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Lebanon: Rejecting the New Rent Law: An Open Letter to the Parliament Syria Media Roundup The Flow and Entrapment of Syrian Jazira Music Some Torture Facts: Revelations from the Recent SSCI Report on the CIA Detention and Interrogation Program Making Sense of Tripoli I: The Security Trap or Conflating Cause and Effect
[Image by Ed Greevey. Photo of attendees and participants at Closing Event 1 December 2014.]

Aloha Aina: Notes From The Struggle in Hawai’i

In late November 2014, I had the honor of visiting the occupied Kingdom of Hawai’i as an invited guest. I prepared for the trip with ample readings J. Kehaulani Kaunaui both wrote and shared with me, along with book recommendations that my ...

Installation view of Hany Rashed's

Historical Realities of Concept Pop: Debating Art in Egypt

Today, every phenomenon of culture, even if a model of integrity, is liable to be suffocated in the cultivation of kitsch. Yet paradoxically in the same epoch it is to works of art that has fallen the burden of wordlessly asserting what is ...

[Wall surrounding a gated community, Saudi Arabia. Image by Amelie Le Renard.]

The Politics of "Unveiling Saudi Women": Between Postcolonial Fantasies and the Surveillance State

With the consolidation of the Saudi state starting in the 1960s, the regime has progressively imposed unified dress codes for Saudi men and women, that for the latter has meant wearing a long, black cloak [‘abaya] and veiling. Various ...


Soma, Ermenek, Yirca: Can Anti-Coal Activists Defend Coal Miners and Olive Farmers?

The coal-mining town of Soma in the western Aegean region of Turkey hardly made headlines until last May. A mining disaster that took the lives of 301 mine workers in Soma on 14 May 2014 brought forward the country’s fragile mix of social ...

Homage to Leonardo

[Detail of Samia Halaby

Leonardo Da Vinci first impressed me when one of my art history professors, while earning my MFA at Indiana University in 1963, described a certain spot in the room of “The Last Supper” as the ideal place for a viewer to stand. He explained that this was Leonardo’s visualization of the Renaissance concept of man as the center. This room at Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan had not been intended as the monk’s dining hall but was converted to this purpose later, as it was traditional that a painting of the Last Supper would be in a refectory. If you stand in the center of the room and move back and forth until the orthogonal lines of the mural, those diagonal lines that ...

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Taher Bekri: Epic of the Thyme of Palestine

[Taker Bekri. Image from Author]

  Epic of the Thyme of Palestine By Taher Bekri In memory of Mahmoud Darwish Translated by Marilyn Hacker   I perfumed the hills and plains Nourished by brilliant light Accompanied wanderers’ steps Through the earth’s ancestral rites All those domes, bell-towers, temples Offered up for a thousand prayers   That sudden rain which mingled My scent with the steadfast stones Alert for gaping rifts The rocks grasp leaves that I dropped In the dusk of centuries stretching Themselves out in history’s pit   Neighbor sea, I loved your murmur That consoled my trembling, joined By flutes, rocked by solar olive trees They came by night with ...

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Another Year of Rage

[Demonstrator walking through teargas in Cairo's neighborhood of Mohandessin on 28 January 2011. Photo by Mariam Soliman (from Wikimedia Commons)]

The date 28 January 2011, also known as the “Friday of Rage,” holds a special place in the hearts of many Egyptians and is widely seen as the turning point at which the “January 25 protests” turned into the “January 25 uprising.” Some associate that day with the image of flames emanating from government buildings and the National Democratic Party headquarters near Tahrir Square, along with the looting and the condition of lawlessness that swept the country shortly thereafter. However, many Egyptians remember the Friday of Rage as the day they were able to defeat Hosni Mubarak’s almighty coercive apparatus, as symbolized by the withdrawal of uniformed police forces from ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (Jan 21-27)

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. The Revolution Will Not Be Celebrated Was There A January 25 Revolution? The Invisible Link: Honor Killing and Global Capitalism Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts The Naked Bodies of Alia Habits of French Colonialism Alexandria Re-Imagined: The Revolution through Art The Revolution and History New Texts Out Now: Madawi Al-Rasheed, A Most Masculine State: Gender, ...

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The Gendered Body Public: Egypt, Sexual Violence and Revolution

[Women March to Tahrir; Image by Gigi Ibrahim]

We must acknowledge, sit with, and address the sexual violence that has, is, and will occur in and around Tahrir Square. How do we do this work in a responsible and ethical manner that is in solidarity with Egypt's ongoing (and multiple) revolutions? How do we retain and respect political, economic, and social complexity in the face of the horrors of mass and public sexual assault? How to write when all you want to do is shout? Friday, 25 January 2013 was the second anniversary of the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution. Today the revolution continues, as protesters face down government allies and troops across Egypt. Bodies are bruised, bloodied, and killed. Rocks ...

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حالة الإسلاميين في مصر بعد عامين على الثورة

[مصدر الصورة ا.ب]

بالأرقام يمكن معرفة الحالة التي وصل إليها الإسلاميون في مصر بعد عامين على قيام الثورة. فقد وصل عدد الأحزاب التي تنطلق من خلفية إسلامية إلى حوالى عشرين حزباً سواء مسجلين أو غير مسجلين رسمياً. ناهيك عن عشرات التكتلات والحركات والشبكات التي تنتمي إلى التيار الإسلامي والتي تنشط بوضوح في المجال العام ولكنها لا تزال في مرحلة سيولة وليس لديها هيكل أو إطار تنظيمي أو حزبي محدد. فقد كانت الثورة المصرية بمثابة المفتاح الكبير الذي نزع القيود السياسية والأمنية عن التيار الإسلامي بمختلف أطيافه ودفع بقياداته وكوادره وشبابه إلى الساحة السياسية بعد أن ظل المشهد الإسلامي ساكناً وجامداً لثلاثة عقود ومحصوراً بين جماعة «الإخوان المسلمين» من جهة، والجماعات الجهادية والراديكالية من جهة ...

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First Jordanian Elections post Arab Uprisings; Challenges of Reporting from Syria

[Ink stained fingers after voting. Image by james_gordon_losangeles via. flickr]

This week, Amman-based activist and writer Hisham Bustani updates VOMENA on the first Jordanian parliamentary elections since the Arab uprisings, and what they mean for the country. More than thirty journalists were killed in Syria in 2012 alone. Istanbul-based freelance journalist Justin Vela talks about the challenges and pitfalls of reporting from a Syrian warzone. [Correction from Hisham Bustani: To correct a mistake I made in the interview regarding the number of the Jordanian Parliament's seats. The correct total number of seats is 150 seats: 123 seats of which are dedicated to the single vote/local district individual candidates;  and ...

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Reports Roundup (January 26)

[The following list is a compilation of the reports, statements, and other materials featured on the Jadaliyya Reports Page this past week.] Kuwaiti MPs Propose a New Bedoon Law reports on a newly proposed Kuwaiti law that would redefine the term "bedoon" and grant stateless individuals access to health care and education. Arrested Bedoon Activist Goes on Hunger Strike Kuwaiti activist Abdulhakim Al-Fadhli addresses Kuwaiti citizens, the Bedoon people, and the Kuwaiti Emir with his reasons for going on hunger strike.   Human Rights Watch Statement on Zero Dark Thirty Human Rights Watch condemns the portrayal of ...

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Was There A January 25 Revolution?

[Textile workers rounded up by Egyptian police and troops squat outside the Misr spinning factory at Kafr el-Dawar, Egypt on 21 August 1952, following rioting there in which nine people, including a policeman and two soldiers, were killed. Photo Source: AP]

The “January 25 Revolution” has already taken its place in Egyptian national historical memory along with the “1919 Revolution” and the “July 23 Revolution.” Assigning dates to these events, whose significance in the modern history of Egypt is undeniable, is perhaps a necessary convenience. Calling them all “revolutions” emphasizes their popular character and, at least in 1919 and 2011, the political mobilization of large parts of the nation. However, this form of dating and naming also encourages historical misunderstandings and myth-making which do not serve the interests of Egypt’s ninety-nine percent. Revolutions – the classical cases are France, Russia, China, ...

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Meet AbdelRahman Mansour Who Made 25 January A Date to Remember

[AbdelRahman Mansour. Photo from AbdelRahman Mansour's Facebook page]

AbdelRahman Mansour is the cyberactivist who set the date of 25 January for the Egyptian revolution. It is time for you to meet him. In June 2010, Wael Ghonim set up the Facebook page and anti-torture campaign in honor of Khaled Said, the Alexandrian killed at the hands of police. Abdulrahman joined him as a co-administrator (admin) on the page three days later. The two had been working together on Mohamed ElBaradei’s Facebook page and were ready to take their cyber-campaigning to the next level. The combination of AbdelRahman’s deftness at interacting with Arab cyberyouth, combined with Ghonim’s expert online marketing skills, made for a winning combination. The “We ...

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The Dramaturgy of A Street Corner

[Street cafe set up at the intersection of Mohamed Mahmoud Street and Tahrir Square. Photo by Mona Abaza (Captured 30 April 2012)]

Much like the ongoing revolutionary struggle in Egypt, this short piece is part of an in-progress work to chronicle the evolution of revolutionary art on Mohamed Mahmoud Street, also known as the “street of the eyes of freedom”—nicknamed as such since many protesters lost their eyes on that same street after being targeted by professional snipers during protests in 2011. (See previous articles on this subject by clicking here, here, here, here, and here. Also see interview with artist Alaa Awad on the subject by clicking here). For a second consecutive year, Mohammed Mahmud Street witnessed intensive turmoil, and chronic violent clashes between demonstrators and ...

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مستقبل السلفيين السياسي ماذا بعد الشريعة؟

[مصدر الصورة ا.ب]

ارتبط قرار السلفيين بالدخول للمعترك السياسي بعد الثورة بقضية الهوية الإسلامية للمجتمع. ومع إقرار الدستور الذي ضمن بشكل كبير للسلفيين تطبيق الشريعة يبرز السؤال التالي: وماذا بعد الشريعة؟ هل انتهى المبرر لوجود السلفيين في الحياة السياسية وانتهت القضية التي تمكنوا من خلالها من حشد الملايين للتصويت لهم في الانتخابات ؟ هل سيتم تكرار النموذج الباكستاني للأحزاب الإسلامية ؟ نحتاج أن نعرف ما هو الوضع الباكستاني أولاً للقيام بالمقارنة بينه وبين مصر. على عكس مصر التي تعد بلداً عريقاً تأسس على الأسس الطبيعية لقيام أي دولة، لم يكن هناك ما يسمى بدولة باكستان حتى سنة 1947، حين انشطرت عن الهند الكبرى لتكون وطنًا قوميًّا للمسلمين الذين تعرضوا لاضطهاد بشع من الهندوس. فباكستان قامت على ...

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From Baghdad to New York: Reflections on Painting

In Daryle Halbert’s 1987 painting “Leon” one encounters multiple things at once, as a history of painting is revealed—but not without being turned on its head. The portrait is deeply humane and complex. It is infused with weight and foreboding. Leon is but nine years old. The angst in his shoulders and body, in his clasped hands, are depicted with a stylization that is sustained throughout. One is reminded of Soutine’s many quarter length portraits. Van Gogh is also very present. Cezanne, as in the ...

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Sisyphus Goes on Demonstration

 Animation/video installation 2012 Artist statement: "You are to suffer, to carry your burden and the weight of your existence on your back forever. And on this rough road you are to travel. You walk, with blackness round your eyes blocking your entire vision, and a hole in your head preventing you from knowing. You are not to learn, to see or to understand. You are to travel the path Sisyphus, this is your fate and this is how you are destined to exist. Note 1: We are all ...

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A Nation Derailed

Just ten days before the second anniversary of the 25 January revolution, Egyptians awoke to another railway tragedy. A train loaded beyond its capacity with security forces recruits heading from Sohag to Cairo derailed in the Badrashin area of Giza leaving nineteen dead and over 120 injured, adding to the toll of deaths on train tracks in Egypt. It was only a month earlier that a rushing train in Asyut obliterated a bus full of children, killing fifty of them. In the late night hours of 14 January, ...

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Palestinian Refugees in Jordan and the Revocation of Citizenship: An Interview with Anis F. Kassim

[Anis F. Kassim is an international law expert and practicing lawyer in Jordan. He was a member of the Palestinian legal defense team before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in the 2004 landmark case on Israel’s separation wall, and that led to the ICJ’s Advisory Opinion on the Legal Consequences of the Construction of a Wall in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.  The following interview was originally published by BADIL Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee ...

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The Meaning of Revolution: On Samira Ibrahim

At that thin membrane, the hymen, narratives unfold and lives are determined. There, the binaries of the clean and the stained, the righteous and the debauched, the honorable and the shamed flourish. There the blurry border between the civilized and the backward, the liberated and the oppressed, the East and the West, pretends to lie. There the claims to flesh as an evidentiary terrain stand. For the last year and a half, one woman has chipped away at this edifice erected on her hymen. The task is ...

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Protesting Is Not Enough

Another January 25 marked the third year of continued protests in the hopes of finding our way to a successful revolution. On Friday, I joined the Shubra march to Tahrir Square where I saw many the familiar faces along with many other protesters once again. This was not like last year’s march. This year there was certainly less energy and even less cohesiveness in the very long march that extended along Shubra’s streets. The street was laden with pockets of protesters. The pockets could be identified ...

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Will Civil Marriage End Lebanon’s Confessional System?

In tying the matrimonial knot last week, Kholoud Succariyeh and Nidal Darwish sliced through a cultural, legal, sectarian knot of Gordian proportions. The pair became the first couple in history to be wed in a civil marriage on Lebanese soil. Until last week, Lebanese citizens (or, only those who can afford it) have generally traveled to Cyprus to get hitched. The only way to do the deed inside Lebanon requires a contract issued by religious personal status authorities, with all the legal implications ...

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The Revolution Will Not Be Celebrated

The common, seemingly benign question, “where were you during the revolution?” leaves most partisans of the January 25 Revolution with a strong sense of unease. While it is obvious that the question, whenever it comes up, is almost always posed in reference to 2011's eighteen days of national protests that led to the end of Hosni Mubarak’s thirty-year rule, this innocent query fails to do justice to the belief that the revolution and the eighteen-day uprising are not one and the same. The phrasing of the ...

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Brothers and Officers: A History of Pacts

The politics of the past two years have generated widespread interest in the historical relationship between the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and Egypt’s wielders of power, especially at a time when observers are eager to understand the prospects for accommodation (or adversity) between the MB and traditional bureaucratic powers inside the Egyptian state, such as the military establishment. For instance, the circumstances surrounding the election of President Mohamed Morsi in June 2012 have raised numerous ...

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التحرير لامركزية الميدان

على مدار عقود عانى فيها المصريون من حكم استبدادي جثم على الصدور لم يترك لهم فرصة لإلتقاط الأنفاس ولا مخرج فانصرفوا إلى متابعة أمور حياتهم اليومية، بينما انصرف آخرون إلى الهجرة. هجرة خارج حدود الوطن، وأخرى خارج حدود الزمن فعادوا القهقرى إلى الوراء حيث أزمنة غابرة خلت كنوع من الهروب من واقع قاتم وكمحاولة أيضاً لاستعادة هذه الحقب الزمنية الفائتــة لتطبيقها فى الواقع بالقوة، إن اقتضــت الضرورة ذلك. في إطار الحديث عن وطن تبدو ملامحه بين أبناء هجروه خارح الحدود سواء كانت هذه الحدود جغرافية أو تاريخية، وبين ...

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The Revolution and History

As a historian, I am often struck by a particular misconception about history, widely held both in Egypt and abroad. This is the sense that, once written, history is fixed or finished – that, once a historian has “covered” Asyut in the 1860s or Alexandria in the 1940s, there is nothing further one can say about those subsections of the wider story of modern Egypt. In fact, history is written and rewritten by each successive generation of historians. What makes this writing and rewriting possible and, ...

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Playing the Numbers Game: Copts and the Exercise of Power

With 25 January upon us yet again, the “Coptic question” remains as salient as ever. This hermeneutic expression, similar to Shlomo Sand’s historicization of what was the “Jewish question,” in the context of contemporary Egyptian nationalism, is important to interrogate. This is in light of continued state-focused analysis post 25 January 2011, which seems to have been reified over the past two years. From electoral results and state dynamics to constitutional drafting and ratification, the Copts find ...

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