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call for pa “Til Sect Do You Part?” On Sectarianism and Intermarriage in Lebanon Israel’s Big Business of War قصائد مختارة للشاعر والروائي تشارلز بوكوفسكي 'The King

“Til Sect Do You Part?” On Sectarianism and Intermarriage in Lebanon

In August 2017, a Christian man and a Muslim woman (Boutros and Marwa) made headlines when they married in Lebanon. Why? One might assume that the interreligious nature of the couple prompted this media attention. However, that was far ...

[المصدر موقع المواطن]

آخر أيّام المدينة - الجزء الاول

"آخر أيّام المدينة" أو "الحضارة في آخر أيامها" كما قال "آخر الرجال المحترمين" بدأ حضور "المدينة" في السينما المصريّة يأخذ شكلًا مميزًا خلال السبعينيات كنتيجة للفترة الساداتيّة التي وُعدت ووعَدت ...

[An image of Ahmed Ouyahia, current Algerian prime minister. Image from Wikimedia Commons]

Game of Mustaches: A Song of Mustache and Technocracy

It was the second unexpected sacking of an Algerian prime minister in less than three months. After Abdelmalek Sellal, Abdemajid Tebboune's turn came with no going-away party. The prime ministers fell one after the other, and one wondered ...

Istanbul: A Megacity in the Light of Turkey’s Political Transformation

Jean-François Pérouse, Istanbul Planète, La Ville-Monde Du Xxie Siècle. Paris: La Découverte, 2017. This book is the result of more than twenty years of social, economic, and urban observations and investigations by a geographer[i] ...


Essential Reading: State Building and Regime Security in Jordan

[Google Images]

[Editors’ Note: This is the first in a series of “Essential Readings,” in which we ask contributors to choose a list of must-read books, articles, and new media resources on a variety of topics. These are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but rather starting points for readers who want to read more about particular topics. Ziad Abu-Rish, a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya, provides a list of readings focusing on state building and regime security in Jordan. Some of Abu-Rish’s own writing on Jordan can be found here and here.] Two themes have dominated historical and contemporary accounts of state building in Jordan. The first is the idea that Jordan is an ...

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الشعب قرر الإضراب وهذا ما سيكون" عن يوم الأرض" [On Land Day: The People Have Decided to Strike and so it Shall be]

[A Palestinian on Land Day. Image from Unknown Archive]

كانت تلك هي المرة الأولى التي أرى فيها هذا الكم الهائل من قوات الجيش والشرطة تنتشر في أغلب أحياء بلدة الطيبة التي كبرت بها، والتي تقع حوالي اربعين كيلومتراً شمال يافا. لا أدري كم عاماً كان قد تركني في حينه، ربما ثمانية أو تسعة. واعتقدت، وكان الصباح في آخره، بأن الحرب قد قامت. فسألت أمي عما إذا كان الجنود ينتشرون في البلدة لأن حرب ال 67 قد عادت من جديد، تلك الحرب التي كان أبي يحدثني عنها كثيراً لأنه يعيها ويعرف تفاصيلها التي حفرت في ذاكرته أكثر من تفاصيل النكبة التي ولد قبلها بأعوام  ثلاثة. ضحكت أمي وقالت إنهم مجرد جنود سيغادرون عند الصباح التالي ويتركوننا في حالنا إلى أن يأتي العام القادم. أعوام قليلة تلت ذلك العام، وكنت  فيها من بين الطلاب الذين خرجوا للتظاهر ...

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The Unfolding Situation in Yemen

[Image from globalhumanitarianassistance.org]

How serious is the situation in Yemen? This weekend, negotiations over the departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh broke down. After several weeks of mixed signals concerning his willingness to depart the presidency on acceptable terms – including amnesty for himself and his extended family – President Saleh reversed himself and announced that he has no intention of leaving office before the end ofhis term in 2013. Politics in Yemen is always fluid, and President Saleh has made many contradictory statements in recent weeks about his intentions. But local observers do not expect negotiations to resume anytime soon. The leadership of Yemen’s ruling party, the General ...

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Interview with Toby Jones on the Situation in Bahrain (Conducted by Sharam Aghamir)

[Image from The Christian Post.]

[See Toby Jones on  Bahrain in Jadaliyya here] AUDIO PLAYER BELOW    On March 15th, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared a three-month emergency rule and invited armed forces of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf to help quash two months of growing anti-government protests in the country.   Since the start of the protests and the deadly government crackdown in Bahrain, more than twenty-one people have been killed and up to one-hundred others are still missing   Last Monday, King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa praised the Saudi-led force and said: "Bahrain is bigger and stronger today than ...

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The Meaning of "Syrian Opposition Figures Urge Peaceful Change" Story from Reuters

[Image from Reuters' www.Reuters.com]

This (report from Reuters here and below) is not an insignificant call from the traditionally vociferous leadership of the opposition, including those who were imprisoned for years after the botched "Damascus Spring" after 2001. The likes of Michel Kilo and `Arif Dalila were among the most outspoken critics for years. I watched Dalila make public condemnations of the regime's corruption in public panels on Syria's political economy in 1998, 1999, and 2000, when Hafiz al-Asad was president. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison after 2001, but release recently because of his poor health. Kilo received a shorter sentence later and was released for similar ...

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The Egyptian Elite and the Egyptian Revolt: Video Interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy (Part 3)

[Image from Jadaliyya interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy]

Jadaliyya is hereby presenting the third installment in a interactive (see below) 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's vantage point is quite unique, and his broad knowledge of the Egyptian political landscape as well as history positions him to provide an unparalleled account of the the context and developments that have led to the resignation of former Egyptian President, Husni Mubarak, and the aftermath. Below is the third part of the interview. The second part addresses the role of the army and can be viewed here. ...

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Is Bahrain Back to Normal?

[One of the Friday March 25th protests in Bahrain. Image from unknown archive]

“Your remarkable and unflinching efforts have protected the lives of innocent people, restored order and maintained security and stability across Bahrain,” Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa praised security forces on Friday March 25th for bringing life in Bahrain back to “normal.” As he thanked his dedicated forces for “creating conditions that are favorable for a national dialogue,” riot police were being deployed to put down some twenty-five small, peaceful protests that took place across the country on what may be the last Bahraini “day of rage.” One man, 71-year old Issa Mohamed, was killed inside his home due to asphyxiation caused by teargas fumes being used ...

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How to Lose Friends and Alienate Your People

[Image from the author's upcoming book, Image Politics in the Middle East]]

The extraordinary events that have been gripping the Arab world since December 2010 have demonstrated the steadfastness of Arab citizens across the region in the face of despotic regimes. But they have also demonstrated that Arab despots indeed engage in authoritarian learning. From Tunisia to Egypt to Bahrain to Libya to Morocco to Yemen to Syria (and the list goes on), Arab rulers have followed a peculiarly familiar pattern in the way they have—and are—responding to the protests calling for regime change. 1.     Ignore the protests One of the first reactions to budding protests is simply to ignore them and their potential. Zine El Abidine Ben Ali ...

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What is Political Sectarianism?

[Protestors in Lebanon,

*Note: This analysis refers to political sectarianism in Lebanon, it cannot be “applied” to the workings of sectarianism in other contexts, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain or Bosnia Herzigovina. There is an ongoing spasm of activism in Lebanon directed towards changing the sectarian structure and ethos of the state. For the past five weeks, growing numbers of people have taken to the streets stating their refusal of both the March 14 and March 8 coalitions and demanding the end of sectarianism in Lebanon. It has been inspiring to see men and women from all age groups, areas and socio-economic strata march together through parts of Southern Beirut, East ...

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Is the 2011 Libyan Revolution an Exception?

[Image from unknown archive.]

After the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the strong man of the Middle East on February 11, 2011, the Arab Spring appeared to be an unrelenting force. In the week following his downfall, three theaters of major rebellion—Libya, Yemen, Bahrain—quickly emerged, with Iran’s suppressed Green revolution resurfacing for a while as well. In the weeks that followed mass demonstrations demanding significant political reforms continued or sprang up in countries such as Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Djibouti, Palestine, and Oman. As of late, these tremors have even reached Saudi Arabia and Syria. The Supposed Libyan “Exception” & The End of the Old Arab Order Should the ...

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All Sorts of Interventions

[Image from unknown archive.]

The focal point of the “Arab Spring” has shifted from the successful uprisings of Tunisia and Egypt to the bleak developments in Bahrain and Libya. As the military forces of Britain, France, and the United States are taking “all necessary measures” to topple the Qaddafi regime, troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Peninsula Shield Force continue to “stabilize” the al-Khalifa regime in the face of a peaceful democratic uprising in Bahrain. The discrepancies between intervention for regime stability in Bahrain and that of regime change in Libya are undergirded by the fact that the interveners in both cases are ultimately one and the same. The GCC and Arab League ...

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Missing: Agency and Alternative in the Anti-Intervention Critique

[Image from screen shot of english.aljazeera.net]

The Libyan people’s revolution against Muammar al-Gaddafi has been called the February 17th revolution. It has been named – like Egypt’s January 25th revolution – after the day on which protests were called for demanding freedom and an end to a brutal and long-standing regime. In Libya, however, the protests erupted before schedule. They began two days ahead of time in response to the arrest and imprisonment of Fathi Terbil – the lawyer representing the families of the victims of the Abu Salim prison massacre. For years, Terbil and these families have demanded the release of the location of the corpses of those 1,200 individuals killed. They have filed suits and ...

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Al-Jazeera English Interview with Bassam Haddad on President Bashar's Speech

This interview was conducted by Al-Jazeera English with Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Bassam Haddad. It focused on the reactions to President Bashar's speech on Wednesday, in which viewers expected him to announce wide-ranging reforms. No such reforms were announced, triggering a spate of disappointments inside Syria and internationally. Not everyone was diappointed equally, however, as many Syrians are concerned about restoring stability and preventing strife and chaos, especially of the sectarian variety.

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Two Poems by Rashid Hussein

March 30th is Yam al-Ard (Land Day). It marks the general strike and marches organized in Palestinian towns in Israel on that day in 1976 to protest the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of land for “security and settlement purposes.” Six Palestinians were killed in the confrontations. The day and its events marked a turning point in national mobilization and the relationship between Palestinian citizens and the Israeli state. It became an annual day of commemoration for ...

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Why Secularism is Not the Answer; Gays in the Lebanese Khutba

In the past 48 hours, a debate has erupted on the facebook page of the movement to “overthrow the political sectarian regime in Lebanon.” This debate was not about how to accomplish this lofty goal, or how to better strategize for more effective and powerful street demonstrations, or even what the actual demands of the movement are, should be, and how these demands can be enacted. Rather, the debate is about homosexuals and homosexuality in Lebanon. What does homosexuality have to do with secularism? A ...

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Narrating the Past, Confronting the Present

The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Directed by Dahna Abourahme. Lebanon, 2010 Could I do today what I was able to do then, questions Nadia, one of the women in Dahna Abourahme’s latest documentary film The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Based on stories of the women of Ein El Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in South Lebanon, between 1982-4 during the Israeli invasion and the imprisonment of the majority of the male population (those between the ages of 14-60), the film is also a reflection on the ...

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Democracy Now! Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on Syria

Scores of protesters have been killed in Syria during 10 days of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. In an attempt to appease protesters, Assad’s administration has reportedly vowed to lift the emergency law, which for nearly 50 years has allowed the government to detain people without charge. "For more than 40 years, people have been politically suppressed,” says Bassam Haddad, the director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. “That suppression was ...

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ثورة يناير وتأسيس شرعية جديدة [The January Revolution and Establishing a New Legitimacy]

بينما ما زالت بقايا النظام السابق تطلق على ما حدث في مصر لفظ «حركة» أو «فورة»، نجد أن الإعلام الرسمي قد طور خطابه ليصفها بأنها ثورة، ولكن دائماً ما يضيف إليها لفظ آخر مثل الشباب، الانترنت، أو كما حلا لبعض المحللين أن يصفوها بثورة الطبقة الوسطى. مع التقدير الكامل لكل هذه الفئات والطبقات والأدوات ودورها البارز في ثورة يناير، إلا أن هذه الإضافة - لتكون الثورة مكونة من مضاف ومضاف إليه - فيها انتقاص شديد من حق الكثيرين ممن شاركوا فيها، والذين عملوا لسنوات طوال من أجل هذه اللحظة. وإذا كان سر نجاح هذه الثورة ...

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Elia Suleiman's Time

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at the end of a long hallway. We have some sense of why he is so harried: we have just watched the car that was driving him to the meeting being repeatedly menaced by a low-flying propeller ...

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The Bidun of Kuwait: A Look Behind the Laws

In Kuwait, some young Bidun men and women often wonder what more they could offer the country to get accepted as one of its own. Their fathers had lost their lives liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in the 1990 Gulf War. Their ancestors had settled in Kuwait for three consecutive generations but Bidun today have yet to be afforded any state recognition. Other Bidun question when they will become “pure enough” in the eyes of the Kuwaiti state and society to get recognized as equal humans, if ...

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Video Interview (#2) with Ali Ahmida on Libya and Intervention

[This interview was conducted by Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Noura Erakat, on March 24, 2011] In this second interview, Ali Ahmida (bio here) discusses the balance of power on the ground in Libya. On March 18th, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 and effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Libya's airspace in response to what many anticipated would be a bloodbath in Benghazi. The next day, French and British air forces began aerial bombardment of Libya with broad international support including ...

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Of the Elites, By the Elites, For the Elites: An Update on Yemen's Revolution

As the clock ticks closer to Friday, Yemenis and observers of Yemen are bracing themselves for the unknown. Reports of a prospective deal between Ali Saleh and Ali Mohsen for a mutual resignation flooded social networking sites, Yemeni homes and Taghyir Square today, speculating hopefully on its potential to spare the country further bloodshed. Saleh dispelled those rumors in a TV appearance Thursday night, looking haggard and worn and declaring he would not be stepping down. However, it is not clear ...

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Saleh Defiant

In the face of popular protests as well as defections by Yemeni diplomats, government ministers, and military leaders, President Ali Abdullah Saleh yesterday invited the Yemeni youth to participate in a “transparent and open dialogue.” He also announced that he would step down as president by the end of this year, and not—as he had promised earlier—when his term expires in 2013. It is tempting to understand Saleh’s obstinance as detached from reality given the protests and defections. However, a closer ...

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Of Principle and Peril

Reasonable, principled people can disagree about whether, in an ideal world, Western military intervention in Libya’s internal war would be a moral imperative. With Saddam Hussein dead and gone, there is arguably no more capricious and overbearing dictator in the Arab world than Col. Muammar al-Qaddafi. The uprising of the Libyan people against him, beginning on February 17, was courageous beyond measure. It seems certain that, absent outside help, the subsequent armed insurrection would have been doomed ...

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