. UC Santa Barbara Professor Sherene Seikaly will examine the continuities and ruptures of ...

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Citizenfour: Laura Poitras’ Documentary on Edward Snowden (Video Trailer)

The following trailer is for Laura Poitras' Citizefour, which is scheduled for release on 24 October 2014.  

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How You Can Help Steven Salaita

Below are links to the fundraising websites for Steven Salaita. Making a donation - either to the general fund or to the fund for the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference honorarium - will not only help support Steven Salaita through this time of uncertainty, but will also help to set a precedent of solidarity with others who may come under similar scrutiny and face similar hardship as a result. Steven Salaita’s firing did not occur in a vacuum; what is happening to him is a symptom of the ...

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Call for Applicants: Director of Women and Gender Studies (American University of Beirut)

The American University of Beirut invites applicants for a position in gender and sexuality studies, preferably at the associate or full professor level, to begin fall 2015. The successful applicant will serve as director of the new Women and Gender Studies Program at the American University of Beirut and work to coordinate the development of gender and sexuality studies as a specific research concentration, as well as a transdisciplinary formation distributed across multiple departments and faculties. ...

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Press Release: Saudi Death Sentence against Shia Leader Is Politically Motivated

[The following press release was issued by the Islamic Human Rights Commission, an NGO in the Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, on 15 October 2014.] IHRC strongly condemns today's decision by a court in Saudi Arabia to impose the death penalty against shaykh Nimr al-Nimr. Shaykh al-Nimr is a leading Shia scholar who was arrested for his outspoken criticism of the Saudi monarchy and his calls for equality and reform on trumped up charges of ...

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Call for Papers--Asfari Institute First Annual Conference: Exploring an Agenda for Active Citizenship (Beirut, 20-22 February 2015)

The American University of Beirut’s Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship In collaboration with the Arab Studies Institute and George Mason University First Annual Conference:  Exploring an Agenda for Active Citizenship 20-22 February 2015 Beirut, Lebanon Call for Papers The February 2015 conference commemorates the fourth anniversary of the revolts that began in Tunisia in the final days of 2010 and rapidly spread to nearly half the countries of the Arab region. The revolts ...

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Civil Society Call for the Protection of Libya's Democratic Transition

[The following statement was issued by members of Libya's civil society.]  Libya’s transition since 2011 has been a difficult path to follow; riddled with instability and violence. Libyans and the international community alike did not anticipate much of what has come to pass, rendering the country in constant flux and continual deterioration putting democracy, freedom, human rights at stake.  Nearly four years since the uprising, Libya’s trajectory may still be rectified. If not motivated by ...

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