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Jadaliyya Featured in the New York Times: Syria Media Roundup On the Proposal for the CUNY Graduate Center's Doctoral Students' Council to Boycott Israeli Academic Institutions Can Arabs Be Human Rights Defenders? On the Sakharov Prize

جدلية في عامها الرابع

 دخلت “جدلية” عامها الرابع في أيلول\سبتمبر، وكنا قد وعدنا في مثل هذا الوقت من العام الماضي أنه سيكون أمامنا عام مليء بالعمل، لكننا كنا مخطئين نوعاً ما، فقد كان عاماً جنونياً بالفعل. استهْلَكنا، على المستوى الداخلي، بناءُ صفحات وفرق ...

[Crop of image from flyer below.]

Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014)

Operation Protective Edge: Legal and Political Implications of ICC Prosecution (George Mason University, 20 October 2014) Johnson Center, C October 20, 2014, 4:00 PM   George Mason University’s Middle East Studies Program, Global ...

[البرلمان المغربي. المصدر ويكيبيديا]

إشكالية المجتمع المدني في المغرب

 الحديث عن المجتمع المدني في المغرب هو بالضرورة حديث عن الأزمة، أزمة المفهوم و أزمة الممارسة، وهذا المعطى لا يستقيم إلا إذا حددنا طبيعة هذه الأزمة على المستوى النظري والعملي، فنعرض في المرحلة الأولى للمفهوم من حيث مضامينه، وسياقه ...

[Cover of Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, editors,

New Texts Out Now: Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, Creative Refuge

Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri, editors, Creative Refuge. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What is Febrik? Reem Charif, Mohamad Hafeda, and Joumana al Jabri (RC/MH/JJ): Febrik is a not-for-profit ...


The Meaning of Revolution: On Samira Ibrahim

[Graffiti of Samira Ibrahim and Khaled Sa‘id on Mohamed Mahmoud Street. Photo by Sherene Seikaly]

At that thin membrane, the hymen, narratives unfold and lives are determined. There, the binaries of the clean and the stained, the righteous and the debauched, the honorable and the shamed flourish. There the blurry border between the civilized and the backward, the liberated and the oppressed, the East and the West, pretends to lie. There the claims to flesh as an evidentiary terrain stand. For the last year and a half, one woman has chipped away at this edifice erected on her hymen. The task is larger than her. Yet whatever its outcome, her battle bares the force and the meaning of revolution. Samira Ibrahim, like hundreds of thousands of her compatriots, reclaimed ...

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Protesting Is Not Enough

[Protesters set fire to tires near State TV building in Maspero on 25 January 2013. Photo by Wael Eskandar]

Another January 25 marked the third year of continued protests in the hopes of finding our way to a successful revolution. On Friday, I joined the Shubra march to Tahrir Square where I saw many the familiar faces along with many other protesters once again. This was not like last year’s march. This year there was certainly less energy and even less cohesiveness in the very long march that extended along Shubra’s streets. The street was laden with pockets of protesters. The pockets could be identified from a distance along the road by the endless density of flags. They were flags of 6 April Movement, Revolutionary Socialists, and the big white flags with the iconic faces ...

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Will Civil Marriage End Lebanon’s Confessional System?

[Chart showing confessional allotment of parliamentary seats in Lebanon. Image from anigalla.net]

In tying the matrimonial knot last week, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish sliced through a cultural, legal, sectarian knot of Gordian proportions. The pair became the first couple in history to be wed in a civil marriage on Lebanese soil. Until last week, Lebanese citizens (or, only those who can afford it) have generally traveled to Cyprus to get hitched. The only way to do the deed inside Lebanon requires a contract issued by religious personal status authorities, with all the legal implications and bureaucratic entanglements that such a requirement presents. The civil society group that facilitated the union—al-Markaz al-Madani li-al-Mubadara al-Wataniyya (The ...

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The Revolution Will Not Be Celebrated

[A protestor encourages others to defy the police, Cairo, 26 January 2011. Photo by Pauline Beugnies]

The common, seemingly benign question, “where were you during the revolution?” leaves most partisans of the January 25 Revolution with a strong sense of unease. While it is obvious that the question, whenever it comes up, is almost always posed in reference to 2011's eighteen days of national protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year rule, this innocent query fails to do justice to the belief that the revolution and the eighteen-day uprising are not one and the same. The phrasing of the question, moreover, proceeds on an assumption that the revolution ended with Mubarak’s departure, and that what followed was “politics as usual.” This assumption happens ...

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Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts

[Former Defense Minister Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, left, receives a high medal from Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi at the Presidential Palace in Cairo, Egypt, 14 August 2012. Egypt's president has given awards to the nation's two top military commanders, two days after he ordered their retirement. Photo Source: AP]

The politics of the past two years have generated widespread interest in the historical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Egypt’s wielders of power, especially at a time when observers are eager to understand the prospects for accommodation (or adversity) between the MB and traditional bureaucratic powers inside the Egyptian state, such as the military establishment. For instance, the circumstances surrounding the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2012 have raised numerous questions about the MB’s relationship with Egypt’s military rulers. During the lead-up to the announcement of the election results, it seemed that the Supreme Council of ...

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التحرير لامركزية الميدان

على مدار عقود عانى فيها المصريون من حكم استبدادي جثم على الصدور لم يترك لهم فرصة لإلتقاط الأنفاس ولا مخرج فانصرفوا إلى متابعة أمور حياتهم اليومية، بينما انصرف آخرون إلى الهجرة. هجرة خارج حدود الوطن، وأخرى خارج حدود الزمن فعادوا القهقرى إلى الوراء حيث أزمنة غابرة خلت كنوع من الهروب من واقع قاتم وكمحاولة أيضاً لاستعادة هذه الحقب الزمنية الفائتــة لتطبيقها فى الواقع بالقوة، إن اقتضــت الضرورة ذلك. في إطار الحديث عن وطن تبدو ملامحه بين أبناء هجروه خارح الحدود سواء كانت هذه الحدود جغرافية أو تاريخية، وبين كتلة جماهيرية عريضة مهمشــة، ونخبة بدلاً من أن تمارس دوراً فى تحريك وتشكيل هذه الكتلة انصرفت عنها متوقعقة على ذاتها فى أبراجها العاجية "بكل تنظيراتها" أو بتملق ...

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The Revolution and History

[A huge banner demanding release of political prisoners is carried by Egyptians in a procession through Cairo streets on 14 November 1951. Photo Source: AP]

As a historian, I am often struck by a particular misconception about history, widely held both in Egypt and abroad. This is the sense that, once written, history is fixed or finished – that, once a historian has “covered” Asyut in the 1860s or Alexandria in the 1940s, there is nothing further one can say about those subsections of the wider story of modern Egypt. In fact, history is written and rewritten by each successive generation of historians. What makes this writing and rewriting possible and, arguably, necessary, is not the discovery of once hidden documents or the refinement of the historian’s analytical frameworks. What makes this writing and rewriting ...

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Playing the Numbers Game: Copts and the Exercise of Power

[Egyptians Copts form a cross with their bodies on a street during a mourning march for victims of the Maspero clashes with the military on 9 October 2011, AP Photo/Amr Nabil]

With 25 January upon us yet again, the “Coptic question” remains as salient as ever. This hermeneutic expression, similar to Shlomo Sand’s historicization of what was the “Jewish question,” in the context of contemporary Egyptian nationalism, is important to interrogate. This is in light of continued state-focused analysis post 25 January 2011, which seems to have been reified over the past two years. From electoral results and state dynamics to constitutional drafting and ratification, the Copts find themselves in a precarious position vis-à-vis the state and a new political reality. Perhaps more so now than the past few decades they are increasingly on the fringes of ...

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عــامـــان عـلــى 25 يـنــايــــر فــي مصــــر مـكـــــامــــــن الــقــصــــــور فـــي الــثـــــــورة

[مصدر الصورة ملحق السفير العربي ]

تهدف الثورة، أي ثورة، الى دفع السلطة الحاكمة للدخول في علاقات مباشرة مع الجموع، على النحو الذي يمكِّن الثوار من قلب منطق القوة وكيفية ترتيبها، فتتم تعرية ممارسات السلطة، ونزع فتيل الشرعية عنها، ومنعها من الاختفاء وراء علاقات غير مباشرة، أو خلف شبكات متوارية ملساء الوجه. تستدرج الثورة السلطة لكشف وجهها العنيف الذي تلجأ إليه عندما تشعر بالتهديد المطلق على بقائها، أي حين تفقد ميكانزمات الانضباط والسيطرة والخطاب فاعليتها على الجماهير، فتخسر السلطة قدرتها على شن حرب الأفكار والإقناع. وقد كشفت قوات الأمن عن وجهها العنيف في مساء الخامس والعشرين من يناير (25 كانون الثاني 2011) حينما بدأت بقمع المتظاهرين. وهذه كانت أولى المواجهات المفتوحة والمباشرة بين قطاعات مختلفة من الناس ...

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Syria Media Roundup (January 24)

[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: The Analogies of History Daniel Neep explores “the ways in which the challenges faced by today’s rebels relate to those faced by the rebels of the 1920s, positing that historical solutions may well help the Syrian people in their struggle against the Assad regime nearly ninety years ...

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A Loss in the Battle for Free Access to Information

[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.]   Aaron Swartz, a passionate defender for the freedom of information, committed suicide on 11 January, ending his life of twenty-six years. Swartz’s death comes after months of legal conflict following his downloading of millions of JSTOR-hosted journal articles with the intention to make the material accessible to the public. “Information is power,” wrote Swartz in his ...

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Rhetoric or Critical Action? The Role of Human Rights in EU-UAE Relations

[Emirati security forces crackdown on activists in Dubai, 2012. Image from Gulf Center for Human Rights.]

An EU resolution passed in October 2012, which condemned human rights abuses in the United Arab Emirates, caused outrage among defenders of the Emirati regime and gave hope that human rights may play a greater role in EU foreign policy. Several months on, has this resolution proved to be anything more than empty rhetoric? The resolution criticized repression of political activists in the United Arab Emirates, where seventy-seven individuals have been detained without charge in the past year. It also called for authorities to conduct impartial inquiries into alleged physical attacks on prominent Emirati activist Ahmed Mansoor. Politicians and Emirati commentators ...

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حالة الإسلاميين في مصر بعد عامين على الثورة

بالأرقام يمكن معرفة الحالة التي وصل إليها الإسلاميون في مصر بعد عامين على قيام الثورة. فقد وصل عدد الأحزاب التي تنطلق من خلفية إسلامية إلى حوالى عشرين حزباً سواء مسجلين أو غير مسجلين رسمياً. ناهيك عن عشرات التكتلات والحركات والشبكات التي تنتمي إلى التيار الإسلامي والتي تنشط بوضوح في المجال العام ولكنها لا تزال في مرحلة سيولة وليس لديها هيكل أو إطار تنظيمي أو حزبي محدد. فقد كانت الثورة المصرية بمثابة المفتاح الكبير الذي نزع القيود السياسية والأمنية عن التيار الإسلامي بمختلف أطيافه ودفع بقياداته وكوادره ...

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First Jordanian Elections post Arab Uprisings; Challenges of Reporting from Syria

This week, Amman-based activist and writer Hisham Bustani updates VOMENA on the first Jordanian parliamentary elections since the Arab uprisings, and what they mean for the country. More than thirty journalists were killed in Syria in 2012 alone. Istanbul-based freelance journalist Justin Vela talks about the challenges and pitfalls of reporting from a Syrian warzone. [Correction from Hisham Bustani: To correct a mistake I made in the interview regarding the number of the Jordanian ...

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Reports Roundup (January 26)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] Kuwaiti MPs Propose a New Bedoon Law BedoonRights.org reports on a newly proposed Kuwaiti law that would redefine the term "bedoon" and grant stateless individuals access to health care and education. Arrested Bedoon Activist Goes on Hunger Strike Kuwaiti activist Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli addresses Kuwaiti citizens, the Bedoon people, and the ...

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Was There A January 25 Revolution?

The “January 25 Revolution” has already taken its place in Egyptian national historical memory along with the “1919 Revolution” and the “July 23 Revolution.” Assigning dates to these events, whose significance in the modern history of Egypt is undeniable, is perhaps a necessary convenience. Calling them all “revolutions” emphasizes their popular character and, at least in 1919 and 2011, the political mobilization of large parts of the nation. However, this form of dating and naming also encourages ...

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Meet AbdelRahman Mansour Who Made 25 January A Date to Remember

AbdelRahman Mansour is the cyberactivist who set the date of 25 January for the Egyptian revolution. It is time for you to meet him. In June 2010, Wael Ghonim set up the Facebook page and anti-torture campaign in honor of Khaled Said, the Alexandrian killed at the hands of police. Abdulrahman joined him as a co-administrator (admin) on the page three days later. The two had been working together on Mohamed ElBaradei’s Facebook page and were ready to take their cyber-campaigning to the next level. The ...

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The Dramaturgy of A Street Corner

Much like the ongoing revolutionary struggle in Egypt, this short piece is part of an in-progress work to chronicle the evolution of revolutionary art on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, also known as the “street of the eyes of freedom”—nicknamed as such since many protesters lost their eyes on that same street after being targeted by professional snipers during protests in 2011. (See previous articles on this subject by clicking here, here, here, here, and here. Also see interview with artist Alaa Awad on the ...

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مستقبل السلفيين السياسي ماذا بعد الشريعة؟

ارتبط قرار السلفيين بالدخول للمعترك السياسي بعد الثورة بقضية الهوية الإسلامية للمجتمع. ومع إقرار الدستور الذي ضمن بشكل كبير للسلفيين تطبيق الشريعة يبرز السؤال التالي: وماذا بعد الشريعة؟ هل انتهى المبرر لوجود السلفيين في الحياة السياسية وانتهت القضية التي تمكنوا من خلالها من حشد الملايين للتصويت لهم في الانتخابات ؟ هل سيتم تكرار النموذج الباكستاني للأحزاب الإسلامية ؟ نحتاج أن نعرف ما هو الوضع الباكستاني أولاً للقيام بالمقارنة بينه وبين مصر. على عكس مصر التي تعد بلداً عريقاً تأسس على الأسس الطبيعية لقيام ...

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Alexandria Re-Imagined: The Revolution through Art

On 24 January 2011 – a day before the arc of Egyptian history would be altered – the film Microphone was screened. Microphone documents Alexandria’s pre-revolution underground scene of artists and musicians fighting a passive oppression that suffocates their ability to nurture their creativity. Khaled (played by Khaled Abol Naga), who has returned to Egypt from the US, wishes to aid the youth by providing them with a venue and funding for nurturing their talents. In one scene, Khaled is ...

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"Tahrir," My Revolution

Two years ago, Egyptians took to the streets to demand “bread, freedom, and social justice.” The first demonstrations, which took place on 25 January 2011, rapidly turned into massive protests against Hosni Mubarak and an eighteen-day uprising that led to the Egyptian dictator’s resignation on 11 February. Two years after, what is left of the January 25 Revolution? This series of eight videos made by SAMAR MEDIA (click here to find out more) reflects on the events that have been shaking up Egypt ...

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Mali in Focus, Part Three: A Dangerous Show of Force from a Former Colonial Power

[This article is the final of a three-part series featuring different perspectives on the recent developments in Mali. Previously published: "Mali in Focus, Part One: The Jihadist Offensive Revisited" and "Mali in Focus, Part Two: A War That Threatens the Entire Region"] Broad political consensus in the domestic political sphere, support from the international community, and the urgency of the situation due to the rapid advance of Islamist militias—together, at first glance, these ...

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Maath Musleh on Social Media and Palestine

[This post is part of an ongoing Profile of a Contemporary Conduit series on Jadaliyya that seeks to highlight distinct voices primarily in and from the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia.]  Jadaliyya (J): What do you think is the most gratifying aspects of Tweeting, and Twitter? Maath Musleh (MM): Twitter is a platform of expression; that by itself is very gratifying. Being able to speak your mind at any time is relieving. What makes Twitter different from other similar ...

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Parallel Walks in al-Khalil: A Photo Essay

I last visited al-Khalil (Hebron) with my family when I was a child in the mid 1970s. I only have vague recollections of that visit, except for the place where Ibrahim (Abraham) was to sacrifice his son. For some reason, and maybe because as a child I was unable to comprehend why a father would be asked to sacrifice his son, that visit remained ingrained in my memory for years to come. While studying in Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, I always visited Ramallah, Bethlehem, and Birzeit, especially for ...

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