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How Not To Understand ISIS In Memory of Suphi Nejat Agirnasli Suphi Nejat Agirnasli’nin Anisina رحلتي إلى الراب والسياسة والسجن Jadaliyya Featured in the New York Times:
[Cover of Edmund Burke III,

New Texts Out Now: Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam

Edmund Burke III, The Ethnographic State: France and the Invention of Moroccan Islam. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Edmund Burke III (EB): Ever since ...

[صلاح فائق مع سركون بولص. الصورة من أرشيف صلاح فائق]

عن سركون بولص في ذكراه

آخر مرة التقيتُ سركون كان في بداية العام 1966، في بغداد. ذهبنا الى مطعم صغير في البتاويين وبعده الى معرضٍ  للرسم في المعهد الثقافي الفرنسي. افترقنا وأنا أعرف بأنه سيغادر العراق، أو يهرب، لينهي عذابه من تجنيده في الجيش وبقائه عاطلاً عن ...

[Refugees from Kobane at the Turkish border. Image via Shutterstock.]

Turkey Media Roundup (October 21)

[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 ...

[Banners by Bank of Palestine advertising savings. Photo by C. Harker]

Debt and Obligation in Contemporary Ramallah

A recent advertisement for a Bank of Palestine savings scheme, reproduced on billboards and in magazines all over the Ramallah-al-Bireh-Beitounia conurbation (hereafter Ramallah), tells residents “Together We Are a Family.” We are clearly ...

The Naked Bodies of Alia

[Grafitti of Alia al-Mahdy and Samira Ibrahim in Cairo, Egypt. Image from]

Just as we started thinking that Alia al-Mahdy’s nude portrait was a thing of the past, new images surfaced on the web. On 20 December 2012, FEMEN—a Ukrainian women’s movement known for its controversial nude protest actions—posted photos of Alia and two FEMEN members posing naked in front of the Egyptian embassy in Stockholm on their Facebook page. The Facebook group cover photo was updated on the same day, showing a nude Alia raising the Egyptian flag, photo-shopped against a black, red, and white background representing the Egyptian national colors. The photos were stills from a one-minute-and-thirty-seconds-long video posted online that opens with the ...

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All Armies - the Syrian Regime, the FSA and Islamist - Are Thieves

[Kids leading the protest of Bustan Al-Qasr. Photo by Rita from Syria.]

During the 1990s, my small village which felt like it was cut off from half the known world experienced a strange new phenomenon. A big mosque was built by donors from the city of Hama, the cost of which at the time outstripped the earnings of the residents of the whole village combined. The thing I remember most about the mosque was the huge quantities of rice and olive oil deposited in front of the mosque to distribute among the regular visitors. We began to see a few of the men from the village let their beards grow while some women started wearing the hijab.  For those residents of the village it was worth changing certain life-long habits and modes of dress ...

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Revolution’s Cost

[Protesting the constitutional referendum heading from Al-Abbasiya to the Presidential Palace. Image originally posted to Flickr by Moud Barthez.]

He told me to get off at the last kiosk on the highway that connects East with West Cairo. After the driver dropped me off, there was no one to be seen in the area. I walked down the concrete stairs by the side of the road. The stairs led me into the pit of this neighborhood named after a village that never was. There was Mahmoud, sitting in a coffee shop only meters away. He told me he had stood by the road for some time waiting for me but then had gotten cold and came down below. We walked together to his home, but slowly, because Mahmoud limped, and I wondered if he had ever made it up those makeshift steps or if he had merely said so out of politeness. By the time ...

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Ongoing Ethnic Cleansing: Israeli Settlers to Take Over Another Palestinian Home

[The Shamasneh family home on 30 December 2012)

On Monday 31 December 2012, Israeli forces will evict the Shamasneh family from their home in Sheikh Jarrah. The family of ten, including six children, have lived in the home since 1963. Ayoub Shamasneh, the family elder, recently appealed to the international solidarity community to stand with them to resist their forced displacement.  Sheikh Jarrah is a residential neighborhood in the north of the Old City of Occupied East Jerusalem and home to 2,800 Palestinians. Due to its strategic location around the Old City, It has been the site of an aggressive ethnic cleansing campaign. In 2009, Israeli settlers, supported by Israeli state forces, forcibly ...

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December Culture

[Art by Saddam Al-Jumaily (Iraq). Image from Artist]

Our last culture bouquet this year features poetry from Syria and Palestine, fiction from Algeria/France, and two reviews. Marilyn Hacker translates two chapters from Leila Sebbar's I Don't Speak My Father's Language. Kamran Rastegar reviews Ahmad Ghossein's My Father is Still a Communist. Syrian poet Golan Haji co-translates four of his poems. Fady Joudah translates poems by Ghassan Zaqtan. Amin Alsaden reviews a current exhibit about Baghdadi architecture: * "Leila Sebbar's I Don't Speak My Father's Language" (tr. Marilyn Hacker) * "My Father is Still a Communist" (reviewed by Kamran Rastegar) * "Four poems by ...

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Leila Sebbar: I Do Not Speak My Father's Language

[Leila Sebbar. Image from Author]

From Leila Sebbar's Je ne parle pas la langue de mon père Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker.   I Do Not Speak My Father's Language   A few useful dates so as not to get lost in the maze of memory: My father is born in 1913 in Tènès. From 1932 to 1935, he studies at the teachers’ college in Bouzaréah, in Algiers, where he meets Mouloud Feraoun, assassinated in March 1962 by the OAS. He will be a schoolteacher and school principal: from 1935 to 1940, in El-Bordj from 1940 to 1945, in Aflou from 1945 to 1947, in Mascara from 1947 to 1955, in Hennaya, near Tlemcen from 1955 to 1960, in Blida (in 1957, he is imprisoned at Orléansville; ...

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Four Poems

[Golan Haji. Image from poet]

The Box of Pain   You were not there at daybreak When patients, passengers and soldiers Stretched their heads, bald or shaven, Like tiny cottages in distant windows. The boy passed the light fog Which didn't stay long Before the hospital gate Where he found a pistol lying on the grass. You were not there. Now, you are a story Being told in a place you are not in. Your throat: that box of pain, Is full of bones and feathers. In the white of your eye There is a blood dot, small and rusty, Like a sun setting in the distance Over a snowy field  Which was trampled By long rows of hungry soldiers. [Translated from the Arabic by Golan Haji ...

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My Father is Still a Communist

[Ahmad Ghossein. Image from Wikipedia]

My Father is Still a Communist. Dir. Ahmad Ghossein, (Lebanon, 2011, 32’) The transient circulations of bodies for labor constitutes a hidden history of the late-20th century world, with an accumulation of yet unspoken stories of abuse and struggle, exploitation and protest, inscribed in the letters that cross continents to speak of home.  In March 2012 in Bkfaya Lebanon, at a cardboard factory in a rough-scrub industrial area, 50 Nepalese and Indian workers engage in a strike over wages. Three men, identified as the leaders of the action, are arrested and deported by authorities upon the request of the factory owners. The remaining workers return to their jobs, ...

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Calls to Boycott Qatar and the UAE for Labor Violations

[Workers in a bus after a day of work in Dubai. Image from Flickr/Eric J Scott]

[The following is a Migrant Rights post on calls to boycott the World Cup in Qatar in 2022 and (possibly) the UAE, if chosen for the 2024 Olympics.] The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) will organize a boycott of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar unless the nation improves migrant worker conditions. The group also plans to boycott the UAE (if selected for the 2024 Olympics) if genuine labor reform is not realized. As both nations will implement intensive labor projects in preparation for these events, ITUC emphasized that laborers must be guaranteed fair pay as well as decent accommodations. Critics have blasted both FIFA and Qatar for the nation’s subpar labor ...

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Egypt’s Anti-Freedom Constitution: The Borhami Video

[Salafist cleric leader Yasser Borhami (right) speaks with Morsi's presidential advisor Bassam al-Zarqa during the constitutional marathon vote in the assembly on 30 November. Image by Mohamed Abd El Gany/Reuters]

“This constitution imposes complete restrictions that have never before been imposed by any Egyptian constitution” and it “places restrictions on freedom of thought, expression, and creativity.” These are the words of Sheikh Yasser Borhami, a leading member of the Constituent Assembly. He was explaining Article 10 of Egypt’s draft constitution during a conference with religious experts and Salafist preachers on 22 November 2012. On this same day, President Mohamed Morsi granted himself sweeping powers, including the power to shield the constituent assembly from judicial oversight. For anyone who continues to believe that this constitution is a document that represents ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 27)

[Libya celebrates its 61st independence day on 24 December 2012. Photo from @Eljarh.]

[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 Wednesday night of every week.] Algeria Algeria Prepares For ‘Guerrilla’ Warfare Walid Ramzi reports on Algeria's current military training. Can Algeria and France forget the past? Nabila Ramadani discusses Hollande's unapologetic recognition of French colonial rule (video). POMEPS Conversations 12 with Michael Willis Michael WIllis compares the rise of ...

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Syria Media Roundup (December 27)

[Art commemorating the Helfaya Massacre. 23 December 2012.]

[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.]   International and Regional Perspectives   Will Brahimi Get a Breakthrough? Keep Reading »

Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 1)

[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 by Monday night of every week.]  Reports and Opinions UAE reports arrest of cell ‘plotting attacks’ A news report on the Emirati regime’s announcement that terrorist cells were planning ...

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Tadween Publishing Roundup: News and Analysis from the Publishing World

[The following is a roundup of the latest news and analyses from the publishing world that relates to pedagogy and knowledge production. It was originally published on Tadween Publishing's blog. For more updates, follow Tadween Publishing on Facebook and Twitter.]  Three Predictions for Book Publishing in 2013 By Jeremy Greenfield (Forbes) With a new year on the horizon, Forbes’ Jeremy Greenfield makes some predictions about what will ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (December 31)

[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 by Sunday night of every week.]   “Accusations against ElBaradei, Sabbahi and Moussa dropped” The lawyer who filed the complaint against the opposition leaders decides to withdraw it. “Power cut in seven ...

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Supporting Rula Quawas and Academic Freedom: An Interview With A Former Student

On 2 September 2012, Professor Rula Quawas was removed from her position as the Dean of the Faculty of Foreign Languages at the University of Jordan under nebulous circumstances. In a letter addressed to the president of the university, the president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), Professor Fred Donner, urged the former to repeal his decision. Donner hinted that the decision might have been related to the circulation of a video that Dr. Quawas’ students made for her ...

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Labor Representation in Post-Mubarak Egypt: An Interview with the Late Samer Soliman

[The following is the audio and transcript of an interview conducted by Julia Simon with the late Samer Soliman in September 2011. The interview discusses the state workers’ organization and associational freedom in post-Mubarak Egypt. Soliman was Professor of Political Science at American University in Cairo (AUC), and a founding member of the Egyptian Social Democratic Party. His publications include The Autumn of Dictatorship: Fiscal Crisis and Political Change in Egypt under ...

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Three Poems

Three Poems Ghassan Zaqtan Translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah.  That Life I’m going to see how they died going toward that wreckage going to see them there tranquil on the hill of engagement Dear Wednesday’s narcissus, what time is it what death is it what planet in the widow’s hand five or three? Her dress was blooming we were neglected flowers on her dress Dear women’s thresholds, how much is a lifetime what time is a river how many daggers in the blood of the whirling ...

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Baghdad: Mirages and Melancholia

It is well known that preeminent figures of early modernism, such as Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, designed architectural proposals for Baghdad around the middle of the 20th century. Many may be surprised however to discover that several other important international architects were also involved with the city at one point or another in its recent history, hoping to erect some remarkable structures that would have transformed Baghdad beyond recognition. A current exhibition at the BSA Space, home ...

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Sons of Beaches: How Alexandria's Ideological Battles Shape Egypt

A Salafist Muslim intellectual, overlooking an Alexandrian beach last summer, tells me over coffee: “The cosmopolitanism of our city [Alexandria] may look like it has died, but the skeletal structure of cosmopolitanism is still there. It is this structure that underpins the spread and acceptance of ideas, including Salafist ones, that makes this city a formidable force.” This “force” also makes Alexandria the vanguard city of Egypt's socio-political developments. A glimpse of it was caught in the ...

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Reports Roundup (December 29)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] Letter Concerning Ongoing Pattern of Arrests of Turkish Academics Researching Kurdish Issues The Committee on Academic Freedom of the Middle East Studies Association addresses Turkish Prime Minister Erdoğan with concerns over the recent arrests and detentions of academics focusing on Kurdish issues. Bahrain13 Prisoner Group Meets with Delegation from ...

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أربع قصائد

              ثلاث زنابق ثلاث زنابق، أم ثلاث أمّهات؟ . . . ثلاث زنابق: الأولى تفتّحت كأن بتلاتها البيضاء تتضرّعُ تسألُ إلهاً ما عن أولادها الثانية انحنتْ يكاد ظهرها ينكسرُ Keep Reading »

قطر والفلسطينيون

سواء من حيث التوقيت أو من حيث الجوهر، فإنه من الصعب تفسير زيارة أمير قطر الشيخ حمد بن خليفة آل ثاني إلى غزة في تشرين أول/أكتوبر 2012 بشكل مبسط. وكما هو الحال عادة عندما يتعلق الأمر بالسياسة في فلسطين، فقد تبلورت بشكل سريع العديد من التفسيرات والتأويلات. وبالتالي، فإما أن قطر كانت تسعى لضمان دعم قادة حماس لإعادة انتخاب خالد مشعل لقيادة المكتب السياسي للحركة الإسلامية، وذلك عن طريق استخدام نفوذها الكبير على الإخوان المسلمين للمساعدة في تحويل رفح إلى معبر حدودي اعتيادي ومنتظم بين مصر وفلسطين؛ متذرعة بذلك ...

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عن الفن الإسلامي

قبل عامين، نظم معهد العالم العربي في باريس، معرض الفن الاسلامي، كسابقة احتضنت لأول مرة في العاصمة الفرنسية، من قبل إدراة المعهد التي ترى بوجوب تعريف الناس على هذا الفن، الذي اشتهر كإرث قائم بحد ذاته، وليس كحركات مستقلة أو متتابعة. 471 عملا بأحجام، وتكاوين وتشكيلات مختلفة تراوحت بين الخزف والزجاج والرسم والتصاوير والنحت والنجارة والنسيج والسجاد والخط العربي والأسلحة كالسيوف والخناجر، والمجوهرات وأدوات الزينة المختلفة، وحتى صناعة الحيوانات المعدنية.  ربما لا يعرف العالم "الغربي" الكثير عن ...

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