[This is a 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.]
“Israel: six Palestinian prisoners escape from high-security prison”, Middle East Monitor (6 September 2021)
Six Palestian prisoners have escaped Israel’s high-security Gilboa Prison, which was built in 2004 and intended for Irael’s “most dangerous” Palestinian prisoners. The prisoners, Munadil Nafayat, Mahmoud and Mohammad Al-Arida, Iham Kahamji, Yaqoub Qadiri, and Zakaria Zubeidi, all of whom are from Jenin, reportedly started the escape around 1:30 am this morning. Most of the prisoners have spent 20 years or more years serving life sentences and one hasn’t been sentenced to any crime. Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett commented on the escape as being “dangerous”, while it recieved praise for the Palestinian resistence movement, Hamas.
“Three protesters killed in south Yemen as conflict cripples economy”, Reuters (15 September 2021)
Violent protests in Aden and other cities in South Yemen have killed three and left dozens wounded. Prevalent poverty and electricity outages within Saudi-backed areas have ignited violent clashes between protesters and security forces in Aden’s Khour Maksour, Crater and Sheikh Othman districts. The following Wednesday, witnesses claimed that dozens of demonstrators stormed Maashiq presidential palace, where Hadi’s government is based. The government said they would not tolerate “destruction of public and private property”.
“Algeria: resistance fighter Saadi Yacef dies, aged 93”, Middle East Monitor (17 September 2021)
Notable Algerian independence fighter and leader, Saadi Yacef, dies at age 93. Yacef was born to ethnic Berber parents on 20 January 1928 in the Casbah district of the capital Algiers. After personally witnessing discrimination against Arabs during his time in France, 21 year old Yacef joined the National Liberation Front (FLN) upon his return. During the Algerian war of independence, Yacef played an instrumental role as the military chief of Algiers—which claimed the lives of 1.5 million Algerians and 25,000 French citizens. Despite the controversies surrounding Yacef and the FLN, Yacef will continue to be remembered as a key figure during the Algerian War.
“Palestinian man shot and killed during West Bank clashes with Israeli troops: ministry”, Reuters (24 September 2021)
On Friday, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian man while injuring at least eight others during a protest against Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank. Palestinians from the village of Beita, south of Nablus, have staged near-daily protests in reaction to a nearby Israeli settler outpost. Although the settlers agreed to evacuate the outpost in July, under an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennet, many of the outpost’s buildings have remained under the protection of the military guard. Protesters, who claim the land the outpost was built on, vow to continue their demonstrations until receiving control of the land.
“Sudan protesters agree to resumption of oil exports”, Al Jazeera (27 September 2021)
In recent weeks, protesters from the Beja tribes in eastern Sudan have been demonstrating against poor economic conditions and lack of political power in the region. In addition to blocking roads, protesters blocked oil ports suffocating Sudan’s access to the global oil market. With only 10 days before the port’s oil depots would be forced to halt production, the government secured a deal with the tribal elders to allow oil exports to resume from the Bashayer port. All the while, tension between Sudan’s military and civilian leaders continues after last week’s attempted coup.
“As Tunisia’s President Cements One-Man Rule, Opposition Grows”, The New York Times (27 September 2021)
Widespread opposition grows as Tunisian president, Kais Saied, continues to consolidate power over the state. On July 25, Saied suspended parliament, fired the prime minister, and asserted full executive powers. Originally he claimed these measures would only last a month, but since then he has extended his power, further bypassing the constitution. As a response to the president's constitutional violations, 2,000 protesters took to the Capital on Sunday to demand for the end of what they define as a “coup”. This is the first major action against the president’s actions since July 25.
“The Palestinian Authority’s crackdown on protest shows it will never serve its own people”, The Guardian (1 September 2021)
After well-known activist and critic, Nizar Banat, died suspectingly at the hands of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on June 24, protests erupted across the West Bank demanding for accountability. Through the course of the subsequent weeks, the PA responded to protesters with violent repression and absurd arrests. The government’s authoritarian behavior towards those they supposedly represent is not surprising given that the PA heavily depends on foreign donors in order to operate. In exchange, Israel and its allies expect the Palestinian Authority to manintian militarised control over its own people. Due to its interdependent relationship with Israel, the PA only serves to obstruct Palestinian liberation.
“Young Lebanese driving crypto ‘revolution’ after banks go bust”, Middle East Monitor (17 September 2021)
Due to years of systemic corruption and mismanagement from the ruling elite, Lebanon faces one of the worst economic crises since the 1850s. As the lira has lost more than 90 percent of its value, many young Lebanese have turned to cryptocurrency to protect themselves from currency depreciation. Some regard cryptocurrency as being part of the resistance against state control, corrupt institutions, and Lebanon's banking system. Although cryptocurrency inhabits a legal grey area, it serves as an alternative to Lebanon’s plummeting economy to many.“Tunisia: Why what happens next is of huge international significance”, Middle East Eye (22 September 2021)
Tunisian president, Kais Saied’s coup is capable of undermining what seemed to be the only success story from the Arab Springs. Saied and his supporters were able to bypass the constitution relatively easily due to the government’s inability to address the effects of the pandemic and economic crisis. Although there is strong civil opposition to the president’s actions, the country is in danger of “political degradation”, comparable to Egypt’s 2013 coup that overthrew democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi. For southern European countries, instability in Tunisia complicates the management of its neighboring country, Libya, and the Sahel region as a whole. Securing Tunisia’s accomplishments from the Arab Springs would serve to benefit the EU’s agenda in the region.
“Lessons learned from the escaped Palestinian political prisoners”, Mondoweiss (24 September 2021)
The six Palestinian prisoners that escaped from Israel’s notorious Gilboa Prison, inspire hope and bravery even after their capture. With nothing but presumably spoons and willpower, the six astonished the world while daringly defying the colonial Zionist project. Munadil Nafayat, Mahmoud and Mohammad Al-Arida, Iham Kahamji, Yaqoub Qadiri, and Zakaria Zubeidi collectively proved that Israel’s security is not unbreachable. In doing so, the six shared their vision of how colonized Palestinians can overcome subjugation to Zionist ideology.
“A Palestinian kitchen full of memories”, Mondoweiss (16 September 2021)
Palestinian cusine holds generations of stories that unite Palestinian communities together across artifical borders. In this article, Zaid Ali shares Palestinian family recipies and the meaningful stories behind them. In doing so, it touches on topics such as memory, longing for the homeland, and preservation of identity.“'Music helps Palestinians remain steadfast', teacher says”, Middle East Monitor (18 September 2021)
Palestinian musician, Khader Al-Bayed, claims that music provides an important medium of reistance to Israeli ocupation. Now in his sixties, Al-Bayed not only struggled living under Israeli occupation as a Palestinian living in Gaza, but also as a musical. He explains that “part of the occupier’s policy is to eradict Palestinian art and culture”. Al-Bayed remembers a time when weddings used to be a popular venue for musicals, like himself, to raise spirits and gain support against the occupation. With hopes to inspire and educate future generations of musicals in Gaza, Al-Bayed turned one of the rooms in his house into a music education centre.
Palestinian political prisoners, spoons have become the latest addition to Palestinian resistance symbols. On the 6th of September, the six reportedly used utensils to dig a tunnel through the foot of a sink and out of the infamous Gilboa prison. Although all six have now been recaptured, spoons preserve their legacy amongst the resistance.
Egyptian sisters Mariana and Mariam Samir, better known as the feminist band Elbouma [owl], address topics such as racism, FGM, child marriage, and women empowement through their music. Using traditional Egyptian folk sound and symbolism, the sisters aim to create a medium where women with similar experiences can find one another. Elbouma’s latest album, Mazghouna, takes its ideas, themes, and lyrics from storytelling workshops in Upper Egypt that consist of 34 women. As the sisters confront patriarchal cultural norms head on, they dedicate their music to the women of Egypt.
“Mass protests as Tunisia political crisis escalates”, Al Jazeera (27 September 2021)
Tunisian protests against President Kais Saied’s recent unconstitutional actions are captured and presented in pictures. Approximately 2,000 protesters gathered in the capital to resist Saied’s seizure of government powers. The demonstrators are seen carrying copies of the constitution, flags, and banners with them. Tunisian human rights groups have condemned the president’s actions, labeling them as “a first step towards ‘authoritarianism'”.