[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
Pregnant Women Protest, by Senada Sokollu
A new round appears to have opened in the fight between religious and secular interests in Turkey. Turkish citizens took to the streets after an Islamic pundit described appearing heavily pregnant in public as immoral. "It`s my body. It`s my decision." Under this motto, hundreds of women - many of them very pregnant - took to the streets in Istanbul, Izmir and other Turkish cities. Non-pregnant people joined as well, with some men stuffing balloons under their shirts in a show of solidarity. On Twitter, the protest was organized under the hashtag #direnhamile (pregnant resistance).
Performance Art Becomes a Vehicle for Protest, by Hatice Utkan
Protesting events via performance art has become one of the new faces of the art. Performance art has been used in the Gezi Park protests, most famously in Erdem Gündüz’s “standing man” demonstration. Recently, rapper Mos Def has attracted attention to Washington’s continued use of Guantanamo Bay to incarcerate terrorism suspects by staging a video depicting himself struggling and weeping while undergoing force-feeding procedures.
Hundreds Protest Bedouin Displacement in the Negev, by Matt Surrusco
Demonstrations against the Prawer-Begin Plan continue on a second ‘Day of Rage’ with hundreds demonstrating in the Negev, and standing off with police.
Changing Sides Doesn’t Always Make for Transformation – Just Look at Egypt, by Erica Chenoweth
Scholars of civil resistance often argue that one key mechanism for change is defections. In reviewing the historical record of more than 100 civil resistance campaigns between 1900 and 2006, Maria Stephan and Erica Chenoweth found that security-force defections dramatically increase the chances for nonviolent resistance to succeed. Such changes of course among elites can go a long way toward bringing about the will of the people. But recent events in Libya, Syria and Egypt suggest that defections can also carry considerable risks for nonviolent campaigns.
Egypt’s Long Revolution: Knowing Your Enemy, by Sameh Naguib and Rosemary Bechler
An interview with Sameh Naguib, a leading member of the Revolutionary Socialists in Egypt on Egypt, the Arab Spring and revolution today.
Tahrir Taken, Some Egyptians Look For ‘Third Square’ to Resist Islamists and Army, by Robert Mackey
As hundreds of thousands of Egyptians crammed into dueling rallies in different parts of Cairo on Friday, activists who mistrust both the military and the Islamists were left wondering how best to register their disgust. Many dissenters avoided the streets and mocked both sides from afar online.
The Egyptians Reset Their Revolution, by Hedi Larbi
Whether or not Egypt’s first-ever democratically elected president, Mohammad Morsi, was pushed aside by a military coup may be debatable, but it is undeniable that the June 30 protest that triggered his ouster was the largest mass movement in Egypt’s history. It was also glaring testimony to the failure of the first phase of Egypt’s revolution. Politicians, generals and jurists could not rise above myopic concerns to build the bedrock for a new republic.
Egypt’s Three Revolutions, by Thomas L. Friedman
Egypt has actually had three revolutions since early 2011, and when you add them all up, you can discern a message about what a majority of Egyptians are seeking. Egypt’s first revolution was to get rid of the dead hand, the second revolution was to get rid of the deadheads and the third revolution was to escape from the dead end.
From Inside the Brotherhood Nahda Sit-In, by Mohamad Salama Adam
This is an account of the sit-in of the Muslim Brotherhood near Cairo University by Nahda Square in Giza. The sit-in has been demanding the reinstatement of deposed President Mohamed Morsi, ousted by the military on July 3.
Tamarod Calls on Arab League to Support its ‘Squares Without Weapons’ initiative, by Egypt Independent
The Tamarod Movement has called on the League of Arab States to support the initiative it is launching under the title “Squares without Weapons,” which will ensure that there are no weapons in the sit-ins in Rabaa al-Adaweya and Nahda squares where supporters of ousted President Mohamed Morsy are staging protests.
Revolution 2.0 – How One Google Exec + Facebook Sparked an Uprising in Egypt, by Mohamed A. El-Erian
A review of Wael Ghonim’s book Revolution 2.0: The Power of the People is Greater than the People in Power.
Women at Forefront of Egypt’s Revolutionary Wave, by Nervana Mahmoud
The story of Islamists and women in Egypt can shed some light on the current identity war and the great societal rift. The future of Egypt will depend on the progress of its women. Reform is a must, not just for the state, but also for all political parties.
Court Acquits Tunisian Femen Member of Defamation Charges, by Al-Akhbar
A court on July 29 dismissed one case against Tunisian Femen activist Amina Sboui in which she was tried for contempt and defamation, her lawyer said, calling the verdict "a victory." But Ghazi Mrabet said Sboui still faces a pepper spray charge which carries a prison sentence of between six months and five years. She could also be charged with desecrating a cemetery for which she could be jailed for up to two years if found guilty.
Tunisia: Killing of Leftist Leader Brings Secularists on to the Streets, by Peter Beaumont
Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Tunisia over the murder of a left-wing secular opposition leader in a shooting outside his home in Tunis. Mohammed Brahmi had been a loud critic of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party. The shooting is the second assassination in six months of an opposition figure after February`s murder of Chokri Belaïd, also a Popular Front coalition member.
Islamists Rally to Defend Tunisian Government After Assassination, by Tarek Amara
Thousands of protesters massed in the Tunisian capital on Friday, a day after the assassination of an opposition politician, while shops and banks closed their doors and all flights in and out of the country were cancelled. Mohamed Brahmi was shot dead on Thursday in the second such political killing this year. The protest followed calls by the secular opposition for street rallies to topple the government led by the Islamist Ennahda Party.
Hamas Concerned About Tamarod Movement in Gaza, by Abeer Ayyoub
Hamas is worried that Egypt`s Tamarod experience will be replicated in Gaza, particularly after pages began emerging on social media sites calling for similar protests in the Palestinian territories. Fearful of these movements, Hamas had moved to stifle any public gatherings, regardless of the reason.
Nonviolent Palestinian Protesters Fear Failure of Peace Talks, by Shlomi Eldar
Eldar writes about the frustration felt by members of the Popular Committees on the eve of the resumption of negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians because of the feeling they have that the amiable path, the nonviolent path, has failed.
Kuwait Protest Movement Shifts Focus Ahead of Election, by Sylvia Westall
In late 2012 Kuwaitis staged some of the largest demonstrations ever seen in the country, saying Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah`s last-minute changes to the voting system put opposition politicians at a disadvantage. In the run-up to this year`s election under the new rules, the streets are empty, but dozens of activists have been charged, mainly for insulting the ruling emir who brought in the voting changes using executive powers.
Bahrain’s Revolutionaries Show Creativity in Banners, Slogans, by As-Safir
The demonstrations in Bahrain have not stopped in two and a half years, when the Arab Spring reached that small island in February 2011. The slogans raised in the demonstrations have been highly creative and summarized the people’s suffering, especially after the harsh crackdown that killed dozens, wounded hundreds, tortured many, detained thousands and caused many to be dismissed from work.
Though Small, Palestine’s Queer Movement Has Big Vision, Linah Alsaafin
Although quite young and small, the Palestinian queer movement is far from homogeneous. It includes numerous groups of diverse, dynamic and nimble activists who, within the framework of the wider social justice and national liberation struggle, seek to raise awareness about issues considered taboo in their society.
Public Space Democracy, by Nilüfer Göle
As democratic imaginaries linked to new protest movements circulate globally, Nilüfer Göle, reassesses relations between the public sphere and democracy; and shoes how the Gezi Park movement, among others, has used public space as a site for the rehearsal of new forms of citizenship.
Stop Prawn Plan!
A call on international solidarity activists to organize demonstrations on the 1st of August against the Prawer Plan.
From Street Politics to Street Art in Yemen, by Anahi Alviso-Marino
Two processes are at play through Yemen`s street art campaigns, one of "artification" and one of collective action. At the same time that the recognition of the practice as street art and as art is in progress, its incidence as a contentious action making collective claims and demands is also happening.
Middle East Artists Demand Freedom for Syrian Painter, by Reuters
Artists across the Middle East and beyond have demanded that Syria free painter and illustrator Youssef Abdelke, who has long defied state control by depicting the horrors of dictatorship and refused to flee his country`s civil war. Syrian security forces arrested 62-year-old Abdelke and two colleagues last week after he signed a declaration calling for the departure of President Bashar al-Assad.
Nermine Hammam – Cairo Year One
In association with Rose Issa Projects in London, The Mosaic Rooms present the first UK solo show by Egyptian artist Nermine Hammam. Hammam lives and works in Cairo. Her works are intricate composites of layered images and symbols, using a distinctive aesthetic that combines digital manipulation and painting. This timely solo exhibition will feature two of her most recent series of work, Upekkha and Unfolding, which look at the recent civil unrest and uprisings in Egypt.
Conferences & Events
Spaces of Liberation, 12 September 2013, Berkeley, California, USA
Representation, Politics and Violence, 11-13 September 2013, Brighton, UK
Iraqi Social Forum, 26-28 September 2013, Baghdad, Iraq
Revolt and Revolution, 4-6 November 2013, Athens, Greece