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Syria Media Roundup (and Beyond) اليأس كسلاح للاستبداد البهلوان The Price of Love: Valentine’s Day in Egypt and Its Enemies
[لوحة ليوسف عبدلكي]

اليأس كسلاح للاستبداد

«الراديكاليّة الحقّيقيّة هي أن تجعل الأمل ممكناً، لا أن تجعل اليأس مُقْنِعاً.»  ريموند وليامز  تحل هذه الأيّام الذكرى السابعة لانطلاق الثورات العربيّة، والتي تسمّى أحياناً «الربيع العربي». ومهما اختلفنا حول كونها «ثورات» أو ...

Six Years: Roundtable on Arab Uprisings

The Arab world has been fundamentally transformed in the past six years, as part of ongoing processes that are certain to continue for some time to come. Throughout this period Jadaliyya has been providing analysis of the Arab uprisings, ...

[Another example of logo and design efforts at state propaganda in Jordan]

Doubling Down: Jordan Six Years into the Arab Uprisings

The political economy of Jordan today is characterized by greater degrees of authoritarianism and neoliberalism than was the case in 2010. Yet two trends in knowledge production on Jordan seem to claim otherwise. The first of these trends ...

Power, Sect, and State in Syria

A. Maria A. Kastrinou, Power, Sect and State in Syria: The Politics of Marriage and Identity amongst the Druze. London and New York: I.B. Tauris, 2016. How has Syria, a country that was deemed “stable” by analysts only years ago, ...


New Texts Out Now: Melani Cammett, Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon

[Cover of Melani Cammett,

Melani Cammett, Compassionate Communalism: Welfare and Sectarianism in Lebanon. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Melani Cammett (MC): The aftermath of the US invasion of Iraq first got me thinking about the connections between identity politics and social service provision. Years of war with Iran as well as more than a decade of sanctions after the First Gulf War had eroded the public welfare infrastructure in Iraq. The dismantling of the state in the aftermath of the US invasion destroyed much of what was left of it, creating a vacuum in parts of the country. I began to think about how “ordinary” people were able to ...

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Women As Fair Game in the Public Sphere: A Critical Introduction for Understanding Sexual Violence and Methods of Resistance

[6 February 2013, anti sexual harassment march to Tahrir Square. The Arabic reads, in reference to Tahrir Square:

Ever since sexual violence has become a daily reality for Egyptian women, the subject no longer requires a long introduction. In the past few years, every Egyptian woman has become vulnerable to varying levels of abuse in the street. The threats range from stalking, verbal harassment, and physical assault, to—in some cases—mass sexual assault. The spectacle of mass sexual assaults in Tahrir Square deservedly earned comment in the media and took on political weight due to the location and circumstances where the attacks took place. Nonetheless, close observers of the last few years have repeatedly noted that what happened in Tahrir was not a new phenomenon. Group sexual ...

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July Culture Bouquet

[Detail of Mouteea Murad's

July has been quite eventful and cruel. Neymar is out and the Caliphate is in and on. And we have a colorful bouquet for our readers. Elliot Colla examines the military-literary complex and the pervasive network of embedded iterature. Sonja Mejcher-Atassi curates a conversation between Charif KIwan and Akra Zaatarai. Jonathan Wright translates an excerpt from Amjad Nasser's novel, Land of No Rain. Soraya Morayef interviews Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa. Gelare Khoshgozaran reflects on Nooshin Rostami's House of Strength. Daniella Rose King interviews Medrar.TV's Mai Elwakil in a post republished from online arts magazine Ibraaz, which is complimented by a Medrar.TV ...

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The Military-Literary Complex

[Navy Reserve Cmdr. Kathleen Toomey Jabs autographs a copy of Operation Homecoming; image from Defense.gov]

Poetry cannot serve as an emotional bandage for the blood and guts of warfare; such an industry is doomed to dishonor the dead as well as the living. — Yusef Komunyakaa Not so long ago, American corporate media willingly accepted a set of new conditions and limitations in exchange for the privilege of reporting on the frontlines of Iraq, such as they existed. The military bed was a place of censorship, where reports underwent military review prior to publication. But more importantly, the failures of the bed were ones of sympathy and lack: by focusing on one story—the story of an all-volunteer American army—embedded journalism failed to report on the experiences of ...

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Video Channeling: Mai Elwakil in Conversation with Daniella Rose King

[Since its inception Medrar TV has spotlighted events throughout the Arab World, including Malak Helmy's interactive show

Medrar.TV is a Cairo-based YouTube channel presenting digital content that documents contemporary visual art, sound and music events, exhibitions, talks, performances, and interviews across Egypt and the Arabic-speaking world. In the interview that follows, Medrar.TV's co-founder and writer Mai Elwakil talks about the beginnings of Medrar.TV, the technological changes made to accommodate broader audiences, and the founders' vision for enabling critical discussions and access to a plethora of contemporary cultural production. From its early documentary-style videos of Indicated by Signs, Cairene curator and now gallerist Aleya Hamza's book launch at the Goethe ...

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An Excerpt from Amjad Nasser's "Land of No Rain"

[Amjad Nasser. Image from Author]

[Land of No Rain, the recently published novel by Jordanian poet Amjad Nasser (b. 1955), describes the experiences, thoughts and memories of an ageing leftist who decides to go home to fictional Hamiya after twenty years in exile. The move makes him reflect on the effects time has wrought on him, on the world around him and on the ideals that have sustained him over the years. Much of the book is written in the second person, addressing either of the protagonist's two personae – the one that went into exile and a notional one that stayed at home. In this passage (from pages 58 to 63), which takes place in exile, the narrator has just run into Mahmoud, a former comrade ...

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Call for Contributions: Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance, Cairo, March 2015

Translation and the Many Languages of Resistance Call for Papers Cairo, 6-8 March 2015 Deadline: 15 September 2014 Funded by the Arts & Humanities Research Council, UK Organized by Mona Baker, Yasmin El Rifae, and Mada Masr Call for Contributions

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Khaled Khalifa: "Revolutions Can't Be Reversed"

[Syrian author Khaled Khalifa. Image from Author]

[Last month, the Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa visited London to promote ‘Syria Speaks’, an anthology of short stories, poems, articles and visual art collected as a response to the Syrian regime’s crackdown on dissident voices since the 2011 Syrian uprising. As one of the most powerful and prominent writers in Syria, Khalifa continues to live in Damascus – despite being attacked and beaten by regime thugs at a funeral in 2012, despite his hugely popular books being banned, and despite the very real risk that dissident voices face when they criticise Assad’s regime. At the event, he brushed off inquiries about his wellbeing, explaining that his troubles were no ...

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What History Books for Children in Palestinian Camps?

[Dar al-Fata al-‘Arabi’s wall newspaper depicting Palestinian history. Courtesy of Dar al-Fata archive.]

Introduction A curious paradox reigns in research and publishing on Palestine and on the Palestinian people. While the post-Nakba importance of education for the Palestinian people is widely acknowledged, and has even given rise to an extensive literature in which many prominent scholars have participated, yet the part played by knowledge of Palestinian history in the field of education has barely been touched on in this literature. Even those writers who have focused on the special educational needs of a “community in exile”—to quote Ibrahim Abu Lughod—do not deeply explore the relationship between national liberation struggle, identity, and historical self-knowledge. ...

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Baya Mahieddine: A Profile from the Archives

[Artist Baya Mohyieldin. Source: djazairess.com website.]

[A Profile from the Archives is a series published by Jadaliyya in both Arabic and English in cooperation with the Lebanese newspaper, Assafir. These profiles will feature iconic figures who left indelible marks in the politics and culture of the Middle East and North Africa. This profile was originally published in Arabic  and was translated by Mazen Hakeem.] Baya Mahieddine (aka Fatima Haddad) was an Algerian plastic artist of tribal origin. She was born in 1931 in the town of Bordj El-Kiffan. By the age of five, both her parents had died, so she was raised by her grandmother. She never went to school in her life. Instead, Baya worked in ...

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Sun Ra in Egypt, 1971

[American musician Sun Ra continues to inspire many contemporary artists in Egypt. Image courtesy of Medrar TV.]

Sun Ra in Egypt, 1971 By Tom Bogaert May - June 2014 Medrar for Contemporary Art, Cairo   This art project by Tom Bogaert takes as its starting point Sun Ra's 1971 visit to Egypt. The legendary American jazz pioneer, mystic, poet, and philosopher was born as Herman Poole Blount, but changed his name to Le Sony'r Ra after a visionary experience led him to believe that he came from the planet Saturn. From then on, Sun Ra was fascinated by both outer space and ancient Egypt. Incorporating the Egyptian sun god Ra into his name was the first of his many invocations of ancient Egypt's culture and beliefs. Famous for his music as much as his eccentricity, Sun Ra's ...

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Israel and the Palestinian Territories Lonely Planet: Systematic Erasure and Casual Racism

[A view from Wadi Salib towards Haifa's government center. Photo by Alex Shams]

Haifa is a picturesque city of hills, gardens, and trendy cafes perched along the slopes of Mount Carmel in northern Israel. If the Lonely Planet guidebook is to be believed, Haifa is notable because Arabs and Jews live in “visible harmony,” and residents consider themselves a “model of tolerance” for the region (158). In Israel/Palestine, it seems, all it takes for harmony to prevail is for Arabs and Jews to sip lattes together—or at least close to each other, while speaking in Hebrew of course. After reading this description, the first image one encounters when entering Haifa, then, is a bit of a shock. At the entrance to the city, an impressive collection of ruined, ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (June 30-July 6)

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 Co-Editor Noura Erakat Responds to Israeli General Consul Regarding Operation Brother’s Keeper On Al Jazeera America The Moral Economy of Settler Colonialism: Israel and the “Evacuation Trauma” Video: Israeli Settlements ...

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Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar in Translation

Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar, The Time Regulation Institute, translated by Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawe, introduction by Pankaj Mishra. New York: Penguin, 2014.   The verbal text is jealous of its linguistic signature but impatient of national identity. Translation flourishes by virtue of that paradox.  — Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, “Translation as Culture” 1. Traveling Tanpınar 2014 marks the appearance of a second English translation of one of the funniest satirical novels of the ...

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المسألة السّورية: سؤال المصير والمستقبل: الحراك الشعبي في سورية

‫الحراك الشعبي في سورية 1ـ الحراك الشعبي السّوري ، الّذي بدأ في النّصف الثّاني من آذار (مارس) 2011 تحوّل تدريجياً ، وقبل أن يتصلّب عوده، وتترسخ قاعدته الشّعبية، ويتحقق استقلاله عن القوى والمؤثرات الخارجية، تحوّل، بعد بضعة أشهر، عن النهج السّلمي إلى حرب متعدّدة الصّفات ومن نوع جديد لم تألفه المنطقة، شاركت فيه أطراف عربية وإقليمية ودولية عديدة. وهكذا غُطي على الأهداف الداخلية للحراك (الحرية والكرامة والعدالة)، ثمَ أزيحت تدريجياً لصالح أهداف هذه الأطراف التي لعبت دور المموّل والمسلّح والموجَه والمخطّط، ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (July 8)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] Presidential Elections HDP Announces Demirtaş as Presidential Candidate On 30 June, The Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) announced Selahattin Demirtaş as its candidate for the upcoming ...

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The House of Melancholy and Strength

House of Strength  Performance by Nooshin Rostami Choreography by Merisha Mesihovic Industry City Open Studios, Brooklyn 26 April 2014    [House of Strength is a performance by the Iranian Brooklyn-based artist Nooshin Rostami inspired by the traditional Persian gymnasiums called Zoorkhane (House of Strength). The Zoorkhaneh is a place where male participants practice a lengthy series of exercises designed to build their bodies and skills. Women have been traditionally ...

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ABOUNADDARA’s Take on Images in the Syrian Revolution: A Conversation between Charif Kiwan and Akram Zaatari (Part One)

[The text below is based on a workshop organized by Sonja Mejcher-Atassi at the American University of Beirut, 11 April 2014, with the generous support of the Arts and Humanities Initiative and the Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies at AUB and the School of English’ project Imagining the Common Ground, University of Kent, UK. Thanks to Loran Peterson and Dona Timani for their help with rendering the text ready for publication Part One appears below. Part Two will follow soon] Sonja ...

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Layer of Green: Eleven Photographic Works

Layer of Green Eleven Photographic Works March - April 2014 Contemporary Image Collective, Cairo   “Layer of Green” is the outcome of a photography workshop organized by Goethe-Institut Kairo and CIC- PhotoSchool in November 2013. The theme is a highly adaptable layer that reflects a notion of green within social, political, economic, and cultural contexts. In their works, the photographers addressed this greenness in agriculture and greenhouses, in traffic; recreation; consumerism; ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (July 7)

[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.] First Anniversary of Morsi’s Ouster: One Year Later: Key Events since Morsi's Ouster EgyptSource releases a timeline highlighting the most salient events that took place in Egypt since ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (June 2014)

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the level of critical analysis and diversity that Jadaliyya strives for, but the views are solely the ones of their authors. If you are interested in contributing to Jadaliyya, send us your ...

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Call for Applicants: Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Military Mobilities, Ports, and Transport Infrastructure in the Middle East

Postdoctoral Research Fellowship Department of Politics and International Studies SOAS, University of London Duration: 3-Year Fixed Term (Start: 1 January 2015 or ASAP thereafter) Location: London Salary: 32,862 to 38,795 (inclusive of London Allowance) Application Deadline: 1 August 2014 Description We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Fellow to work on a project funded by the UK’s Economics and Social Research Council (ESRC). This inter-disciplinary project will seek to ...

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Israeli Police Brutally Beat Palestinian-American Youth

[The following press release was issued by friends and family members of Tarek Abu Khdeir on 4 July 2013.] For Immediate Release Following the brutal abduction and murder of 16-year-old Mohammad Abu Khdeir in Jerusalem, his cousin, 15-year-old Tarek Abu Khdeir, a Palestinian-American child in Jerusalem on holiday from Tampa, Florida is in Israeli detention after being beaten by two undercover Israeli police agents last night.  Despite needing critical medical attention for severe injuries to his ...

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The Beginning of the End of Palestinian Security Coordination with Israel?

While Mahmoud Abbas’s infamous speech at the conference of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation has sparked widespread condemnation and outrage among Palestinians, it has also provoked renewed questioning of the increasingly suspicious role of the Palestinian Authority’s (PA) security sector. In his speech, Abbas defended security coordination with Israel under any and all circumstances, claiming that such coordination is a “Palestinian national interest.” Meanwhile, he had previously characterized it ...

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