[This is a bi-monthly roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Resistance, Subversion and Social Mobilization 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 monthly roundup to DARS@jadaliyya.com.]
News & Commentaries
Two Borders, Two Sets of Refugees, Two Very Different Reactions, by Ray Hanania
Ray Hanania compares the protests at the Mexico-US border and the ones at Gaza-Israel border, as well as the political and media reactions each received.
The Next Arab Uprising: The Collapse of Authoritarianism in the Middle East, by Marwan Muasher
Marwan Muasher comments on the recent economic and political developments in the Middle East and argues that “low oil prices, instability, corruption, inability to maintain subsidies and social services could trigger collapse of authoritarianism in the Middle East.”
What Explains Success or Failure in the Arab Spring? by Molly Wallace
Molly Wallace reviews Isabel Bramsen’s article “How Civil Resistance Succeeds (or Not): MicroDynamics of Unity, Timing, and Escalatory Actions,” published in Peace & Change, and comments on how it contributed to the emerging body of knowledge on civil resistance in the region.
Watch the Film the Israeli Lobby Did Not Want you to See, by The Electronic Intifada
The Electronic Intifada has obtained a complete copy of The Lobby – USA, a four-part undercover investigation by Al Jazeera into Israel’s covert influence campaign in the United States. It released the leaked film simultaneously with France’s Orient XXI and Lebanon’s Al-Akhbar. The film was made by Al Jazeera during 2016 and was completed in October 2017. But it was censored after Qatar came under intense Israel lobby pressure not to air the film.
Israa Al-Ghomgham, a Saudi Woman Facing the Death Penalty for Peaceful Protest, by Afef Abrougui
Human rights advocate Israa al-Ghomgham is facing the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, for her non-violent human rights related activities. Al-Ghomgham was arrested in 2015 along with her husband, activist Mousa al-Hashim, over their roles in anti-government protests in al-Qatif back in 2011, when pro-democracy protests spread across the Middle East and North Africa.
Hundreds Protest Rampant Corruption, Bribery in Morocco, by Middle East Monitor
On 14 October, hundreds of Moroccans demonstrated in the city of Casablanca calling for an end to corruption and bribery. The participants raised banners calling for those involved in corruption cases to be held accountable. Organised by the Moroccan Association for the Protection of Public Money, the protest was joined by trade unions and non-governmental organisations.
Lebanon Newspaper Goes Blank to Protest Political Crisis, by Agence France Press
“Lebanon’s oldest newspaper An-Nahar went out to newsstands completely blank on [11 October] to protest a political deadlock and economic woes in the tiny Mediterranean country. Despite more than five months of wrangling, premier-designate Saad Hariri has been unable to form a new government, putting a precious eleven-billion dollars aid package at risk. ‘People are tired and An-Nahar is tired of writing up your pretexts and repeated empty promises,’ editor-in-chief Nayla Al-Tueni said at a press conference in Beirut.”
Families of Missing Egyptian Rights Defenders Plead for Their Release, by Middle East Eye
Hoda Abdelmonem, a prominent human rights lawyer, went missing in Cairo after being arrested in the early hours of Thursday 1 November. Abdelmonem is one of thirty-one Egyptians who were rounded up in the first week of November and held incommunicado, with many families raising the alarm over their continued disappearance, possibly outside the protection of the law.
Dissent in Morocco: From Abraham Serfaty to Nasser Zefzafi, by Mohamed Daadaoui
The author argues that “although the expression of dissent has changed over the past decades, the reaction of Moroccan authorities to it has not. The use of institutional manipulation to stifle the persistent protests of the past eight years is not so dissimilar to tools the authorities employed back in the 1970s against the leftist opposition.”
Four Days in Occupied Western Sahara – a Rare Look Inside Africa’s Last Colony, by Democracy Now!
In this report, Democracy Now documents the Sahrawi struggle for freedom.
Fears of “Language War” in Algeria Over Status of Tamazight, by Lamine Ghanmi
Berber students in Algeria’s mountainous Kabylie region walked out of school to protest the government’s neglect of their native tongue, Tamazight.
Stop Romanticising that Viral Image of a Palestinian Protester – It's Not a Poetic Moment, by Louis Staples
The author discusses the “viral image taken in Gaza by photojournalist Mustafa Hassona, which depicts a bare-chested Palestinian protester holding a large flag and wielding a sling.” He argues that “the flippant reaction to this particular shot, of someone literally risking being shot, represents our growing detachment from pain and lack of collective responsibility for it.”
In First, UK University Divests from Firms Supplying Israel Army, by Middle East Monitor
The University of Leeds has divested from companies that supply military equipment to the Israeli army following a student campaign. The three companies which were found to be complicit in the violation of Palestinian human rights: Airbus, United Technologies, and Keyence Corporation.
Will Airbnb Settlement Ban Lead Other Online Giants to Follow? by Daoub Kuttab
“The decision by the online rental giant Airbnb to remove its listings in the West Bank settlements puts the company in the forefront of major US companies that are feeling international pressure to stop legitimizing and profiting from Israel's occupation. The major question now is whether other tech giants will follow suit.”
Interview: Airbnb Checks Out of West Bank Settlements, by Nazish Dholakia
Nazish Dholakia interviewed Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch about how companies like Airbnb and Booking.com that operate in West Bank settlements contribute to a system that discriminates against Palestinians.
Repression of the B.D.S. Movement Is a Sure Sign of Its Success, by Asa Winstanley
The author reviews Shrinking Space and the B.D.S. Movement, a new report from the Transnational Institute written by Bina Ahmad, Phyllis Bennis and Ben White. The report “gives a highly insightful overview of many of the ways in which Israel and its agents and propagandists around the world are waging a war against the Palestine solidarity movement.”
7amleh’s Launches Mini-Site Dedicated to Advocacy Against Google Maps’ Discriminatory Policies Against Palestinians, by 7amleh
7amleh – the Arab Center for the Advancement of Social Media launched a mini-site with a collection of information on Google Maps’ discriminatory policies towards Palestinians and their impact and repercussions. Additionally, the page features several ways to get involved and contribute to the call on Google to respect Palestinian human rights.
Activist’s Art Offers Rare Glimpse Inside Egypt’s Prisons, by Hamza Hendawi
Yassin Mohammed’s sketches and paintings “capture the claustrophobic reality of Egypt’s prisons, where tens of thousands have been locked away, often for months or years without charge, in the heaviest crackdown on dissent in the country’s modern history.”
Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution, by Usman Butt
Professor Nadia Yaqub speaks to Middle East Monitor about her book Palestinian Cinema in the Days of Revolution which launched in London during the Palestine Film Festival.
Events & Conferences
Panel on "Movements and Resistance Paths in Contemporary Algeria", SeSaMO Conference, University of Turin, 31 January - 2 February 2019, Turin, Italy.
Rethinking Crisis, Resistance, and Strategy, 2-5 May 2019, Panteion University, Athens, Greece.
Politics and Popular Culture in the Middle East: Power and Resistance post-2011 Workshop, University of Warwick, 7-8 May 2019 Coventry, UK. (Deadline for submissions: 10 December 2018)
Biennial Conference on Creating Global Change: "Gendered Migration, Bodies, Borders," Middle Tennessee State University, 28-29 March 2019, Tennessee, USA.
War and Social Movements, International Conference, University of New York, 10 May 2019, New York, USA. (Deadline for submissions: 31 December 2018).