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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup rana bechara ماذا أطعم النور؟ Palestine Media Roundup Musaddiq’s Spectre: On the Recent Declassification of US Documents
[Gemmayze Graffiti. Beirut, Lebanon. May 2017. Image by Camille Reynolds.]

Vox Populi Relaunches on Jadaliyya!

The new and refreshed Vox Populi page has officially relaunched as of 21 August 2017. In the rejuvenation process, we focused on building on our existing mission but made some adjustments in order to ensure sustainable content. ...

[L'homme à la moustache de fer, Ahmed Ouyahia, est de retour. À l'heure de l'urgence économique, le voilà en première ligne, et ce n'est sûrement pas pour rigoler.]

La moustache de fer (A Song of Mustache and Technocracy)

C'est le deuxième limogeage en moins de trois mois. Après Abdelmalek Sellal, c'est au tour d'Abdelmadjid Tebboune de prendre la porte sans pot de départ. Les Premiers ministres algériens tombent donc comme des mouches, et l'on se demande ...

مشاهدات يومية واجتماعية من السويداء: من حركة الاعتصام... إلى اغتيال البلعوس

تعود مدينة السويداء لتظهر من جديد في ساحة الخبر السوري مع مشهد اعتقال الناشط المدني والمعارض جبران سلامة مراد. الشاب الثلاثيني الذي ألقت دورية تابعة للمخابرات العسكرية القبض عليه، على الطريق بين مدينَتَي السويداءــ القريَّا، له سجلٌ حافل ...

[المصدر موقع رصيف 22]

تونسيات محرومات من اختيار أزواجهن

تشهد الساحة الحقوقية في تونس جدلاً واسعاً ومتواتراً بشأن منشور لا زال يثير حفيظة المنظمات الحقوقية. فمن فترة لأخرى تصدح أصوات المدافعين عن حقوق المرأة التونسية تطالب بإلغاء منشور يصفه البعض بأنه منشور ظالم ومجحف. المنشور الصادر ...


Culture III

[Painting by George Bahgory. Image from artspacegallerydubai.blogspot.com]

This is our third weekly edition of Jadaliyya's Culture. Previous weeks can be found here and here. This week's harvest includes: Boat Rocking in the Art Islands: Politics, Plots, and Dismissals in Sharjah's Tenth Biennial by Hanan Toukan Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"  by Gaelle Raphael Al-Maqaleh's Betrayal: Translation and Commentary by Stephen Day All culture posts can be found in the culture section here. We look forward to your comments and contributions. Please read and forward our Call for Posts, or contact us at culture@jadaliyya.com The Culture Editors

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Al-Shabbi's "The Will to Life"

[Al-Shabbi's Face Carved in Stone in Touzer, Tunisia. Image from Unknown Archive]

Abu Al-Qasim Al-Shabbi The Tunisian poet Abu al-Qasim al-Shabbi (1909-1934) is well known and appreciated throughout the Arab world. His words are committed to memory and reproduced in textbooks. With the recent Arab uprisings, his poems, and more particularly “The Will to Life” and “To the Tyrants of the World,” have witnessed a revival, yet with a whole new tone. It seems that the Arab spring has infused "The Will to Life" with a newly found hope, a new urgency, and new life. Its opening lines have been chanted, recited, and written on signs and walls in Arab cities. Al-Shabbi was born in Al-Shabbiyya, Tunisia. He received a traditional Islamic education, ...

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English Translation of Interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy on the Role of Labor/Unions in the Egyptian Revolution

[Image from Jadaliyya interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy]

[Below is both the English translation and the video of the interview. The interview was conducted by Bassam Haddad, then translated and transcribed by Christine Cuk. It was also reviewed by Mohamed Aly and Bassam Haddad. Thanks to Christine and Mohamed for volunteering to make this interview available to English readers, per their many requests] Jadaliyya is hereby presenting the first (deliberately belated) installment in a series called "A Portrait of a Revolutionary," featuring interviews with an Egyptian journalist and activist who was at the forefront of the Egyptian protest movement, Hossam Hamalawy. Below is the first part of the ...

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ثوار تحت الإحتلال: الإنتفاضة العراقية 2011 [Revolutionaries Under Occupation: The Iraqi Uprising of 2011]

[متظاهرون أمام نصب الحرية في ساحة التحرير. المصدر غير معروف]

في تغطيتها للإحتجاجات في العراق، نشرت مجلة الإكونومست مقالاً تحت عنوان "حتى بلد تعم فيه الديمقراطية غير مصون من الإحتجاجات." والمقالة تصف العراق كبلد يتمتع بحكومة منتخبة، ومع ذلك فان التظاهرات تعمه بسبب فشل الحكومة في توفير الخدمات الأساسية. وتعكس هذه المقالة إتجاهاً عاماً في فهم الوضع العراقي في الصحافة السائدة. فالمظاهرات في العراق -إن تم تغطيتها أصلاً - تصور على إنها ضد إخفاقات الحكومة في توفير الكهرباء والأمن والخدمات فقط. وهذه الصورة تغفل حقائق جوهرية تتعلق بالعراق والإحتجاجات. فمن مطالب العراقيين الأساسية: إنسحاب القوات الإميركية الفوري من العراق وإسقاط نظام المحاصصة الطائفي. وهذا الإغفال ليس إعتباطياً أو سهواً. فعدم الإشارة الى ...

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Syrian Petition for Political Change: A Dramatic Missed Opportunity

[Image from unknown archive.]

Given the atrocities currently committed in Syria and the spectacularly bad press this generates for the regime, one would think that issuing an effective petition calling for political change in this country would be an easy task. All such a petition needs to do is to jump on the bandwagon of rapidly mounting protests and express the deeply felt anger across large sections of the Syrian population. In addition, any serious public appeal would demonstrate that there is a viable alternative to the regime; by way of clever proposals for political change and in reference to an impressive list of signatories from Syria’s brightest and most respected minds. Yet somehow the ...

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The Arab Uprisings and US Policy (Panel Video)

[Image from screen shot of video broadcast]

On Thursday, April 28th, 2011, the Middle East Policy Coucil held a one-day conference on Capitol Hill  in Washingtong D.C., "featuring a discussion of the populist movements sweeping across the Arab world, their regional and global consequences, and how they are impacting U.S. interests and policy choices." Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad was one of the speakers at the conference, as were Anthony Cordesman (Center for Strategic International Studies), Barak Barfi (New American Foundation), and Karim Merzan (American Studies Institute). To view the video, click here. Transcript of Bassam's talk is below. All transcripts can be found ...

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After Syria's "Great Friday": Al-Jazeera Interview with Bassam Haddad (conducted on April 23)

[Image from Al-Jazeera English]

Below is Al-Jazeera's interview on Syria with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad after the events of "Great Friday" on April 22nd, the bloodiest day that Syria witnessed since the beginning of the uprisings. In this interview, conducted on Saturday April 23rd, Bassam discusses the events as a turning point in the confrontation and the prospects for cohesion on all sides. He also addresses the role of the media, and media wars.

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A Damascene Diary

[A Sign Held by a Syrian Protester

This account of events in Damascus, Syria, on Friday April 1st 2011 was originally published in Al Quds al ‘Arabi on April 7th, 2011. *** I will infiltrate the dreams of the killers. I will ask them: did you look into their eyes when your bullets closed in on their chests? Did you glimpse the hole of life? Before Damascus’ sky darkens, why don’t you look at the smooth red circles around their foreheads and stomachs, where our eyes will come to rest? Here in Damascus, the killers’ eyes will soon be sleeping. And we will keep watch over fear. Death is not a question. Death is a window we open out onto other questions. Like every other city, Damascus is more beautiful at ...

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Memoir and Mythology

[Greg Mortenson at Gultori School Pakistan. Image from Central Asia Institute]

Facts aren’t the only thing that should be checked in Three Cups of Tea The recent uproar over Greg Mortenson’s immensely popular nonfiction book Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission To Promote Peace... One School at a Time has centered around the question of whether the account is factual, and whether Mortenson is siphoning money from his $20 million-a-year charity, the Central Asia Institute (CAI). Three Cups of Tea is the ostensibly nonfiction narrative of Mortenson’s efforts to build secular schools in Northern Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson believes that in providing the region with secular education that competes with “extremist” terrorist-breeding ...

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[The Military Council Approves Egypt's Additional Emergency Law] المجلس الأعلى يقر قانون طوارئ إضافي

[الشرطة العسكرية وهي تطوق المعتصمين في ميدان التحرير إستعداد لفض إعتصامهم-منتشر على الإنترنت، المصدر غير معروف]

رزحت المجتمعات العربية لعقود عدة تحت وطأة القوانين الإستثنائية المقيدة للحريات السياسية. لذلك ما أن قامت الثورات والانتفاضات العربية الأخيرة حتى تعرضت هذه القوانين (وخاصة قوانين الطوارئ ومحاكمها التي تعرف في مصر بإسم محاكم أمن الدولة طوارئ) إلى هجوم عنيف في كافة أرجاء العالم العربي، ما أدى إلى إلغاء قوانين الطوارئ في عدة دول من بينها الجزائر وسوريا، وإلغاء عدد من الترتيبات المقيدة للحريات في كلا من تونس والمغرب. لكن بغض النظر عن جدية هذه الإصلاحات، ظلت مصر بعيدة كل البعد عن هذا المسار الإصلاحي؛ فلم يتجاهل نظام <<الثورة>> المصري المطلب الشعبي الكاسح بإلغاء قانون الطوارئ فحسب، وإنما قام بإقرار قانون طوارئ إضافي منذ يومين <<في ...

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Interview with Bassam Haddad on Developments in Syria (Conducted by Sharam Aghamir)

[Map of protests in Syria. Image from pomed.org]

 AUDIO PLAYER BELOW A wave of protests have been shaking Syria since nearly the middle of March.The protests that began by calling for political reforms,escalated after the security forces opened fired on demonstrators in the southern city of Dar'a. Shahram Aghamir of Pacifaca's Voices of the Middle East and North Africa spoke with Bassam Haddad about the nature of these protests, the response of the Syrian Regime to them,and their regional implications. This interview was conducted on Wednesday, April 20th, 2011.

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Revolutionary Tremors in Central Asia?

[Image from author's archive]

On April 3rd, 2011 Kazakhstan held presidential elections. Nursultan Nazarbayev, in power since 1991, called these elections a year early after scrapping a plan to hold a national referendum that would do away with the inconvenience of regular presidential contests and which was to extend his term until 2020. The referendum plan, although backed by both chambers of the Kazakh legislature and an apparently willing public (5 million signature in support of the referendum seem to have been collected), was declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Council. Despite this setback, Nazarbayev faced only three minor candidates in the presidential contest all of whom ...

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Al-Maqaleh's Betrayal: Translation and Commentary

 The Betrayal My faith in poetry is betrayed, as blood, gushing from the heart of the square, now masks the face of words          My eyes can no longer make out the shape of things, the tone of things Blood, blood, and more blood It shrouds my soul, my tongue it envelopes the horizon and stains people’s bread, falling on plates, coffee cups, and the eyes of children. * * * What dark shadow casts its corpse across our homeland, in this ...

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Aesthetic Uprisings

Signs of the Times: The Popular Literature of Tahrir: Protest Signs, Graffiti & Street Art. Curated by Rayya El Zein and Alex Ortiz. Special Issue of Shahadat, April 2011. Full issue available here.   In the heady days that followed the January 25 demonstrations in Egypt, the air seemed to crackle with images from the myriad protests and demonstrations and strikes and uprisings all across the country. For those of us following events from outside, it became part of the daily routine: together ...

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غنائم البارون ماكس فون آوبنهايم: الآلهة السورية إنبعثت من جديد في برلين [The Baron's Trophies: Syrian Gods Resurrected in Berlin]

تعود تماثيل الآلهة الأثرية لمملكة تل حلف السورية مرة أخرى إلى الحياة في متحف بيرغامون للحفريات التاريخية بعدما كانت قد تعرضت للقصف في برلين عام 1943 وتحطمت إلى 27 الف قطعة. سجل معرض «الآلهة الناجية من قصر تل حلف» في الأسابيع الثلاثة الأولى منذ إفتتاحه في شهر كانون الثاني ( يناير) حضوراً مميزاً تجاوز خمسين ألف زائراً، بالإضافة إلى اهتمام إعلامي ألماني واسع. عند الدخول إلى الصالة الأولى في جناح المعرض يفاجأ الزائر بألواح خشبية تتناثر فوقها حجارة من مادة البازلت. والهدف هو التذكير بحال هذه المعروضات الأثرية ...

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مزمور

  مزمور ”إلى شهداء سوريا"   لا يذهب الشهداءُ إلى الجنّة فأبوابها مغلقة منذ قرون والتجّار الذين اشتروا أنهارها ينظرون من الشرفات العالية إلى الطوابير الطويلة وحشود المشرّدين في الخارج

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Special Bodies, Speculative Personhood: Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi

 He was very sincere. We are like soulless bodies since he left. –Basma Bouazizi, sister If Brad Manning, 22, is the Collateral Murder and Garani massacre whistleblower then, without doubt, he’s a national hero. –Wikileaks He may be a mutilated trunk dismembered all about, the spirit removed all around and separated from the limbs, yet he lives and breathes the vital air. –Lucretius, De Rerum Natura   Bradley Manning and Mohamed Bouazizi’s names have become known because they ...

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الشعب يريد عجلة إنتاج أخرى [The People Want Another Mode of Production]

هاهى عجلة الإنتاج تتصدر الصورة السياسية فى مصر مرة أخرى، بعد أن أخلت فزَّاعة إنهيار الاقتصاد مكانها مؤقتا لفزَّاعات السلفيين والإخوان وغياب وعى الجماهير. جميع النخب تحدثنا الآن عن هذه العجلة السحرية: الشيخ محمد حسان يدعو لفض الاعتصامات ودفع عجلة الإنتاج، سمية الخشاب: عجلة الإنتاج الفنى أصيبت بالشلل، نائب رئيس الوزراء يحيى الجمل: أطالب بعودة عجلة الإنتاج سريعاً، صفحة على الفيسبوك عنوانها: الشعب يريد إستمرار عجلة الإنتاج، حملات إعلانية مكثفة فى التليفزيون وفى الشوارع وفوق الكبارى تمولها شركات كبرى، ...

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Culture II

This is the second week of Jadaliyya's culture section. The first week included four pieces and can be viewed here. This week's bouquet includes: "A Damascene Diary" by Samar Yazbek "Memoir and Mythology" by Mimi Kirk "The Meaning of My Prayer" by Sargon Boulus We welcome your contributions, support, and feedback. For more information, read our Call for Posts, or contact us at 

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"The Meaning of My Prayer" by Sargon Boulus

“Ma`na Salati” (The Meaning of my Prayer) appeared in Sargon Boulus’ posthumous collection `Azma Ukhra li-Kalb al-Qabila (Baghdad and Beirut: Dar al-Jamal, 2008). The Meaning of My Prayer Perhaps this is what I prayed for at times This is what I saw in moments of despair my eyes half shut sleepless until dawn That garden (Its leaves, from childhood, still glisten at noon washed by a sun no longer visible) A handful of trees A time not stained by the hand of days Summer, swarming with ...

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What is Sharia?

This question has animated scholarly, religious, and political debates for centuries. These debates have been lively, at times contentious, and have been held (under different circumstances and leading to different results) in different parts of the Muslim majority world as well as in parts of the world with few, if any, Muslims. More recently, it seems that the question “What is sharia?” has become a pressing concern in Western countries with growing Muslim minorities who continue to be unevenly ...

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Who Killed Vik?

I never knew Vittorio “Vik” Arrigoni before his tragic death in Gaza City on 15 April 2011. I won’t pretend to piece together who Vik was or what lay behind his passions. But before he slips from the headlines to the footnotes, it is worth attempting to make an accounting of this terrible death that has shocked the Palestinian movement. His death cannot be allowed to pass without considering what it tells us about ourselves, our movement and our collective future. While it would be premature to draw ...

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زمن عربي جديد [A New Arab Era]

لم يتمركز السوريون في احدى ساحات دمشق كي يبدأوا منها انتفاضتهم. كانت البداية في مدينة درعا عاصمة منطقة حوران، ثم اتخذت شكل تحركات متنقلة من اللاذقية الى حمص الى القامشلي الى بانياس الى دمشق الى دوما... المشهد السوري يختلف عن المشهد في تونس او مصر او البحرين او اليمن او ليبيا. كل بلد يكتشف بنفسه وعبر تجربته الخاصة الشكل الملائم للثورة على الحكم الاستبدادي. لسنا امام ثورة عربية واحدة تستعيد الخطاب القومي الناصري، لكننا في الوقت نفسه امام ظاهرة موحدة الهدف تجتاح العالم العربي برمته.  مرة جديدة ...

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Jordan's New Opposition and the Traps of Identity and Ambiguity

There are two major tribulations in Jordan from which all other issues stem. The first is the autocratic authority that dominates the role of all “state institutions” (i.e., the Cabinet, the Parliament, and the Judiciary). This autocratic domination is legally sanctioned by the Jordanian constitution:  ·      Article 26 states that “The Executive Power shall be vested in the King, who shall exercise his powers through his Ministers.” ·      ...

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