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The Stages of Peaceful Resistance in the Occupied Western Sahara Legal Fictions and the Logic of Empire  New Texts Out Now Turkey Media Roundup We Completely Agree: Egyptian Television Media in the Era of Al-Sisi

On Palestinian Cinema: The State of Israel vs. Suha Arraf

Suha Arraf is a Palestinian filmmaker based in Mi’ilya in the Galilee in Israel. Arraf is a journalist by training. This interview with Arraf was conducted following the recent screening of her debut feature film, Villa Touma, at the ...

[Commemoration ceremony in Istanbul, 24 April 2014. Photo by Heghnar Watenpaugh.]

Let Us Make a New Beginning: Speech for the Armenian Genocide Centennial Commemoration in Istanbul

[The following is a speech delivered by Heghnar Watenpaugh in Armenian and Turkish on behalf of Project 2015 at a ceremony commemorating the centenary of the Armenian Genocide. The ceremony was held in Taksim Square in Istanbul on 24 April ...

Water Management in Jordan in Response to the Syrian Crisis: Between Neoliberal Pressures and Social Tensions

Since 1948, the Kingdom of Jordan has taken in a considerable number of refugee populations fleeing conflicts in Palestine, Iraq and now Syria. While this brings the country significant international aid, it also raises the question of the ...

[Cover of Karnig Panian,

Goodbye, Antoura

[The following is an excerpt from Goodbye, Antoura: A Memoir of the Armenian Genocide. The English translation, by Simon Beugekian, edited by Aram Goudsouzian, was published in 2015.] At night, elderly Turkish women patrolled up and down ...


Snapshot: Palestinian Spring

[In the northern West Bank. Photo by Ahmad Al-Bazz.]

As a Palestinian photojournalist living in the West Bank my daily work is very far from the quiet and fabulous nature that is seen in these pictures. Every week I spend hours covering protests, clashes, and the military operations of the Israeli occupying forces. In between I give myself some rest time, which I prefer to spend in hills and mountains around the trees and flowers, away from the usual places I work. Every year I try to take advantage of the spring season to take some green frames before the start of summer season when everything turns yellow. After a good rainy period and even before the official start of spring, Palestine has again turned green with ...

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New Texts Out Now: Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution

[Cover of Don Karl and Basma Hamdy,

Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, editors, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution. Berlin: From Here to Fame Publishing, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Don Karl and Basma Hamdy (DK & BH): Our main goal in creating the book was for preservation and documentation of the explosive street art of the revolution. But as the project developed, we felt it was not enough to just present photos of the street art, because in this case contextualizing it became important to understanding it. We wanted to expose the transformation of citizens into artists and artists into activists, but also to shed light on the larger framework of the revolution. ...

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New Vision for 13th Festival of Young Creators

The French Institute in Cairo has been organizing an annual festival since 2003 to support the work of emerging theater groups in Egypt. This year, the institute developed its vision to accommodate and better serve the needs of the local scene. As Cultural Project Manager Noemi Kahn explains in this interview, the festival has expanded its out of competition section to show works by established artists alongside early career ones. It has also invited an independent selection committee to assess all applications and provide critical feedback to all participants. The committee comprised theater director Tarek Dewary, dancer/choreographer Karima Mansour and theater director ...

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What is the Role of Academia in Political Change?: The Case of BDS and Israeli Violations of International Law - from STATUS/الوضع Panels

In addition to a collection of rich individual interviews and special segments, Status also publishes panels and lectures with every issue of the audio journal. For Issue 2.1, we highlight the debate on academic freedom at the December 2014 meeting of the American Anthropological Association, and provide an exclusive audio recording of the panel.  Leading up to the 2014 American Anthropological Association Meeting, over 1,000 anthropologists signed a boycott pledge to protest Israel’s systematic and widespread violations of Palestinian academic freedom and human rights. Many spoke and wrote publicly about why they now feel boycott is the best way to ...

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Boycott, Sovereign Anxieties, and the Decolonizing Temporality of Return: A Note on Adi Ophir’s Remarks on BDS

[Image from ruins of the Palestinian village of Damoun, featuring a plaque by the Zochrot Truth Comission. Image by the author.]

And so it is not I who make a meaning for myself, but it is the meaning that was already there, pre-existing, waiting for me. – Frantz Fanon[1] It is fair to say that the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign has today achieved a certain (belated) level of legibility, or audibility. Its opponents still vociferously and viciously fight it. However, in the United States and European academy it has, with some effort, gained the right to be heard. It is, give or take, an acceptable topic of debate and conversation. As with any address or call, however, audibility can quickly lead to questions of reception. More specifically, in this case the ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (March 16-22)

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 Curious Case of Rula Amin in Jordan: Undermining the Rule of Law? Picture an Arab Man New Texts Out Now: Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1) NEWTON in Focus: Critical Studies of Islam "The Amir of Bahrain and the Beautiful ...

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Twelve Years After Iraq Invasion: An Interview with Rijin Sahakian, and “ A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street” by Sinan Antoon

[U.S. Marines patrol the streets of Al Faw, October 2003. Photo by Ted Banks from Wikimedia Commons]

On 19 March 2015, twelve years will have passed since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, the country is back in the headlines because of the brutality with which ISIS has been trying to destroy what is left of Iraq’s diverse cultural and human landscape. Since ISIS has moved into northern Iraq, they have displaced over a million people and gone after the cultural heritage that makes Iraq such an irreplaceable locus of world history. They have destroyed mosques, burned thousands of books in the library at Mosul and, in the past few weeks, desecrated some of the country’s most significant ancient archeological sites. This week, Malihe Razazan speaks with Rijin ...

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Kareem Lotfy and Andeel: New Folder (2)

Egyptian artist Kareem Lotfy and cartoonist Andeel were prompted by Nile Sunset Annex in Cairo to collaborate remotely and put together a show of extremely large drawings, video art, sculpture, and online/offline presences. The exhibition presents presents a cynical take on “the magic of the ordinary,” mixing craftsmanship and intuition. The artists describe this show as "not an artistic struggle, and at some point it almost got itself called 'Incest.' Thank God it didn’t".

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Picture an Arab Man

Amine, Tunisia

Picture an Arab Man is a portrait series started in 2009 to capture young Arab men of diverse backgrounds. The conceptual aim of this portrait series is two-fold. First, to try to uncover and break the stereotypes placed upon the Arab male, while providing an alternative visual representation of that identity. Second, it is a celebration of  sensual beauty, an unexplored aspect of the identity of the contemporary Arab man, on the cusp of change in a society that reveres an out-dated form of hyper-masculinity.

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Quick Thoughts on the Saudi Transition and Beyond: A STATUS/الوضع conversation with Toby Jones

With the death of King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, there is much press speculation about change in the Kingdom. In this Quick Thoughts interview for Status, Toby Jones parses through these debates and highlights the more salient points, identifying how this transition should be analyzed beyond hyperbolic prognostication. Toby C. Jones is an associate professor of history at Rutgers University. He has lived and worked extensively in the Middle East, including several years in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. During 2008-2009 he was a fellow at Princeton University's Oil, Energy, and the Middle East project. From 2004 to early 2006 Jones worked as the Persian Gulf political ...

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Four Years On: No Easy Answers in Syria (Part 1)

[Syrian boys, whose family fled their home in Idlib, walk to their tent, at a camp for displaced Syrians, in the village of Atmeh. Photo by Muhammed Muheisen/AP Photo.]

[See Part II here] After four years of killing and mayhem, the truth remains that there are no easy answers in Syria. What might appear to be natural liberal solutions are not only lacking in realism, but are also embedded in half-baked world views about freedom, justice, development, international relations, and even human dignity—contested as some these terms might be. No consequential camp or political actor approximates the pure. No camp is immune to faults, even to despicable behavior. Those groups who escape that harsh realism—the heroic Syrian men and women who keep life moving on a daily basis outside the confines of militarism, violence, and blind ...

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What's Trending?: A STATUS/الوضع "Quick Thoughts" report by Laila Shereen Sakr

"What is Trending on Social Media in the Middle East?" is a regular feature of the "Quick Thoughts" special segment on Status. It offers insight into subjects that dominate online discussion in the Middle East. Every month, Laila Shereen Sakr, who monitors, collects, and analyzes social media trends for R-Shief, will provide an update on what's trending, and we will speak to her for every episode of Status. The data visualizations for this episode (above) illustrate the patterns of hashtag use in the Middle East pertaining to various topics in the month of February 2015. Created by R-Shief, these visualizations show the top hashtags for ...

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Yemen at Crossroads: An Interview with Activist Hisham Al-Omeisy

Yemen has grabbed the world's attention as the country’s political crisis appears to have been deepened with the Saudi-led military intervention. According to The Guardian and other news organizations, the U.S. is providing “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi forces in Yemen. In the absence of independent on-the-ground reporting by the major media outlets on the turmoil in Yemen, social media platforms are once again providing the much needed platform for ...

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New Texts Out Now: Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail

Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What was the idea behind putting together this collection of political cartoons?  Khalil Bendib (KB): It struck me at some point after the Arab Spring and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima—both following closely in the footsteps of the Wall Street meltdown—that epochal changes seemed to be finally happening all around us. The hubris of so many tyrannies, whether they be political, economic, or ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 24)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Saudi Prince: Iran ‘expanding occupation of Iraq’ Prince Turki al-Faisal states that Iran’s expanding occupation of Iraq is ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (March 24)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Turkey and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Turkey Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to turkey@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.] English Domestic Politics Is Gladio Still Alive in Turkey? Commenting on the recent debates on the “Cosmic rooms” of the Turkish Armed Forces, where top documents related to the ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (March 23)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to egypt@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations Over 32,800 Egyptians Return from Libya through Border Crossing-Security Official 32,800 Egyptians crossed the Saloum border since ...

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Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

For Kurdish Alevis, music serves as a mode of articulating and transmitting ideas about collective history, identity, and connections to the geography of former homes in the countryside of Anatolia. Our guest in Ottoman History Podcast Episode #187, Dr. Ozan Aksoy, has explored this crucial role of music within the Alevi community from a variety of angles throughout more than two decades as a musician and researcher. As one of the members of the critically-acclaimed Kardeş Türküler ensemble, Aksoy ...

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On Palestinian Cinema: An Interview with Film Director Najwa Najjar

Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian filmmaker based in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. She has worked in both documentary and fiction. Her debut film was the feature  Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009), and her second feature is. Eyes of a Thief (2014). The latter was selected as the Palestinian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 87th Academy Awards, but was not nominated. This interview with Najjar was conducted following the recent release of Eyes of a Thief ...

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"The Amir of Bahrain and the Beautiful Scottish Lady": Political Satire in the Arab World

The Arab world has a rich satirical tradition that has appeared in numerous forms throughout its history, ranging from satirical al-hija1 poetry of the pre-Islamic era to the satirical newspaper Abou Naddara Zarqa, published in late nineteenth-century Cairo by the Jewish Egyptian polyglot Yaqub Sanu. Throughout the twentieth century, satire flourished in theatrical form and the political cartoons of Ali Ferzat and Naji al-Ali as well as in the widespread circulation and popularity of political jokes ...

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Reading Mohamedou Ould Slahi’s Guantanamo Diary

“You are holding me because your country is strong enough to be unjust.” Guantánamo Diary, written by Mohamedou Ould Slahi,[i] depicts the continuing incarceration of this Mauritanian national in the military detention facility in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. The book tracks Ould Slahi’s multiple interrogations on three continents, his secret rendition to Jordan and then removal to Afghanistan, torture, degradation and isolation in Guantánamo, and his ongoing struggle to have his day in ...

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NEWTON in Focus: Critical Studies of Islam

Since September 2001, the term “Islam” has proliferated throughout Western media and popular culture. In recent months, there has been a particular level of hysteria to media and cultural discourses surrounding “Islam” in the West. Reports on ISIS, including debates about whether ISIS is “really” Islamic or not really Islamic; analyses of secularism and Islam in France, in the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attack; increased attention to the prevalence and viciousness of hate crimes against Muslims in the US, ...

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Syria Media Roundup (March 16)

[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 syria@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Inside Syria Snapshots from Syrian cities on the fourth anniversary of the uprising Syria Deeply asks Syrian citizens across the country how their lives and cities have changed ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (March 17)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Sandhurst and the Sheikhs A video report on the popularity of the British Royal Military Academy Sandhurst with Gulf ...

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