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Syria Media Roundup إشكالية المجتمع المدني في المغرب Short Skirts and Niqab Bans: On Sexuality and the Secular Body roj roja rojava عن دولة ملوك الطوائف في مصر
[Zakaria Abdillahi, president of the Djibouti League for Human Rights, speaks to the International Federation for Human Rights on the repression of protests in Djibouti. Screenshot from Youtube.]

On the Margins Roundup (October)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins ...

[من مشروع

مقدمة: البحر من هنا

"لا يقتصر الحقّ في المدينة على حريّة الفرد في الوصول إلى الموارد المدينيّة، بل هو الحقّ في تغيير أنفسنا من خلال تغيير المدينة وفقًا لرغباتنا... فحريّتنا في إنتاج مُدننا وإعادة إنتاجها تُعتبر أحد حقوقنا الإنسانيّة الأهمّ، لا بل أكثرها ...

[Image of a police protest in Algiers. Image from Algérie-Focus]

“Hamel, Leave!”: The Men in Blue and the Fracturing of the Order

On Tuesday 14 October, I received a text from a friend—an activist who lives in the center of Algiers: “Urgent: the police are marching on Algiers. They are protesting next to my apartment, this is the end!” The protests started in the ...

[Cover of Nazan Maksudyan,

New Texts Out Now: Nazan Maksudyan, Orphans and Destitute Children in the Late Ottoman Empire

Nazan Maksudyan, Orphans and Destitute Children in the Late Ottoman Empire. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nazan Maksudyan (NM): Though its scope has been enlarged, historical ...


Slaying Saints and Torching Texts

[In this Oct. 19, 2012 photo, men pray beside the tombs of locally venerated Islamic saints, whose mausoleums were destroyed by Islamist group Ansar Dine, in Timbuktu, Mali. (AP Photo)]

When I first journeyed to Bamako to research Sufism in Mali in 2006, my American students generally asked two questions: Where is Mali and what is Sufism? Today, the answer to both of these questions is found daily in the headline news. Cultural heritage in Mali is under attack. But just as the armed conflict there is not simply a battle between Islamic extremists and a weak Malian army supported by the French, the destruction of Sufi shrines and Islamic manuscripts not merely the result of an iconoclastic and intolerant religious fanaticism. While these violent attacks on Mali’s Islamic heritage are indeed tragic, they are sadly not isolated or unique. Sufi shrines ...

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Syria Media Roundup (January 31)

[Shelling during a attempt to rescue survivors from under the rubble. Douma. 29 December 2013. Via Lens Sam.]

[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 Syria and the US: The Complicity of Silence Al Jazeera’s Empire program discussing the US’ role in Syria, with guests Bassam Haddad, David Pollock, Juan Cole and Stephen Starr. The US and Syria: Six Lessons from the Past Marwan Bishara’s take on the role of Washington in the Syrian crisis. Syrie: Ou ...

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Setting New Precedents: Israel Boycotts Human Rights Session

[Damaged and destroyed buildings in Gaza, January 2009. Image by Al-Jazeera Creative Commons Repository. From Wikimedia Commons.]

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a unique mechanism that intends to review the behavior of states without distinction. The UN General Assembly established it in 2006 as part of the functions of the Human Rights Council. It is a state-driven process to comprehensively assess a state's compliance with human rights law. The Human Rights Council is to hold three two-week sessions each year during which time they review the files of sixteen member states. Accordingly each state will undergo the review every three years. As of 2011, all 193 UN member states had undergone a review. The Human Rights Council conducted Israel's UPR in 2009.  In response to the ...

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An Update from the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project

[Screenshot of the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project website.]

[The following is a statement released by director of the Timbuktu Manuscripts Project, Dr. Shamil Jeppie, from the Institute for Humanities in Africa University (HUMA) of Cape Town. It was released on 30 January 2013.]  Since the start of this week there are reports about the destruction of library buildings and book collections in Timbuktu. It sounds as if the written heritage of the town went up in flames. According to our information this is not the case at all. The custodians of the libraries worked quietly throughout the rebel occupation of Timbuktu to ensure the safety of their materials. A limited number of items have been damaged or ...

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لا أسف ولا ندم

 [.جيرارد لونجوي بإشارة غير لائقة لوزير المحاربين القدامى الجزائري شريف عباس. المصدر فيديو صفحة السينات]

 لا أسف ولا ندم: الحنين الاستعماري في أوساط اليمين الفرنسي المتطرف في السابع عشر من أكتوبر 1961، تظاهر مئات الآلاف من الجزائريين سلمياً في باريس للاحتجاج على الانتهاكات التي تحدث لحرياتهم المدنية.  في خضم حرب الاستقلال (1954-1962)، انخرطت جبهة التحرير الوطني في نضال عنيف ضد فرنسا اعتمد على الحشد داخل المدن الكبرى إضافة إلى القتال في الجزائر. وكنتيجة لجهود جبهة التحرير الوطني، فقد فرضت الشرطة الفرنسية حظر تجوال على ما يقرب من خمسة عشر ألف جزائري يعيشون في باريس في ذلك الوقت (والعديد منهم كانوا يعتبرون فرنسيين). إن تفاصيل ما حدث في تلك الليلة لا تزال مثيرة للجدل، ولكن المؤكد هو أن العشرات، إن لم يكن المئات، من الجزائريين غير المسلحين قتلوا وألقيت بالعديد من ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (January 30)

[Tahrir Square on the second anniversary of the January 25th revolution. Image originally posted to Flickr by Zeinab Mohamed.]

[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.]  “The end game for Port Said: Football case reveals new breadth of politics” A detailed report from Port Said which reveals what goes beyond a football tragedy court case. “Egypt: More violent, less political” Sherine Tadros shares her perception of the volatile situation in Egypt after reporting from Suez. “Arrests continue in Cairo” More than ...

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Syria and the United States: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on Al-Jazeera's "Empire"

[Screenshot from

The Al-Jazeera English show Empire looks at the history of the US relationship with Syria and the current state of the armed uprising. The host, Marwan Bishara, explores what is - or should be - the Obama policy towards Syria, with guests: Bassam Haddad, the director of the Middle East studies programme at George Mason University, who is also editor of the online magazine Jadaliyya, and author of Business Networks in Syria: The Political Economy of Authoritarian Resilience; David Pollock, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy; Juan Cole, a professor of Middle East history at the University of Michigan, and author of several ...

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New Texts Out Now: January 2013 Back to School Edition

As we kick off the spring 2013 semester, Jadaliyya would like to remind you of some of the most creative and groundbreaking works in Middle East studies that we have featured in our New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) page. Since we launched this page in 2011, we have had the opportunity to share with you unique interviews by authors and excerpts from their new and forthcoming publications. Here you will find a list divided by topic of some of these texts that you may find particularly useful pedagogically. We encourage you to integrate these into your curricula during this semester and beyond. To stay up to date with ongoing discussions by scholars and instructors in the field, ...

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On Algerian Civil Society and the Prohibition of Assembly

[Members of SOS disparus march in Algiers. Image by Hassan Ferhati.]

Despite the fact that its laws allow the assembly of people on the streets and squares of Algeria, the public space remains firmly blocked by the Algerian state. This closure is assured in two ways: firstly, through the restrictions placed by law on civil associations, and secondly, by the ways in which the police control crowds.  The most recent amendment to Algerian law on public assembly details the administrative process required to form a legal public protest. In chapter II, on “public demonstrations,” the law requires the declaration of any public protest. A public crowd that gathers without the declaration and approval by state authorities is considered ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 30)

[The King, Crown Prince and Prime Minister of Bahrain. 28 November 2007. Image from flickr/Chris Price]

[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 Looks to Lebanon for Regional Boost A news report on the Saudi-Lebanese relations in light of the Lebanese prime minister’s meeting the Saudi crown prince in Riyadh, on Al-Akhbar English. Qatar Leaks: The Business of Foreign Affairs Radwan Mortada writes on Al-Akhbar Newspaper’s ...

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Amir Tag Elsir: Ebola '76

[Emir Tag Elsir. Image from Author]

A Chapter from Amir Tag Elsir’s  Ebola ‘76 Translated from the Arabic by Maia Tabet   In times of Tragedy, Things seem real. Eyes are real. The hand that greets a neighbor is real, And the moon is real, not just a fantasy in the distance. My sweetheart asks me about the meaning of reality, I refer her question to Tragedy, Passers-by ask me about the meaning of real blood. It is that which is sown by Tragedy, I say.  Cautionary Note In August 1976, the deadly Ebola virus struck several areas of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as the border town of Nzara in South Sudan. The virus, which causes a severe haemorraghic fever, is ...

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Homage to Leonardo

[Detail of Samia Halaby

Leonardo Da Vinci first impressed me when one of my art history professors, while earning my MFA at Indiana University in 1963, described a certain spot in the room of “The Last Supper” as the ideal place for a viewer to stand. He explained that this was Leonardo’s visualization of the Renaissance concept of man as the center. This room at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan had not been intended as the monk’s dining hall but was converted to this purpose later, as it was traditional that a painting of the Last Supper would be in a refectory. If you stand in the center of the room and move back and forth until the orthogonal lines of the mural, those diagonal lines that ...

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عن الدين والطائفية في الرواية

١ المجتمع العراقي متنوع دينياً وإثنياً ولغوياً وبالتالي فالكتابة عن حقيقته وواقعه لا يمكن أن تقفز فوق كل هذه الاختلافات والتناقضات، أو تمحو الهامشي، إذا أرادت أن تنفذ إلى صميم هذا المجتمع وحيواته وأفراده، وإلا خسرت الكثير. لكن الكاتب يكون في كثير من الأحيان تحت وطأة أيديولوجية ما تتحكم بالكتابة فتصور مجتمعاً نمطياً مؤمثلاً يمحو ما يجب محوه لكي “تستقيم” الصورة. وتراوغ وتحاذر كي لا تتعامل مع هذا التنوع الذي قد يكون إشكالياً، خصوصاً عندما تترجمه الخطابات السياسية والصراعات إلى عملة رابحة أو خاسرة. والرقابة ...

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"انتصارالـ "ميتا – خطاب" على سوريا وعدم ارتباطه بها: "رحنا ضحيّة

لا تحاول تبسيط ما يجري في سوريا لأنك ستفشل. ولكننا لا نستطيع أن نذعن للتعقيد كذلك.  إن العديد من النقاشات حول سوريا – وخصوصاً تلك التي تجري خارج سوريا– هي وبكل بساطة منفصلة عن واقع المأساة في هذا البلد، وقد تكون كتاباتي من بينها. فمثلاً، ولأول مرة بعد خمس عشرة عاماً من البحوث المعمقة عن السياسة والمجتمع السوري، بما تطلبه ذلك من زيارات متعددة ومطولة في كل سنة، أمضيت العامين المنصرمين وأنا أكتب (وأتعذب) حول سوريا دون أن تتاح لي الفرصة للزيارة، وذلك يعود بشكل رئيسي لأنه قيل لي بأني غير مرحب بي ...

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ثورية الوسيلة وسلطوية الغاية

فض الأمن اليمني اعتصاماً سلمياً بالقوة يوم 25 ديسمبر الماضي عندما اتجهت مجموعة من الشباب نحو دار الرئاسة مطالبين بقرارت صريحة لعزل أحمد علي عبدالله صالح وعلي محسن من الجيش، وغالب القمش مدير جهاز الأمن السياسي. هذا الخبركان سيبدو مفهوماً قبل أكثر من عام، لكن بعد تنحي الرئيس الذي ثارت ضده الجماهير فأن الخبر يدعو للاستنكار.  فهؤلاء الشباب جاؤوا لإحياء الذكرى الأولى لمسيرة الحياة الراجلة من مدينة تعز لصنعاء بمسافة 280 كم على طريق جبلي وعر وكانت مسيرة شعبية ضخمة انضم لها الآلاف من قرى ومدن اليمن التي ...

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Despite New Program Promising Open Access, JSTOR Prices Remain a Concern

[The following article was originally published on Tadween Publishing's blog. For more information on the publishing world as it relates to pedagogy and knowledge production, follow Tadween Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.]    After years of restricted access, JSTOR announced on January 9 that it will make the archives of more than 1,200 journals available to the public for free, giving those who sign up for an account with JSTOR ...

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الشباب والثورة: فقدان الوجهة

كان عام 2005 هو العام الذي تصاعدت فيه مطالب التغيير، وشهدت فيه مصر في عهد نظام مبارك حركة غير مسبوقة في الشارع من أجل إصلاح النظام السياسي ومنعه من ارتكاب خطيئة التوريث، وشهدت البلاد مواجهة بين النظام والمعارضة التي حركت ركودها حركات اجتماعية مثل كفاية وغيرها، كان موضوع هذه المواجهة تعديل المادة 76، ثم الانتخابات الرئاسية والبرلمانية والصراع من أجل استقلال القضاء، كان هذا العام هو اول أعوامي في دراسة العلوم السياسية في جامعة القاهرة، وقد مسني الحماس الذي خلقته كل هذه الأحداث التي أثبتت قدرة النظام ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (30 January)

[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] News "UN Expert Investigates US Drone Attacks, Targeted Killings that Involve Civilian Casualties," Associated Press The AP reports on the ...

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The Meaning of Yair Lapid

The 2013 Israeli elections produced a dramatic nothing. Yair Lapid, television anchor, writer of clichés, son of loudmouth celebrity and one-time politician Tommy Lapid, and famed for his hairstyle, entered the political scene to form a party of handpicked personalities which won nineteen seats in the Knesset, and became the second largest party in Israel. Lapid is now the kingmaker, positioned to determine the shape of the coalition that will form Binyamin Netanyahu’s next government. What does Yair ...

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New Texts Out Now: John M. Willis, Unmaking North and South: Cartographies of the Yemeni Past, 1857-1934

John M. Willis, Unmaking North and South: Cartographies of the Yemeni Past, 1857-1934. New York: Columbia University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? John Willis (JW): The book began as a dissertation written in the departments of history and Middle Eastern and Islamic studies at New York University. While I had been interested in the production and mastery of space as a particular technic of power for some time, what drove me to frame the dissertation and then the book ...

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Algeria, an Immense Bazaar: The Politics and Economic Consequences of Infitah

In the last few months, Algeria has witnessed a frenetic activity of economic and trade delegations visiting the country. In November 2012 alone, Algiers received tens of high profile delegations succeeding each other from European countries such as Spain, Italy, France, the UK, Romania, Finland, and Turkey to Arab countries, including Egypt, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. With its substantial foreign reserves amounting to more than two hundred billion dollars, it seems that Algeria has become a hot ...

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January 2013 Culture

Jadaliyya's first monthly culture bouquet of 2013 has arrived! Painters Samia Halaby and Athir Shayota contribute to Visuals in 1500, a new series of profiles that takes a single work of art as the starting point for larger discussions on aesthetics. Marilyn Hacker translates a poem by Taher Bekri. Maia Tabet translates a chapter from Sudanese novelist Amir Tag Elsir's "Ebola '76." Alia Yunis interviews Syrian director Nabil Maleh. Iraqi artist Sadik Kwaish Alfaraji contemplates the ...

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A Leopard in Winter: An Interview with Syrian Director Nabil Maleh

In early January, more than 1,500 people packed three nights of screenings in Dubai of Syrian director Nabil Maleh’s film The Road to Damascus (‘A al-Sham ‘A al-Sham, 2006), a filmic journey across Syria that includes stops at its historical ruins and economically strapped towns. The screenings were sponsored by the local Syrian Business Association to raise money for Syrian refugees, and Maleh was on hand to introduce the film. For many in the audience it was their first glimpse into his nearly fifty ...

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From Baghdad to New York: Reflections on Painting

In Daryle Halbert’s 1987 painting “Leon” one encounters multiple things at once, as a history of painting is revealed—but not without being turned on its head. The portrait is deeply humane and complex. It is infused with weight and foreboding. Leon is but nine years old. The angst in his shoulders and body, in his clasped hands, are depicted with a stylization that is sustained throughout. One is reminded of Soutine’s many quarter length portraits. Van Gogh is also very present. Cezanne, as in the ...

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