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The Light Bulb and the Oak Tree: Politics of Space Meets the Ballot Box

Browsing the depths of social media for alternative and local takes on politics is not merely a form of procrastination but also, and more so, a great way to learn about unpublished concerns, rumors, and disappointments. And the fact that ...

[100,000 people protest against IMF austerity measures in front of parliament building in Athens (29 May 2011). Image by Wikimedia Commons User Kotsolis.]

The Right to Democratic Dissent: A View from Greece

One of the normative impulses of Eurozone orthodoxy has been to forestall the element of dissent, and to establish an uncritical and authoritarian doctrine: namely, that neoliberal austerity is the only possible “game in town”.  For ...

[خريطة لورنس ، 1918.

خطوط مرسومة على خريطة فارغة: حدود العراق وأسطورة الدولة المصطنعة الجزء الأول

 قد لا تكون هناك دولة ـ أمة حديثة دُعيت "مصطنعة" أكثر من العراق. وبينما يُقرّ معظم الباحثين بأن جميع الدول ـ الأمم مصطنعة، بمعنى أنّ بشراً أنشأوها، فإن العراق، على ما يبدو، مصطنع أكثر منها كلها. وتبدأ القصة دوماً بمعاهدات ...

 [May 15, 2013, a screenshot from the video report

'I must save my life and not risk my family’s safety!': Untold Stories of Syrian Women Surviving War (Part 1)

What is now known as the Syrian Uprising began in mid-March 2011 as a peaceful social movement in the context of the so-called the Arab Spring. In a few months the uprising shifted from peaceful demonstrations to an armed conflict, mainly, ...


Nostalgia, Hope, and Fear on the Path to 30 June

[Protestor in Tahrir Square,

[This is the first in a series of dispatches that Mona Atia will be sending from Egypt to present some views from the ground about the lead up to 30 June protests and their aftermath. As part of her annual research trips, she has spent the last month researching poverty politics, and on the way collected narratives of the revolution from Cairo, Sinai and Assiut.] The sentiment on the streets of Cairo has changed immensely over the course of the past year. Last year people could not help themselves from talking about the presidential election. This year, everyone is talking about the current situation of the country—most notably, the everyday experience of living in ...

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Unpacking Anti-Muslim Brotherhood Discourse

[Wall graffiti in reference to the media propaganda in Egypt. Image originally post to Flicker by Gigi Ibrahim]

Noam Chomsky’s Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda argues that effectively crafted and controlled media messages can turn otherwise rational people into “hysterical” warmongers. Chomsky’s analysis focuses on how western governments and elite-led media in democratic societies have successfully employed propaganda campaigns to achieve political aims. Egypt has experienced its own propaganda program in recent months. What is perhaps unique about Egypt’s propaganda campaign is that it is an anti-government campaign initiated by a diverse group of oppositional forces. In post-revolution Egypt–which is, perhaps, not actually as “post” revolution as many ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (June 28)

[Mauritanian activists protest discriminatory policies outside of a biometrics office. Photo courtesy of @SaidouWane.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Maghreb and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Maghreb Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to maghreb@jadaliyya.com by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria Algeria twenty years on: words do not die Karima Bennoune commemorates the twenty year anniversary of the war on culture and intellect in Algeria. Les réponses de l’économiste Mahrez Hadjseyd, auteur de « L’industrie algérienne : crise et tentative d’ajustement » Farouk Djouadi interviews economist Mahrez Hadiseyd ...

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Syria Media Roundup (June 27)

[The Bassel Shahadeh school in Aleppo, named for the slain Syrian filmmaker. From Soriyat for Human Development.]

[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.] Regional and International Perspectives The Syrian Crisis in Jordan Matthew Hall provides an extensive report on the refugee situation, further exposing the debate on whether Syrians should be allowed to receive work permits or not. Obama’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ Syria Strategy Micah Zenko deplores the inability of the US government “to clearly ...

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المسلسلات التركية وفقاعة الاختراق والتأثير في الوطن العربي

[كاريكاتير لخالد الجابري 2008]

جذبت المسلسلات التركية اهتمام الباحثين والصحفيين ورجال الدين في العالم العربي، نظراً لشغف المشاهد العربي بكل ما يخصها من تفاصيل. في آب 2008 تابع حوالي 85 مليون عربي الحلقة الأخيرة من المسلسل التركي "نور" ، الذي عرضته قناة MBC وكانت أول من بدأ بعرض الإنتاج التركي. المسلسلات التركية ما زالت تحتل أوقات الذروة في جدول برامج المحطات العربية، حتى بدأت القنوات بالتنافس الشديد لجذب عدد أكبر من المتابعين من خلال بث المزيد من الدراما التركية. لعل التأثيرات الثقافية والاجتماعية احتلت اهتمام الباحثين في المركز الأول، إلا أن التأثيرات السياسية والاقتصادية لهذه الظاهرة لا يمكن تجاهلها كذلك.  فلا بد من الاعتراف أن المسلسلات التركية عكست للشعوب العربية حزمة من ...

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Le Mouvement du droit à la ville et l’été turc

[Un manifestant et la police à le parc Gezi. 31 Mai 2013. Image par Yücel Tunca via Nar Photos.]

Au moment même où j’écris, Istanbul est assiégé. Toute la puissance des forces de police d’Istanbul - la plus importante police municipale d’Europe - est en train de s’abattre sur les occupants pacifistes du parc Gezi. La protestation a débuté le 27 mai dernier, à l’origine, un projet de construction d’un centre commercial au milieu de la place Taksim. Mais, un mouvement populaire suivi aussi massivement ne naît pas de nulle part. Il est le résultat d’un travail acharné de militants depuis des années, et puis, quelque chose arrive : une étincelle met le feu aux poudres qui s’accumulaient peu à peu. Les manifestations ont commencé avec environ soixante-dix ...

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Don't Tell Them You're Studying Islam

[The following article was published in collaboration with the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University on Tadween Publishing's blog. It was originally published by CCAS here. For more information on the publishing world as it relates to pedagogy and knowledge production, follow Tadween Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.] By Steven Gertz I now know what it is like to be profiled. As an American white male of German descent, this is not something to which I am accustomed. For years, I have flown internationally with very little problem going through passport control (though Israel has been wary of my travels ...

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New Texts Out Now: Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, Arab and Arab American Feminisms

[Cover of Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber,

Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, and Nadine Naber, editors, Arab and Arab American Feminisms: Gender, Violence, and Belonging. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2011. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Rabab Abdulhadi, Evelyn Alsultany, Nadine Naber (RA, EA, NN): It was a year after 11 September 2001, and the three of us were on the same panel at the American Anthropological Association in New Orleans. As we sat at Café du Monde, we noted how Arab American and Arab American feminist perspectives were virtually absent from the academic conferences in which we participate (for example,. the American Studies Association, Middle East Studies ...

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Hydropolitics and the Hajj: An Ottoman Pre-History of Saudi Geological Imperialism, With Michael Christopher Low

[Water Distillation Machine Installed in Jidda in 1911. Source: Kasım İzzeddin, Hicaz'da teşkilât ve ıslahat-ı sıhhiye (1330).]

In Ottoman History Podcast Episode 101, Chris Gratien interviews Michael Christopher Low to discuss his current research on the history of water infrastructure, disease, and the ecological transformations of the Arabian Peninsula over the past two centuries. As Toby Jones argues in Desert Kingdom: How Oil and Water Forged Modern Saudi Arabia (2010), Saudi power has always been predicated on the state’s ability to wield technical expertise and master the environment. The two pillars of Saudi geological imperialism have been oil and water. Yet, there is a tendency to forget that despite the initial discovery of oil in 1933, oil revenues did not begin to radically alter ...

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MOOCs Stir Controversy over Shifting Course of Higher Education

While online education has existed for a while, teaching classes online is taking the world of higher education by storm due in part to the rise of MOOCs. MOOCs (massive open online course) are courses based on lecture videos and online interaction that can, seemingly, be taken by anyone with an internet connection. They represent a new form of “open” education that meets virtually, in a non-physical space. The restrictive size and space of a college classroom does not apply in MOOCs, opening the doors for thousands to enroll in the course. Courses include quizzes, homework, exercises, and exams. Colleges and universities across the United States are investing in MOOCs, ...

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Covering Gezi: Reflecting on Photographing Daily Life during Extraordinary Events

[28 May 2013. Police use tear gas to disperse a group who are standing guard in Istanbul's Gezi Park in an attempt to prevent the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality from demolishing the last remaining green public space in the center of the city. Photo by Tolga Sezgin/Nar Photos.]

[Text by Zeynep Devrim Gürsel, photos courtesy of Nar Photos.] After a few days, we asked one of our friends to go buy us some gas masks. He called and said there had been a run on them, and prices were up to 350–400 Turkish liras each (approximately $160–$220). We opted for some cheaper construction masks, and made do. But we had to learn how to cover such an event. We are not war photographers. Later in the evening, another member of the Nar Photos Collective chuckled: During one of the major stand-offs, we positioned ourselves at the very front of the protestors—a mere ten meters from the police. Not ten minutes in, we both got shot with rubber bullets ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (June 17-23)

This is a selection of what you might have missed on Jadaliyya last week. It also includes a list of the most read articles, and roundups. Progressively, we will be featuring more content on our "Last Week on Jadaliyya" series. Jadaliyya Launches Turkey Page Erdogan’s Masculinity and the Language of the Gezi Resistance Resisting Tear Gas Together Defining the Terrain of Struggle in Taksim 'Ottomanalgia' and the Protests in Turkey Will the Presidential Elections “Cure the Pain” of the Iranian People? حديثي مع الشيطان It Is About the Park: A Struggle for Turkey’s Cities The Agony and the Irony of ...

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Should Egyptians Believe Morsi?

On 26 June, President Morsi gave a long-winded two and half hour speech that could be described as a “state of the nation” speech. It was labeled as an “accounting” of his accomplishments in the first year since his election. There was a hope that he would respond to the demands put forth by the Tamarod (“Rebellion”) Campaign, which has collected over fifteen million signatures since April, from Egyptians no-confidencing their president. The campaign is planning massive nationwide demonstrations on 30 ...

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قالوا عليّ ملحد

[تختار جدليّة في فقرة ”نغم“ عملاً فنياً مميّزاً للتعريف به وبالمبدعين الذين يقفون وراءه] ”قالوا عليّ ملحد“ أغنية راب لفريق Egy Lions Family من  كلمات الأغنية ”وأنتو قولتو إن أنتو لينا إخوان، فلما أمنت أخويا خانّي بدأ بالخيانة وخان  قفل قنوات، قتل حريتي، كمّم أفواه  كفّرني وهدر دمي بإسم الدين والله  ضللتو ناس كتيرة كانوا فاكرينكم طوق نجاه  فكل واحد شاف الغدر منكم ده خلّاه  ملحد بفكرك اللي كفّرني وقت الإستفتاء، ملحد بحكمك اللي بينزف كل يوم شهداء  ملحد بعلمك ...

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Urban Utopias and How They Fell Apart

Taksim: A Political Ecology The uprising that started with Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul on 28 May emerged as a unique movement of resistance in Turkey’s history and has continued without interruption in the last several weeks. The Gezi Park Movement will be remembered as a successful mass movement of youth activism whose main purpose has been to reclaim public space in the cities in Turkey and the rural countryside, a political ecology that is under threat from the government’s neo-liberal ...

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حديثي مع الشيطان - الجزء الثاني

٣٠ يونيو وما بعدها (الحلقة الثانية) فصّل المقال السابق في أزمة النظام الجديد/القديم الذي يرأسه الإخوان، وقدم تحليلاً في عدة إتجاهات مفاده أن النظام الحالي هو عبارة عن تحالف سلطوي هش ومتوتر يواجه مشكلات، متزايدة اقتصادياً واجتماعياً وسياسياً تجعله في مواجهة ذات القوى، التي تحدت نظام مبارك في سنواته الأخيرة، وتسببت في تقويضه في نهاية المطاف. إن المأزق الحقيقي، الذي يبدو أن الإخوان يواجهونه، هو أن مساعيهم للهيمنة على الدولة والمجال السياسي لم تكلل بنجاح يذكر. وأن أحلامهم السلطوية تفوق قدراتهم في ضوء ندرة ...

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DARS Media Roundup (June 26)

[This is a bi-weekly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each bi-weekly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every second week.] News & Commentary Five Things To Understand About Turkey’s Protests, by Tom A. Peter Three weeks after mass anti-government ...

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الحوار الوطني في البحرين: جهات تتفلّت من التسوية وتعرقلها

 بعد أكثر من أربعة أشهر على بدء جلسات الحوار الوطني، لم يتمكن طرفاه الرئيسيان من الاتفاق على المواضيع التي يرغبان في الحوار حولها. فتم تخصيص الجلسة رقم 22 يوم 12 حزيران / يونيو لمتابعة النقاش حول "الثوابت والمبادئ والقيم" التي ستحكم الحوار. ولا يتوقع أحدٌ أن تؤدي الجلسة ولا ما سيليها إلى حدوث اختراق جدي، مما يفسر تصريح أحد المشاركين من أن "أكبر إنجاز حققته جلسات الحوار الوطني حتى الآن هو استمرارها". لا خيارات أخرى لا يملك الطرفان المتحاوران خيارات جدية أخرى. فبعد سنتيْن ونيف ...

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New Texts Out Now: Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat, Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora

Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat, editors, Between the Middle East and the Americas: The Cultural Politics of Diaspora. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book? Evelyn Alsultany and Ella Shohat (EA & ES): Growing up in the wake of our families’ displacement from Iraq, and having lived in multiple geographies as part of complex familial mixing, we see this project as an attempt to connect what otherwise would be perceived as disparate and ...

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No British Petroleum Gas Project without Our Consent (Video)

The Mosireen media collective has completed a new video entitled “Idku: No BP Gas Project Without Our Consent”. It deals with the response of Egyptians from the fishing town of Idku to plans by multinational firm British Petroleum (BP) to build a gas processing plant on their shores. The video features interviews with local residents, who explain that waste dumping in Idku’s waters by oil and gas companies has driven away fish and polluted agricultural lands, threatening the livelihoods of fishermen and ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 25)

[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.] Reports and Opinions Persian Gulf states ‘unable to protect themselves’ An article on the reliance of the six Arab Gulf states on Western countries for ...

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Sexual Torture is Systematic: from Mubarak and SCAF to the Muslim Brotherhood (Video)

This video from the Mosireen media collective is entitled "Sexual Torture is Systematic: from Mubarak and SCAF to the Muslim Brotherhood.” It brings together the testimonies of Egyptians who have survived sexual torture over the past decade, and who refuse to be silenced by their torturers. The video highlights the use of this practice as a deterrent from, or punishment for, political dissent during the era of ousted president Hosni Mubarak, and charts a peak in its use over the last two years, ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 24)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]   “BREAKING: Morsi prison escape referred to Egypt prosecutors” Ismailia court refers to court prison break case in which Mohamed Morsi, Essam El-Arian, Sobhi Saleh and Saad ...

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في الذكرى المئوية للمؤتمر العربي الأول : تساؤلات حول التاريخ والذاكرة والمستقبل

يميزالفيلسوف الفرنسي بول ريكور بين ثلاثة أنواع من الأحداث التاريخية : أولاً: حدث ذو معنى في ”حده الأدنى“، أي حدث عادي واضح المعالم ولكن دون أي تأثير على مجرى التاريخ ولا في تشكيل الهوية الجماعية. ثانياً: حدث يندرج ضمن نمطية معينة ويشكل نوعاً من ”الشيما“، مما يفقده طبيعته الأساسية كحدث. أما النوع الثالث: فهو حدث استثنائي وغير مألوف أو حدث بمعناه العلوي، مما يجعله يلعب دوراً هاماً في إعادة تشكيل هوية جماعية جديدة. يعطي ريكور أمثلة معينة لذلك النوع من الأحداث في التاريخ الأوروبي، مثل المحرقة التي تعتبر ...

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