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Against All Odds Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq It's Official: In 2006, The Lebanese Government Was Hoping Israel Would Disarm Hezbollah For them Tripoli’s Unseen Faces الجسد والسلطة في السينما Syria Media Roundup
[Cover of Toby Matthiesen,

New Texts Out Now: Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism

Toby Matthiesen, The Other Saudis: Shiism, Dissent, and Sectarianism. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Toby Matthiesen (TM): I became interested in the issue of ...

[Image of zajal performance in Byblos from The Times of Malta]

Zajal on Arak

I remember when electricity came to my village. I must have been about seven or eight.  The government installed a transformer in the village center. The thing was housed in a metal locker. The villagers called it ‘The Clock.’  ...

ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (November-December 2014)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series] English Articles        ISIS threatens the Islmaili ...

[Image of Jabra Ibrahim Jabra from al-Quds al-Arabi]

Jabra Ibrahim Jabra: Ramparts

Beneath the walls, walls. And beneath them, walls. Ur, Jericho, Ninevah, Nimrud— On the debris where the sighs of lovers went to die Where chattered then vanished the teeth of captives, stripped bare There, now are hills that bloom ...

Syria Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (February 2013)

[Painting by Syrian artist Aula al-Ayoubi.]

 [This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on Syria. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of Syria-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 post with your bio and a release form to [click "Submissions" on the main page for more information] Syria Media Roundup (February 28) Weekly collection of pertinent articles published ...

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Media on Media Roundup (March 3)

[One of the photos from Instagram users in the Israeli army that caused controversy. Image from user @eliya_hatan via RT]

Assad accuses UK of bullying  In a rare interview with the UK's Sunday Times, President Bashar al-Assad accused the British government of bullying and naivety in its approach to the conflict in Syria. Journalists Syndicate elections postponed After the general assembly failed to reach a quorum of fifty percent plus one of all eligible voters by 3 pm on Friday, 1 March, elections have been postponed to 15 March. Visiting French Reporter Prevented from Leaving Iraq for 15 Days Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expresses concern for Nadir Dendoune, a visiting journalist with French, Australian, and Algerian nationality, who has been prevented from leaving Iraq ...

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Lebanon's Sect Addiction

[Lebanon's former electoral districts. Photo courtesy of MESH.]

Lebanese MPs outraged secularists and campaigners opposed to sectarian politics this past week by provisionally approving a voting law that would make it so citizens could only vote for candidates of their own sect. The so-called Orthodox Gathering draft law still needs to pass a parliamentary vote—but activists and youth groups have already decried it as a step back from representative democracy and a lurch towards confessional – some claimed racist – politics. The bill was championed by Michel Aoun, the leader of the Maronite Christian Free Patriotic Movement (FPM) that contributes seven ministers to Lebanon’s current cabinet, alongside the Shiite Hezbollah, ...

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غريب حيفاوي: الفلسطيني لاجئاً في ذاته

[غلاف رواية ابتسام عازم

شاءت ابتسام عازم أن تجعل روايتها «غــــريب حيفاوي» (دار الجمل) أشبه بتداخــــل بورتريهات: بورتريه داخل بورتريه داخل بورتريه، لتنتهي جميعها بمركز ثقل واحد أو نواة ثقيلة ومكثفة قوامها التاريخ والذاكرة والمكان، الذي يجعل منه التغيير الديموغرافي فسحةً رحبة للالتباس. في هذا العمل-السيرة، يعاد ترتيب الأحداث السياسية لفلسطين، منذ نكبة عام 1948، وحتى لحظةٍ ما، غير محددة من الألفية الثالثة، ولا تعرض مباشرة على القارئ، وإنما يتمّ إرجاعها إلى اللغة اليومية لإنسان الحاضر، أو إسقاط أثرها على كينونة إنسانية تفتش عن فسحة ضئيلة للوجود. تجري أحداث هذا العمل الروائي القصير (أقل من 100 صفحة) في فلسطين، وتحديداً القدس الغربية ورام الله وتل أبيب. وبين هذه الأمكنة الثلاثة، يخضع التاريخ ...

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What Does Morsi Not Understand About Police Reform?

[The Egyptian Police at the presidential palace before the clashes started on February 1st. Image originally posted to Flickr by Moud Barthez.]

In mid-1861, Saeed Pasha, the ruler of Egypt, issued a Sovereign Decree to all police chiefs replacing the penalty of beating with imprisonment. Accordingly, regulations were issued stating that since  penalties in the form of beatings of some criminals are intended to once and for all discipline those who commit crimes and sins, and serve as a deterrence to others, while keeping in mind effect without harm, we have decided to replace the penalty of beating with the penalty of imprisonment. Before these regulations were issued, torture was prevalent and central to Egypt’s judicial system. Most penalty codes issued during the nineteenth century clearly ...

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Global Ban on CS Gas is Needed

[Clashes between protestors and riot police after a funeral in Sitra. 1 January 2012. Image from Saeed Saif.]

To mark the second anniversary of the February 14 Bahraini uprising, Pr. Damian McCormack, Pr. David Grayson and Tara O'Grady call for a ban on CS gas. CS gas,  2-chlorobenzylidenemalononitrile, is a chemical weapon which is banned in warfare by the OPCW (Organisation for Prevention of Chemical Weapons) under the Chemical Weapons Convention, 1993. However, its misuse as a crowd control tear gas in peacetime is causing significant mortality and morbidity. We have retrieved and analyzed samples from tear gas canisters used in Bahrain and have unequivocally demonstrated the presence of the CS agent. At least fifty-four deaths have been attributed to the ...

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Israel: Open Independent Investigation into the Suspicious Death following Interrogation of Palestinian Detainee Arafat Jaradat

[Abandoned room and chair. Photo by Brennan Lashever used under a Creative Commons license.]

The undersigned human rights organizations call on the Israeli Attorney General (AG) to open an independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of the death of thirty year-old Palestinian detainee Arafat Jaradat in the Meggido Prison according to the Investigation into Circumstances of Death Law. The organizations also call on the international community to demand that the Israeli government respect the rights of Palestinian prisoners and protect their health and lives. Adalah, Physicians for Human Rights-Israel (PHR-I), and the Public Committee Against Torture in Israel (PCATI) view with extreme gravity the treatment of Palestinian detainees and ...

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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.]

[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 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 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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أطياف الربيع العربي فوق بيروت

 لطالما شكلت المطالب المعيشية في لبنان مادة للنكايات السياسية ليس إلا. وكثيراً ما ارتضت الحركة النقابية اللبنانية التي كان الاتحاد العمالي العام يشكل فصيلها الأبرز، أن تتحول إلى ما يشبه الأداة في يد قوى سياسية تستخدمها ساعة تشاء، وتلوك خطابها المطلبي، قبل أن تتخلى عنها وعن المطالب التي رفعتها، عند أول فرصة. ولهذه العلاقة القاتلة أكثر من سبب لعل أبرزها سياسة الإضعاف الممنهج الذي تعرضت له الحركة النقابية على يد الوصاية السورية والطقم السياسي اللبناني الحليف لها، وفقاً لتقسيم العمل الأخوي بين ...

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Jadaliyya Monthly Edition (February 2013)

This is a selection of what you might have missed on Jadaliyya during the month of February 2013. It also includes the most recent videos, roundups and the most read articles. Progressively, we will be featuring more content on our Monthly Edition series, and we now have a page dedicated to all roundups.  Two Years of Meta-Narratives: How Not to Cover Syria Tires over Tyre: US Ambassador Ruins Ruins This Is A Mass Sexual Assault . . . We Will Resist ...

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The Rising Cost of Electricity in Jordan

              [Click on the image to view or download larger version of this illustration.]

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فارس يواكيم في ترجمة كتاب عنف الدكتاتورية لستيفان زفايغ

[“كتب” هي سلسلة تستضيف “جدلية” فيها الكتاب والمترجمين في حوار حول أعمالهم الجديدة، نرفقه بمقطع من الكتاب.] الكتاب ”عنف الدكتاتورية“ المؤلف: ستيفان زفايغ، ترجمة فارس يواكيم. بيروت، دار الفرات، ٢٠١٣. جدلية: كيف تبلورت فكرة ترجمة الكتاب، وما الذي قادك نحو الموضوع؟ فارس يواكيم: كنت أعرف ستيفان زفايغ روائياً صاحب أسلوب ممتع في السرد. وكنت أحرص على قراءة رواياته. ثم وقعت على كتاب من تأليفه لا علاقة له بالرواية. عنوان الكتاب "كاستيليو ضد كالفن ... أو ضمير ضد العنف". في الظاهر، كتاب يكثف الأضواء ...

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Reports Roundup (March 2)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] Sexual Violence Against Women and the Increasing Frequency of Gang Rape in Tahrir and Its Environs Nazra for Feminist Studies addresses the rise of sexual violence in Egypt's Tahrir Square from a feminist perspective, arguing that women's issues are first and foremost political issues.  Physicians for Human Rights: Rights Violations Still Common in ...

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Assarag: Habitat and the Imazighen of Morocco

(If the photo slide show does not appear above, please click here.) [The photos and text presented here are the result of my work in five Amazigh (also known as Berber) communities or distinct architectural ensembles in the south of Morocco.] My work in Morocco began in May 2002 when I was invited by a former high school friend of Moroccan descent to photograph his father's native village, Timkatti. This place of mud and stone is located in the Ida Ou Tannane region about forty miles north of Agadir. ...

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What was at Stake at Brooklyn College?

It was an odd spectacle: Michael Bloomberg, the New York City mayor responsible for a quite a bit of repression against New York activists, was also the one chiding New York politicos for their threats to cut funding for the city’s public colleges. As he quipped, “If you want to go to a university where the government decides what kind of subjects are fit for discussion, I suggest you apply to a school in North Korea.” Brooklyn College’s hosting of activist Omar Barghouti from the Boycott National ...

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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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