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New Texts Out Now: Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond

[Cover of Valeska Huber,

Valeska Huber, Channelling Mobilities: Migration and Globalisation in the Suez Canal Region and Beyond. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Valeska Huber (VH): The origins of this book lie in my general interest in the history of mobility, particularly as it connects to justice and equality. Does globalization—in the present day or historically—mean that everyone can move at an ever-quicker pace? I wanted to unpack this story for the period around 1900 by showing that of course not everyone travels with the same speed; instead, there are very different mobilities and many issues of regulation and ...

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Les visages urbains d'un autre Téhéran. Perspectives comparatives sur la mégapole iranienne.

Livre recensé: Mina Saïdi-Sharouz (dir.), Le Téhéran des quartiers populaires. Transformation urbaine et société civile en République Islamique, (Paris: Karthala/IFRI, 2013). Réjouissons-nous de la parution de cet ouvrage. En effet, elle marque le renouveau des études francophones sur la capitale iranienne et des publications de l'Institut français de recherche en Iran (IFRI), via son Observatoire Urbain de Téhéran et des villes d'Iran (OUTI), dont Mina Saïdi-Sharouz est la responsable. Docteure en géographie urbaine et architecte de formation, elle a dirigé les recherches qui ont conduit à cet ouvrage pluridisciplinaire qui révèle le rôle d'interface et de passeur joué ...

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New Texts Out Now: Zayde Antrim, Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World

[Cover of Zayde Antrim,

Zayde Antrim, Routes and Realms: The Power of Place in the Early Islamic World. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Zayde Antrim (ZA): I was originally motivated by what I saw as easy dismissals of the relationship between Palestinians and the territory that now makes up Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip. When the question of their attachment to land came up, it was often in order to deem it both recent and ideologically motivated, sometimes explicitly in comparison to the more historically legitimate or “natural” attachments of other peoples to their lands. I continued to be concerned by facile ...

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New Texts Out Now: Niki Akhavan, Electronic Iran: The Cultural Politics of an Online Evolution

[Cover of Niki Akhavan,

Niki Akhavan, Electronic Iran: The Cultural Politics of an Online Evolution. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Niki Akhavan (NA): As an early and eager participant on the Iranian Internet, I was both excited and disturbed about the kinds of content and communities that were flourishing online. I saw new connections being made across geographical and ideological borders, participants pooling resources together, experimenting in new modes of self-expression, and generally having a good time. But alongside these, I noticed troubling tendencies. For example, I saw that the spaces on the Iranian Internet seemed ...

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New Texts Out Now: Rawia Bishara, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking

[Cover of Rawia Bishara,

Rawia Bishara, Olives, Lemons & Za’atar: The Best Middle Eastern Home Cooking. Lanham, MD: Kyle Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you decide to write this book? Rawia Bishara (RB): Olives, Lemons & Za’atar has been a long time coming. My restaurant, Tanoreen, is now fifteen years old and I have been, in essence, testing these recipes all along. I also felt like this was the right time to contribute, as Middle Eastern food has come to the forefront and I have something to say about it. Additionally, I wanted to continue tradition. Olives, Lemons & Za’atar is a piece of family history. I'm glad my children and, one day (hurry up!), their children will ...

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New Texts Out Now: India: Wounded States (Special Issue of Warscapes)

[Cover of

India: Wounded States. Special issue of Warscapes, edited by Bhakti Shringarpure and Aruni Kashyap. February 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this special issue? Warscapes (W): Since the inception of Warscapes we have had a stream of submissions from India that recount experiences of military occupation and state violence in places like Assam and Kashmir. Meanwhile, if you look through the pages of most western mainstream media, as well as Indian outlets, they are projecting a completely different India—shining, burgeoning, economically booming, rapidly globalizing, and staunchly democratic. Within that, Indian literature in English, particularly the ...

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Les quartiers populaires et les printemps arabes: Elements pour une approche renouvelee

Compte rendu de: Pierre-Arnaud Barthel et Sylvy Jaglin (éds.), Quartiers informels d’un monde arabe en transition. Réflexions et perspectives pour l’action urbaine, (Paris: Agence Française pour le Développement, Conférences et Séminaires no.7),159 p. Accessible en ligne. L'informalité est la condition d'habiter majoritaire dans les villes du Monde arabe. Trouver à se loger après avoir fondé une famille ou se maintenir à proximité des opportunités d'emploi se conjuguent pour la multitude populaire avec des stratégies d'auto-construction ou d'insertion dans des filières de production familiale et artisanale de l'habitat. Cette filière populaire n'a de cesse de s'étendre ...

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How to Do Things with Hair

[Rokni and Ramin Haerizadeh

How to Do Things with Hair Curated by Barrak Alzaid  thejamjar, Dubai, UAE 26 October—2 December, 2013   Curator Barrak Alzaid has been critically grappling with hair—men’s body hair, to be more precise—for years now. “I find men’s body hair compelling, and as I did studio visits over the last four years, I began to log the variety of ways in which men’s body hair, or accessories of men’s body hair, were deployed.” Alzaid recently translated this ongoing professional and personal engagement into an exhibition hosted by Dubai creative space thejamjar. He presented works by six artists that creatively confront some of the ways in which “hair” has been ...

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The Present Flies, the Past Remains

[Still image from

Le passé [The Past], directed by Asghar Farhadi. France/Italy, 2013. In an interview given last year, Asghar Farhadi, the Iranian filmmaker best known for his Oscar-winning film, A Separation (2011), discussed the influence of theater on his work: “What I tried to take from theater to cinema is that every viewer sees his own movie, and that nothing is imposed to him or her. This means that we cannot see the world with a precise angle. There should always be different angles,” like in theater where everyone sees a different play by virtue of sitting in a different seat. Le passé [The Past], his most recent film, is a perfect example of this principle. Emotions are ...

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Before Theory: In Memory of Janet Abu-Lughod

[Janet Abu-Loghod. Image Courtesy of Deena Abu-Loghod.]

There is a lively debate in urban studies nowadays about the Eurocentricity of the field’s canonical theories. The efforts to trace new geographies of theory are heterodox and heterogeneous, but they have often relied on postcolonial thought and its critique of the universal histories and categories produced by liberal historiography. In urban studies, these efforts exist under various names, from Southern theory to comparative urbanism. What is striking to me is that the magisterial work of Janet Abu-Lughod precedes and anticipates such debates and interventions. It is in this sense that we are all her students, all working within an intellectual space opened up by her ...

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A Scholar Open to the World

[Janet Abu-Lughod's book Before European Hegemony: The World System A.D. 1250-1350]

Janet Abu-Lughod was a remarkable woman whom I had the privilege of knowing over a long period of time. A person of enormous intellectual curiosity, she approached the task of learning with an openness that was admirable. Throughout her scholarly life, she listened to her interlocutors and wrestled with all the debatable issues. She and I had some disagreements, which will become evident in reading the review I wrote of her most important work (below). But the agreements far outweighed the dissensions. And we could always talk about them in comradely fashion. Her contribution to the debate will be lasting. Review of Janet L. Abu-Lughod, Before European Hegemony: The ...

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A Gentle and Generous Mentor: Janet Abu-Lughod

[Janet Abu-Lughod. Image by Lila Abu-Lughod.]

I first met Janet Abu-Lughod at a meeting of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). AAUG was co-founded in 1967 (disbanded in 2007), by Janet’s husband, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, a leading political scientist of the Arab world. A graduate student at Columbia University at the time, I was rather in awe of scholars who worked in the Arab World, especially if they were of Arab origin. Columbia, then, had relatively few Arab scholars (Edward Said had joined the faculty in 1963; the professors and lecturers of Arabic were largely of Arab origin). I had never had a professor of Arab origin in my academic career and had not been around anyone who studied the Arab world until ...

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Adunis, Mistranslated (Part One)

Adonis, Selected Poems. Translated from the Arabic by Khaled Mattawa. New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010. Adunis (1930-) is one of the most influential and dominant Arab poets of the modern era and a perennial Nobel contender since the late 1980s. A number of his individual works have been ably translated into English in previous decades by Mirene Ghossein and Kamal Boullata, Samuel Hazo, and Shawkat Toorawa. More recently, Adnan Haydar and Michael Beard translated his most powerful and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Leila Piran, Institutional Change in Turkey: The Impact of European Union Reforms on Human Rights and Policy

Leila Piran, Institutional Change in Turkey: The Impact of European Union Reforms on Human Rights and Policy (New York: Palgrave, 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Leila Piran (LP): I wanted to write about democratization and political reform in a Muslim-majority country. Turkey represents a noteworthy example because of the rich history of reforms, ranging from Ottoman reforms aimed at modernization of the Empire to the ongoing Republican reforms starting in 1923. In general, ...

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Joint Statement Calling for Release of Arbitrarily Detained Journalists and Others in Syria

[The following joint statement was issued by the undersigned and published by Reporters Without Borders on 17 March 2014]  Free Key Rights Defenders Government Arbitrarily Holds Darwish, Colleagues Despite UN Demands The government of Syria should immediately and unconditionally release the arbitrarily detained human rights defender Mazen Darwish and his colleagues Hani Al-Zitani and Hussein Ghareer, 55 human rights organizations said today. The United Nations Security Council demanded the ...

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Trente ans de recherche sur Tunis et les grandes villes tunisiennes

Recension: Morched Chabbi, L'urbain en Tunisie. Processus et Projets, (Tunis: Nirvana, 2012). Durant les trois dernières décennies, Morched Chabbi a mené de front deux activités: l’urbanisme et la recherche en sciences sociales, principalement sur Tunis et les grandes villes tunisiennes. Ces deux activités se complètent et s’enrichissent mutuellement, et cet ouvrage paru en 2012 en offre l’illustration. Rassemblant les principales publications de M. Chabbi depuis les années 1980, L’urbain en ...

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Press Release: Where is Jamal Al Hammadi?

[The following press release was issued by the Alkarama Foundation on 4 March 2014] Jamal Al Hammadi, a teacher of Islamic education from Khor Fakkan abducted on 20 April 2013 by state security services, was last seen 5 February 2014 in Abu Dhabi's State Security prison. A group of detainees recently transferred from this prison facility reported that Jamal was being detained there in very harsh conditions. Jamal is the brother of Fuad Mohammed Al Hammadi, one of the "UAE94", serving a 10-year ...

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New Texts Out Now: Annika Marlen Hinze, Turkish Berlin: Integration Policy and Urban Space

Annika Marlen Hinze, Turkish Berlin: Integration Policy and Urban Space. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Annika Marlen Hinze (AMH): I grew up in Berlin in the 1980s, which means I grew up amidst many public debates about "foreigners" and "immigrants." Yet, as someone who was never visibly different in any way, I never really considered how central the immigration debate, and the situation of German Turks, is to ...

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New Texts Out Now: John Tofik Karam, On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972

John Tofik Karam, "On the Trail and Trial of a Palestinian Diaspora: Mapping South America in the Arab–Israeli Conflict, 1967–1972." Journal of Latin American Studies 45.5 (November 2013). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? John Tofik Karam (JTK): I didn’t set out to do the kind of research that resulted in this article. I was on leave in 2008-9, during which time I worked in some archives in Asunción, Paraguay for my current book project on Arab diasporic networks at the ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kamran Matin, Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change

Kamran Matin, Recasting Iranian Modernity: International Relations and Social Change. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kamran Matin (KM): My main motivation in writing this book came from my dissatisfaction with existing accounts of the Iranian Revolution. Previous accounts imputed an "exceptional" character to the revolution on the grounds of its religious form. The argument that the revolution was "exceptional" neutralized the ...

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Commemorating Janet Abu-Lughod

The year 2013 was one of deep loss. One of the most profound of these was the death of the path-breaking and prolific sociologist, demographer, and urbanist Janet Abu-Lughod. Her passing is painful, but as a thinker, writer, researcher, scholar, woman and activist, the model she offered remains very much alive. Born in 1928 and trained at the University of Chicago, Professor Abu-Lughod leaves behind a formidable legacy of intellectual production generated from unstinting curiosity and relentless rigor. ...

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In Memoriam

The swirl of articles and books in graduate school, perused and ingested during a few years to shape and inform one’s courses and research, felt unending at times. On the other hand, there are some scholars whose books stop you cold as you realize they are just what you have been searching for, as they lead to many days of inspired reading and ideas which take decades to unfold. In my life, Janet Abu Lughod’s Cairo: 1001 Years of the City Victorious was one of those few books. I could not imagine how one ...

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The Janet Abu-Lughod I Knew

I first met Janet L. Abu-Lughod in December 1990 when I invited her to be a keynote speaker for the biennial conference of the International Association for the Study of Traditional Environments (IASTE) held that year in Berkeley, California. The conference theme, “First World/Third World,” was right down Janet’s alley. She was, of course, by then a recognized public intellectual and a well-established scholar whose contributions spanned fields as disparate as urban sociology, planning history, and ...

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New Texts Out Now: VJ Um Amel, A Digital Humanities Approach: Text, the Internet, and the Egyptian Uprising

Laila Shereen Sakr (VJ Um Amel), “A Digital Humanities Approach: Text, the Internet, and the Egyptian Uprising,” Middle East Critique Volume 22, Issue 3 (2013). Jadaliyya: What made you write this article? Laila Shereen Sakr/VJ Um Amel (LSS/VJUA): The idea for the article came from a discussion I had over a year ago with Middle East Critique Guest Editor Mark LeVine about why some scholars are averse to study text that is accessed through a database. I explained to him why I believe it is critical to ...

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