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ISIS Kills Gays Paul Sedra on the IS Massacre of Egyptian Copts in Libya In Memory of Ozgecan Aslan: Sexual Violence and the Juridical System in Turkey Manufacturing Silence Ras Beirut, Bliss Street, and “Abu Muhammad”

STATUS/الوضع: Issue 2.1 is Live!

We are excited to announce that the second issue of Status Audio Journal is live!  Officially, this is our -2 Episode (minus two), denoting our experimental phase.  Status / الوضع, is an evolving critical, ...

[Cover of Mayanthi L. Fernando,

A New Secularism?

[This is the third of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here; for Naomi ...

Beyond Authenticity: ISIS and the Islamic Legal Tradition

The Atlantic thinks ISIS is Islamic. President Obama and countless others disagree. As the debate rages on with no shortage of interlocutors, one must stop to ask, what is the utility of making such pronouncements? Is the simple binary of ...

[Mai Al-Nakib. Photo: Omar Nakib]

'The Thing Is to Be Light as Air': An Interview with Mai Al-Nakib

Last spring, Bloomsbury published Mai Al-Nakib’s debut work of fiction, The Hidden Light of Objects (released in the US this January). Since then the collection of short stories has won praise and acclaim from across the globe, including ...

مات عمو صباح

[المصدر افب. تصوير صباح عرار]

"مات عمو صباح"، قالتها أمي بتردد وهي تسبقها بكلمات تمهد لها. " أعرف أن هذا سيحزنك" قالت بهدوء وهي تحادثني اليوم على الهاتف من حيث لا تزال في الشرق الأوسط، وهي تطمئن علي في عاصمة الثلج والإسمنت. لن يمر وقت طويل حتى أودع كل من أناديهم بلقب "عمو"، وهو ما ننادي به من نحترمهم ونحبهم كآبائنا. هو صديق أبي، وأخ أصغر لرئيس سابق للعراق، ولكن هذا لم يكن يوماً سبباً في محبتي له. هو بغدادي أصيل، أعني بذلك لهجته، وروحه المرحة ونكاته التي تنتهي دوما بضحكات مجلجلة يسمعها كل من في البيت. كان فطري المرح، بشوش الوجه، حاضر النكتة. تطوف في أحاديثه حين تجلس معه ببغداد العتيقة، بغداد الأربعينات والخمسينات التي كانت تفور بكل ما هو جديد من السياسة حتى الشعر. تسلل ...

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Ennahda: A Party in Transition

[Members of Ennahda hold a press conference in Tunisia, with their leader, Rachid Ghannouchi, in the center. Image by Monia Ghanmi/Magharebia.]

Since the assassination of Chokri Belaid, Tunisia is living the most difficult stage of its revolutionary transition. Even before the murder of Belaid, a long institutional crisis had kept the country in limbo with the prolonged absence of a constitution. Belaid’s death pushed it on the edge of chaos. Much has been written about the context within which the assassination took place, with the secular-leftist camp openly accusing the Islamist party, Ennahda, of having provided the ideological and political context for it. In order to bring the country back from the brink of a potential explosion of violence, on the night of the assassination, Prime Minister Hammadi Jebali ...

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (March 25)

[United States President Barack Obama waves to the audience after delivering remarks at the Jerusalem Convention Centre on 21 March 2013. Image by Pete Souza.]

 [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 by Monday night of every other week] News "Kuwait Lengthens Sentence of Man Who "Insulted" Emir", Swiss A court in Kuwait has raised the sentence of a man previously sentenced to two years for insulting the Emir over twitter to five years, according to his lawyer Jasser al-Jidei. "Israeli Police Dismantle ...

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Zainab Al-Khawaja: Letter From A Bahraini Prison

[Zainab Al-Khawaja. Image from author's family archive]

Great leaders are immortal, their words and deeds echo through the years, decades, and centuries. They echo across oceans and borders and become an inspiration that touches the lives of many who are willing to learn. One such leader is the remarkable Martin Luther King Jr. As I read his words, I imagine him reading out to us from another land, another time, to teach us some very important lessons. Above all, he tells us, we should never become bitter or sink to the level of our oppressors; that we should be willing to make great sacrifices for freedom. As seeds of hope and resistance to oppression started flowering across the Arab world, the people of Bahrain saw the ...

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Media On Media Roundup (March 24)

[Three-year-old Hussein in Firdos Square Baghdad holding a photo of the site taken by Jerome Delay (AP) of US forces and Iraqis on 9 April 2003 pulling down Saddam Hussein's statue. Image by Maya Alleruzzo-AP]

Iraq War and News Media: A Look Inside the Death Toll Frank Smyth reflects on the record number of slain journalists during the Iraq war as the tenth anniversary approaches.  Al-Jazeera Plans British, French News Channels Al-Jazeera plans to launch a news channel in the UK as reports suggest the TV network is at an “advanced stage” to launch a French-language channel.  Breaking the News Mold: Egypt's Community Media Gains a Much-Needed Voice Miriam Berger on a new wave of community-focused media that hopes to “broaden the Cairo-centric cycle of Egyptian media through innovative local newspapers, Internet news sites, online radio, and YouTube ...

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King Abdullah II of Jordan, World Statesman?

[King Abdullah II of Jordan speaks at the inauguration of the newly-elected parliament, in Amman, Jordan, 10 February 2013. Photo by Mohammad Hannon via AP Photo]

This week, Jeffrey Goldberg published a now infamous interview with King Abdullah II of Jordan in The Atlantic. Its contents have reverberated all around the blogosphere, generating heated real-life debates. Even before the full interview was made public, the New York Times culled out the most egregious of quotes for an article on 18 March. It was this truncated version that was initially circulating through the Internet and in the media in Jordan. Increasingly, references to the fuller Atlantic article were also being passed around. Initially, parts of the article were circulating in Arabic, and eventually the whole article was translated. Already, at least one ...

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Reports Roundup (March 23)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] The Crime of Insulting the President, A Crime of an Authoritarian Regime The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information reports on the history of governmental violations of freedom of expression in Egypt.  An Open Letter From Salman al-Odah Saudi sheikh and former political prisoner Salman al-Odah addresses the Saudi Arabian regime with his concerns and observations on the prison system, the media, and the political atmosphere in general.  Jailed Human Rights Defenders on Hunger Strike The Bahrain ...

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Open Sesame: Memories from a War-Torn Generation

[Detail of

Open Sesame Curated by Ola El-Khalidi apexart, Manhattan   17 January -- 2 March 2013   Through a small collection of objects, maps, letters, and photographs, Open Sesame leads viewers back in time to 2 August 1990— the morning Iraq invades Kuwait. The exhibit pieces together the miscellaneous belongings of children at the time, whom curator Ola El-Khalidi refers to as the “Open Sesame” generation. “Open Sesame” is also the Arabic name for the pan-Arab edition of the American children’s TV series Sesame Street, on which one of the children was to appear that day, but never did. Open Sesame captures many similar moments of loss and anxiety that had a ...

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Mona Kareem on Blogging and Dissent in Kuwait

[Image of Mona Kareem.]

[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 motivated you to start blogging?  Mona Kareem (MK): I blogged anonymously starting from 2006 about Kuwaiti politics and minorities in Kuwait. The uprisings motivated me to put my literary and journalistic writings together in a blog, considering the lack of scholarship and reporting on the Gulf region. The stateless minority in Kuwait that I come from did not have any access to media or public exposure, except through blogging and social media. J: ...

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The Full Story: Silencing English-Language Media in Egypt

[Syndicate of Journalists, Cairo, Egypt. Photo from]

“It is always the fixer who dies,” is the title of a seminal article by George Packer that appeared in The New Yorker in 2009 to mourn the death of Sultan Munadi, a local fixer who lost his life in a commando raid in Afghanistan. The raid that ended Munadi’s life took place in order to free foreign journalists who were captured by the Taliban. The foreign correspondent was freed, the fixer died, and the operation was deemed a success. This tragedy and Packer’s dramatic title are fitting curtain raisers to the struggle of local English-language media in Egypt. For decades, local journalists who had the necessary language skills helped foreign correspondents working for ...

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من الثورة على توريث آل مبارك إلى الثورة على توريث الإخوان

[المصدر اف ب]

التفاعلات السياسية والأحداث التي رافقت إحياء الذكرى الثانية لبدء الثورة المصرية  تؤكد أن الانتخابات في حد ذاتها ليست كفيلة بالانتقال للديمقراطية. فمصر في السنين الأربعين الماضية، لم تخل من انتخابات أو معارضة كهذه، حيث كان لها تمثيل كبير في مجلس الشعب. تراوحت أعدادها، ما بين 70 مقعداً في انتخابات 1987، وما يقارب 120 مقعداً في انتخابات 2005، منها 88 مقعداً للإخوان المسلمين. كما أن الانتخابات الرئاسية لم تخل من التنافس، قبل سنوات من الثورة، عندما تم تغيير بعض مواد الدستور، لجعل الترشح لرئاسة الجمهورية بين أكثر من مرشح. فكانت هناك  انتخابات رئاسية تنافسية، ما بين مرشح الحزب الوطني الحاكم في ذلك الوقت، الرئيس السابق مبارك، وبين مرشحين مستقلين آخرين. ولأن النية ...

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The Most Important Thing: Syrian Refugees

[Ahmed, 70, holds his cane in Domiz refugee camp in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.]

[Photos by Brian Sokol/UNHCR, text by UNHCR.] What would you bring with you if you had to flee your home and escape to another country? More than 1 million Syrians have been forced to ponder this question before making the dangerous flight to neighboring Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq or other countries in the region. This is the second part of a UNHCR project that asks refugees from different parts of the world, “What is the most important thing you brought from home?” The first installment focused on refugees fleeing from Sudan to South Sudan, who openly carried pots, water containers, and other objects to sustain them along the road. By contrast, people seeking ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (March 18-24)

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.  King Abdullah II of Jordan, World Statesman? The Lens of a Youth Photography Collective: Documenting Life and War in Syria Perpetual Recalculation: Getting Syria Wrong Two Years On The Full Story: Silencing English-Language ...

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Noura Erakat and Rashid Khalidi on US-Israeli Relations: Interview with MSNBC's Chris Hayes

This week US President Barack Obama made his first Middle East visit of his second term in office. It was also his first trip to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory (OPT) since coming into office in 2008. The purpose of the trip was to warm chilled relations with Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, as well as to reiterate the US position towards Iran's nuclear power ambitions. In many ways, the trip signaled Obama's retreat from the region rather than the first step in an intensified ...

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Al-Moqattam Clashes in Photos

Members of the Muslim Brotherhood gathered outside their headquarters on Friday March 22 2013 in the Cairo suburb of al-Moqattam in anticipation of opposition marches to the building. Clashes broke out that same day between opposition protesters and both security forces and supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood.    [Members of the Muslim Brotherhood gather outside their headquarters in Cairo, Egypt as opposition   protesters clash with Brotherhood members less than a mile ...

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Urgent Appeal: Zainab Al-Khawaja's Life at Imminent Risk

[The following is an urgent appeal that the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Issued on 24 March 2013.]  Both Abdulhadi and his daughter Zainab Al-Khawaja were denied family visits again this weekend, prompting them to start a dry hunger strike today. Zainab Al-Khawaja was told by doctors that she is at risk of organ failure, cardiac arrest, or coma at any time. Her blood sugar has dropped to two on several occasions in the last two days. According to Dr. Fatima Haji, Internal Medicine ...

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Reading Poetry in Tehran: The Case of the Forbidden

Sholeh Wolpé, The Forbidden: Poetry from Iran and Its Exiles. East Lansing: Michigan State University Press, 2012.  La redonda, suprema y celestial sandía Es la fruta del árbol de la sed Es la ballena verde del verano At a Chilean food market in Santiago, a young fruit vendor hums verses in praise of watermelons: “Watermelon: round, supreme and celestial / it’s the fruit of the tree of thirst / it’s the green whale of summer.” The poem’s eloquent simplicity and creative metaphors pique ...

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Street Wars on a Hill: An Eyewitness Testimony

[The following is an eyewitness testimony covering some of the events that happened on 22 March 2013 near the Muslim Brotherhood’s headquarters in al-Moqattam area.] Having missed the march to the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)’s headquarters in al-Moqattam, I arrived late to the site of the protests. There had been reports of clashes at al-Nafoora (Fountain) square, one of the most used entrances to the area of al-Moqattam located at the west end of the district and closest to downtown. Reaching the protest ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (March 22)

[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 by Thursday night of every week.]  Algeria La révolte du sud algérien fait trembler le pouvoir Mélanie Mataresse reports on the recent demonstrations in Ouargla, Algeria’s “Tahrir Square. ...

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When I Saw You

Lamma Shoftak [When I Saw You]. Directed by Annemarie Jacir. Jordan-Palestine-UAE-Greece, 2012. Annemarie Jacir’s Lamma Shoftak/When I Saw You extends her examination of exile and occupation begun in her début feature Milh Hadha al-Bahr [Salt of This Sea] (2008), as well as her earlier shorts and documentaries. Salt of This Sea takes the 1948 Nakba (catastrophe) as a moment of collective trauma through which Soraya (Suheir Hammad), a young Palestinian American woman from Brooklyn (and Jaffa), attempts ...

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ماهي علاقة كل من الإسلاميين - الدولة القومية الحديثة - الديموقراطية ببعضهم البعض؟

بعد أي حراك سياسي، كل شيء يحدث في عالم اليوم، يتعلق ويدور حول مفهوم الدولة الحديثة وأذرعها الأمنية والأيدولوجية وكيفية التعامل مع الشرائح المختلفة للمجتمع، كما يتعلق بمفهوم الديموقراطية الغربي الذي تم "أنمذجته" في العالم أجمع بعد سقوط الاتحاد السوفيتي. وهو بالأساس يعتمد على فكرة الدولة القومية الحديثة والديموقراطية بآليتها الغربية.  الدولة القومية الحديثة تعتمد بدورها على فكرة العقد الاجتماعي (منذ أن أسس لفكرتها جان جاك روسّو مستكملاً ما بناه توماس هوبز وجون لوك، وكل الفلاسفة الذين نظرّوا ...

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Iraqi Tragedy; More than 10 Years in the Making: An Interview with Jadaliyya's Editor Sinan Antoon

19 March marked the tenth anniversary of the US-led invasion of Iraq. Ten years after the invasion and occupation of Iraq, what has changed for the country and its people? To understand the legacy of the war and occupation of Iraq, Vomena's Shahram Aghamir spoke Iraqi poet, novelist and scholar, Professor Sinan Antoon.  

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بورتريه غير وافٍ عن بسام حجار

قيل فيه كلام كثير. أصدقاء وشعراء ونقاد وفنانون وزملاء مهنة ودارسون اجتمعوا حول ورق الصحف ليملؤه في اليوم التالي لوفاته. كان رحيل بسام حجار في السابع عشر من شباط 2009، بمثابة فاجعة أدبية. حتى أولئك الذين نبذوه مهنياً، وتناقلوه من قسم ثقافي إلى آخر، حزنوا من أجله، وربما ندموا. ذلك أن رحيل ذلك الرجل الخجول لم يكن مجرد موت، عرفنا جميعاً أننا سنفتقد أحد أهم الأسماء في الشعر، وفي الترجمة أيضا. كان موته ضربا من خيبة الأمل، لأننا كنا نعتمد كثيراً على بسام حجار في نقل ترجمات إلى العربية، قبل أن نتوقف عند شعره. ...

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Open Letter from Members of the Protection Committee for Bedouin Communities in the Jerusalem Periphery to President Obama

[The following English version of an open letter to President Obama was issued by the Protection Committee for Bedouin Communities in the Jerusalem Periphery on 10 March 2013.] Dear Mr. President, In the name of the Protection Committee for Bedouin Communities in the Jerusalem Periphery we extend to you our warmest greetings. We write to welcome you to Palestine next week and also to seek your support as a matter of urgency due to the Government of Israeli's (GOI) announcement in December 2012 that it ...

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