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Equality-Social Justice

New Texts Out Now: Sheila Carapico, ed., Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf

Sheila Carapico, editor,  Arabia Incognita: Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf. Charlottesville: Just World Books, 2015.  Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sheila Carapico (SC): This book began as an activist political project, a form of protest against a cruel war. Colleagues at MERIP were thinking of compiling a simple PDF reader to help students and others understand the background to the military intervention in Yemen the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia called Operation Decisive Storm in late April 2015. Then Helena Cobban of Just World Books invited me to “curate” an edited volume. I devoted the summer of 2015 to reading thirty-five years’ worth of ...

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مسار الحراك المثلي في تونس: مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع بدر بَعبو

أجرت تانيا الخوري لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع  بدر بَعبو، ناشط تونسي شاب وعضو مؤسس في "دمج" الجمعية التونسية للعدالة والمساواة. تركز المقابلة على قضايا الجندر والحراك المثلي في تونس بدر بَعبو ناشط تونسي شاب وعضو مؤسس في "دمج" الجمعية التونسية للعدالة والمساواة والتي تختص بالحقوق الجندرية والجنسانية في تونس. بدر هو أيضاً عضو في "تحالف الميم" الذي يناصر حقوق المثليين والمتحولين في الشرق الأوسط وشمال أفريقيا  

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Life in a Street: How Informal Mechanisms Govern Scarce Public Spaces in Nabaa, Beirut

[Negotiations and invisible tactics: bargaining over space as well as prices. Image by Petra Samaha]

The informal mechanisms of organization in everyday public life have been at the core of concerns of many researchers and practitioners (e.g., Rukmana and Hegel in Indonesia, Mehrotra in India, and Nagati in Egypt). While examining these processes in different contexts, the focus was typically on their interplay with "formal" regulations or in relation to the private built environment. Few highlighted the significance of these informal arrangements per se and their importance in governing public shared spaces (Simone 2004 & 2009, Bayat 1998 & 2010). These mechanisms lend some sort of spatial flexibility to the street transforming it into much more than ...

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استذكار غرامشي

"ماذا سيكون رأي غرامشي حيال مآزقنا الحالية؟" تساءلَ رئيس بلدية مدينة كالياري الإيطالية اليساري الشاب ماسيمو زيدا ثم أجاب: "ربما سيفكّر بأن أمورنا تحسنت، لكننا نواجه أيضاً مشاكل كثيرة في سردينيا... ولهذا نحتاج إلى أن نتنظّم". بهذا التصريح أعلن رئيس البلدية الذي يرتدي الجينزالأزرق عام 2017 "عاماً لغرامشي" وافتتح مؤتمر "قرن من الثورات: مسارات غرامشية في العالم". وكان 27 نيسان لحظة مناسبة لتسليط الضوء من جديد على حياة وأعمال أنطونيو غرامشي في الذكرى الثمانين لموته، في السنة التي حددت أيضاً الذكرى المئوية للثورة الروسية ومرور سبع سنوات على الانتفاضات العربية التي اتسمت بالاضطراب. إن الطاقة والحماس اللذين أحاطا بهذه المناسبة الخاصة ...

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Morocco's Hirak Movement: The People Versus the Makhzen

[Men carrying fish in Essaouira, Morocco. Photo credit to Juan Antonio Segal.]

Morocco’s Hirak protests are the latest bout in the tug-of-war between the Makhzen (Moroccan regime) and the victims of hogra. The late Mouhcine Fikri, the political prisoner Nasser Zefzafi, and Nawal Ben Aissa have emerged as the emblematic figures of this movement. Al Hirak al Chaabi, or the Popular Movement, is an independent, popular movement that was started in the northern Moroccan city of Al Hoceima in October 2016 by local inhabitants who were fed up with the status quo. The protests have grown significantly in the last months, despite numerous attempts by authorities to quell the movement, which has now spread throughout the country. Although it is not ...

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Palestine Media Roundup (May 29)

[TheApartheidWall - Qalqilya. Taken by Wall in Palestine and uploaded via Flickr]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Palestine and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Palestine Page co-editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each roundup to] The Occupation Forces Ten Palestinians Were Injured By Gunfire After Palestinian Man Loses Control Of His Automatic Weapon The injuries were sustained during a march in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli prisons when the man’s locally-made weapon went off and hit several people including children.  Another Palestinian Teen Has Been ...

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The Palestinian Litmus Test

After three years of unprecedentedly open debate, the membership of the Modern Language Association’s (MLA) membership is finally voting on the Palestinian call to endorse a boycott of Israeli academic institutions. Voting continues through May. Unlike other organizations that have considered the issue, however, the MLA is not voting on whether or not to boycott. Instead, we are voting on a resolution (2017-1) that would commit the association not to endorse the boycott, even though a pro- boycott resolution—having been rejected by the Delegate Assembly in January—is no longer even on the table. To resolve not to endorse a non-existent resolution may seem a somewhat ...

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Barbara Harlow: The Formative Egyptian Period

[Barbara Harlow with Mia Carter in Azhar Park, Cairo. Image by Mia Carter, via the author.]

In her late twenties, she arrived in Egypt of the late 1970s looking like a teenager who lost her way and ended up in teeming Cairo. Doris Shoukri, then chair of the department of English and Comparative Literature (ECLT) at the American University in Cairo (AUC), had interviewed her in Berlin in 1977 for her first teaching position as an assistant professor. Doris recalls Barbara, looking like a twelve-year-old blond waif with flowers in her hands. The animated discussion that followed at dinner persuaded Doris of Barbara’s talent and suitability for the position. Cairo at the time was bubbling with political and cultural crosscurrents—Sadat’s open door policy which ...

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Poetry and Partition: Barbara Harlow’s Insistence on the ‘Here-and-Now’ of Historical Reality

[Barbara Harlow at a protest at the University of Texas against Israeli settlement construction near Beit Sahour. Image by Sheila Contreras, via the author.]

Barbara Harlow held a visiting position at the National University of Ireland in Galway in the spring of 1992. That same year, she published an essay in Polygraph titled “Drawing the Line: Cultural Politics and the Legacy of Partition,” which offered comparative readings of literature across three colonial contexts: Ireland, India, and Palestine.[1] During the fall semester, upon her return from Ireland to the University of Texas, Austin, where she had been employed since 1985, she taught an English graduate seminar under the heading “Poetry and Partition.” Required readings included a wide variety of pre- and post-partition texts; among them were W. B. Yeats’s “Easter ...

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The Occupation of Literature and Books That Are Difficult to Get

[Barbara Harlow and Joseph Slaughter in Beirut. Image via the author.]

When I was one of Barbara Harlow’s beginning PhD students in Ethnic and Third World Literatures at the University of Texas at Austin, I had the temerity one day to ask her in her office how she justified sitting behind a desk, reading and writing, when she was so acutely aware of all the terrible things going on in this world, was so attuned to the “imperative to take sides,” as she would insist on any number of occasions. “We can’t afford to give up any space,” was her very quick reply, through her wry mischievous smile, as if she’d responded a thousand and one times to such impertinent questions from college kids puffed up with the smugness of their own inexperience. ...

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"Born Again" in Deir Nidham: Against the Illegal Military Occupation, from a Black-American Prophetic Christian Perspective

[A checkpoint in the Israeli Barrier in the West Bank, near Abu Dis. Photo taken by Justin McIntosh, uploaded via Wikimedia Commons]

Tactics of Racial Supremacy We had just left Ofer Prison. My work as a scholar-activist, committed to Palestinian justice, placed me there. We had been journeying all day with two of our Israel-based colleagues who specialize in advocating justice within a profoundly unjust Israeli carceral system. The detention facility, which is at once a juvenile prison and a courthouse, was an incomparable spectacle. The courtyard, a “holding area” for families waiting to enter the “courtrooms” where their adolescents would be tried, was heavily surveiled. The hearings took place within trailers, the inside of which felt more like cluttered cages than courtrooms. And the ...

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Arabian Tragedy, or Noir?

The first page of the preface to Farah Al-Nakib’s Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016) begins with the author sitting in a community garden in Kuwait. She is chatting with one Maryam, who is explaining the garden’s origins by recalling that some years ago she wondered to herself that something was missing in this city she lived in. In stark contrast to the preface’s rather bucolic and ponderous mood, the book’s introduction begins very differently. It recounts shocking violence in that same city. A murder: the stabbing of a Kuwaiti-Lebanese (my term) dentist with a meat cleaver in the parking lot of Kuwait’s largest ...

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Fear and Loathing in Turkish Academia: A Tale of Appeasement and Complicity

It was a “call for papers” like all others. “On behalf of the Turkish Political Economy Society (TPES),” said the organizers of the Fifth TPES Interdisciplinary Workshop on Turkey and Latin America in Comparative Perspective, “we would be happy if you would consider submitting an abstract and help us spread the word by forwarding the CfP to other scholars who may be interested.” Many probably did, among them Yasemin Yılmaz and Orçun Selçuk, two PhD candidates from The City University of New York and ...

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حقوق المثليين والمثليات محكّ لحقوق الإنسان

[كتبتُ المقال أدناه في إطار سلسلة المقالات القصيرة التي بدأت أكتبها منذ مدة لجريدة «القدس العربي» وتصدر كل يوم أربعاء. غير أن الجريدة اعتذرت عن نشره، وهي المرة الثانية التي يحدث لها أن تعتذر عن نشر أحد مقالاتي. جاء المقال تعليقاً على أحداث القمع التي وقعت في إسطنبول يوم الأحد في 25 حزيران/يونيو الماضي. وهو تعليق سريع بحكم حدود هذا النوع من الكتابة، دفعني إليه ليس الحدث بذاته فحسب بل أيضاً سكوت الصحافة العربية عنه. ولم يتناول المقال بالطبع جملة أمور متصلة، من تحليل الانزلاق السلطوي في تركيا (الذي ...

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Des bidonvilles aux villes de béton : une somme sur l’évolution urbaine d’Alger

Recensé: Rachid Sidi Boumedine, Bétonvilles contre bidonvilles. Cent ans de bidonvilles à Alger (Alger : APIC éditions, 2016) Il est rare, en Europe ou aux Etats-Unis, que les professionnels de l'urbanisme soient en même temps des chercheurs occupant une position centrale dans le champ académique des études urbaines[1]. Tel est en revanche le cas en Tunisie d'un Morched Chabbi, et en Algérie d'un Rachid Sidi Boumedine, tous deux à la fois sociologues et urbanistes praticiens. Ayant alterné ...

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Call for Targeted Academic Boycott of Turkey

[This call was released by Academics for Peace on 7 June 2017. The statement is also available in Arabic, Bengali, Bulgarian, Chinese (Mandarin), French, Finnish, German, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Kurdish (Sorani), Kurdish (Kurmanji), Norwegian, Persian, Russian, Spanish, and Swedish. For more information, click here; to sign on to this petition, click here.] CALL FOR TARGETED ACADEMIC BOYCOTT OF TURKEY DO NOT BE A PARTY TO CRIMES IN TURKISH HIGHER EDUCATION Background In January ...

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Challenging Knowledge Production in the British Academy: Who Can Speak on Palestine?

Earlier this month, a British university hosted a conference on the fiftieth anniversary of the Israeli occupation, one of many being organized this year. The conference sought to reflect on fifty years of the “longest standing military occupation in the world,” focusing on “its implications not just for Palestinians, but also for Israelis.” Although academic, the conference promised to include non-academic representation including activists.    In the lead up to the conference, the ...

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Paradoxes of ‘New Turkey’

“New Turkey” has become since 2014 a popular slogan employed by the Justice and Development Party (AKP) to express its political project of remaking the nation. However, it has been in a political abyss since the parliamentary elections on 7 June 2015, when the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) gained around thirteen percent of the votes, thereby becoming the first pro-Kurdish party to exceed the electoral threshold in the history of Turkey’s parliamentary democracy. One of the slogans that marked the HDP ...

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Introduction: Remembering Barbara Harlow

In the opening pages of her 1996 book After Lives: Legacies of Revolutionary Writing, a book that focuses on Ghassan Kanafani, Roque Dalton, and Ruth First—all of them revolutionary writers, all of them assassinated—Barbara Harlow notes that all three of these writers were also “committed critics…at a time and place when criticism and commitment often challenged each other’s practices.” She goes on to suggest that “in their own work, as in their persistent example,” such writers “continue to give ...

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Generations of Resistance

Barbara would understand that the task of remembering her is harder without a cat curled on my lap, perched on the desk, or emanating a spirit of companionship from somewhere in the house. "Scratches to the cats" was Barbara's sign-off to me on email exchanges. When she said no—shockingly, if rightly—to my first request that she supervise my dissertation, Barbara sent me home with the advice to crawl into bed with my two cats and to come back with a revised prospectus for her to reconsider. My ...

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Barbara Harlow and the Necessity of ‘Renewed Histories of the Future’

[Editors’ Note: This essay will appear in Volume 13:3 of the Journal of Middle Eastern Women’s Studies, a themed issue on the gender and sexuality of borders and margins, in November 2017. It was first posted on the JMEWS website, and is reposted here with permission of the author and the journal’s editors.] Barbara Harlow’s commitment to struggles for liberation and justice was always at the same time a commitment to academic inquiry. She entwined them and located emancipatory potential in each even as ...

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Media on Media Roundup (May 9)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup tackles several important themes influencing the MENA mediascape. On the eve of the second round of France’s elections, ISIS-operated An-Nur Media Center published posters urging members of the organization to target voters, candidates, and polling stations. A court in Ankara rejected Wikimedia Foundation’s appeal after the Turkish government banned Wikipedia for a site entry that accused Turkey of having links with ISIS. Europol began investigations into an ...

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هنا تونس… قطار الثورة خرج عن السكة

ثورة لم يكتمل مسارها شغل ،حرية ،كرامة وطنية :هذا ما صدحت به حناجر المحتجين حتى بحت منذ ست سنوات ضد النظام السابق لزين العابدين بن علي و هذا ما تصدح به حناجر محتجين مازالوا يخرجون إلى الشوارع التونسية يوميا يطالبون بالتنمية والتشغيل . فمنذ ثورة 2011 لم تنقطع الاحتجاجات الاجتماعية في تونس سيما في المحافظات الأقل نموًا. محافظة تطاوين جنوب البلاد التونسية شغلت كل التونسيين و تشد إليها الانظار منذ اكثر من شهر فالوضع فيها متفجر و الغضب على أشده. بنفس غاضب و بصوت مرتفع و نبرة تخفي في طياتها يأساً و إحباطاً ...

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Revisiting ‘Foucault in Iran’: A Response

Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi, Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2016. [This is the final installment of a book symposium on Behrooz Ghamari-Tabrizi's Foucault in Iran: Islamic Revolution after the Enlightenment, consisting of six reviews and a response by the author. The symposium was originally published by The SCTIW Review, and is reposted here with their permission.] First, I would like to thank SCTIW Review for organizing this ...

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