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 Catastrophe-s Call for Papers Olivier Roy on Laicite as Ideology, the Myth of 'National Identity' and Racism in the French Republic Bara Sarraj Arabian Peninsula Roundup

Not Much Special in UN Middle East Missions

Of the twenty-two members of the Arab League, no less than nine have been assigned a Special Advisor, Special Coordinator, Special Envoy, or Special Representative by the Secretary-General of the United Nations. Their purpose, broadly ...

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إعادة ابتكار فلسطين: السينما من أجل السلام في جنين

[ هذه المادة هي جزء من ملف خاص بعنوان "كبرت النكبة". وهو ملف متنوّع حول نكبة فلسطين ستقوم "جدلية" بنشره على مدار الأسبوعين القادمين.] بمبادرةٍ من مخرج الأفلام الوثائقية الألماني ماركوس فيتر، وبدعم مهم من وزارة الشؤون ...

[Cover of Ronald Grigor Suny, “'They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else': A History of the Armenian Genocide

The Armenian Genocide and the Politics of Knowledge

Ronald Grigor Suny, “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. In this centennial year since the Armenian Genocide, countless conferences, ...

ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (March-April 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]  English Articles        ISIS Threatens Twitter ...


New Texts Out Now: Vijay Prashad, Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation

[Cover of

Vijay Prashad, editor, Letters to Palestine: Writers Respond to War and Occupation. London and New York: Verso, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection? Vijay Prashad (VP): Slowly, surely, the apparent consensus around US support for Israel’s occupation of Palestine seems to be breaking. There was a time when it was impossible to have a rational conversation about Israeli policy in the US, with large sections of people taking the view that criticism of Israel was off-limits. My friend Alexander Cockburn used to say that censure of Israeli policy was the third rail of US politics. Only on the very margins of US life was such a political ...

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Too Much Memory? Remembering and Forgetting at the Crossroads of the Centenary of the Armenian Genocide

[Forced march through Harput (Kharpert), April 1915. Image via Wikimedia Commons.]

Indeed suffering in common unifies more than joy does. Where national memories are concerned, griefs are of more value than triumphs, for they impose duties and require a common effort.[1] These words from Ernest Renan’s iconic essay of 1882, “Qu'est-ce qu’une Nation?” offer a piercing diagnosis of how some small nations, which have been historic targets of persecution and violence and therefore know that they can easily disappear, have managed to generate and maintain their collective identities during the violent period that was the twentieth century. Painful memory, usually in large doses, has provided a remarkably effective if unhealthy boundary maintenance ...

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Turkey Media Roundup (April 21)

[Commemoration of the 24 April 2010 anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Istanbul. Image via thomas koch / Shutterstock.com]

[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 June Elections How Does the AKP Pick Its Candidates? Mustafa Akyol argues that loyalty and obedience to President Erdoğan, rather than any political merit, have been the primary criteria by which the AKP has selected its candidates. Political Tension Rising in Turkey Semih İdiz claims that recent violent events in Turkey have been ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (April 20)

[Army truck in Tahrir Square, Cairo. Photo by Ramy Raoof via Flickr]

[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 US Relations with Egypt: One Problem at a Time H.A. Hellyer writes, “American-Egyptian relations are structured in a piecemeal fashion, lacking strategic thinking and planning for long-term stability.” Sisi to Visit Cyprus and Spain Later in April – Presidency Aswat Masriya reports that al-Sisi’s visit to ...

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Nikhil Chopra's Use like Water

Use like water is a nine-day performance by Indian artist Nikhil Chopra. It starts as a journey he undertakes through the deserts and seaside areas of the UAE and Oman and culminates with a performance, re-presenting his travels to audiences in Sharjah during the biennial's opening week. Chopra explores the layers beneath the region's shiny veneer by focusing on nature and how relationships developed over the centuries. The performance's surprising ending is also meant to send a message as to how things have developed in the UAE, a country he lived in as a child. Medrar.TV met with Chopra during the biennial's opening week and spoke to him about the journey he ...

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Black Feminism Is: Reflections on the Black Feminist Think Tank Symposium

Introduction On 20-21 March 2015, hundreds gathered at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor to examine black feminism as an intellectual and political practice and to chart a way forward. As faculty, students, and activists from around the United States and beyond, we shared our frustrations with the isolation and invisibility (or, in some cases, notoriety) we have experienced as black women and women of color in higher education. Twenty years after the path-breaking conference “Black Women in the Academy: Defending Our Name, 1894-1994” held at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994, our situation and the position of our field of inquiry have not fundamentally ...

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Reflections on Public Spaces in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary Tunis

[Cover of Chiara Sebastiani,

Chiara Sebastiani, Una città, una rivoluzione. Tunisi e la riconquista dello spazio pubblico. Cosenza: Luigi Pellegrini Editore, 2014. Collective, Au centre de Tunis: Géographies de l’espace public après une Révolution, available online here. The question of public space has been among the most discussed ones during the short and often tragic season of the so-called "Arab Spring." From Cairo’s Tahrir Square to the streets of Damascus, researchers and commentators have examined the logics of mobilization, occupation, transformation, and re-appropriation of the symbolic meaning of space and resistance to repression. These logics are indicators of a possible ...

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إدواردو غاليانو: عدوّ النسيان

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”حين أموت ستبقى الريح، ستواصل بقاءها“ إدواردو غاليانو - من كتاب المعانقات خطف الموت إدواردو غاليانو، الذي وصفه الروائي جون بيرغر بأنه "عدوّ الكذب واللامبالاة، وقبل كل شيء عدوّ النسيان، والذي بفضله ستتذكر البشرية جرائم الغرب". كتب إدواردو غاليانو مرة "إن الكتابة هي ضد النسيان، الذي يمارس القتل الحقيقي".وأعتقد أن كتب غاليانو، الذي مات غير مكترث بالموت في قرن الريح الأكثر عصفاً، تُقدِّم ترياقاً سحرياً لمعالجة مرض النسيان الناجم عن فيروس مُصنّع في مخابر السلطات المتشابكة والعابرة للبلدان، وستظل الأجيال تعود إلى كاتب احتفى بالتناقضات وبكل ما هو هامشيّ أو مهمّش، والذي صار، بعد موته، "ابن جميع العصور"، كما لو أن غاليانو يصف نفسه في رثائه ...

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Twenty Wheelchairs Roam Downtown Cairo in Mission Roosevelt

Twenty wheelchairs driving through the city streets can feel like an invasion, says Diane Bonnot, the co-creator of Mission Roosevelt. As part of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), Bonnot along with Iacopo Fulgi adapted their performance to downtown Cairo's streets. And through an open call, 20 participants were invited to complete a mission, interacting along the way with the streets, traffic and passersby. We followed the group as they started their mission and spoke to some of the participants about their experience for the first time with a wheelchair. We also spoke to Bonnot and Fulgi about the show which they designed and have been adapting to ...

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عن ما بعد الثورة وقبلها: مقابلة للوضع بين سنان أنطون وبلال فضل

في هذه المقابلة يلقي الكاتب المعارض والمشهور بلال فضل الضوء على الطريقة التي أسهم بها المفكرون والمنشقون في الخطاب الثوري والخطاب المضاد للثورة.تتضمن المقابلة أدناه خمسة أجزاء تستطيعون أن تنقروا على كل منها بشكل منفصل.    بلال فضل بلال فضل كاتب مصري ولد في القاهرة عام 1973. سبق و أن عمل محررا وكاتبا في كبريات الصحف المصرية والعربية. كتب عشرات السيناريوهات لمسلسلات وأفلام مصرية و لديه العديد من الكتب آخرها "فتح بطن التاريخ" (دار الشروق 2014).

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The Joint List: The Fetishism of Representation and the Illusion of Influence

[The Joint List at the consultations process at President Reuven Rivlin's official resident, after the 2015 elections. Image by Mark Nayman

In the recent Israeli elections, the parties representing the Palestinian citizens united in one list: the Joint List. It has attracted more external enthusiasm than internal. Authors like Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury praised the list, endorsed it, and even suggested it as a model for elsewhere in the Arab world. Yet, Arab voters—Netanyahu’s alarmism notwithstanding—did not go to the polls in droves. Lacking any element of fierce inter-party competition, the movement of voters on election day was slow. It seemed to reflect the general mood of Arab disenchantment with Israeli formal politics, and skepticism with respect to its utility.  The general skepticism is ...

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New Texts Out Now: Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine

[Cover of Ran Greenstein,

Ran Greenstein, Zionism and its Discontents: A Century of Radical Dissent in Israel/Palestine. London: Pluto Press, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Ran Greenstein (RG): History is frequently written from a skewed perspective, as we tend to look at developments in retrospect, knowing already what their outcomes were. A better approach would be to look at events and responses as they unfolded in time, from the point of view of actors located within their own context, rather than from the vantage point of the present. None of the political actors discussed in this book managed to achieve their primary goals, but all of them made valuable ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (April 21)

[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 Falcon Eye: The Israeli-installed mass civil surveillance system of Abu Dhabi The United Arab Emirates employs an ...

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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 capacity of urban public services to handle this new demographic pressure. These public services, heavily subsidised for reasons of social stability, are in a state of chronic crisis, and are unable to meet user demand. This has led to sharp socio-spatial inequalities, ...

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Syria Media Roundup (April 20)

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 Syrian refugees transform used tents into vibrant works of art Syrian refugees use art as a form of expression and symbolism of the loss and displacement caused ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (April 13-19)

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 Joint List: The Fetishism of Representation and the Illusion of Influence Dwekh Nawsha: A Christian-Iraqi Militia Cairo: The Myth of a City on the Verge of Explosion Setups and Slander against Morocco's Dissidents: Sex, Drugs, ...

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Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat's Egypt: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Abdullah Al-Arian and Anthony Alessandrini

Abdullah Al-Arian, a founding editor of Jadaliyya's Critical Currents in Islam page, discusses his new book, Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat's Egypt, and how it speaks to popular Islamic activism in Egypt today. The interview below includes three parts that you can click on separately. Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of History at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service in Qatar. He is the author of Answering the Call: Popular Islamic Activism in Sadat's ...

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National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference Endorses Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release was issued by The National Associate of Chicana and Chicano Studies on 19 April 2015] The National Association of Chicana and Chicano Studies Annual Conference took place in San Francisco from April 15-18, 2015. The business meeting, open to all members, took place on Saturday evening at the close of the conference. At the business meeting, the membership gave unanimous support to the Resolution to Support the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions. In ...

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من اجل مجتمع مدني فاعل في مصر: مقابلة للوضع بين لينا عطا الله وجاسر عبد الرازق

نشرت جريدة الأهرام إعلاناً في تموز\يوليو 2014 من وزارة التضامن الاجتماعي يتضمن تهديداً لجميع منظمات المجتمع المدني مضمونه تقنين وضعها طبقاً لقانون الجمعيات الأهلية، أو مواجهة التحرك القانوني ضدها والإغلاق. وجاء هذا التهديد في سياق من التضييق المستمر على الحريات ومختلف أنواع المعارضة للنظام. تلاه حملة مستمرة من التشويه للمنظمات الحقوقية التي يمثل عملها تحدياً للدولة وانتهاكها للحقوق. وفي كانون الأول\ديسمبر2014، قررت المبادرة المصرية للحقوق الشخصية، وهي من أهم المنظمات الحقوقية في مصر، تقنين أوضاعها ...

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Academics for Palestine Ireland supports the organisers of the Southampton conference

Academics for Palestine, a group of Irish academics – from both the Republic of Ireland and the North of Ireland – set up to create awareness and build the academic boycott of Israel campaign in Ireland, expresses its support for the organisers of the International Law and the State of Israel: Legitimacy, Responsibility and Exceptionalism conference which was due to take place on 17-19 April 2015, at the University of Southampton, UK. The University blocked the conference citing reasons of ‘health and ...

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نقابة الصحفيين: احتكار بالقانون

يواجه شادي سمحان ذات المعضلة التي يعاني منها أكثر من 500 صحفي أردني محرومين من حق الانضمام لنقابة تدافع عنهم وتنظم عملهم، وغير معترف بهم كصحفيين أمام القانون. سمحان عمل لعشرة سنوات كمراسل صحفي في صحف «الشاهد، الأنباط، الإعلام البديل، الإخبارية، الهلال»، وفي عام 2011 أنشأ موقعه الإلكتروني «عمان جو». في حزيران 2014 مثُل أمام المدعي العام كشاهد، ورفض كصحفي الكشف عن مصدره الذي اتهمته الشركة التي يعمل فيها بإفشاء أسرار الشركة. وما كان من المدّعي العام إلا أن وجّه إليه تهمة شهادة الزور باعتباره منتحلا لصفة ...

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Dwekh Nawsha: A Christian-Iraqi Militia

[Text by Sinan Antoon, photos by Andy Spyra from November 2014 and March 2015.] The fall of Mosul and other towns on the Nineveh plain in northern Iraq to ISIS this past summer was a monumental tragedy. It forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee their homes. Iraqi Christians, together with Yazidis and Shi‘a, and even Sunnis who opposed ISIS were priority targets. The number of Christian Mosulites was estimated at sixty thousand back in 2003. It was much higher in previous decades. But ...

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On Developments in Yarmouk: France 24 Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

In this interview with France 24, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani speaks about the situation in the Yarmouk district of Damascus. Yarmouk has historically been the primary center of Palestinian life in Syria, and much of it was recently seized by the Islamic State movement. Rabbani discusses the situation of the Palestinian community in Syria, the failure of Palestinian leaderships to serve their interests, and also the efforts of the UN Special Envoy for Syria. 

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It’s a Kind of a Domesticated Wilderness: An Interview with Abbas Akhavan

People ask me, “What does it mean?” And I say: “It doesn’t mean anything.” Evidently, the work of Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan carries connotations, pointing the viewer to a certain direction. Yet the artist refrains from pedagogic messages, thus encouraging viewers to form their own opinions. At the core of Akhavan’s practice, which he defines as a declination of possible answers to the same problem, lies the idea of the sacred—the respect of nature’s welcoming tenderness, blended with a menacing ...

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