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A Few Thoughts on Leaving Academe

Next week, I will depart Beirut and return to the DC area. I’m grateful to the students and friends who made our time in Lebanon so rewarding. We’ll remember this period with great fondness. My son grew from a toddler into a little boy in Beirut. His first memories are registered at AUB. Despite applying to positions on four continents, I was unable to find an academic job, so I no longer count myself among the professoriate. A number of colleagues have attempted to recruit me, but their efforts always get shut down by management. In turn, I often feel like I’m reliving the UIUC fiasco, which isn’t conducive to the kind of mood I prefer to inhabit. I’m easygoing, but ...

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Statement of Condemnation and Clarification by the Socialist Forum in Lebanon

[Logo of Socialist Forum]

[The following statement was issued by Socialist Forum on 16 July 2017 in response to its decision to cancel a demonstraiton it had organized in response to the recent actions taken by the Lebanese government (through the military) within the Syrian refugee communities of Arsal.] On Friday June 30th, 2017 at dawn, a faction of the Lebanese Army raided two Syrian refugee camps (Nawar and Qareiah) in the town of Arsal, in what was officially designated as a "preventive raid" in search of "terrorists" based in the camp. As a result, several people were killed, amongst them a child, and several soldiers were wounded due to a suicide bombing inside the ...

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Report: Informal Systems in Urban Sustainability and Resilience

The Climate Change and Environment team at the Issam Fares Institute of the American University of Beirut, in partnership with the Lebanon office of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a German non-profit institution working for the public interest, are conducting a research project that explores informality in the urban systems of transportation, water and wastewater, energy, solid waste management, and the use of public space. The main aim of this research project is to identify, map and assess the economic, social and environmental impacts of these informal systems to help establish measures that would reduce their negative impacts, and “institutionalize” or “integrate” ...

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Call for Abstracts: The Politics of Boycotts (Deadline: 1 September 2017)

 The Politics of Boycotts Issue number 134 (May 2019) Abstract Deadline: September 1, 2017 Issue editors: E. Natalie Rothman and Andrew Zimmerman This issue of the Radical History Review seeks to contribute historical depth and comparative breadth to recent discussions around the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign in support of Palestine. Our aim is to create a broad basis for historical and strategic discussion by exploring a variety of spatio-temporal scales of political action opened up by boycott campaigns, from visions of global solidarity to hyper localized social movements, and from the strategic deployment of ...

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DC Panel Discussion -- Fifty Years of Occupation: Looking Back, Looking Forward (15 June 2017)

[Men and women from all over the Southern West Bank stand in line for hours each morning on their way to work outside of Bethlehem. Photo taken by delayed gratification and uploaded via Flickr]

[DC Panel Discussion -- Fifty Years of Occupation: Looking Back, Looking Forward. Thursday, 15 June 2017 10:30 – 12:00 pm. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace 1779 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20036] The panel will include Tareq Baconi and Nur Arafeh, US and Palestine-based fellows respectively at Al-Shabaka; and Noura Erakat, assistant professor at George Mason University and co-founding editor of Jadaliyya journal. The three panelists will reflect on the implications of this enduring violation of international law on the Palestinians and explore how this occupation has manifested itself in the political, economic, and legal ...

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Call for Targeted Academic Boycott of Turkey

[Image via https://academicboycottofturkey.wordpress.com/]

[This call was released by Academics for Peace on 7 June 2017. The statement is also available in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish (Sorani), Kurdish (Kurmanji), Norwegian, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. For more information, click here; to sign on to this petition, click here.] CALL FOR TARGETED ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF TURKEY DO NOT BE A PARTY TO CRIMES IN TURKISH HIGHER EDUCATION Background In January 2016, 2,212 academics working in or researching on Turkey signed a declaration calling on the Turkish government to end the war in the Kurdish region, seek a peaceful ...

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Letter to Chancellor White and President Castro Regarding the Edward Said Professorship at the California State University

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 2 June 2017, in response to the abrupt cancellation of the search to fill the position of the Edward Said Professorship in Middle East Studies at the California State University at Fresno.] Dr. Timothy P. White Chancellor California State University twhite@calstate.edu Dr. Joseph I. Castro President California State University Fresno josephcastro@csufresno.edu Dear Chancellor White and President Castro: We write to you on behalf of the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association of North America (MESA) to ...

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Sorry I Drowned | آسف لأني غرقت

[Screenshot from below video]

[The following video and introduction were co-produced by Studio Kawakeb and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)] The world has catastrophically failed millions of people fleeing war, persecution and despair. Calculating politics won out over moral and legal obligations to offer protection and assistance to those in need. Like a contagious disease, walls, fences and restrictive border measures rampantly spread causing countless thousands of people to die on land or at sea. This 6-minute animated film Sorry I Drowned, created by the Beirut-based Studio Kawakeb and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), is inspired by a letter allegedly found on the body of someone who ...

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London Event -- Violent Order: Extinguishing Palestinian Resistance, Expanding Israel’s Use of Force

School of Politics and International Relations Friday, 26 May 2017 from 18:00 to 20:00 (BST) London, England Only those with tickets can attend. You will be asked to present your ticket and photo ID at the registration desk Doors close at 18:00, strictly no admittance after this time  Since November 2000 when Israel publicly embraced its assassination policy of Palestinians, it embarked on two fundamental and interlocking shifts. The first was to unsettle the applicable legal framework regulating the State’s relationship to Palestinians. The second was to change the laws of war that regulated a belligerent’s right to use force more generally. Together, these ...

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Beirut Event: Heritage Watch Day for Heneine Palace & Dalieh of Raouche (18-21 May)

Heritage Watch Day:  Heneine Palace & Dalieh of Raouche  By Save Beirut Heritage & The Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche 18-21 May 2017 Beirut, Lebanon Beirut has two of 50 selected sites worldwide listed on the 2016 World Monument Watch List. By listing Beirut’s Dalieh of Raouche and Heneine Palace, the World Monument Fund (WMF) aims to raise awareness about the threat to cultural and built heritage sites and monuments that are of national and universal significance. The application to the WMF for inclusion of these two Beirut sites by The Civil Campaign to Protect the Dalieh of Raouche for the Dalieh of ...

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Call for Applicants -- The 2nd Palestinian/Arab Youth Summer School 2017: Political Education & Transnational Movement Building

The Palestinian Youth Movement (PYM) Calls on Palestinian/Arab Youth to apply to participate in: The 2nd Palestinian/Arab Youth Summer School 2017: Political Education and Transnational Movement Building The Summer School will be held from July 22th to July 30th, 2017 in Houston, Texas. The summer school will convene in PYM USA’s National General Assembly, which will be held the last day of the school, July 29th. This summer school will offer a deep and engaging program to critically engage the various issues concerning young Palestinians and Arabs in the U.S through exploring questions of politics, social issues, and mobilizations. Additionally, the school ...

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Task Force on Population Movement Yemen Report (May 2017)

[International Organization for Migration. Image from https://www.iom.int/.]

[The following report summary was published by the International Organization for Migration on 14 May 2017. For the full report, click here.] The Task Force for Population Movement (TFPM), co-led by IOM and UNHCR is a Technical Working Group of the Yemen Protection Cluster. The TFPM implements an information management tool that gathers data on the status and location of displaced persons across Yemen. As of 01 April 2017, the TFPM has identified, 1,988,946 internally displaced persons (IDPs) (331,491 house- holds) who have been displaced due to conflict since March 2015, dispersed across 21 governorates. For the same period, the TFPM has identified 900,258 ...

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تقرير: خمسون عاماً على احتلال القدس الشرقية: سياسات القضم والإبعاد والتهويد تتواصل

بعد مرور 50 عاماً على الاحتلال الإسرائيلي لمدينة القدس الشرقية، باتت مساحتها تتقلص أكثر فأكثر لحساب المستعمرات، إلاّ إن عدد الفلسطينيين يزداد على نحو يؤشر إلى فشل سياسات التهويد الإسرائيلية. مع بداية الاحتلال الإسرائيلي للقدس الشرقية في سنة 1967 كان عدد سكانها بشطرَيها الشرقي والغربي 266,300 نسمة تقريباً، يشكل الفلسطينيون 68,600 منهم (أي 26%)، واليهود 197,700 تقريباً (أي 74%)؛ لكن مع نهاية سنة 2014 بلغ عدد سكان المدينة بشطرَيها 849,800 تقريباً، يشكل الفلسطينيون 351,900 تقريباً منهم (أي 37%)، واليهود ...

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بيان المنتدى الاشتراكي رداً على هجمات ضد اللاجئين السوريين في منطقة عرسال

[أصدر المنتدى الاشتراكي هذا البيان في ١٣ تموز، ٢٠١٧، رداً على هجمات ضد اللاجئين السوريين في منطقة عرسال] فجر نهار الجمعة 30 حزيران 2017، قامت قوة من الجيش اللبناني بمداهمة مخيمي النور والقارية للاجئين السوريين في بلدة عرسال، ضمن ما اعتبره الجيش "عملية استباقيّة" ضد "إرهابيين" موجودين في المخيم. نتج من ذلك مقتل عدد من الأشخاص بينهم طفلة، وإصابة عدد من العسكريين بجروح بسبب تفجيرات انتحارية. وشٌنّت حملة اعتقالات طالت ما يزيد عن 350 شخصاً من اللاجئين السوريين، على أساس الاشتباه بانتمائهم ...

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MESA Memo on Impact of US Supreme Court Decision on Travel Ban

[The following memo was issued on 27 June 2017 by the the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) regarding the Supreme Court's limited stay in the case that MESA has joined as plaintiff against the Executive Order to Limit Entry of Middle Eastern Refugees and Immigrants] On Monday, June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court issued a limited stay in the case that MESA has joined as a plaintiff, IRAP v. Trump, partially reinstating the revised Executive Order (EO) from March 6, ...

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Statement from Mashrou' Leila on Jordanian Government Banning of Their Show (Again)

[The following written statement and video was issued by the Lebanese band Mashrou' Leila on 13 June 2017 in response to news that the the Jordanian government had officially cancelled their 27 June 2017 show in Amman. This represents the second year in a row that this has happened, despite obtaining all necessary permits and other documents in the lead up to the show.] We regret to inform you that the Mashrou’ Leila concert, which was supposed to take place on the 27th of June in Amman, has ...

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Faculty and Border Patrol Searches

[The following announcement was issued by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) on 7 June 2017 via email] In conjunction with the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, the AAUP is seeking information from any faculty members who have had their cell phones or other electronic devices searched by US border patrol officers at the nation’s borders while traveling internationally.  The Knight First Amendment Institute is a recently created non-profit ...

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Call for Book Proposals to UC Press: New Directions in Palestine Studies at Brown University

Call for Book Proposals in Palestinian Studies New Directions in Palestinian Studies publishes innovative conceptual, archival, and ethnographic research projects that transcend the dominant Orientalist and nationalist paradigms and that connect the Palestinian experience to global histories and dynamics. WHAT WE'RE ACQUIRING The series will develop and acquire projects by established academics and by rising scholars who place a premium on innovation and accessibility. Rigorous works that integrate ...

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Letter to the President and Prime Minister of Turkey in Response to the Infringement of Academic Freedoms

[The following letter was issued by the Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association on 19 May 2017, in response to the memo released by the Turkish Council for Scientific and Technical Research on 17 March 2017.] Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım Office of the Prime Minister Başbakanlık 06573 Ankara Turkey H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan President of the Republic of Turkey T.C. Cumhurbaşkanlığı Genel Sekreterliği 06689 Çankaya, ...

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Press Release: Federal Appeals Court Upholds Unconstitutional Ruling in MESA Lawsuit against Trump Travel Ban

[The following press release was issued by the Middle East Studies Association (MESA) on 25 May 2017] For Immediate Release May 25, 2017 Contact: Geoffrey Knox 917-414-1749 gknox@geoffreyknox.com Federal Appeals Court Rules Trump Muslim Ban Unconstitutional RICHMOND, VA. — In a 10-3 ruling, a federal appeals court today ruled President Trump’s revised Muslim ban executive order is unconstitutional. The full Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case earlier this month. The American Civil ...

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Announcing the New Issue of Middle East Report (Spring 2017): Activism

Middle East Report No. 281 (Spring 2017) ACTIVISM Many commentators declare that the Arab uprisings of 2011 have ended. But in the eyes of many activists in the region, the uprisings are not over, even if the multitudes have retreated from central squares as the regimes re-entrench. Indeed, the throngs that assembled in 2011 set an unreasonable standard for judging the political significance of street protests, which continue—and may even be increasing in frequency—in several countries. And there are ...

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Call for Applicants: The Spatial Turn in Questions of Justice (Beirut, 7 June 2017)

Call for Applicants "The Spatial Turn in Questions of Justice" Social Justice and The City Program Issam Fares Institute American University of Beirut Does your research bring up issues of social or spatial (in)justice? Does it invoke social issues such as unemployment, mobility problems, unaffordable or dysfunctional services, or ingredients of the city such as housing, infrastructure, parks, and more? Do you look at how such social issues or the organization of these ingredients is ...

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Job Opening: Visiting Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies (MES) at Brown University

Middle East Studies at Brown University invites applications for a Visiting Assistant Professor in Middle East Studies (MES). The position is open to all disciplines, with a preference for the social sciences such as Anthropology, History, Political Science, and Sociology. This is a two-year position. We especially welcome candidates who thrive in an interdisciplinary environment, who have experience teaching and supervising undergraduates, and whose work is informed by comparative and global ...

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Call for Submission: The 2017 Ghassan Kanafani Writing Scholarship (Deadline 23 August 2017)

"My political position springs from my being a novelist. Insofar as I am concerned, politics and the novel are an indivisible case and I can categorically state that I became politically committed because I am a novelist, not the opposite." - Ghassan Kanafani Background After Ghassan Kanafani graduated high school in Lebanon, he enrolled in the arts faculty at Damascus University. He then left to Kuwait to work as a school teacher, but he spent every summer in Damascus. In the summer of ...

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