[This is a bi-weekly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance and Subversion in the Arab world and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the DARS Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each bi-weekly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com by Sunday night of every second week.]
News & Commentary
Resistance Recipes: Daily Struggles and Triumphs Under Occupation, by Noor Ali Mo’alla
The discourse around the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in film has shifted recently from the wider scope of the conflict to the stories of communities and individuals that are struggling in their day to day lives under Israeli occupation. “Resistance Recipes” builds upon this discourse by touching on an important aspect of Palestinian life: agriculture and food.
Gaza Rappers Persevere Despite Hamas Ban, by Lena Odgaard
The Gazan hip-hop group Palestinian Unit has been traveling across Europe, performing for a growing fan base. Although their popularity is on the rise, in Gaza they are banned. According to one of the group’s members, rapper Ayman Jamal Mghames, the official excuse of the Hamas-led government is that hip-hop is too “Western.” He has no doubt, however, that it is the messages in the group`s songs that the authorities find problematic.
Thousands of Palestinians Mark 65 Years Since Displacement, by Noah Browning
Palestinians clashed with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday during demonstrations to mark 65 years since what they call the Nakba (Catastrophe) when the creation of Israel`s caused many to lose their homes and become refugees. Thousands rallied in the main square of Ramallah, the Palestinians` de facto capital while Jerusalem remains under Israeli control, holding up placards with the names of villages depopulated in 1948 and old keys, symbols of lost homes.
Understanding the Palestinians’ Dilemma: From al-Araqib to Susiya, by Juan Cole
In a new short film, “From Al-Araqib to Susiya”, Adalah journeys between two Palestinian villages on either side of the Green Line. The residents of Al-Araqib and Susiya tell their stories and reveal the striking parallel between their struggles against Israel’s policies of forced displacement. In two different geo-political contexts, Israel suspends the rights of Palestinians and systematically dispossesses them of their land.
Nerds, Jocks & Conscientious Objectors: The Hidden World of Israel’s High School War Resisters, by Sarah Lazare
When the 19-year-old Israeli war resister Noam Gur attends weekly demonstrations against the occupation of Palestine, the soldiers who suppress the protestors aren’t just strangers in uniform. Among them are her former high school classmates, who have been conscripted into the Israeli army. Gur was supposed to be a soldier before she was out of her teens, like most Israeli youth. But instead she served 20 days in prison for refusing orders. Now an anti-occupation activist who supports other young people questioning military service, she is one of many young Israelis who are saying no to the army.
Egypt’s ‘rebels’ gather millions of signatures to protest Morsi, by Charlene Gubash
Once again, a handful of activists have managed to galvanize and inspire Egypt’s grumbling masses in a way no opposition political parties have been able to. Their concept is simple. They are inviting the Egyptian electorate to sign a petition expressing “no confidence” in President Mohamed Morsi, a move they hope will trigger early presidential elections.
Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution, by Kristin Deasy
Gathering in Tahrir Square to overthrow the government might seem so two years ago, but activists there are at it again with the opposition’s “Rebel” campaign, set to kick off in Cairo on Friday. Amid all the ruckus over the planned million-man rally, in which protesters are expected to demand a vote of no-confidence in the nation’s young presidency amid calls for snap elections, 20-something Egyptian journalist and award-winning activist Nora Younis explains why Egyptians refuse to be silenced.
Egypt: Echoes of the Revolution Far From Cairo, Shaimaa Khalil
When the 25 January revolution happened in Egypt in 2011, the capital Cairo became the focus of world attention. But sixty per cent of the country`s population live outside the big urban centres of Cairo, Alexandria and Port Said. In the latest in her series of reports, Shaimaa Khalil travels to Upper Egypt to examine the effects of the revolution two years on.
Between the Shopping Malls, Is There Space in Dubai For Dissent? by Philip Walter Wellman
More than 100 perceived dissidents have been arrested in the UAE since 2011 in an apparent campaign to prevent any hint of the Arab Spring unrest from spilling over into the country. The Gulf state is trying to preserve its reputation as one of the most stable places in the Middle East, but analysts caution that the heavy-handedness could backfire on the government.
Ali Ferzat’s Sarcastic Revolution, by Karen Leigh
Ali Ferzat is a renowned Syrian political cartoonist and the creator of more than 15,000 published drawings. In August 2011, Ferzat was reportedly dragged out of his car while driving in central Damascus by masked forces loyal to Bashar al-Assad’s regime. His fingers were systematically broken and he was left for dead by the side of an airport road. In 2012, TIME magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Yemeni Women Make Their Voices Heard, by Amina Semlali
Since the toppling of the long-time dictator, Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen has entered a historic transition in which Yemenis are discussing a new constitution through a National Dialogue. During the 2011 revolution, secularist and Islamist women alike spoke in a determined voice, demanding female civic, political and economic inclusion. It remains to be seen if women`s access to and participation in political, economic and civic spheres will improve in the long run.
Arab Spring Not Over Yet in Bahrain, by Rick Rowden
Democracy activists in Bahrain are growing increasingly impatient with continued autocratic rule at home and US support for repression. For over two years, a nonstop string of low-level protests have continued in the suburbs and smaller villages outside of Manama. In what protesters call "collective punishment," the police respond by tear-gassing and raiding homes of entire neighborhoods and arresting protesters on trumped-up charges and convicting them in sham trials.
Jordan: Arab Spring Clears Way for Press Freedoms, by Jamal Halaby
Since the Arab Spring uprisings, Jordan`s government has appeared to ease restrictions on freedom of expression, opinion and assembly. It has allowed protests to take place without seeking prior permission from the government. However, other constraints remain, including a ban on criticizing the king in public, punishable by up to three years in jail. King Abdullah II holds final authority in most matters.
Revolution in Bad Times, by Assef Bayat
Back in 2011, the Arab uprisings were celebrated as world-changing events that would re-define the spirit of our political times. The astonishing spread of these mass uprisings, followed soon after by the Occupy protests, left observers in little doubt that they were witnessing an unprecedented phenomenon—‘something totally new’, ‘open-ended’, a ‘movement without a name’; revolutions that heralded a novel path to emancipation. According to Alain Badiou, Tahrir Square and all the activities which took place there constituted the ‘communism of movement’; posited as an alternative to the conventional liberal-democratic or authoritarian state, this was a universal concept that heralded a new way of doing politics—a true revolution.
I Love Palestine
Last Friday, Palestinian activists approached tourists visiting Bethlehem`s Church of the Nativity with a unique offer: enjoy a free t-shirt as long as you put it on immediately. The message on the shirt: "I [heart] Palestine". The campaign aims “to raise awareness among the international visitors about the reality of Palestinian cause and people, and to save and protect our heritage and identity which faces many challenges from the Israeli occupation."
Amidst Political Chaos in Cairo, Artists Seize the Moment and Blossom, by Ursula Lindsey
The economic and political situation in Egypt is dire. But artists are freer than they have been in a long time to share their work with the public. And they’re seizing their chance.
“The After Revolution” Highlights Tunisian Art in the Wake of Arab Spring, by Sara Roffino
“The After Revolution,” sponsored by the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) as part of the World Nomads Tunisia Festival, is a celebratory — yet cautionary — look at the tiny North African country in the wake of the “Jasmine Revolution.” The three-venue exhibition includes graffiti at 5Pointz, photography at White Box, and a provocative exhibition of multimedia works at FIAF that engage with the growing presence of extreme Islamists in Tunisia.
Street Art of The Arab Spring
Mizna is participating in Northern Spark, a major Twin Cities all-night art festival on 8 June, 2013. It will be hosting a street art installation called “Underpass of the Eyes of Freedom” that will bring the spirit of the recent and ongoing Arab revolutions and uprisings to St. Paul.
Birzeit University Museum Exhibits Late Mustafa Hallaj Works
Birzeit University Museum, in cooperation with the Palestinian Art Court - Al Hoash, opened on May 18, 2013 an art exhibition for the late Palestinian artist Mustafa Hallāj (1938-2002), whose work substantially contributed to the emergence of resistance art landmarks.
La Danza Poetica 008 Creative Resistance: Arab Voices
May’s La Danza Poetica show crossed political and cultural borders and boundaries, as well as centuries. It featured voices that emerged in the Arab Spring.
Conferences & Events
Dangerous Ideas for Dangerous Times Festival, 31 May - 1 June 2013, London Borough of Camden, UK
Writing Revolution: The Voices From Tunis to Damascus, 28 May 2013, The Frontline Club, London, UK
Arab Spring as Seen by Women Philosophers, 31 May 2013, École Normale Supérieure de la rue d’Ulm, Paris, France
The Reality and the Prospects of Gender Equality After “the Arab Spring,” 30-31 May 2013, Mohammed I University, Oujda, Morocco
Middle East Studies Center Summer Institute: The Arab Uprisings, 12-14 July 2013, Portland State University, USA