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إسرائيل الثقافة نوشيروان مصطفى: تاريخ مكتوب بدماء The Master Plans of Baghdad: Notes on GIS-Based Spatial History رسالة إلى كامو Media on Media Roundup
[Highway view of the National Archives building. Image by author]

Finding Your Way Around Tehran's Public Archives

Going to archives in Iran—the capital specifically—remains obscure to a great number of PhD students and researchers based outside of the country. Often, senior academics from whom students seek advice have not been to Iran’s archives for ...

[Image from Wikipedia.]

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 ...

[نوشيروان مصطفى. الصورة من ويكيبيديا]

نوشيروان مصطفى: تاريخ مكتوب بدماء الضحايا

مات نوشيروان مصطفى (١٩٤٤-٢٠١٧) الذي كان نائباً للسكرتير العام للاتحاد الوطني الكردستاني، ومن ثم أسّس حركة التغيير «گوران». وبموته تطوى صفحة أخرى من صفحات الجريمة التي كتبت بدماء الضحايا، فكانت عرضة للتجاهل والنسيان!  موته يفضح دنس ...

[A Painting by the Iraqi Artist Ahmad al-Soudani]

When I Failed to Say Farewell to You…

It was winter and my Berlin nights were crowded with people yet full of loneliness. I don’t know what year it was. Maybe 2008. I was working as a journalist and producer for a German television station in Berlin.  My schedule used to ...

Notes from the Bahraini Field [Update 2]

[Funeral Procession of Abdul Redha Mohammed Hassan on February 22, 2011 in Bahrain. Image from]

The following constitutes a series of email reports (to be updated regularly) from Jadaliyya affiliates in Manama. They will be updated in the next few days to reflect the latest developments in Bahrain. For some important differences between Bahrain and Egypt/Tunisia, see our Jadaliyya article entitled "Is Bahrain Next." For some excellent photo updates, see here. [To be updated . . .] Tuesday, February 22   … ended with the release of political prisoners in the middle of the night, ostensibly to avoid the media and crowd surge it might have drawn in the daytime. According to Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, based on reports filtering ...

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قل حقوق اجتماعية ولا تقل مطالب فئوية [Say Social Rights not Partisan Demands]

[Image from unknown archive]

  حقا..لقد نجحت الثورة المصرية في إمالة توازن القوى السياسي والاجتماعي لصالح جماهير المصريين، معطية إياهم المبادرة والقدرة لكن الثورة المضادة مازالت تخوض معركتها. وأما وقد تغير ميدان المواجهة من التحرير إلى أماكن العمل، فقد تغيرت جبهة هجوم الدعائي لبقايا النظام القديم ومعهم من تمنعهم مصالحهم من قبول البرنامج الشعبي للتغيير إلى ما أطلق عليه "المطالب الفئوية".  لا..ليست هذه التسمية قائمة على الصدفة على الإطلاق. فكما حرصت الثورة المضادة على تحجيم ثورة المصريين في إطار "ثورة الشباب" أو حتى "شباب الفيسبوك"، اختارت أن تطلق على نضال المصريين من أجل العدالة الاجتماعية، وهو شعار أساسي للثورة منذ 25 يناير، اسم "المطالب ...

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My Country Transitioning?

[Egyptian army spokesman speaks on state television. Image Source: Reuters/Egyptian State Television via Reuters TV]

In the days since the historic ousting of Mubarak from his seat of power, the buzzword in mass media discourse has been “transition.” Experts speculate about what type of process Egypt will face, and what it means for international relations, democracy, and the future of the country and the region. With the military now in charge, it is still premature to put a label on the events in Egypt. The wave of energy that enabled this change hasn’t subsided yet; nor should it. The coming months and years will hopefully witness major constitutional as well as institutional changes. Only then will we able to make an accurate assessment of the situation. Dictatorship is like a ...

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Libya Update: The Violence of An Unraveling Regime [On Qaddafi's Speech]

[Libyan demonstrators destroying a representation of al-Qaddafis' Green Book. Image from BBC.]

On Sunday night, Saif al-Islam al-Qaddafi—son of Libyan "leader" Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qaddafi—gave a televised speech in which he denied the existence of genuine grievances and protests for regime change in Libya, attributing the last six days of social unrest to both foreign interference as well as “drunken and drugged out” elements of society. The protests, which began in Benghazi in the eastern part of the country, have spread to all major urban and rural areas, including the capital city of Tripoli in the western part of the country. Typical of most existing and former authoritarian regimes in the Arab world, Saif al-Islam claimed that without the regime ...

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Egypt: A Multi-Generational Revolt

[Image from unknown source]

In the mainstream Western and Arab media, Egypt’s revolution is often presented as a revolution of the youth. While it is true that young activists planned the January 25th demonstrations and organized and raised support throughout much of the process leading up to that day, this uprising would not have succeeded in ousting the President and Cabinet, and would not be continuing, were it not for older generations of Egyptians. Many of us living in Egypt during the first massive demonstrations kept saying, “We never thought this would happen.” But in retrospect, it was as clear as day. For the past few years, workers had launched thousands of strikes ...

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So Who Will Be Next to Fall? AAS of Yemen?

[Image from unknown archive]

Following the removal of Husni Mubarak from power in Egypt, the inevitable question was “who’s next?”   As events of the last week have shown, there are plenty of candidates in this extraordinary season of rotating power in Arab countries. King Hamad ibn Isa and the Khalifa family of Bahrain are feeling pressure from protestors in the streets, as is Muammar Ghadafi of Libya. Yet no one may be more ripe for ousting than Ali Abdallah Salih of Yemen, or AAS, as he is known in some circles. Salih has ruled from his military-enforced presidential palace in the Yemeni capital Sanaa since 1978. This makes him the third longest serving leader in the ...

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Civil Society in Arab Lands: By Ballot or by Bullet?

[Image Source: Unknown]

Each time I attend a panel, workshop, forum, conference, symposium, brainstorming session, or congressional session on civil society in the United States, I am disappointed yet optimistic! I am disenchanted because at least since 9/11, the Bush administration as well as the Obama administration has not understood the real dynamics within the Arab and Middle Eastern civil societies. Rather than begging for money from the U.S., civil society actors in this region are asking U.S. policymakers to cease baking the Arab Ceausescus -who kept them in the Dark Age for more than four decades- in order to be able to establish a genuine democracy in the region and enjoy its ...

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The Battle of Algeria

[Algerian flag. Image from]

The departure of Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation on February 11 sparked conjectures about Algeria as the next country in the Arab world to attempt to rid itself of authoritarian leadership. While Egyptians have lived under “state of emergency” laws since Mubarak came to power after Sadat’s assassination in 1981, Algeria’s version, also prohibiting any public demonstrations, was enacted in 1992 after the country's first national multiparty elections and runoff set for January 16, 1992 were suspended. A military coup d’etat deposed then President Chadli Benjedid who had ruled since 1979. By ...

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What If the Egyptian Protesters Were Democrats?

[Image from unknown archive]

Their recent upheaval would certainly have been different, perhaps dramatically different.  In the past month, the people of Egypt—inspired by the recent democratic revolution in Tunisia and preceding emergent revolutions in Libya, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria—have undertaken a revolt of truly stunning proportions, one that includes men and women from all class strata, religious and ethnic origins, and ideological commitments. They managed to rid themselves of a longstanding and brutal dictator worth over $40 billion and supported by the collective power of the United States, European Union, Israel, and the Arab Gulf States.  Now that two ...

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Solidarity and Its Discontents

[Poster for Brooklyn Green Scroll March in September 2009.]

While building solidarity between activists in the U.S. and Iran can be a powerful way of supporting social justice movements in Iran, progressives and leftists who want to express solidarity with Iranians are challenged by a complicated geopolitical terrain. The U.S. government shrilly decries Iran’s nuclear power program and expands a long-standing sanctions regime on the one hand, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes inflammatory proclamations and harshly suppresses Iranian protesters and dissidents on the other. Solidarity activists are often caught between a rock and a hard place, and many choose what they believe are the “lesser evil” politics. In the ...

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Morocco on the Eve of the Demonstrations

[Image from the Mouvement du 20 Fevrier Facebook site]

“When I go out in the street, no cares about #feb20, I connect and boom, the revolution is brewing” (Qd je sors ds la rue, no one cares about #feb20, je me connecte et boom c'est la révolution qui couve). The above, tweeted yesterday in the style of much that’s being produced on the internet about the demonstrations on Sunday — a combination of text message French and English (and often transliterated Darija) — is a perfect encapsulation of the immediate situation, at least in Rabat (as I write this, demonstrations have just turned to riots in Tangier, to which I’ll return below). Here, however, on the streets, little is visible, in the air an almost palpable lack of ...

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Iraq and Its Tahrir Square

[Government building in flames after protests in al-Qut. Image from al-Jazeera]

[This article is a slightly updated and edited translation of the original Arabic version that was posted on Jadaliyya and can be found here.] Iraq’s absence from the “Egypt Today, Tomorrow the World” map, published a week after the massive demonstration in Egypt on January 25th and which included the dates of planned demonstrations in different Arab capitals, was striking. The absence was not limited to the dates listed. Iraq as a country was not included. It is as if the absence of protests indicated the absence of the country itself. As if Iraq was not affected by the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt. This conspicuous absence is due to the nature of the present ...

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The Revolution Against Neoliberalism

On February 15th at 9:45 AM a comment was posted on the wall of the Kullina Khalid Sa’id Facebook page, administered by the now very famous Wael Ghoneim, referring to a news item reporting that European governments were under pressure to freeze bank accounts of recently deposed members of the Mubarak regime. The comment said: “Excellent news … we do not want to take revenge on anyone … it is the right of all of us to hold to account any person who has wronged this nation. By law we want the ...

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Qaddafi: "Song of the Rain"

  This cartoon in Arabic is about Qaddafi's speech last night in response to the Libyan people's revolution which is at its height this week. Amid rumors that he fled to Venezuela and much news that the Libyan people have secured control on many of the cities, to give a speech and claim that he is still in control, Qaddafi appeared in a jeep! He opened the door only to acknowledge that it was raining outside, so he folded back his giant umbrella and decided not to give the speech. And there was ...

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The Arab Revolts: Ten Tentative Observations

The extraordinary developments in Tunisia and Egypt during the first six weeks of this year, and more recently in Bahrain, Libya, Yemen and elsewhere, have inaugurated a revolutionary moment in the Arab world not experienced since 1958. If sustained uprisings continue and spread, it has the potential to develop into an Arab 1848. Based on what we have witnessed thus far, the following observations appear relevant: 1. The Arab world is a fundamentally different beast than Eastern Europe during the late ...

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Egypt's Path Could be Distinct from Turkey's and Iran's

It is striking that as Egypt turns a new page in history, voices as diverse as Financial Times, Le Monde and the New York Times want it to follow the Turkish model. But is the process in Turkey really repeatable? And who would stand to gain if it were taken as a model? It seems that liberals in the West and elsewhere want to use the Turkish model as an example because it shows the possibility of Islamist empowerment without Islamist dictatorship. The “Turkish model” emerged from a split within the ...

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The Marriage of Sexism and Islamophobia; Re-Making the News on Egypt

I find myself intermittently infuriated and nauseated by the news coverage of the sexual assault on a female CBS reporter in Tahrir Square during the celebrations the day that Husni Mubarak resigned. This coverage has ranged from the disappointing silence of Al-Jazeera to the blatant racism of Fox News. What actually happened that day to Lara Logan, chief foreign correspondent for 60 Minutes, is not yet known and I have no interest in speculating over the lurid details of a sexual and physical ...

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Notes from the Bahraini Field [Updated]

As of Saturday February 19, 2011, several people have been killed and hundreds more have been brutally injured in Bahrain. The Bahraini police and military’s violent oppression of the peaceful demonstrators was further escalated after the GCC’s 28th extraordinary meeting that took place in Manama last Thursday, February 17. The GCC ministers’ message was clear: The Bahraini monarchy (and by extension all other Gulf state regimes) will not tolerate such acts of resistance to its rule and will put ...

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How Egyptian Women Took Back the Street Between Two “Black Wednesdays”: A First Person Account

On February 16, Roger Ebert, an American film critic and commentator, tweeted: "The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus." While the attack on CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was a tragic and upsetting event, it needs to be understood in its political context. Any attempt to propound this in such familiar orientalist terms would be offensive and unfair, not only to Egyptians protesting for democracy, but to Logan herself. She was not attacked as a ...

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Yemen's Turn: An Overview

To begin to understand the trajectory of recent political developments in Yemen, it is necessary to cast one’s eye back further than the heady days of 2011. Undoubtedly, events in Egypt and Tunisia have lent considerable force to demonstrations in the capital, Sana’a. However, it would be unfair to the thousands of Yemenis who for years have organized daily protests throughout the country and the thousands who have been killed, imprisoned, injured and tortured by the state to say that the widespread ...

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A Word on Africa: Djibouti

“Arab world unrest reaches Horn of Africa” was how the Israeli website Ynet led off its coverage of the demonstrations that began in Djibouti yesterday. On Friday, thousands of protesters — 6,000, according to the Independent, in a country with a population of less than a million people — demanded the resignation of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, among other political reforms. Authorities used batons and fired tear gas grenades at demonstrators; by the end of the day, according to official reports, one ...

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From Cairo to Madison: the New Internationalism and the Re-Mystification of the Middle East

After being glued to Al-Jazeera for what seemed like decades, I returned to semi-normal life and found that there was breaking news in the academic circles as well. In the last three weeks, the popular overthrow of Ben Ali and Mubarak seems to have brought about the demise of another oppressive foe of the Arabs: Islam. Once fixated on Muslim psychology and Qu’ranic exegisis, commentators now have no choice but to emerge from their essentialist slumber to return to the Clintonian adage (not Hillary, ...

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Sunken Mythologies

"They told me in an articulate foreign tongue: all nations more or less are moving forward in the direction of history; towards globalization, the knowledge society and political modernity except for you making headway running in the opposite direction ...We know that your unenlightened religious culture is a terrible obstacle that hinders your transition into less closed, less obscurantist societies and less inimical to individuals, women, non-Muslims, reason, modernity and life. We also know ...

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Tahrir Tel-Aviv

February 11, 2011 It is 8:00 a.m. on a dark Seattle Friday morning. As my recent wake-up ritual has mandated in the last two weeks, I reach out for my laptop before leaving bed or fueling with the first cup of coffee. I need to see the latest news and status updates on/from Egypt. Six windows of online newspapers, Al-Jazeera live (in Arabic and English), Facebook, Skype and chat pages pop up simultaneously on my blue notebook screen. Al-Jazeera live is broadcasting the thrilling echoes of millions from ...

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