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كتب الاطفال Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale Sympathy for the Devil: Palestine’s Tragic Collaborators Syria Media Roundup Progressive Struggles against Insidious Capitalist Individualism: Interview with Angela Davis
[The cover of Amjad Nasser's novel,

When Your Name is on the Blacklist

[The Gallatin School of New York University invited Amjad Nasser, one of the major poets of the Arab world, to inaugurate its Gallatin Global Writers series on 30 September. On 27 September, US Homeland Security at Heathrow, London, ...

[Members of “The Iraqi Delegation” to Toledo—from left to right: Sami Michael, David Semah, Ella Shohat, Shimon Ballas, and Yosef Shiloach. Image from Ella Shohat’s personal archive]

A Voyage to Toledo: Twenty-Five Years After the 'Jews of the Orient and Palestinians' Meeting

On 3-5 July 1989, an unusual gathering, which went largely unreported in the media, took place in Toledo, Spain—“Judíos orientales y palestinos. Un diálogo para la paz árabe-israelí” (“Jews of the Orient and Palestinians: A ...

[Fikirtepe. Photo by Duygu Parmaksizoglu.]

Evden Emlaga Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekulasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Donusum

Evden Emlağa Fikirtepe: Rant ve Spekülasyon Ekseninde Kentsel Dönüşüm  Bir şehir antropoloğunun saha notları Saha çalışmasına başladığım 2013 yılının Mart ayında Fikirtepe bölgesi, kentsel dönüşüm macerasında iki yılı çoktan geride ...

Tadween Spotlight: Gaza

This summer, Gaza dominated the headlines. A rising death toll at the expense of Israel’s weeks-long Operation Protective Edge, a death toll that currently stands at over 2,000 killed, once again brought attention to the politics ...


Khaled Takreti: Modern Life

[Khaled Takreti,

Syrian artist Khaled Takreti has spent the greater part of his twenty-year career exploring a personal history that stretches between Beirut, where he was born in 1964; Damascus, where he lived before moving to the United States in his early thirties; and Paris, where he has resided since 2004. The episodic nature of the painter’s oeuvre dates back to the 1990s, when he began to address self-reflexive themes through autobiographical composites. The culled figures of his canvases are based on his family and friends, and often include self-portraits; otherwise, fictionalized moments allude to exhumed apprehension or desire. As protagonists and objects recur from one ...

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Samih al-Qasim: The Last Train

[Image of Letter from Rashid Hussein to Samih al-Qasim, May 18, 1970]

[The late Palestinian poet, Samih al-Qasim, was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a compelling orator and correspondent. The collection of his letters with Mahmoud Darwish is a uniquely great accomplishment of modern epistolary literature. Al-Qasim's correspondence with Rashid Hussein is slim by comparison, yet this 1990 "letter"—addressed on the thirteenth anniversary of Hussein's tragic death—stands out.] Rashid, my brother — Believe it or not, but after all this time separated from one another, you may find it hard to recognize me when you stand there on the station platform, waiting ...

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ABOUNADDARA’s Take on Images in the Syrian Revolution: A Conversation between Charif Kiwan and Akram Zaatari (Part Two)

[The Abounaddara Logo. Image from author]

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Revolutionary Street Art: Complicating the Discourse

[Image from Hossam El-Hamalawy]

The graffiti and street art of revolutionary Egypt have been researched many times over by now. Journalists and scholars have explored the phenomenon in its many aspects—as evolving visual text, as political rhetoric and as an act of protest in its own right. The claims about the protest street art and graffiti that have proliferated across public Egyptian walls since 2011 have been many, and include: the spread of revolutionary graffiti in Egypt was a sign and act of citizens reclaiming public space from the regime; street art worked to raise awareness and build community and solidarity among people; street art served as a tool by which citizens could (re)claim agency, ...

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Djerba, Tunisia: Garbage Disposal, the Environmental Crisis, and the Awakening of Ecoconsciousness

[An Italian restaurant-owner chains herself to a traffic sign to protest the burning of trash in front of her property in Djerba. Image via mosaiquefm.]

Djerba is an island in the south of Tunisia, often referred to as “the island of dreams.” In Homer’s Odyssey, Djerba is the enchanting land of the lotus-eaters; the land whose flowers charmed the companions of Odysseus and made them forget all thoughts of return. Today Djerba is one of Tunisia’s top tourist destinations. Home to al-Ghriba, Africa’s oldest synagogue, the island annually attracts hundreds of Jewish pilgrims from all over the world. Djerba also boasts fifteen centers of thalassotherapy and is branding itself more and more as a bio-friendly destination. For the past few weeks, however, tension has been mounting in the island over what seems to be the worst ...

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On SJP’s Freedom to Organize: An Open Letter from CUNY Faculty

[Students for Justice in Palestine logo.]

[The following letter, signed by faculty from sixteen colleges of the City University of New York (CUNY), was released on 1 September 2014. For more information, or to sign on as a CUNY faculty signatory or an affiliate supporter, click here.] As members of the CUNY faculty, we are writing this open letter to administrators throughout the CUNY system regarding principles of freedom of speech and assembly, and how such freedoms apply to students involved in organizing with Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at several of the CUNY colleges. We have viewed with great concern instances of unequal and unfair treatment of SJP by members of the CUNY administration over ...

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One Century after World War I and the Balfour Declaration: Palestine and Palestine Studies

[Following the disturbances in Tel Aviv in November 1945, a Palestinian constable acts as an interpreter for the officer in charge of a British Army patrol on the streets and warns people against remaining in the area. Image by No 1 Army Film & Photographic Unit, Meek F (Sgt)]

We meet today to celebrate the second anniversary of the establishment of the SOAS Centre for Palestine Studies. I am honoured to have been asked to deliver this first Annual Lecture. It is deeply gratifying to be addressing you on this occasion in the name of a sister institution—Institute for Palestine Studies (IPS)—which has just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary as an independent, private, non-partisan, non-profit, public service research institute. We at IPS look forward to long years of innovative cooperation between our two institutions. Like other centres of Palestine studies, we are both researching the same phenomenon: the ever-growing accumulation of debris ...

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From Containment to Counterinsurgency in the Gaza Strip

[Destruction in Gaza, 2009. Image by Wikimedia Commons User Gloucester2Gaza.]

Israel’s recently terminated “Operation Protective Edge” against the Gaza Strip was beyond destructive. Little is left standing in Shuja’iya, Khoza’a, Beit Hanoun, and Rafah’s east, where photos reveal a tableau of grey ruin. Israel shelled hospitals, targeted ambulances, killed paramedics, leaving the health sector strained beyond the breaking point. As Israeli munitions rocked graveyards, even the dead rested uneasy. According to one development NGO, the war simply demolished the economy, “turning factories into piles of rubble and destruction,” with over 180 leveled since the assault began on 7 July, and billions of dollars in damages. The power plant is ruined, tens ...

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After The Ceasefire: Searching for Accountability

[View from Nablus side of Howwarah checkpoint people waiting to travel south. Image by Harry Pockets.]

On 26 August 2014, Israel and Palestinian resistance groups  entered into a long-term ceasefire agreement. The agreement looks almost exactly like the November 2012 ceasefire, including a lack of implementation mechanisms. The vague terms leave to question whether the Gaza Strip and its besieged population will be adequately rehabilitated. Worse, if the parities fail to make the agreement more precise, it will be no more than a holding position until the next Israeli assault.   The humanitarian toll of the conflict, borne almost entirely by the Palestinian population in the Gaza Strip, has been devastating. By the end of its fifty-three day campaign, Israeli ...

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Message From Human Rights Defender Maryam al-Khawaja

[Maryam al-Khawaja. Image from Flickr/andycarvin]

[This statement of concern was published by the Bahrain Center for Human Right on 29 August, 2014, shortly after Maryam al-Khawaja was detained in Bahrain].  The Bahrain Center for Human rights expresses its grave concern over denying the human rights defender and co-director of the Gulf Center for Human rights, Maryam al-Khawaja, entry to her native country Bahrain. Maryam al-Khawaja decided to fly to Bahrain to visit her father, the detained human rights defender, Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja who began an open hunger strike on 26 August, 2014. Al-Khawaja's health has been rapidly deteriorating. Upon arrival to Bahrain airport hours earlier, Maryam ...

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نفس الكتاب".. جرحٌ تعجز الكتابة عن لَأْمِه"

[شترهاكس

المراسلات دوائر لا تكتمل بغير العداوة أو الموت، تُشبه حركتها خفقان القلب ومداعبة اليد لكلب الزّمن، يجري لاهثا خلف حلول الطّريق، دون أنْ يجد الماء في البئر. هكذا يؤوب الجنس الرّسائليّ دوماً إلى صيغة من صيغ العطش: الرّسالة الأولى، ثمّ ماذا؟ الرّسالة الأخيرة، ما الحلّ؟ أيّا يكن الحلّ المفترض، فإنّ كلّا من عبد الكبير الخطيبي (1938-2009) وجاك حسّون (1936-1999)، على مدار خمس سنوات، بين 29 يوليوز/يوليو 1980 و17 مارس/آذار 1985، لم يكُفّا عن تبادل رسائل متقاطعة بلغت 45 رسالة، عبَرت مكاتب البريد في باريس والرّباط ونيويورك وطنجة والإسكندريّة والهرهورة...، وساءلت بصرامة معرفيّة، ودُعابة أدبيّة ونوستالجيّة أحياناً، رموز الكتابة الدينية في التّراثين العبريّ والإسلاميّ، وعلامات النّزاع ...

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Prominent Human Rights Lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam Dies

[Photo from Mada Masr]

Ahmed Seif al-Islam, one of the leading human rights lawyers in Egypt died on Wednesday after slipping into a coma following open-heart surgery earlier this month, the family announced in a statement. Involved in political activism since his student days, Seif went into law and became a human rights defender. Seif was imprisoned for five years in 1983, during which time he was reportedly tortured. Seif leaves behind his wife, university professor and activist Laila Soueif, a son and two daughters who have all followed his footsteps into political activism, and a grandson. Seif’s esteem as a human rights defender is uncontested across the political ...

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Samih al-Qasim: I Will Engrave Our Names on the Wind

[While well-known as a poet, the late Samih al-Qasim was also a talented essayist, writing regularly in the Arabic-language press of Palestine/Israel. He was also a remarkable public speaker and letter writer. Over a period of two years—from May 1986 to May 1988—al-Qasim exchanged a series of extraordinary letters with Mahmoud Darwish. The letters are monuments to poetry and language and also friendship and love and, not surprisingly considering the authors, contain some of the most moving ...

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Samih al-Qasim: Two Poems

  1. “RAFAH’S CHILDREN” (1971) To the one who digs his path through the wounds of millions To he whose tanks crush all the roses in the garden Who breaks windows in the night Who sets fire to a garden and museum and sings of freedom. Who stomps on songbirds in the public square. Whose planes drop bombs on childhood’s dream. Who smashes rainbows in the sky.   Tonight, the children of the impossible roots have an announcement for you, Tonight, the children of Rafah say: “We have never ...

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من إنجيل العراق الضائع

عراقنا الذي في الهباءاتِ، ليَتَقَدّسِ اسْمُكَ، ليأتِ جحيمكَ، لتكُنْ مشيئتُكَ، كما في السماء كذلك على الأرض. موتنا كفافنا أعطِنا كلّ يومٍ. ولا تغفر لنا خياناتنا، لأننا لا نغفر لمن خاننا. ولا تدخلنا في التجربة، فقد تعبنا. . . آمين  

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Khalil Sweileh: from Barbarians' Paradise

[The following excerpts are from Khalil Sweileh’s Barbarian’s Paradise (Jannat al-barabira) (Cairo: Dar Al-‘Ayn, 2014). The book is structured as a journal chronicling life in Damascus; the entries start in April 2012 and end in December 2013. The narrator moves through Damascus, both present day and past, describing scenes of daily life, both the mundane and the newsworthy, cataloguing the destruction and suffering of the country and its people, and recording the evolution of the conflict. Woven into ...

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Last Week on Jadaliyya (August 25-31)

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. An Open Letter Support for Steven Salaita and the UIUC Boycott Continues to Grow الخطر السياسي القادم ما بعد العدوان على غزة Antisemitism and Salaita Who Are the Insurgents and Counterinsurgents? No, Israel Does Not Have ...

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New Texts (NEWTON) Compilation by Category For Fall Semester

As we head back into the school year, Jadaliyya would like to remind you of some of the most creative and groundbreaking works in Middle East studies that we have featured in our New Texts Out Now (NEWTON) Page during the year 2013-2014. Whether you are an instructor thinking about texts for the fall or a student doing research, you will find a wealth of interviews about and excerpts from works across a range of topics and disciplines.  You might also want to check out our Essential ...

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Italian-Palestinian Relations: What Went Wrong?

Throughout July, Zionist groups carried out a number of attacks against Palestine solidarity activists and Palestinian institutions in Italy. They attacked and abused seven young Italians in Rome. One of the victims was accosted merely for wearing a kaffiyeh during the first day of the latest Israeli escalation on the Gaza Strip. Some gun shots were fired at the Palestinian diplomatic residence. Italian political institutions and media have neither condemned nor commented on these worrying events, which ...

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Sharing the Nile Waters According to Needs

A ministerial-level meeting in Khartoum including Egypt, Ethiopia, and Sudan to establish mechanisms for further investigations of the consequences of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) downstream has concluded, on Tuesday 26 August. The gathering took place two months after Egypt and Ethiopia had issued ajoint communique that stressed the importance of the contested water of the Nile River for the two countries and outlined general principles for future moves to resolve disagreements. The ...

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Cities Media Roundup (August 1-30)

[This is a monthly roundup of news articles, and other materials related to urban issues in the region, and beyond. It does not reflect the views of the Cities Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send recommendations for inclusion in the Cities Media Roundup to cities@jadaliyya.com, mentioning "Roundup" in the subject line. We also welcome your submissions to the Cities Page: please check details on cities.jadaliyya.com] War and Cities Isreali Strikes Destroy Urban Infrastructure in ...

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Beard Phobia

[Photos and text by Mohamed Ali eddin.] During the 25 January 2011 revolution, Egyptians thought they were united against President Mubarak’s regime. They believed in the power of Tahrir Square, in how the square gathered Islamists, liberals, and leftists together against injustice and dictatorship. People dared to imagine that they would achieve freedom, better economic conditions, and justice. Instead, two years later, after the Islamists under President Morsi unilaterally pushed through a new ...

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On the Margins Roundup (August)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Mali, South Sudan, Somalia, Mauritania, Djibouti, and Comoros Islands and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the On the Margins Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each month's roundup to info@jadaliyya.com.]  Mauritania اعتقال رئيس المبادرة الطلابية بمطار نواكشوط  A Mauritanian student is arrested at the airport, attempting to board a flight to ...

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An Open Letter

At 4 p.m. today, I celebrated with my colleagues my last meal in prison.  I have decided—when I saw my father fighting against death locked in a body that was no longer subject to his will—to start an open hunger strike until I achieve my freedom. The well-being of my body is of no value while it remains subject to an unjust power in an open-ended imprisonment not controlled by the law or any concept of justice. I've had the thought before, but I put it aside. I did not want to place yet another ...

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