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Stasis Shift: Guernica Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Founder Bassam Haddad

[Composite image of Jadaliyya Pages]

Jadaliyya co-founder on telling alternative stories about the Arab world, understanding the life cycles of revolution, and confronting “the weight of ancient problems.” In the fall of 2010, I was crossing a crowded hotel lobby at the Middle East Studies Association convention in San Diego when a friend introduced me to the writer, editor, and scholar Bassam Haddad. “Bassam is starting a website,” she said. “You should know each other.” He slipped me a business card with the word Jadaliyya (Arabic for “dialectic”) on it. “There isn’t much online yet,” Haddad explained. “We just launched.” A few weeks later, Mohamed Bouazizi lit himself on fire in the Tunisian ...

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Event: Angela Davis and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat on Mass Incarceration in the United States and Palestine (19 April, Evergreen State College)

[Image from event announcement]

Peace Works 2014 Yet Again Captives: Mass Incarceration in the United States and Palestine April 19, 2014 The Evergreen State College Olympia, Washington Keynote discussion with Angela Davis and Noura Erakat 7:00 PM Washington Center for the Performing Arts Register for the full conference here!  Purchase tickets to the Keynote event here. Join us for a day-long conference featuring plenaries, workshops, networking opportunities, and plans for action to address systems of mass incarceration in the U.S. and Palestine. Click here for a sample of our conference offerings! As the illegal occupation of Palestine persists, similarities ...

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Good Faith or Good Tactics? How Some Anti-Divestment Groups Manipulate Public Discourse and Smear SJP

When preparing to bring up its divestment bill in February of this year, Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) engaged in what is widely described as one of the most open and far-reaching public campaigns on campus. The organization made presentations to over twenty student groups, including those which hold views that might be described as our polar opposite. During this time, SJP repeatedly contacted UCLA student groups Hillel and Bruins for Israel (BFI) in order to secure a presentation to their members. The results of this outreach are worth reviewing as they put into question whether groups that oppose divestment ...

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Teaching Arabic in the US after 9/11

[I Want You, image from Chicago Sun-Times]

On 9 May 2013 I was stabbed in front of the US Embassy in Cairo. My attacker was a young college-educated Egyptian man who had come from his village that day to kill an American in “revenge over U.S. policies in the Middle East.” At the time, I was living in Egypt and conducting research as part of my sabbatical from Hunter College of the City University of New York where I teach Arabic. The day I was stabbed, I had come to the Embassy looking to have a translation of my marriage certificate authenticated so that my wife’s Egyptian residency permit might be renewed. After the attack, a few Egyptian journalist friends wrote about the event, partly to rectify some ...

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عين صندوق النقد الدولي على الريوع النفطية: مثال الكويت

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حين زار وفد صندوق النقد الدولي الكويت في أيلول/سبتمبر الماضي، لمناقشة «مواضيع مرتبطة بالسياسات المالية وإدارة الثروات»، جاء حاملاً جملة مخاوف، من بينها احتمال أن تتعرض الكويت لعجز كبير في الميزانية العامة للدولة «بسبب عدم التحكم في الإنفاق العام، وبسبب كلفة وعدم كفاءة الخدمات التي تقدمها في مختلف القطاعات»، علاوة على ما تستنزفه «فاتورة الدعومات الكبيرة ضمن الموازنة العامة». ولتأكيد واقعية هذه المخاوف، أشار الوفد إلى تقلبات سوق النفط العالمي و«توقع انخفاض سعر برميل النفط ليتراوح ما بين 65 إلى 70 دولاراً بحلول 2018»، (وهذا توقع مبالِغ في تشاؤمه تقابله توقعات معاكسة له). من جهة أخرى امتدح وفد الصندوق الجهود الحكومية، إلا إنه طالبها بالعمل على إقناع مجلس الأمة بقبول التوصيات ...

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Confronting the Human Rights Crises Left in the Wake of the Iraq War

[Logo of the Center for Constitutional Rights. Image from ccrjustice.org]

[The following briefing was written by Jeena Shah and published by the Center for Consitutional Rights on 24 March 2014] The Bush administration’s plan to invade Iraq spurred the largest outcry and anti-war protests in the history of the world. More than ten years and hundreds of thousands of lives later, U.S. veterans and Iraqi civil society groups have come together to demand accountability for the U.S.’s fateful and lawless decisions. As one of the region’s principle mechanisms for the promotion and protection of human rights, and given its location in Washington, D.C., the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) seemed the natural human rights body to ...

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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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A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen

[Logo of Human Rights Watch. Image from hrw.org]

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 20 February 2014] A Wedding That Became a Funeral: US Drone Attack on Marriage Procession in Yemen Summary On December 12, 2013, a United States aerial drone launched four Hellfire missiles on a convoy of 11 cars and pickup trucks during a counterterrorism operation in rural Yemen.  The strike killed at least 12 men and wounded at least 15 others, 6 of them seriously. Yemen authorities initially described all those killed in the attack outside the city of Rad`a as “terrorists.” The US government never officially acknowledged any role in the attack, but unofficially told media that the dead were ...

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Official Statement Regarding Barnard Administration's Removal of SJP Banner

[The following statement was issued by Students for Justice in Palestine of Columbia University on 11 March 2014] On March 10th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine hung a banner on Barnard Hall. The banner was placed after members of C­SJP went through the required bureaucratic channels and processes in order to give voice and presence to our week­long events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), a global period of action and awareness­raising that has been occurring throughout the world for the past ten years. This morning we awoke to find that our banner – which simply read “Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine,” and featured the logo of our ...

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In Conversation with Artist Nadia Ayari

[Nadia Ayari's

Since the start of her artistic practice over a decade ago, Nadia Ayari has engaged painting and the history of its development with marked intensity and seriousness. Adding to the complexity that one finds in her usage of the medium is her subject matter, which is not easily decipherable; figural but somehow abstracted and simultaneously sensual with tinges of the grotesque. Her “figures” are outwardly peculiar, psychologically laden, and allegorically political—a combination that is accentuated by the painterly force with which they are rendered if one considers the artist’s stirring palette, her cinematic usage of space, and the densely executed brushmarks that add a ...

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Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Health, Access, and Contributions

[Crop of image from the

[The following infographics were originally published by Visualizing Palestine.]   [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.]

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After Malcolm: Reconfiguring Our Maps and Histories

[Actor Ossie Davis delivers eulogy for Malcolm X at the funeral services for the slain leader in the Faith Temple of God in Christ in New York's Harlem, 27 February 1965. Image via Associated Press]

[This article is part of a six-person roundtable entitled “African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle.” Click here for the introduction by Lindsey Stephenson and links to responses by Zareena Grewal, Abbas Barzegar, Mansa Bilal Mark King, Aminah B. McCloud, and Sohail Daulatzai. The initial question posed to the roundtable participants was: African American Muslims have been involved in the black freedom struggle for over a century, however their participation is often overlooked or generalized. How have they engaged with some of the important questions of the movement such as: the extent to which the black freedom struggle was a national or an ...

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On Not Despising the Present: Some Notes on Faris Giacaman’s 'The Sadness of Post-Militance'

A Brechtian maxim: “Don’t start from the good old things but the bad new ones.” — Walter Benjamin, “Conversations with Brecht”[1] You have no right to despise the present. — Charles Baudelaire, quoted in Michel Foucault, “What Is Enlightenment?”[2] I was quite moved by Faris Giacaman’s recent article “The Sadness of Post-Militance: Some Reflections on Brown University’s ‘New Directions in Palestine Studies’ Conference.” For a young scholar to call into question the direction of Palestine Studies, ...

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United States: Send Detainees Home to Yemen (Video)

[The following video was released by Human Rights Watch on 7 April 2014]

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Call for Papers: 5th National RAWI + Mizna Literary Gathering (Deadline: April 21)

5th National RAWI + Mizna Literary Gathering Call for papers, workshops, performances, panels and more Deadline April 21 Theme: "New Beginnings" Minneapolis, Minnesota September 18-21 RAWI's Fifth National Gathering, held in partnership with Mizna, will take place at Open Book, which houses the Loft Literary Center in Minneapolis, MN, from September 18 through 21. We are very excited for this year’s gathering and look forward to sharing more information about special ...

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Press Release: University of Michigan Activists Respond to Divestment Resolution Vote

 [The following press release was issued by the University of Michigan - Ann Arbor chapter of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality on 27 March 2014.] FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Greetings from Students Allied for Freedom and Equality (SAFE) at the University of Michigan ­ Ann Arbor! This past week has been nothing short of inspirational. Hundreds of Palestinian students, SAFE activists, and allies from dozens of student organizations persevered through a week­long ...

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Poetry, Solidarity, and BDS: An Interview with Remi Kanazi

Following the debut of his most recent work, This Divestment Bill Hurts My Feelings, Palestinian-American writer Remi Kanazi canvasses his experiences as an activist and poet. In the video below, Remi collaborates with Suhel Nafar, director, animator, and co-founder of DAM, to create a powerful case for divestment on university campuses. In a visually stimulating fusion of animation and typography, Remi deconstructs some of the most prevalent talking points against divestment seen ...

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Between Convenient Misreading and Mythology: The Iran Sanctions Regime and the Institutionalization of War

After eight years of Ahmadinejad at the helm of government, Iran is experiencing a new trajectory. A number of promising signs in the weeks and months following Hassan Rouhani’s election as president on 14 June 2013 have given rise to a sense of cautious optimism for change and reform in Iran. Such signs include the release of a limited number of political prisoners and the country’s improving relations with the world, leading some to warily suggest we might be witnessing an unfolding of an ...

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ما بعد الناصرية

لم يَخْل الحراك السياسي في مصر من مطلع القرن الحادي والعشرين من صور عبد الناصر ومفردات الحقبة الناصرية ومن السياسيين والمثقفين الناصريين. كانت هذه العناصر جميعاً حاضرة في المظاهرات الداعمة للانتفاضة الفلسطينية في ٢٠٠٠، وفي المظاهرات المناهضة للغزو الأمريكي للعراق في ٢٠٠٣، ثم في حركة كفاية، ومع انتشار الاحتجاج السياسي والاجتماعي في سنوات حكم مبارك الأخيرة. ومع تصاعد المعارضة ضد حكم الإخوان المسلمين خلال رئاسة محمد مرسي القصيرة العهد اكتسب استدعاء ذكرى عبد الناصر ومفردات نظامه السياسي وسياساته وحقبته عامة ...

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Open Letter from NYC Iranians to Mayor de Blasio: When You Stand by AIPAC, You Do Not Stand by Us

[The following open letter was issued by a group of Iranians and Iranian-Americans living in New York City. It was first published on Mondoweiss on 12 March 2014] Open Letter from NYC Iranians to Mayor de Blasio: When You Stand by AIPAC, You Do Not Stand by Us Dear Mayor Bill de Blasio, We are a group of Iranians and Iranian-Americans living in New York City. We are firmly committed to opposing state repression — regardless of the race, ethnicity or nationality of the people suffering, and ...

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Looking Suspicious: The Profiling of Muslim Americans

Profiling is a tactic used by police and security agencies in which people are treated as suspicious because of their racial or religious identity and subjected to heightened scrutiny. By 2000, there was a bipartisan consensus in the United States that the pervasive use of such tactics was inherently discriminatory and therefore unjust. Then 9/11 happened, and profiling got a new lease on life. Racial and religious profiling of Arabs and Muslims intensified, and remains a staple of counterterrorism and ...

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The (Ir)relevance of Academia? Academics Lash Back at Kristof for NYT Column

Has academia become a wasteland of intelligence? This is not the first time such an argument has been brought to light. A recent column by Nicholas Kristof in the New York Times titled “Professors, We Need You!” has attracted a significant amount of attention from across the web over his argument that professors and the work they produce are becoming closed off from reality and do not have the practical impact they should. Kristof points a lot of fingers in his op-ed, which has ...

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Introduction: Roundtable on African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle

This roundtable on "African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle" convened five scholars from various disciplinary perspectives to discuss the legacy of Black Muslims in the United States and their contribution to the civil rights discussion within the country, and to human rights more generally. The respondents were asked to direct their responses to addressing some of the questions in the following prompt: African American Muslims have been involved in the black freedom struggle ...

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Beyond Nostalgia

[This article is part of a six-person roundtable entitled “African American Muslims and the Black Freedom Struggle.” Click here for the introduction by Lindsey Stephenson and links to responses by Zareena Grewal, Abbas Barzegar, Mansa Bilal Mark King, Aminah B. McCloud, and Sohail Daulatzai. The initial question posed to the roundtable participants was: African American Muslims have been involved in the black freedom struggle for over a century, however their participation is often overlooked or ...

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