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New Texts Out Now: Ala'a Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf

[Cover of Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones,

Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones, editors, Bahrain's Uprising: Resistance and Repression in the Gulf. London: Zed Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Alaʾa Shehabi and Marc Owen Jones (AS & MOJ): Bahrain is small, but significant. Sadly though, it is often overlooked when it comes to writing on the region. We wanted to address the relative gap in the literature on Bahrain, and write a book that analyzed the recent uprising from multiple points of view, yet especially by those who had been directly affected somehow. J: What particular topics, issues, and literatures does the book address? AS & MOJ: Much of the literature ...

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من يملك دولة أرامكو؟

في مقابلة مع مجلة الإيكونومست البريطانية في 4 يناير 2016، أعلن الأمير محمد بن سلمان، ولي ولي العهد السعودي و"رئيس المجلس الأعلى لأرامكو السعودية" أن حكومة بلاده تدرس فكرة خصخصة الشركة المملوكة للدولة بطرح أسهمها للاكتتاب العام. (1) بعد ذلك بأيام ، أصدرت "أرامكو-السعودية" بيانا بأنها تجري دراسة طرح "نسبة ملائمة" من أسهمها في "أسواق المال العالمية" (2) ،تبعه "توضيح" من رئيسها التنفيذي بعزم الحكومة السعودية، مبدئياً عى الأقل،الاحتفاظ ب"حصة مسيطرة" من الأسهم. (3) لكن هناك حقائق تثير تساؤلات مشروعة تلقي ظلالاً من الشك على مدى صحة زعم الحكومة السعودية أن شركة أرامكو، ابتداء من 1980 تحوّلت من شركة أمريكية إلى مؤسسة ...

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New Texts Out Now: Kishwar Rizvi, The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East

[Cover of Kishwar Rizvi,

Kishwar Rizvi, The Transnational Mosque: Architecture and Historical Memory in the Contemporary Middle East (University of North Carolina Press, 2015). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Kishwar Rizvi (KR): The idea for this book emerged through my research travels in Europe and the Middle East, where I would encounter monumental mosques that looked historical in design but were built in the past thirty years. I wondered why a community of immigrant Turks in Germany, for example, chose to worship in a neo-Ottoman style mosque that appeared anachronistic and out of place (see Figure One); similarly, why were mosques in Dubai copying the Mamluk architecture of ...

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Saudi Arabia Gazes at Lebanon with Vengeance

[Image courtesy of Creative Commons.]

On 2 March 2016 Lebanon woke up to the news that the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) had declared Hizballah a terrorist organization. Many perceived this as a kind of patriarchal collective punishment. Spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, the designation of Hizballah as a "terrorist" organisation can only be read as another desperate attempt by Saudi Arabia to bring its war for regional dominance to Lebanon. This form of Saudi desperation stems from the decline of its geopolitical regional hegemony, which occurred when the kingdom decided to spearhead the counterrevolution that failed to quell uprisings in neighboring Yemen and Bahrain. In addition, the kingdom’s ...

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سحب أموال سعودية من لبنان العام 1966: عندما كانت العروبة هي العدو

[المصدر موقغ جوجل]

 ليست المرة الاولى التي تستخدم الرياض سلاح المال كوسيلة لمعاقبة لبنان على خلفيّة سياسته الخارجية. فقبل أن تلغي المملكةُ «الهِبة» المكرّسةَ لتسليح الجيش اللبنانيّ، وقبل وجود تنظيمٍ اسمه «حزبُ الله» (1982)، بل قبل انتصار «الثورة الإسلاميّة» في إيران (1979)، وقبل مشروع «تصدير» الثورة الإسلاميّة إلى «المحيط العربيّ السنّيّ،» قبل ذلك كلّه، قامت جهاتٌ سعوديةٌ مقرّبة من العائلة المالكة بسحوباتٍ ماليّةٍ ضخمةٍ من الجهاز المصرفيّ اللبنانيّ في العام 1966. الفارق أنّ التذمّر السعوديّ سبّبتْه، آنذاك، عروبةُ لبنان «المفرطة،» لا «نقصٌ» مزعومٌ في منسوب هذه العروبة. في الستينيات، كان الخلافُ على أشدّه بين الرياض والقاهرة على خلفيّة حرب اليمن، والمدِّ العروبيّ الاشتراكيّ الناصريّ، ...

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المجتمع المدني في الخليج العربي: الواقع والاحتمالات. مقابلة للوضع بين انور الرشيد وفاتح عزام

نقاش حول واقع وانشطة وتاريخ حركات المجتمع المدني في منطقة الخليج العربي. أنور الرشيد رئيس منتدى المجتمع المدني الخليجي منذ 2007. يعمل أيضاً كصحفي ومحلل سياسي، وعضو جمعية الصحفيين الكويتيين، وهو مراقب دولي للانتخابات في المنطقة وكان نائب رئيس مجلس مديري شبكة انتخابات العالم العربي. وهو عضو في منظمة حقوق الإنسان الكويتية، ونسّق عدة “مؤتمرات ظل” للمجتمع المدني بالتوازي مع مؤتمرات قادة مجلس التعاون الخليجي  

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Manifesto Against the Woman

[Image by Rana Jarbou.]

Weeks before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Indian theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty published her book, Feminism without Borders, in which she discusses the hegemony of Western feminism and its deadly transnational effects. In doing so, Mohanty did not reveal a truth that other feminists had somehow missed. She did, however, theorize what she called “third world difference”–that brute pedestal upon which western feminists stand as they survey the world. Mohanty uses the term to critique the problematic practices and relationships through which western feminism purports to speak for third world women. Mohanty describes this “difference” as “that stable, ahistorical ...

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New Texts Out Now: Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, Saudi Arabia: A Kingdom in Peril

[Cover of Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants,

Paul Aarts and Carolien Roelants, Saudia Arabia: A Kingdom in Peril. London: Hurst, 2015. J: What made you write this book? Paul Aarts (PA): Two years ago I had a chance to visit Saudi Arabia again (after many years). My co-author Carolien Roelants also managed to get a visa—which is not easy—and separately we interviewed quite a few Saudis, from different backgrounds. I travelled to Jeddah, Riyadh, and the Eastern Province (al-Khobar, Dammam, and Qatif). In Jeddah and in the capital city I talked to Saudi youngsters, bloggers, human-rights activists (among them Waleed Abu al-Khair, now in prison), journalists, and academics. In the Eastern Province I mainly ...

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Fact Check: The Truth About Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr

[The following resource was published by Americans for Human Rights and Democracy in Bahrain on 29 December 2015. Shaykh Nimr al-Nimr was a leading opposition figure who was the Saudi regime executed on 2 January 2016 along with forty-six other detainees.] Since arresting leading Shia cleric Shaykh Nimr Baqir al-Nimr in July 2012, the Government of Saudi Arabia has worked to propagate a series of misperceptions aimed at degrading Sheikh Nimr’s record as a peaceful opposition figure. However, a review of Shaykh Nimr’s speeches and opposition activities demonstrates that government claims do not hold up to scrutiny. Myth: Shaykh Nimr is an agent of ...

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Al Jazeera Censors English-Language Article Critical of Saudi Regime

[Screenshot of Twitter showing deleted Al Jazeera America tweet that promoted Arjun Sethi's piece when first published]

On 3 December 2015, Al Jazeera America (AJAM) published an article by US-based civil rights attorney and analyst Arjun Sethi. Entitled "Saudi Arabia Uses Terrorism as An Excuse for Human Rights Abuses," the article drew on a range of reports by international human rights organizations about the Saudi regime's repression of dissent and the recent increase in the number of planned executions. It also drew direct parallels and connections between the US War on Terror and that of the Saudi regime. The article circulated well on the Internet, in the United States, Europe, as well as the Middle East. It solicited a barrage of tweets directed at Sethi, some critiquing ...

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Can Total War in the Middle East Be Prevented?

[Aleppo after aerial bombardments in 2012. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Three weeks ago, Russia started to directly intervene in Syria. The proxy war between Russia and Iran on the one hand, and the United States and Saudi Arabia on the other, threatens to turn into an actual war. Having lost control over its “victories” in the last fourteen years, the United States would rather keep this a proxy war. Nevertheless, it is not clear how long it can permit Russian galloping in what was once simply and only America’s backyard. Russia, long denied a major role in the Middle East, aggressively inserts itself in the equation. A crony capitalism that has no hope of catching up with the West through peaceful means chooses to raise the stakes. It is ...

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NPR's 'Here and Now' Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Rosie Bsheer About Redevelopment in Mecca

In this interview with NPR's Here and Now, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Rosie Bsheer discusses urban redevelopment in Mecca following the tragic stampede that killed over 700 pilgrims in Mecca on 24 September 2015. Bsheer explains the political and economic motivations behind the nature of redevelopment there since the 1990s, and some of its consequences to both Mecca's residents as well as pilgrims. The interview was conducted on 25 September 2015.

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Killing Yemen: An Interview with Sheila Carapico

On 26 March 2016, tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital Sanaa to mark the first anniversary of the US-backed Saudi military attacks on their country. In the past twelve months, the United States military has provided intelligence for the Saudi strikes, refueled its bombers, and replenished the kingdom with weaponry that brought death and destruction to Yemen’s population. According to Defense Department figures reported by foreign policy magazine, between April 2015 and the ...

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الشيعي والشاعر والأستاذ

ثلاثة مشاهد... ثلاثة عناوين أزمة... ثلاثة رموز لمقياس واحد هو معضلة المؤسسة والفاعل، والأدهى علامات الخور والحول الحضاري. أعدم شاعر لقصيدة، وأعدم داعية لفكرة وهشم رأس أستاذ لطلب حق، المضمون سنابك خوف ورهاب تتوسل بالسيادة المزعومة والوحدة المنشودة، وتستجدي كل معاني البطولة على الفكرة والرأي والاختلاف، إنها بحق المشهد الحضاري المعبر عنه "أسد علينا وفي الحروب نعامة " . إن طرح السؤال في هذا المقام والبحث عن جوابه أشبه بحلم وتيه وضلالة وغي، بل و تعبير يجد في الإمعان في أزمته، ما دامت البنية ...

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الفيلم الوثائقي تعز بين المطرقة والسندان

يوثق هذا الفليم الاستثنائي لصفاء الاحمد، والذي عرض على بي بي سي العربية بتاريخ ٢٢ شباط/ فبراير ٢٠١٦ رحلتها الشجاعة إلى مدينة تعز في اليمن. وتعيش هذه المدينة تحت الحصار منذ نيسان/ابريل ٢٠١٥، فرضته الميليشيا الحوثية، مما أدى الى نقص حاد في وصول الاغذية، المساعدات الطبية، والوقود، وزاد الأزمة الانسانية المتفاقمة في البلاد جراء الحصار المفروض من السعودية. ويحتاج أكثر من ثمانين بالمئة من السكان إلى مساعدات انسانية بينما تم تشريد مليونين ونصف يمني. أدى الصراع الجاري حول المدينة بين ...

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Oil: The Stuff of Mass Delusion

Military primacy, and the routine use of deadly military force, remains the cornerstone of US foreign policy in the Middle East. The 2015 nuclear non-proliferation accord with Iran represents a rare yet fleeting bright moment for diplomacy in a region where wars—in Libya, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen—and the mass displacement of peoples continue unchecked. The United States has done much to precipitate the violence through its unjustifiable and destructive 2003 invasion of Iraq. Today the Obama administration ...

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New Texts Out Now: Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East

Eckart Woertz, Oil for Food: The Global Food Crisis and the Middle East. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013, paperback edition 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Eckart Woertz (EW): In 2007-08, at the height of the global food crisis, I was living in Dubai, working for the Gulf Research Center. Food price inflation became a hot topic, and in 2008 Gulf countries started to make all these announcements about agro-investments in food-insecure countries like Sudan and ...

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The Saudi PR Machine in the US: An Interview with Lee Fang

On 2 January 2016, Saudi Arabia executed forty-seven people, including prominent dissident Shia cleric Nimr al-Nimr. Soon after the executions, organized mobs attacked the Saudi diplomatic missions in Tehran and the northeastern city of Mash-had. The tension between the two countries reached its paroxysm when Saudi Arabia severed all diplomatic and commercial ties with Iran. In his new piece in the Intercept, Lee Fang writes that a well-funded Saudi public relations apparatus moved in quickly to shape ...

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The Geo-Economics of Gulf Food Imports

What a difference two decades can make. In the early 1990s, Saudi Arabia was among the world’s top ten wheat exporters. Now it is among the crop’s top ten importers. The Saudi government’s vision to overcome the geopolitical vulnerability of food import dependence with domestic wheat self-sufficiency lies in tatters due to lack of water. To make matters worse, the global food crisis of 2008 only heightened this sense of vulnerability. The meatification of diets in emerging markets like China, biofuel ...

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نمر النمر أكثر من رجل دين شيعي

الشيخ المعارض نمر النمر كرر على المنابر ضرورة الالتزام بسلمية التظاهر، وشدّد على نزع أي بُعدٍ مذهبي عن المطالب المحقة لسكان المناطق الشرقية في السعودية، وعلى ضرورة إعطائهم بعضاً من حقوقهم. ولم يتردد يوماً في القول بأن الظلم هو نفسه سواء مورس من قبل الشيعة أو السنة، ومن ناصر ظالماً فما هو إلا بظالم، ولعل خطبته الشهيرة الذي يضع فيها آل سعود وآل خليفة وآل الأسد ومن على شاكلتهم في الخانة نفسها أكبر مثال على ذلك. كل ذلك لم ينفع. فبعد اعتقاله منذ سنتين وبعد إطلاق النار عليه (مما تسبب له بإعاقة دائمة في ...

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Monsoon Revolution

Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Monsoon Revolution: Republicans, Sultans, and Empires in Oman, 1965-1976. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013. [This review was originally published in the most recent issue of Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Abdel Razzaq Takriti’s excellent book will quickly be established as the definitive account of the revolutionary Arab nationalist and third worldist armed struggle in Dhufar, waged against the ...

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Borders Are There to Be Crossed

Borders Are There to Be Crossed The International Book Fair in Torino, the second largest Book Fair in Europe, has announced that Saudi Arabia will no longer be the guest of honour in its 2016 event. Instead, next year’s fair will focus on Arab Literature more broadly. This move breaks with the fair’s long tradition of hosting a different country each year, in close collaboration with the embassies and the ministry of culture of the guest countries. It was almost midnight in Sydney and about 4pm in ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (October 6)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Regional and International Relations Saudi Objections Halt U.N. Inquiry of Yemen War Nick Cumming-Bruce reports on Saudi Arabia’s efforts to halt a UN ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 29)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations France urges Saudi Arabia to cancel death penalty for young Shi'ite France calls on Saudi Arabia not to execute Ali ...

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