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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (March-April 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]  English Articles        ISIS Threatens Twitter Founder And Employees Over Blocked Accounts (1 March 2015) David Mack reports that ISIS supporters called on jihadis around the world "to kill Twitter employees because of the company’s frequent blocking of their social media accounts." ISIS releases several captured Christians: activists (1 March 2015) "The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) released at least 19 Christians on Sunday who were among the more than ...

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طائرة الجثامين الصباحية

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كل صباح، العاشرة والنصف قبل أن تجد شمس المطار طريقها إليه، تصل الطائرة، صرنا نقول عنها الطائرة، صار الجميع يفهم أي جحيم معدني طائر نعني، صار الجميع يتحدث عنها بخفوت كأنها ذلك المرض الخبيث الذي لا نجرؤ على التلفظ باسمه، نهمسه همساً، نرسمه بأصابع خرقاء، طائرة الجثامين، لا حاجة لتعريف المعرّف أصلا بدم وأرواح ضائعة وأشلاء، لا حاجة لوضع رقم رحلة أو اسم لآلة بمحركين، صرنا نعرفها، الساحل السوري بأكمله يرقبها بقلب راجف وعينين دامعتين، طائرة الموتى، طائرة العبث، طائرة الموت التقني، كل صباح تهبط طائرة قادمة من شمال ما، عاصمة ما، ريف ما، دمار ما، والأغلب من برّاد حفظ جثث ما، تهبط خفيفة، رشيقة، بمهارة من اعتاد نقل الركاب والحقائب، لكن الركاب هذه المرة خفيفو الوزن، خفيفو الدم ودائما ...

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عن «يسار النُّصرة» و «يسار النِّظام» وعن اليسار في سوريا

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ما الذي يدفع أحداً هذه الأيام إلى الكلام على اليسار في أيّ مكان، فما بالك بالكلام عليه في سوريا؟ ما الذي يدفع أحداً إلى الاهتمام بجماعةٍ هامشية عجوز، لم يتجاوز جمهورها بضعة آلاف من «المتثاقفين» في أيّ يوم من الخمسين عاماً الماضية، وتبدو وخطابها اليوم كأنّها قادمة من كوكبٍ آخر وعصرٍ مغاير؟ ما يدفعني إلى ذلك، الآن تحديداً، أربعة أمور:                                                                                                   ...

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مذنّب عابر في فضاء دمشق

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شبّهَ الشاعر السويدي توماس ترانسترومر حياته بالمذنّب، وقد حالفنا الحظ في سنة ٢٠٠٥ أن نشاهد هذا المذنّب وهو ينثر قصائده الضوئية في فضاء دمشق، وكان اللقاء حدثاً شعرياً وثقافياً، فقد جاء الشاعر على كرسيه المدولب برفقة زوجته مونيكا وابنته، ومديرة المعهد الثقافي السويدي هيلين سيكلند، ونزل آنذاك في فندق الشيراتون، وكانت مناسبة الزيارة صدور أعماله الشعرية الكاملة عن دار “بدايات”. ما أزال أذكر ابتسامته ونظرته العميقة، ووجهه المتوهج كرماً وحضوراً. وكان الجو آنذاك رقيقاً يذكر بقصيدة له يلعب فيها الضوء على المشهد الطبيعي الساحر، يومئ إلى الذكريات وهي تنظر إليه في صباح حزيرانيّ من بين الخضرة الكثيفة غير أنها لا يمكن أن تُرى ذلك أنها تندمج في الخلفية كحرباوات لكنها قريبة جداً بحيث ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Interviewed by Al-Jazeera English on UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

[Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani in Al-Jazeera English Office. Image from screenshot of below video]

In this interview with Al-Jazeera English Diplomatic Editor James Bays, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani discusses the failure of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to make any headway with an initiative to negotiate a ceasefire in Aleppo. Based on his own personal experience with the mission, Rabbani highlights the absence of preparatory work, and concludes that the UN special envoy was operating out of his depth and lacked the background required for the complexity of the task. These challenges were compounded by a cronyism in which vital tasks were assigned to staff members incapable of discharging them. De Mistura's central role in the ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (26 April)

[Predator drone operators at Balad Camp Anaconda, Iraq, August 2007. Photo by Master Sergeant Steve Horton]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Palestine The Occupation and BDS, Bashir Abu Manneh Writing in Jacobin, Abu Manneh analyzes Israeli settler colonialism and calls for centralizing the fight against the occupation in the current context Israel's Anti-Boycott Law Will Hit Palestinians Hardest, Rights Groups Warn, Ali Abunimah Abunimah covers a ...

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Syria Media Roundup (April 20)

[Image of battle-scarred Saif Al Dawla district in Aleppo, Syria. Image by Manu Brabo via Associated Press]

This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Inside Syria Syrian refugees transform used tents into vibrant works of art Syrian refugees use art as a form of expression and symbolism of the loss and displacement caused by the civil war. Deir al-Zor suffers under Islamic State’s harsh rules on aid The Islamic State and their stringent rules make it difficult and dangerous for ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (March 2015)

Free Palestine rally in Cairo. Image by Gigi Ibrahim

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyyastrives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your post with your bio and a release form to post@jadaliyya.com (click "Submissions" on the main page for more information).]   In Need of Aid but Hungry for ...

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Syria Media Roundup (April 13)

[Image of rebel fighters in Aleppo, Syria. Image by Freedom House via Flickr.]

This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]             Inside Syria In Syria's war, Alawites pay heavy price for loyalty to Bashar al-Assad Alawites have seen up to a third of their young men lose their lives because of the Syrian conflict and their unwavering loyalty to Assad and the regime. Dire situation in Yarmouk refugee camp, and ...

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Syria Media Roundup (April 6)

[Image of Azaz, Syria. Image by Christiaan Triebert/Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Inside Syria Education Suffers on Both Sides of Divided Aleppo Education suffers in Aleppo due to the continuous battle for control, school curriculums are constantly altered on both sides of divided Aleppo by the regime and its opponents. Syria to UN: Peace-Loving Nations Must Act Against Terrorism Syrian Foreign Ministry urges the global ...

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Quick Thoughts on Syria's Humanitarian Crisis: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation with Omar Dahi

As the war in Syria rages on, and with attention turning towards ISIS, the humanitarian crisis in the country has been relegated to the sidelines. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status (conducted in late-February 2015), Omar Dahi brings it back to the forefront by highlighting the extent and locations of the humanitarian needs across the country, how political circumstances manifest on the ground, and the regime's recent uptick in bombardment. Omar S. Dahi, associate professor of economics at Hampshire College, received his BA in economics from California State University at Long Beach, and his MA and PhD in economics from the University of Notre Dame, ...

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (January-February 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]    English Articles        2014: The Year ISIS Won the Propaganda Battle (31 December 2014) Markham Nolan writes about the ways in which ISIS has been documenting its progress throughout 2014 in a constant stream of propaganda.  Vanguard of Syria’s uprising, now on the run from ISIS, weighs a bleak future 2014: The Year ISIS Won the Propaganda Battle (1 January 2015) Anne Barnard on Syria’s “lost generation” and the former fighters exhausted by the continuous clashes and ...

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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 ...

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القفص

عقوباتُ الليلِ للوحيدِ يضمِّدها النهارُ بأوهامٍ شتّى. مُضفياً على العينين الزائغتين من عراكِ الأشباح عُمقَ الحكمةِ الناجية من هاوية، مُقْنِعاً عظامكَ المرتجّةَ بَرداً أنها أعمدةُ بُنيان، لافحاً سمْعَكَ، وقد تَناوَبَ على دكِّه معولانِ عنيدان: دويُّ المدافع وطنينُ البعوض، بحفيفِ سيرتِه الأولى: نافذة تطلُّ وتستضيف. حتى لَتنسى، برشقةِ ماءٍ فاترٍ، خَدَرَ يديك من وطأةِ الفراغ. تحسب، نافضاً أمام المرآة ودائعَ العتمة، أنّ مقاسَكَ أكبرُ مما أنجزه حتى الآن نجّارُ التابوت. وتكاد توقن، حين يصطفق البابُ خلف ...

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Syria Media Roundup (May 12)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Inside Syria Syria's Mercenaries: The Afghans Fighting Assad's War Bashar al-Assad is running out of support and is forced to rely on mercenaries, some of which come from ...

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Syria Media Roundup (May 5)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Syria and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Syria Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Inside Syria US-led airstrikes 'kill 52 civilians in northern Syria' Syrian civilians suffer as coalition strikes continue to take the lives of many, according to Syrian ...

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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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Water Management in Jordan in Response to the Syrian Crisis: Between Neoliberal Pressures and Social Tensions

Since 1948, the Kingdom of Jordan has taken in a considerable number of refugee populations fleeing conflicts in Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. While this brings the country significant international aid, it also raises the question of the capacity of urban public services to handle this new demographic pressure. These public services, heavily subsidised for reasons of social stability, are in a state of chronic crisis, and are unable to meet user demand. This has led to sharp socio-spatial inequalities, ...

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On Developments in Yarmouk: France 24 Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

In this interview with France 24, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani speaks about the situation in the Yarmouk district of Damascus. Yarmouk has historically been the primary center of Palestinian life in Syria, and much of it was recently seized by the Islamic State movement. Rabbani discusses the situation of the Palestinian community in Syria, the failure of Palestinian leaderships to serve their interests, and also the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. 

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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 ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (11 April)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to OIL@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every other week.] Iran Here's What You Need to Know About the Iran Deal, Noah RaymanTime magazine provides an overview of a deal reached between Iran and the US ...

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New Texts Out Now: Noura Erakat, Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising

Noura Erakat, “Palestinian Refugees and the Syrian Uprising: Filling the Protection Gap During Secondary Forced Displacement.” Oxford International Journal of Refugee Law 26.4 (2014). [Full text available online until June 2015.] Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this article? Noura Erakat (NE): I began to write this article as an LLM student in National Security at the Georgetown University Law Center. In the spring of 2012, I was enrolled in a research seminar on refugees, and at that point there ...

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part II)

[See Part I here. Parts II and III are combined below] The Irony of Calamity There are no easy answers in Syria. Though undramatic, this is not how most seem to approach the Syrian tragedy in practice. What follows is not a recipe for an answer as much as it is a reminder against repeating the same mistakes if/when calling for solutions. If one’s vision is not yet clear regarding what path to take, or what existing combination of forces to support, one should be steadfast in understanding what went ...

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In Need of Aid but Hungry for Peace

I am in the Yarmouk refugee camp, Damascus, during an aid delivery. A man approaches me and utters three words, “I am hungry”. The sunken eyes in his face are equally eloquent.  His fragile frame expresses volumes. He speaks for a people brutalized, a people sick of war. He is a living symbol of the world’s failure to resolve the crisis in Syria. Yarmouk has become a powerful icon of the wider war and of the Palestinian experience. It was once the densely populated heart of Syria’s Palestinian ...

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