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Lebanon: Rejecting the New Rent Law: An Open Letter to the Parliament Syria Media Roundup The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music Some Torture Facts: Revelations from the Recent SSCI Report on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Making Sense of Tripoli I: The Security Trap or Conflating Cause and Effect
[Image by Ed Greevey. Photo of attendees and participants at Closing Event 1 December 2014.]

Aloha Aina: Notes From The Struggle in Hawai’i

In late November 2014, I had the honor of visiting the occupied Kingdom of Hawai’i as an invited guest. I prepared for the trip with ample readings J. Kehaulani Kaunaui both wrote and shared with me, along with book recommendations that my ...

Installation view of Hany Rashed's

Historical Realities of Concept Pop: Debating Art in Egypt

Today, every phenomenon of culture, even if a model of integrity, is liable to be suffocated in the cultivation of kitsch. Yet paradoxically in the same epoch it is to works of art that has fallen the burden of wordlessly asserting what is ...

[Wall surrounding a gated community, Saudi Arabia. Image by Amelie Le Renard.]

The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various ...

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Soma, Ermenek, Yirca: Can Anti-Coal Activists Defend Coal Miners and Olive Farmers?

The coal-mining town of Soma in the western Aegean region of Turkey hardly made headlines until last May. A mining disaster that took the lives of 301 mine workers in Soma on 14 May 2014 brought forward the country’s fragile mix of social ...


Representation and the Egyptian Black Bloc: The Siren Song of Orientalism?

[Anarchist poster at protest in Giza, September 2011. Image by Gigi Ibrahim.]

Much in the way of media coverage has highlighted the appearance of a Western-style Black Bloc on the streets of Cairo during the protests marking the second anniversary of the Egyptian uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian state, having perceived the formation as a distinct political organization, promptly outlawed it, and just as promptly accused its members of comically unlikely collusion with Zionist saboteurs. Islamist groups such as Al-Gama’a Al-Islamiyya called for anyone engaged in Black Bloc actions to be treated to the punishments enumerated for “hooliganism” in the Quran–chief among them, execution. If one takes the reception of Black Blocs in the ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (March 1)

[Demonstrators at a march commemorating the two year anniversary of 25 February movement. Facebook.com/m25fev.]

[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 Qatar Moving Closer to Algeria? Mehdi Lazar explores economic links as precursor to a tightening of Algerian-Qatari relations. Les Algériens pourraient mener des opérations contre les terroristes en dehors des frontières Ali Adir describes how the United States will assist Algeria in combatting extranational ...

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Syria Media Roundup (February 28)

[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   Beyond the Geopolitics: Politico-Economic Relations Majid Rafizadeh on the changing economic relations between Iran and Syria.   Ali Haydar Cherche a L’Exterieur les Candidats a la Reconcialitions Introuvables en Syrie Ali Haydar sends two delegations in Cairo and Istanbul to meet with ...

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Muzaffar Al-Nawwab: In the Old Tavern

[Muzaffar Al-Nawwab. Image by Jamal Jum'a]

[Muzaffar al-Nawwab (b. Baghdad, 1934) is one of Iraq’s most famous and influential poets. He studied literature in Baghdad and worked as a teacher. He joined the Iraqi Communist Party at a very early age and was imprisoned and tortured under the Ba’th. He left Iraq in 1970 and lived in exile until 2011 when he returned to Baghdad for a visit. Al-Nawwab is well known in Iraq and throughout the Arab world, especially among leftists and activist of various generations, for his powerful revolutionary poems and scathing invectives against Arab regimes and dictators. Banned in most Arab countries, his poems circulated widely from the 1970s onward on cassettes. They are widely ...

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Watching Jacob

[Detail of Eugene Delacroix's

In the late 1980s to mid-1990s, Eugène Delacroix's wall painting "Jacob Wrestling with the Angel" at San Sulpice in Paris became a symbolic and iconic painting for me, a prism that reflected East and West dynamics. This exploration turned to obsession. However, before I delved into this painting and many others by Delacroix, I was a student of Edward Said in my approach; a visual inquiry that paralleled Said’s literary one. Said’s Orientalism, The Question of Palestine and After the Last Sky propelled me to search for historical themes in European paintings and drawings–-and not just Orientalist subjects, but also how Europeans portrayed ...

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Herstory Repeats Itself

[Detail of Sundus Abdul Hadi's

There is always a beginning. I reflect my ancestry and hope to do it justice by continuing to survive creatively. The complexity of our post-modern lives has both limited and made limitless our capabilities to reference our past. While many of us are blessed with mobility and migration, we are similarly plagued with displacement, political corruption and social status-quos. We flock to museums and gawk over our inherited histories, spiritually disconnected from the artifacts of the deceased. We consume official narratives at every angle, whether it be through our history textbooks, television sets, radios, computer or mobile screens. But we rarely take the time to heal ...

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32 by Sahar Mandour

[Sahar Mandour. Image from As-Safir ]

[Sahar Mandour was born in Beirut in 1977 to an Egyptian father and a Lebanese mother. She is a novelist and journalist. She has been working for As-Safir newspaper since 1998, and is currently on a fellowship at Oxford University, where she was selected for the Said-Asfari Fellowship at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism. Mandour's work largely deals with the intricacies of daily life in Lebanese society, charting the navigation of social codes and their impact on work, love, families and friendship. She has published four novels. 32 (Beirut: Dar al-Adab, 2010), her third novel, follows the life of a young woman in her thirties, her four female friends, ...

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Palestinian Citizens of Israel: Defying the Ongoing Nakba

[Crop of image from cover of al-Majdal issue.]

BADIL: Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refugee Rights announces its release of the latest al-Majdal, Palestinian Citizens in Israel: Defying the Ongoing Nakba. The 51st installment of BADIL’s quarterly, al-Majdal, highlights an underrepresented portion of the Palestinian population that faces a multi-tiered institutional and social discrimination comprising a policy of forcible displacement. The curatorial intent of the magazine is to bridge gaps of understanding on a crucial Palestinian condition. Amjad Alqasis critiques the fragmentation of the Palestinian body politic and envisions a unifying terminology. Dana DePietro representing the Mossawa Center ...

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NEWTON in Focus: Egypt

This week we highlight various NEWTON texts relevant to the study of Egypt. The authors of these texts write from a wide range of perspectives and approach questions with which Egypt has grappled, not only in the wake of Tahrir, but throughout its modern existence. We encourage you to integrate these texts into your curricula in the coming semesters. If you wish to recommend a book or peer-reviewed article for a feature in NEWTON—whether on Egypt or on any other topics relevant to the region—please email us at reviews@jadaliyya.com. To stay up to date with ongoing discussions by scholars and instructors in the field, sign up for Jadaliyya’s Pedagogy ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (February 26)

[Photo taken on February 26, 2011 during a protest in Washington, D.C. Image from Flickr/ABajooka.]

[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   Dubai torture allegations: Britain puts economic interest before citizens Nesrine Malik provides a critique of the British government turning a blind eye to allegations of torture of three British tourists in the Gulf state, in The Guardian.  Qatar criticizes EU over Syria ...

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

[Map indicating the U.S. and suspected CIA

 [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 "In Syria, New Influx of Weapons to Rebels Tilts the Battle Against Assad", Liz Sly, Karen DeYoung Sly and DeYoung of The Washington Post report on the Free Syrian Army's procurement of weaponry donated from outside Syria, as opposed to purchased on the black market.  The donation is highly ...

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ثقافة السحل

[مشهد سحل وتعرية مواطن أمام الإتحادية في القاهرة]

حين تشاهدُ صورة الشّاب السّلفي الذي يقود دراجةً نارية ويسحلُ جثّة وسط تهليل ومشاركة عدد من شركائه في شوارعِ عاصمة مصر، فإنّ كلّ ما سمعت أو قرأت عن التعذيبِ والعقابِ والانتقامِ سوف يتقافزُ أمام مخيلتك . تلك الصّورة وبقدرِ ما تثيرُ من سخطٍ وخوفٍ في آن معاً، فإنها تضيف مزيداً من القتامةِ والذعرِ على صورةِ الأوضاعِ التي أنتجها الرّبيع العربي خصوصاً بعد أن تمكنتْ قوى الإسلام السياسي بمختلفِ أيدولوجياتها من إحكامِ قبضتها على السلّطةِ في معظمِ الدول التي هبتْ عليها رياح هذا الرّبيع العاصفة. وإن الانتقام من الخصومِ سيتخذ أشكالاً وممارسات شتّى، قد تتجاوز قضّية السّحل بكلّ بشاعتها. إنها صورةٌ تشيرُ إلى مرحلةٍ جديدةٍ من صراعات لا يتردد الخصوم فيها عن إستخدام كلّ الوسائل للتنكيل ...

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On the UAE's Decision to Refuse Entry to Professor Kristian Coates

This past Thursday, 28 February 2013, I was supposed to go to Dubai. The trip was to attend a one-day workshop on Sunday, 3 March 2013 in which the Alexandria Trust was expected to launch "al-Fanar,” a new publication devoted to the state of higher education in the Arab world. However, given the recent decision by the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to deny entry to Professor Kristian Coates Ulrichsen of the London School of Economics (LSE), the whole launch was cancelled.  Dr. ...

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GCC and the Sacred Right to Punish

Beneath the thin veneer of modernity, lie the mundane practices of repressive rule in Qatar and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council states. Lest we forget. we are continuously reminded of the limits of GCC rulers’ tolerance, particularly in the face of critique from their national subjects. The recent case of Qatari “Jasmine” poet Mohammed al-Ajami, who initially received a life sentence for supporting the Tunisian revolution and criticizing authoritarian ruling elites, is not an outlier. Rather, it ...

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February Culture

Jadaliyya's February Culture Bouquet is our most colorful so far! Our new series Visuals in 1500 returns with contributions by artists Doris Bittar and Sundus Abdul Hadi. Pierre Joris and Habib Tangour share their introduction and selections from their massive anthology of written and oral literature of the Maghreb. Emily Drumsta translates a poem by the pioneer Iraqi poet Nazik al-Mala'ika. Sebastian Anstis translates Libyan writer Omar Al-Kikli. Nicole Fares translates an excerpt from a novel by ...

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"Revolt Against the Sun" by Nazik al-Mala'ika

Revolt Against the Sun By Nazik Aal-Mala’ika [The Iraqi poet Nazik al-Mala'ika is perhaps best known for the important role she played in the development and popularization of Arabic "free verse" (or taf'ila poetry) in the 1950s. After laying out the basic parameters of this new poetic form in the preface to her second collection of poetry, Fragments and Dust (Shazaya wa Ramad) in 1949, she later expanded her discussion of the topic in a critical text titled Issues in Contemporary Poetry ...

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Poems from the Maghreb: Introduction and Selections

[To celebrate the publication of Poems for the Millennium: Vol 4, edited by Pierre Joris and Habib Tangour (University of California Press, 2013), a comprehensive anthology of the written and oral literatures of the Maghreb, Jadaliyya is publishing the editors' introduction and a selection of poems (Mehdi Akhrif, Omar Berrada, Ahmad Al-Majjaty, Djibril Zakaria Sall, and Cheikha Rimitti. For more information and to purchase the book, click here] Introduction This book has been incubating in ...

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Prison Sketches

Prison Sketches [Translated from the Arabic by Sebastian Anstis]  In the beginning was the Word (forbidden) After we had first tasted the terror of their welcome, they stood us in line against the wall. One of them said severely, pointing to the nearest corner: “Those who who’ve got books or magazines or newspapers or anything with writing on it, stack it here.”  Mercy killing I wrote many stories during my prison years. The first three months in the regular Interior Ministry prison were ...

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The Legal Framework of Second Class Citizenship

Since its establishment in 1948, Israel has lacked a formal constitution. In 1951, the first Knesset decided that it would enact a series of “Basic Laws” that would eventually become the future Israeli constitution.  Nothing in the Basic Laws resembled a bill of rights until the Knesset enacted two very important laws: Basic Law - Human Dignity and Liberty, passed in 1992, and Basic Law - Freedom of Occupation, passed in 1994, were the basis of the so-called ”constitutional revolution” and were ...

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سلا، مدينة الحمق والقراصنة

[مدن، زاوية جديدة على "جدلية" يكتب فيها الكتاب والكاتبات عن مدنهم المفضلة ] ولدت في مستشفى حكوميّ بمدينة طيّبة اسمها سلا، هي مدينة عتيقة وغير مدعية، مصابة بضيق مزمن بسبب التصاقها المحرج بمدينة مشهورة ومعتدّة بنفسها اسمها الرباط. كان يروق لي في مراحل متعددة من حياتي السابقة التنقل بين المدينتين بواسطة المراكب الخشبية التقليدية التي كانت تحمل العابرين بين ضفتي نهر أبي رقراق الذي خلده عبد الهادي بلخياط في أغنيته الشجية "القمر الأحمر". كنت أجد متعة في تأمل مشهد المدينتين العدوتين ...

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Death of the Dissertation?

[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.] The lives of doctoral students are usually defined by one thing: the dissertation. PhD candidates log in hours at libraries in front of computers and pouring over books, conducting research-based interviews in order to produce a ...

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غزة بلوز

في مذكراته التي تحمل عنوان “اسطنبول” يخصص الكاتب التركي أورهان باموك، الحائز على جائزة نوبل للآداب قبل سبعة أعوام، فصلاً كاملاً للحديث عن مفهوم الحزن، وعلاقته بالمدينة التي أحبها و ترعرع بها. و يتطرق إلى (مركزية) الحزن في ثقافة اسطنبول، في الشعر، والموسيقى والفنون الجميلة، لأن أهل المدينة العريقة يعتبرونه، أي الحزن، شرفاً لهم. و يحاول باموك، وببراعة متناهية، فهم شدة هذا الحزن من خلال شرح تاريخ المدينة بعد سقوط الإمبراطورية العثمانية. والمهم أن هذا الحزن الكبير تحول من مفهوم روحاني إلى حالة عقلانية مرتبطة ...

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The Disappearing Frontiers of US Homeland Security: Mapping the Transit of Security across the US and Israel

In the wake of the 1995 Israeli bombing of the UN refugee camp at Qana in Lebanon, a videotape of the massacre was distributed across global media. The African American poet June Jordan, who had participated in US-based Palestine solidarity movements and would visit Lebanon in 1996, thought that the video would be a turning point in global opinion of Israel. Writing in the Progressive magazine, Jordan linked the Qana bombing to military and police violence she had witnessed in urban Black communities in ...

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US Drones Blow Up Any Hope of Close Ties with Yemenis

Late last year I escorted the US radio journalist Kelly McEvers to Abyan, a governorate in South Yemen. Government troops and local militias had been battling fighters from Ansar al-Sharia, an al-Qaeda affiliate, and had forced them from the area only two days earlier. There were reports that some had shaved their beards and stayed. If they had known an American reporter was around, they would have had a golden opportunity for a kidnapping. Before we boarded the plane in Beirut, I had told McEvers that ...

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