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Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators Syria Media Roundup Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: Interview with Angela Davis The Un-Islamic State
[The cover of Amjad Nasser's novel,

When Your Name is on the Blacklist

[The Gallatin School of New York University invited Amjad Nasser, one of the major poets of the Arab world, to inaugurate its Gallatin Global Writers series on 30 September. On 27 September, US Homeland Security at Heathrow, London, ...

[Members of “The Iraqi Delegation” to Toledo—from left to right: Sami Michael, David Semah, Ella Shohat, Shimon Ballas, and Yosef Shiloach. Image from Ella Shohat’s personal archive]

A Voyage to Toledo: Twenty-Five Years After the 'Jews of the Orient and Palestinians' Meeting

On 3-5 July 1989, an unusual gathering, which went largely unreported in the media, took place in Toledo, Spain—“Judíos orientales y palestinos. Un diálogo para la paz árabe-israelí” (“Jews of the Orient and Palestinians: A ...

[Fikirtepe. Photo by Duygu Parmaksizoglu.]

Evden Emlaga Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekulasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Donusum

Evden Emlağa Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekülasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Dönüşüm  Bir şehir antropoloğunun saha notları Saha çalışmasına başladığım 2013 yılının Mart ayında Fikirtepe bölgesi, kentsel dönüşüm macerasında iki yılı çoktan geride ...

Tadween Spotlight: Gaza

This summer, Gaza dominated the headlines. A rising death toll at the expense of Israel’s weeks-long Operation Protective Edge, a death toll that currently stands at over 2,000 killed, once again brought attention to the politics ...

Reports Roundup (December 8)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] Israeli Supreme Court Hearing on Petition Against Anti-Boycott Law Set for 5 December The Who Profits? project condemns as unconstitutional Israel's anti-boycott law, passed in 2011, and draws attention to the Supreme Court hearing against the law that began on 5 December.  Letter from Maryam Alkhawaja to Kim Kardashian Acting President of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights Maryan Alkhawaja addresses celebrity Kim Kardashian, imploring her to use her visit to Bahrain to draw international attention to current human ...

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“Beirut Photographer”: An Ode to Memory

[A boy in Martyrs Square, Beirut at the end of the wars, sells photos of the square as it appeared before the wars. Photo by George Azar.]

What does it mean to bear witness to events? What responsibility does the act of witnessing carry? These are the central questions evoked by George Azar and Mariam Shahin’s documentary film “Beirut Photographer.” Released on Al Jazeera English in part to remember the thirtieth anniversary of the 1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon–and more particularly of Beirut–the film is a multi-layered and fascinating portrayal of the often contradictory aspects of battles that would become subsumed under the label of the “Lebanese civil war,” as well as of the process, and cost, of documenting conflict. The film initially centers on photographer and filmmaker George Azar. He ...

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (November 2012)


[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 post with your bio and a release form to [click "Submissions" on the main page for more information] A Tale of Two Interviews, Habib ...

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Violent Clashes at Cairo’s Roxy Square and Beyond, Up Close in Photo and Video

[Screenshot of the video on clashes at Roxy Square]

When I set out to the Itihadiyya Presidential Palace in Heliopolis, Cairo, I wanted to capture some footage of the Muslim Brotherhood's pro-Mohamed Morsi sit-in and the clashes that were reported earlier in the evening, with five deaths and more than three hundred injuries confirmed. At that time, I was uncomfortably speaking at an American University in Cairo panel on the Middle East and Knowledge Production. I got some of that "knowledge" produced right in my face first hand in the Itihadiyya quarter, Korba Street, and Roxy Square shortly after. It was a little after 11 pm. I returned around 4 am, as the raging clashes began to subside. Below is a quick ...

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تَعَقُّبُ محمود درويش

[الشاعر الفلسطيني محمود درويش]

نبذة سلك محمود درويش (1942- 2008) في البداية بين خطين سياسيين رسما إيديولوجيا قصيدته بوضوح: المسألة الفلسطينية، وكانت وقوداً خاصاً لقطاره الشعري، والفكر اليساري، وكان ظاهرياً كجسم غلّف قلب ذلك القطار. كان ذلك في الستينات. لكن درويش سرعان ما أطلق لغة شعرية من نافذة مختلفة، أكثر اتساعاً من أي ظرف إيديولوجي. وأتت محاولته للانزياح عن "نظام" قصيدة التفعيلة الخطابية سياسياً آنذاك والمنبرية بطبيعة الحال، عبر ديوانه "أحبك أو لا أحبك' (1972) من خلال النص التجريبي "مزامير". درويش أفلح آنذاك في قراءة الشعر خارج المعطى السياسي الجاهز. لم يرد للقصيدة أن تنصاع لإغراء الفكر النضالي والانفعال والصراع، برغم رواج هذه الخيارات في تلك المرحلة (بين حربي 1967 و1973). ...

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من أجل مدنية الحكم في موريتانيا

[صورة من مسيرة المعارضة المطالبة برحيل العسكر ووقف الوصاية الفرنسية. المصدر مدونة أحمد ولد جدو]

بعد الإطاحة بالطاغية معاوية ولد سيد احمد الطايع في انقلاب 2005، بدأ الأمل يتسلل إلى قلوب الكثيرين في مورتانيا حيث ظنوا أن البلاد دخلت في مرحلة جديدة تطبعها الديمقراطية ودولة المؤسسات والقانون. وازدادت قناعتهم أن الديكتاتورية قد أفل نجمها وسحق جدارها مع وعد المجلس العسكري، الذي تأسس بعد الانقلاب، بتسليم السلطة للمدنيين في انتخابات نزيهة تحت إشرافه. لكن سرعان ما اكتشف الموريتانيون أن الحرية لا توهب، بل تنتزع وأنه من المستحيل أن تمطر السماء ديمقراطية. فقد قام ذالك المجلس بجلب رجل غير معروف في المشهد السياسي الموريتاني، يسمى سيدي ولد الشيخ عبد الله، ووضع أفراده كل ثقلهم خلفه وسخروا موارد الدولة له، حتى نجح في انتخابات شهد العالم بنزاهتها واعتبرت تجربة رائدة في العالم ...

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The Muslim Brotherhood's Militias in Action: A Firsthand Account

[Site of clashes in Roxy Square. Photo by Bassam Haddad]

The recent clashes at the Itihadiyya presidential palace leave little room for confusion. A day prior to these events, people took to the streets in Egypt’s largest cities to denounce the manner in which the Muslim Brotherhood-controlled presidency has been running the country. On Wednesday 5 December, everything changed. The Muslim Brotherhood reacted by calling on supporters of President Mohamed Morsi to march to the Itihadiyya palace, where an anti-Morsi sit-in was ongoing. Morsi’s supporters forced protesters out and destroyed their tents. A little past mid-afternoon all the demonstrators were kicked out and replaced by Morsi’s supporters. In response, ...

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An Eyewitness Account of the Attack on the Presidential Palace Sit-in

[Protesters marching to the presidential palace on 4 December 2012, carrying banners calling for avenging the martyrs. Photo by Hossam el-Hamalawy]

Clashes escalated between supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi around the presidential palace in Heliopolis on Wednesday after the sit-in there was attacked.   Tens of protesters staging a sit-in were confronted in the afternoon by a rally of hundreds of pro-Morsi demonstrators in the absence of security forces. The day before, thousands had marched to the palace, denouncing a constitutional declaration issued by Morsi that grants him sweeping powers, as well as a snap 15 December referendum on the contentious draft constitution. Security forces retreated Tuesday night, leaving the area to peaceful protesters who surrounded the palace and ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War

[Cover of

Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar, editors, We Are Iraqis: Aesthetics and Politics in a Time of War. Syracuse: Syracuse University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nadje Al-Ali and Deborah Al-Najjar (NA and DA): The idea for this book first emerged in 2006, when Iraqis were generally portrayed either as passive victims or as perpetrators of horrific violence. In the midst of an ongoing humanitarian crisis and the violence, destruction, killings, and widespread sufferings inside Iraq, we did not hear the voices of contemporary Iraqis. While media and academicians centered on suicide attacks, Islamist militias, occupation forces, political ...

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[صورة للروائية والشاعرة العراقية دنى غالي. مصدر الصورة موقع شهريار]

1 الساعة تقارب الواحدة ظهراً. يزدحم المكان من حولنا برائحة احتراق الحواف للخبز المحمّص، والماء المغلي يدور في الكوبين ويذيب حبات القهوة فتشهق وتبقبق وتموت على السطح. يضحك. بقايا جبنة صفراء يتخلى لي عنها ويكتفي بدهن خبزته بمربى التوت التي انفصل ماؤها. نأكل بنهم وبسرعة وبسرحان. يتسرب وشيش الشارع من شق النافذة بتموّج إلى أذنيّ. الزجاج ينفتح على ضوءِ مطفأ لسماءٍ خريفية. جامدان مثل صنمين. ساقاي تمتدان إلى الكرسي الذي بجانبي وهو على المائدة أمامي يعيدُ تشغيلَ حاسوبه المحمول بينما يحرّك الملعقة. لم نغتسل منذ البارحة، منذ العاشرة ليلاً أظن. تيبّس غشاء أبيض رقيق على أصابعنا وخدينا وعلى مناطق في شَعر رأسينا. تمويه عنكبوت حسب! كنت قفزتُ من الفراش إلى المائدة ملتفّة باللحاف، وهو ...

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عن دولة ملوك الطوائف في مصر

[قوات الآمن المصرية تغلق بعض الشوارع المؤدية للقصر الرئاسي. المصدر أ.ف.ب]

أثار إشتباك قوات الشرطة والجيش حول قسم ثاني القاهرة الجديدة في 19 نوفمبر 2012 ضحك المتابعين، على ما وصلت إليه حال الدولة المصرية الحديثة. حيث تتعارك مؤسستاها للعنف "المشروع" فيما بينهما في سباق محموم حول من يمتلك قدرة أكبر من الأخرى لإنتهاك قوانين الدولة، التي يسهرون على حمايتها كما تفترض أساطير الدولة الحديثة. كما أثارت غزوة الجيش المصري لجزيرة القرصاية في نيل القاهرة، قبلها بيوم واحد، مخاوف الكثيرين من مدى التدهور الذي وصلت إليه الدولة المصرية. خلال أقل من سنتين، منذ ماقبل يناير 2011 وحتى الآن، تفتح الدولة المصرية أوراقها وتتعرى تدريجياً في أسرع عملية “ستربتيز” سياسي قامت به دولة في التاريخ المعاصر. فمن "الدولة المباركية الأمنية" إلى ...

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The Limits of International Law Legalese

[Destruction in Gaza after Israeli bombardment, part of Operation Pillar of Defense. Image by Scott Bobb. From Wikimedia Commons.]

On most days I think that the use of international law to stake out a position that condemns Israeli military behavior is a good idea. Using legalese can be the only way for the Palestinian position to be "heard." On other days, I find myself skeptical. The porousness of the international doctrine on war especially the much touted principles of "necessity" and "proportionality" [1]-- is such that the IDF lawyers are as good as any to pitch their positions using those terms in defense of the Israeli military behavior. What we often end up with is a legal argument made representing the "maximalist" Palestinian position [2] and a ...

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Maghreb Monthly Edition on Jadaliyya (November 2012)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Maghreb. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of Maghreb-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 ...

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Signs of New Feminism? Promises of Morocco's February 20

The absence of established figures from feminist organizations is one of the most striking features of the 20 February movement in Morocco. Nevertheless, the movement shows modes of engagement with feminism, such as the call for gender equality and a practice of parity, which suggest that feminist discourse has not only penetrated the social imaginary of younger generations of activists, but also informed their practices. Signs of new gender arrangements were already visible in the first calls for ...

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Maghreb Media Roundup (December 6)

[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: Islamists Lose Ground in Algeria Local Elections FLN-RND governing coalition won majorities in most communes in the 29 November elections. Turnout is ...

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Syria Media Roundup (December 6)

[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   Hurricane Sandy Hits Little Syria: Worrying about Buildings and Brothers Todd Fine tells the story of the residents of this New York ...

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A Tale of Two Interviews

“In order to solve the world’s problems, we must continue to have serious debates,” a CNN correspondent says emphatically during a glitzy promotional spot, aired endlessly on the network. But when it comes to Israel’s wars, CNN has also proven that its correspondents and editors reserve the right to reduce or withhold serious discussion and questions of accountability from the interviews it broadcasts.   This was particularly clear during the latest violence in Gaza, when, on the last day of ...

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Batal: Fighting for Truth, Justice and the Armenian Way

When I first moved to Beirut to start my doctoral research, I would spend hours at the apartment of my mother’s family in the neighborhood of Zarif. Sometimes I would bring work with me and sit on the chair reading as clouds of smoke from my aunts’ cigarettes and nargila varied in intensity around me. My attention would drift between conversing with my cousins and their mothers, and the reading at hand. I visited them almost daily. I did this, even though I had not grown up with them. I was not one of ...

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Doha as Host and Site for the UNFCCC Negotiations

From 26 November to 7 December 2012, Qatar is hosting the eighteenth Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and, simultaneously, the eighth Meeting of the Parties (MoP) to the Kyoto Protocol. The main issue on the Doha agenda: adopting meaningful global emissions reduction commitments for a second implementation period (2012-2015) under the Kyoto Protocol (that is otherwise set to expire at the end of this year) and thus setting the stage for ...

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Tahrir at Midnight: Protesting the Constitutional Decree

Photos by Bassam Haddad. Text by Ziad Abu-Rish and Bassam Haddad. [If the images do not show below, click here] After midnight, in the early hours of Wednesday 5 December 2012, I (Bassam) headed to Tahrir Square, which continued to be a flash point of contentious politics and opposition to the Egyptian president's constitutional decree of 22 November 2012 [The day after, i headed to the Presidential Palace to visit the Brotherhood's sit in, and I got more than I bargained for. See post here] The ...

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L’an I de la Révolution tunisienne ou les résurgences d’un passé qui divise

La Tunisie révolutionnaire ne cesse d’aller de surprise en surprise. Du jour même, du moment où elle s’est pensée comme révolutionnaire, elle est entrée dans un processus d’incessante redécouverte d’elle-même et de ses ressources cachées, dans l’enchantement comme dans la crainte et la stupeur. L’échéance électorale du 23 octobre n’a été au fond qu’une étape particulièrement révélatrice ou cruciale dans cette mise au jour progressive d’une société passablement inconnue. L’analyse dominante, dans ...

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Dalal Al-Maghribi: A Profile from the Archives

[”A Profile from the Archives“ is a new 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.] Name: Dalal Al-Maghribi Known as: Al-Maghribi Father: Saed Mother: Amnah Date of Birth: 1958 Date of Death: 1978 Nationality: Palestinian Place of Birth: Beirut Category: Political activist Profession: Political ...

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الدستور والصراع الاجتماعي السياسي بعد الثورة في مصر

 يعكس الصراع حول الدستور المصري تناقضات وتقاطعات المصالح بين القوى السياسية والاجتماعية الفاعلة في المشهد المصري وما تعبر عنه من فكر سياسي وأيديولوجي تجسد في الخلاف حول توقيت ومضمون الدستور وأحكامه. وقد بدأت الأزمة بالإعلان الدستوري الذي أصدره الرئيس محمد مرسي في الثاني والعشرين من نوفمبر 2012 والذي أقال فيه النائب العام وحصن قرارته فيما يخص أعمال السيادة من رقابة القضاء إلى جانب قيامه بتحصين مجلس الشوري والجمعية التأسيسية من الحل. وهو ما اعتبرته قوى المعارضة والهيئات القضائية تعدياً على ...

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On the Insignificance of Stevie Wonder

The recent decision by American musician Stevie Wonder to withdraw from a 6 December 2012 concert to raise funds for the Israeli military has drawn widespread acclaim. One activist, Ali Abunimah, even characterized it as a “significant milestone”, contrasting it favorably with “empty gestures” at the United Nations and specifically the General Assembly’s recent 138-9 decision to grant Palestine non-member observer state status.  The facts suggest otherwise. Stevie Wonder may or may not have known ...

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