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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
[Husayn with his wife, Fatima, 1980. With thanks to Ghassan Nasser]

Remembering Husayn Muruwwah, the ‘Red Mujtahid’

On 17 February 1987, during one of the bloodiest periods of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the prominent journalist, literary critic, intellectual, and activist Husayn Muruwwah (or Hussein Mroué[i]) was assassinated at his home in ...

Yemen's War [Ongoing Post]

Yemen's War [Ongoing Post]

[This is an ongoing post that will be updated regularly. It was first published on 6 December 2016. The updates appear at the bottom.] The conflict in Yemen seems set to intensify as 2016 draws to a close. The deposed president Abd ...

[1945 map of Beirut.]

Why Space Matters in the Arab Uprisings (and Beyond)

Many non-scholarly and scholarly accounts on the societies, culture, and political economy of the Middle East post-“Arab Uprisings/Spring” still deal with cities and regions as mere repositories of social, cultural, political, and ...

[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 ...

Egypt’s Nile Blues

[Sunset on the Nile, Egypt. Image originally posted to Flickr by S J Pinkney.]

Ethiopia is forging ahead with the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) on the Blue Nile, which it began more than three years ago, despite Egypt’s protests.  Unlike Egypt, Sudan has not raised objections to the dam, reckoning that it could gain from the project by purchasing electricity, and perhaps reducing sediments in its own water reservoirs. Ethiopia’s actions have profound consequences for the rules of the game governing the Nile’s flow, and its distribution among the African nations situated on the river’s banks. Egypt is currently gripped by grave domestic and foreign policy problems. But the importance of the Nile—virtually the ...

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Ahmida on the Situation in Libya

[Map of Libya. Image from GEOATLAS - GRAPHI-OGRE via]

[The recent upsurge in fighting in Libya has been the most intense since the overthrow of Mu‘ammar Qaddafi in 2011. In addition to pitting various militias against each other, General Khalifa Haftar has proclaimed his intention to seize the reins of power throughout the country. Jadaliyya asked Libya specialist Ali Ahmida to shed light on recent developments]: Jadaliyya (J): Who is General Khalifa Haftar? Ali Ahmida (AA): General Haftar has a controversial history. He is originally from the eastern city of Ijdabia. He graduated from the Royal Military Academy in Benghazi after Libya’s independence in 1951, and later joined the Unionist Free Officers Organization led by ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (June 2-8)

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. جنرالات مصر ورأس المال العابر للحدود A Creative Upsurge; Syrian Art Today (Part One) “Down with this Classist Society”: A Letter from Mahienour El-Masry Angela Davis and Jadaliyya Co-Editor Noura Erakat on Mass Incarceration in the United States and Palestine (Video) Theory and its Consequences: A Reply to Joel Beinin

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1 كم نكبة عاشها فلسطينيو سيناء؟


‫يبدو أن (ال) التعريف قد فقدت معناها في العلاقات المصرية الفلسطينية، فلم نعد نعرف على وجه الدقة مَن هو "الــــــ" عدو، ومَن "الـــــ" صديق، وضاع "تعريف" النصر والهزيمة، والنكسة والنكبة، والدولة والنظام والحكومة، والأمن والاستخبارات. كنت أظن أن المعنى اللغوي للنكبة لا ينطبق اصطلاحاً إلا على مايو/أيار من سنة 1948، إلا أن مآلات الأحداث عمليًّا قد صنعت نكبات لاحقة لا تقل أهميتها في مسار القضية الفلسطينية عن مركزية النكبة الأم. أما النكبات اللاحقة فقد اختص بآثارها المباشرة اللاجئون الفلسطينيون في وادي النيل وفي سيناء، وعمّت بلاءاتها القضية الفلسطينية كلها. ‫نزح المنكوبون الأوائل من يافا واللد والرملة وعسقلان، براً وبحراً إلى الجنوب، حيث خضع قطاع ...

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May Ziada: A Profile from the Archives

[Writer: May Ziada]

[”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.] Name: May Last Name: Ziada Father’s Name: Elias Mother’s Name: Nizha Muammar Place of Birth: Nazareth, Palestine Date of Birth: 1886 Date of Death: 1941 Nationality: Lebanese Category: Writer Profession: Author     May Ziada   A Lebanese national. Birth ...

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Quick Thoughts: Khalil Shaheen on Palestinian Reconciliation and the New Palestinian Authority Government

[Israeli soldiers stationed on a street in occupied Bethlehem, West Bank, streets near a mural by the artist Banksy during protests against Israeli attacks on Gaza, 20 November 2012. Image by Ryan Rodrick Beiler via]

[On 23 April 2014 representatives of the rival Palestinian movements Fatah and Hamas signed the Beach Camp Agreement, named after the Gaza Strip refugee camp where it was concluded. In order to assess the latest agreement meant to end the schism in the Palestinian political system, Jadaliyya turned to leading Palestinian political analyst Khalil Shaheen]: Jadaliyya (J): The new Palestinian Authority (PA) government seems very similar to the outgoing government in Ramallah. Why is this the case? Khalil Shaheen (KS): The new PA government represents a limited cabinet reshuffle more than the formation of a new coalition government. It remains the government of President ...

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Muslims and the Path of Intellectual Slavery: An Interview with Wael Hallaq (Part Two)

[Image from]

This is the second installment of a two-part interview with Wael Hallaq (click here for Part 1). In this second, Hallaq expounds upon the conflict he sees in the relationship between scholars in the Muslim world and the tradition of Western knowledge production. In particular, he identifies an uncritical adoption of Western intellectual categories and modes of knowledge transmission along what he terms “the path of intellectual slavery.” Such a course, Hallaq argues, has far-reaching implications, from the construction of particularly damaging historical narratives—such as the "Bayt al-Hikma phenomenon"—to the tendency to place value on maintaining rigid ...

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تزامنٌ شيّق برغم الاختلاف


تزامن مشهدا الانتخابات المصرية والسورية، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وفي المشهدين، تكرّرت مشاهد الاحتفال في الشارع، رغم الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين. وإذ اتفق معارضو المشهدين على وسمهما بصيغة «عودة الديكتاتور»، ترى الناخبين في المشهدين قد اتفقوا أيضاً على تحديد هدف واضح للصيغة التي انتخبوها: العودة إلى البيت في سوريا، والأمن في مصر. ومع التشديد على الاختلاف الجذري بين البلدين، فإن معارضي سوريا جرّدوا الناخبين السوريين من «الأهلية الديموقراطية» (بصفات مثل مجبورين أو منتفعين)، بينما مال المشهد المعارض في مصر إلى توصيفٍ للناخبين أقرب إلى الواقع: يريدون قائداً أعلى جديداً لنظامٍ سابق.                       ...

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“Down with this Classist Society”: A Letter from Mahienour El-Masry

[Image originally posted to Flickr by Gigi Ibrahim.]

[The following is an English translation of a letter circulating in social media by Egyptian activist Mahienour El-Masry, who is currently serving a two-year prison sentence for allegedly organizing an unauthorized protest during the Khalid Said murder retrial. The letter was translated by Reem Abou-El-Fadl.] I do not know much about what is going on outside, ever since the sentence against me was upheld. But I can imagine, based on what we used to do when one of our “circle” was imprisoned, that slogans of “freedom for X” and “freedom for the brave” and so on are now filling up cyberspace. As for me, ever since I came to Damanhour Women’s ...

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Gezi at One: Rethinking the Legacy of the Protests

[Graffiti near Taksim Square, 1 June 2014. Image by michaket /]

One year ago, I asked the question: “Can the ‘Spirit of Gezi’ Transform Progressive Politics in Turkey?” As a sympathetic observer oscillating between optimism and despair in the aftermath of the brutal crackdown on Gezi, I offered a qualified response: “The question has two interrelated aspects: on the one hand, it is about transforming social interactions hitherto marked by social, cultural, and emotional gaps; on the other hand, it is about imagining the possibility of a new progressive politics that can pose an alternative to the AKP’s hegemony at the local and national levels.” The Owl of Minerva has not quite taken its flight. Nonetheless, one year is long enough ...

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Dodging City Archive / Beirut Chapter

[Daraj / Steps: Sanayeh, March 2011. Photo by Giulia Guadagnoli.]

(Photos and text by Giulia Guadagnoli, unless otherwise noted.) I started walking around Beirut in 2010. An initial feeling of exhaustion by overwhelming physical obstacles and blind corners evolved into an enthusiasm for the solutions adopted by inhabitants to rest, trespass, bypass, and envision. This collection of pictures is the result of such enthusiastic and ongoing explorations. My curiosity for trying different trails and paths in my daily trips first led me to discover the alleys created when private construction was forced to respect the neighbor’s right of way. Then I progressively extended my collection of images to include various tactical interventions: ...

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Egyptian Investment Law Axing Proxy Litigation Harmful to Citizen Rights

[11 September 2011, protest in front of the State Council, Cairo, Egypt. Image originally posted to Flickr by Hossam el-Hamalawy.]

Days before its resignation on 24 February 2014, the Beblawi cabinet announced its intention to amend Egypt's investment law. The change would limit the right to challenge sales contracts of public sector companies concluded between the government and investors, by limiting that right [of challenging these contracts in court] to the two parties to the contract.[1] By the time the government resigned, the proposed amendment was not submitted to the State Council’s legislative department for its review.[2] The new government led by Ibrahim Mahlab has recently approved the law.
 The Right to Litigation: A “Luxury” Withheld From the Citizen
 During the rule of former ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (June 9)

[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.] The Rebel Maged Mandour reflects on the theoretical explanations of what constitutes a rebel. Fraud Fighters Wanted in the Middle East Rayna Stamboliyska says, “Egypt is just one of ...

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حرب المعلومات: كشوفات عن المرتزقة والتحريض الطائفي والتخطيط الديموغرافي في البحرين

 "لا يجوز معاقبة أي شخص بسبب إفصاحه عن معلومات تتعلق بالأمن الوطني إذا كان الإفصاح 1- لا يضر فعلاً ومن غير المحتمل أن يضر بمصلحة أمنية وطنية مشروعة، 2- أو إذا كانت المصلحة العامة في معرفة المعلومات تفوق الضرر الناتج عن الإفصاح ".(1) في الوقت الذي أثير فيه الجدل العام الماضي حول معلومات سرّبها إدوارد سنودن بهدف فضح المراقبة التي تمارسها كل من حكومتي الولايات المتحدة وبريطانيا، ساد الصمت حول الكشوفات الماضية والأخيرة لانتهاك النظام البحريني للحياة اليومية للمواطنين وسياساته المدمرة ...

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Syria Media Roundup (June 9)

[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 ICG’s Report on Hezbollah: Now Hariri Propaganda Masquerading as March 14 Propaganda (or vice versa) Asad AbuKhalil is critical of a recent ...

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نقاش - لهذه الأسباب أصبحت المدينة متوحشة وبهذه الشروط نوقف التوحش

مسؤولون إما بإصدارهم القوانين والأنظمة غير الملائمة، وإما بمقاومتهم أي تعديل لما هو غير مناسب ومسيء للمدينة، وإما بصمّ آذانهم عن سماع صوت العارفين والاختصاصيين، وإما بالقيام بالأعمال "المتوحشة" في حق المدينة أو تشجيعها، وإما بالسكوت وإغماض العيون عما يجري، بمن فيهم أولئك الأنبياء الكذبة الذين يحاضرون عن الأخلاق في الصالونات ويقدمون أنفسهم رسلاً للمحافظة على البيئة والتراث وجمال المدينة، لكنهم يتحولون إلى وحوش ضارية، وينسون المبادئ التي يبشرون بها عندما يتعلق الأمر بمصلحتهم المادية. بل إن بعضهم ...

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After Ugur Kurt’s Murder in Okmeydani—A Conversation with Ayfer Karakaya-Stump

Emrah Yildiz (EY): Especially after Gezi and Berkin Elvan’s death, and as you explain in your article titled “Alevizing Gezi,” Okmeydanı, signified by Erdoğan's Hanafi Sunni regime, security forces, and the overwhelming majority of the domestic media as "Alevi," was transformed into a space for dissident political practices and an open-air execution zone in which state violence was used to silence these practices. What would you like to tell us about the historical relationship that Alevis’ ...

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'Mind the Gap: Bridging Knowledge and Practices of Activism' at the Fourth Arab Bloggers Meeting

Since the political movements known as the Arab Uprisings erupted in late 2010, some of them leading to the toppling of a handful of long-lived authoritarian regimes in the area, the influence of networked communication technologies on social change and activism has taken center stage in an animated debate spanning across multiple communities and discussion sites. More specifically, the Internet, because of the participatory and social dimensions suggested by web 2.0[1] platforms and social ...

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Turbulent Muslim Renaissance in Tunisia: Interview with Ennahda's Yusra Ghannouchi

The political transformations that occurred after the Arab Spring saw the emergence of political Islam with new force. This occurred not only in Tunisia, where the revolutions began, but more widely in the whole Middle East and North Africa region. More than three years after Ben Ali’s fall, Islamists are still part of political processes in Tunisia, whereas in some other places (like Egypt) their role in politics has been significantly restricted. This interview with Dr. Yusra Ghannouchi, the ...

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Month-by-Month Summary of Developments in Syria (Updated)

[The following monthly summaries on developments in Syria were compiled and published by the International Crisis Group (ICG). Jadaliyya Reports will update this post each month as subsequent monthly summaries are issued.]  Ocotber 2014 U.S. late month began airstrikes against Islamic State (IS; formerly ISIL) militants and fighters linked to al-Qaeda (AQ) central leadership and AQ affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra (JN) inside Syria: dozens of IS fighters reported killed in Raqqah and Deir az-Zour ...

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مينا: أجساد موشومة

(قراءة نقدية في رواية "مينا" للكاتبة اللبنانية/المصرية: سحر مندور– دار الآداب اللبنانية – بيروت – 2013) تبدأ الرواية بسؤال السرد النسوي الذي يجعل من الجسد والسلطة وتداعياتهما مركزًا ديناميًا للسرد، باعتبارهما منطلقًا نقديًا لكل الأبنية السلطوية الذكورية ومرجعياتها الثقافية، سؤال يؤسس للحفر في اليومي من الحياة اليومية، المار كبديهيات سائلة في مكاننا، لا ظل لها، فتقول مينا (الشخصية الرئيسية في السرد/الرواية): "كل حياة تستأهل أن تُروى. لكن، هل في نائج السرد ما يستأهل الإقدام ...

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Jadaliyya Monthly Edition (May 2014)

This is a selection of what you might have missed on Jadaliyya during the month of May 2014. It also includes the most recent roundups, editors picks, and most read articles. Progressively, we will be featuring more content on our Monthly Edition series. On Erdogan’s ‘Ordinary Things’: The Soma Massacre, the Spine Tower, and the Corporate-State’s Fitrat in Turkey Stillbirth: The New Liberal-Conservative Mobilization in Turkey Gay Rights as Human Rights: Pinkwashing ...

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Counting Votes in Egypt and Practicing Return in Palestine: Interviews with Hossam El-Hamalawy and Samera Esmeir

Despite massive pro-military media propaganda in Egypt, and threats of large fines against those who did not vote, the election commission had to extend the voting for a third day in an attempt to draw more people to polling booths. As predicted, ex-army chief Abdel Fattah al-Sisi was declared president of Egypt with 96% of the votes. So what was behind the low turnout at the elections? Was it apathy or an effective Egyptians boycott? What explains the lack of voter turnout when the military ...

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Theory and its Consequences: A Reply to Joel Beinin

In a piece on Jadaliyya, labor historian and scholar of the Egyptian revolution Joel Beinin engages critically with my article entitled “Revolution and Counter-Revolution in Egypt.” Beinin takes issue with two lines of argument developed in the text. The first is my rejection of a “consequentialist” perspective towards revolution, which means that I do not think a process should be deemed a revolution or not solely based on its objective outcomes. The second is the relevance of Gramscian concepts such as ...

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