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Rethinking Gezi Through Feminist and LGBT Perspectives

[Image from conference promotional material]

On 4-5 October 2013, The New School's Historical Studies Department convened various scholars, activists, and artists to address critical questions about history and contemporary politics in Turkey under the rubric of the Talk Turkey Conference: Rethinking Life Since Gezi. One of the panels of the conerence was entitled "Rethinking Gezi through Feminist and LGBT Perspectives," and featured presentations by Cihan Tekay (Co-Editor of Jadaliyya's Turkey Page), Zeuno Ustun (Graduate Student at the New School), Bade Okçuoğlu (Bosphorus University), and Sebahat Tuncel (Turkish MP). Below is a video of the panel, followed by transcripts of the ...

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Saudi Cleric Confirms That Being a Woman in Saudi Arabia Sucks, Big Time

[The Mufti of Saudi Arabia Smells Something Funny While Issuing Important Fatwas]

While all Saudis live under a hyper capitalist, sectarian and brutal authoritarian regime, a Saudi cleric has issued a fatwa making it official that being a woman in Saudi Arabia sucks extra bad. This fatwa comes after some confusion surrounding the physiological effects of driving. Last month a Saudi cleric issued a fatwa warning that driving effects the hips and pelvis of women, and thus their reproductive efficacy. After (some) men began worrying about the effects of driving on their testicles, the cleric clarified that driving is only harmful to ovaries and the female pelvis and the strange, magical and dangerous stuff contained within— just as the potentially ...

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The Irony of Rights: Healthcare for Queer and Transgender Refugee Applicants in Turkey

[UNHCR Resettlement Assessment Tool]

The crowd in front of the police station is chatting in clusters in the brutal summer heat. Refugee applicants occasionally stop their conversation to say hello to friends and acquaintances who arrive on foot or on bicycles. It is Wednesday, the signature day (rooz-e emzaa) in Kayseri; a weekly ritual in every “satellite city” in Turkey, when refugee applicants are required to appear in person at designated local police stations to sign and prove that they are there. Until this spring, Marjan also came to this police station to sign as an Iranian transgender woman refugee applicant, hoping to be resettled in Canada. Marjan never made it to Canada. This April, she died ...

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Greek Translation of Jadaliyya's 'Sexual Violence in Egypt: Myths and Realities'

[Downtown Cairo Graffiti. Image by Soraya Morayef]

[This article was originally written by Mariam Kirollos and published by Jadaliyya in English. It was translated into Greek by Kostis Tsioulakis and published by Barikat.]  Σεξουαλική Βία στην Αίγυπτο: Μύθοι και Πραγματικότητες Τον περασμένο Σεπτέμβριο, η ...

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Revolution Bookshelf: Blacklist

[Ahmed Sabry Abul-Futuh's

Ahmed Sabry Abul-Futuh, Agendat Sayyid al-Ahl. Cairo: Dar El-Ain, 2012. Thug Revolution Again, revolutions are not stories. At the same time, societies process and frame events like revolutions by way of narrative. Stories are how we remember past events and how we understand our present moment. They inform how we act, how we strategize, how we get by. Which is to say, to grapple with the Egyptian Revolution means that at some point, we are grappling with stories about revolution. In Egypt, this has been happening since 25 January 2011. Egyptian writers and artists did not wait to begin producing works that take on present history in various ways, and there are now ...

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Delinquent Kids, Revolutionary Mothers, Uncle Governor, and Erdogan the Patriarch (Part One)

[Gas mask made of lacework, with the caption

The Gezi Park Protests and Politics of the Family Many academic commentators on the Gezi Park protests and the ensuing nation-wide uprisings have tended to focus on their more overtly political characteristics, adopting a macro-political perspective in their approach to the unfolding events. This essay instead diverts attention to the family, a seemingly less distinct “political” domain, and examines how state officials have utilized familial discourse during the Gezi Park events as a way to quell the protests, discredit the protestors, and define the parameters of the public sphere. Below, I detail three significant instances of politicians’ references to the family in ...

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Snapshot: Tunis

[Asmaa, a student of biological engineering in Tunis, poses for a photo in her bedroom. It reads,

Asmaa, a biological engineering student at a university in Tunis, chose to have her portrait taken in her bedroom. She sees her bedroom, which is covered with street-style graffiti, as the place that best reflects her personality. She comfortably sat on her bed with her legs folded and jokingly said, “I’ve always dreamed of discovering a new bacteria, now after the revolution, we have a new one every single day.” I was in Tunisia a couple of months ago for my ongoing documentary photography project, “I Read I Write.” The project is about the importance of literacy in enriching the lives of Arab women and girls. It also addresses the barriers that stand in the way of ...

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De la détention politique à la société civile : Entretien avec Fatna El Bouih

[Fatna El Bouih entre deux gardiens de prison pendant une fête de l'Observatoire Marocain des Prisons (OMP) dans la prison Oukacha de Casablanca en 29 décembre 1999. Image par]

Cet entretien est une invitation à découvrir Fatna El Bouih, qu’on peut appeler sans exagération la doyenne des prisonnières politiques marocaines modernes. Une dame qui a connu les affres de la disparition forcée et fut victime des années de plomb au Maroc (1956-1999). Fatna n’a pas hésité un instant à  nous offrir l’occasion d’échanger avec elle. Ce n’est d’ailleurs pas surprenant qu’elle partage ses idées et ses perles de sagesse avec nous, vu sa présence continuelle dans le champ intellectuel et sur la scène civique marocains. Le partage est également un trait de caractère de cette dame dont tout inspire le respect pour son parcours, qui n’a rien d’ordinaire, et ...

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Feminism(s), Secularism, and Religions: Encounter Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi and Other Scholars/Activsts

[Illustration by Doaa Eladl]

The following episode of Encounter (hosted by David Rutlege) features interviews with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi, as well as Leila Ahmed, Ellen Armour, Jean Bethke Elshtain, Lisa Isherwood, and Ratna Osman--all of whom are feminist professors and/or activists. In "Beyond the Boundaries," they critically discuss the relationships between feminism(s) and Islam and feminism(s) and Christianity, in addition to discussing events such as the Egyptian and US presidential elections, their potential impact on women's rights in those countries, and the continuing sexual assaults at and around Tahrir Square. The impetus behind this program is to critically ...

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Ecclesiastical Courts in Israel: A Gender-Responsive Analysis

[Logo of Kayan-Feminist Organization]

[The following report was compiled by Adv. Shirin Batshon, the Legal Department Coordinator for Kayan-Feminist Organization based in Haifa. Kayan-Feminst Organization was established by a group of Arab women with the goal of acting together to create social change, to improve the status of Arab women, and to increase their active participation in society. The organization's Legal Department provides legal advice and representation free of charge to Arab women in family law cases, and works to eliminate discrimination against women in the religious courts, and to make women's rights accessible to them in the context of legal proceedings. The report was issued in January ...

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Sex, Love, and Worship in Classical Ottoman Texts: An Interview with Selim Kuru

[Image via Ottoman History Podcast]

The history of sexuality in the Islamic world is a topic of growing interest for students and scholars today, and one of the major areas of inquiry has been the development of contemporary notions such as homosexuality in Islamic societies and the context within which they are formed or introduced. This literature itself usually embraces a critique of present-day categories that reinforce heteronormativity or rigid understandings of sexual orientation that seek to objectively define sexuality, which scholars see as a fluid category to be studied within constantly changing cultural and historical contexts. A more challenging task, however, has been properly understanding ...

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Press Release by Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault on Sexual Assaults during 30 June Demonstrations (Video)

[Hotline information from Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault]

[The following press release was issued by Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault (OpAntiSH) on 2 July 2013.] Press Release: Mob Sexual Assaults Reported to OpAntiSH during June 30th Demonstrations Hit Catastrophic Skies Mob sexual assaults reported to OpAntiSH during June 30th demonstrations hit catastrophic skies. Organizers bear responsibility and the Muslim Brotherhood reaches a new political low by politically exploiting reports. During the massive demonstrations that swept Egypt to overturn Mohamed Morsi, Operation Anti-Sexual Harassment/Assault (OpAntiSH) received 46 reports of mob sexual assaults on women in the vicinity of Tahrir Square. The ...

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1962 As Event and Metaphor in Women’s Oral Histories in Algeria

[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.] This contribution is a summary of some of the ideas that I explore in my monograph forthcoming with Manchester University Press: Our Fighting Sisters: Nation, Memory and Gender in Algeria, ...

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Kashmir Mass-Rape Survivors Struggle as Kafkaesque Justice Reigns

Twenty-two years and six months is probably enough time for India to think it has policed memories and fostered institutionalized forgetfulness in Indian-administered Kashmir. But such efforts have proven counterproductive. On the wintry night of 23-24 February 1991, an Indian Army unit systematically executed a mass-rape in Kunan and Poshpora villages in north Kashmir’s Kupwara region. The Army cordoned the villages, forced the men out of their houses and then took them into custody. The troops ...

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لماذا تُقلق صورة النساء الفلسطينيات المُقاوِمات مضجع إسرائيل؟ المظاهرات ضد برافر كمثال

كتب محامي أحد معتقلي مظاهرات "برافر لن يمر" ضد مخطط إسرائيل لتهجير أكثر من خمسين ألف فلسطيني في النقب، والتي جرت في الخامس عشر من تمّوز؛ على حسابه على موقع التواصل الإجتماعي "فيسبوك"، أنه عندما دخل إلى مقرّ الشرطة الإسرائيليّة ليسأل عن موكّلهِ، بعد أن تم القبض عليه خلال النشاطات السلميّة التي عمّت أنحاء فلسطين لمنع المُخطّط، أعرب له الضابط المُحقِق، عن قلقه حيال هذه المظاهرات. حيثُ أن الشرطة - وأجهزة الأمن الإسرائيليّة عامة- تُواجه جيلاً جديداً من الشباب، مُسيّساً، متعلماً وأكثر ...

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Greek Translation of Jadaliyya's 'To Willingly Enter the Circles, the Square'

[This article was originally written by Wiam El-Tamimi and published by Jadaliyya in English. It was translated into Greek by Eleni Vougiouklaki and published by Barikat.] Μία Πλατεία Ασφαλής για Όλους Ήμασταν στην άκρη της πλατείας ...

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Delinquent Kids, Revolutionary Mothers, Uncle Governor, and Erdogan the Patriarch (Part Two)

[Part one of this article can be found here.] So far, this essay has illustrated how political actors have addressed the family in their discourse as a part of their strategy to keep the protestors under control, and how protestors and their mothers have turned the discourse on the family on its head by appropriating the family as an integral part of their resistance. Whether to conform to the status quo or to subvert it, due to the notions of sacredness attributed to it, motherhood is used by ...

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جسد المرأة الغواية ومحنة الإنسان – الجزء الثالث

[تشكل هذه المقالة الجزء الثالث والأخير من بحث للكاتبة رجاء نعمة. قامت جدلية بنشر جزئيه. إضغط هنا لقراءة الجزء الأول وهنا لقراءة الجزء الثاني] شيطان "الجنس وَضحاياه": إنس ينشق على إنسه تمنحنا اللغة العربية مفتاحاً حيوياً لثنائية جنس البشر. فكلمة “إنسان” لا تتعدى كونها مثنى “إنس” (إنس ان) التي توحّد بين المرأة والرجل على أساس التمايز دون التمييز. على الرغم من ذلك تحيلنا كلمة “إنسان”، في المتخيّل اللغوي ال

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To Willingly Enter the Circles, the Square

We were on the edge of Tahrir Square on Wednesday 3 July when the army made its announcement. The square burst into jubilation. A member of our team checked his smartphone. He shouted over the din of drumbeats and squealing vuvuzelas: “Morsi's gone. They've appointed the head of the constitutional court in his place and suspended the elections.” We watched the celebrations. I looked around at the people I knew, with some of whom I had shared—what do I call it, the Tahrir of yore?—and the subsequent ...

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Norwegian Woman Sent to Prison After Reporting Rape in UAE

[The following report was originally published by the Emirates Center for Human Rights on 19 July 2013.] A twenty-five-year-old Norwegian woman has been sentenced to a sixteen-month prison sentence, convicted of "having sex outside of marriage," after reporting a rape incident to Dubai police.   Marte Deborah Dalelv reported that she had been raped to Dubai authorities on March 6, but had her passport confiscated and money seized before being charged four days later.   Dalelv was ...

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Occupy Gezi as Politics of the Body

Since the Gezi resistance started with bloodshed on 31 May, it has had an “anti-depressant” effect, as a friend of mine puts it, as much as it has been nerve-racking. During this period where each day has been prone to new crises and normalcy was completely disrupted, we simultaneously experienced the peaks of ecstasy and the depths of sorrow. Analyzing such an intense event naturally requires taking some distance. Pending systematization, however, the vivid memory of each day impels one to put on paper ...

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Sexual Violence in Tahrir Condemned by NGOs and Activists

Human rights groups have condemned the government’s failure to address the “epidemic” of continuing sexual violence against women taking part in demonstrations in Tahrir Square and surrounding areas. “The rampant sexual attacks during the Tahrir Square protests highlight the failure of the government and all political parties to face up to the violence that women in Egypt experience on a daily basis in public spaces,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch in a statement ...

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Transnational Anti-Imperialism and Middle East Women’s Studies

Angela Davis, writing on US women’s prisons--where poor women, women of color, queer, and transgender people are disproportionately harassed, abused, and raped behind closed doors—asks, what if we named US women’s prisons as “secret” prisons, prisons that operate within the same political context and rely on similar forms of violence as the CIA’s secret prisons of the war on terror? Davis is referring to the CIA’s secret prisons in places like Jordan, Egypt, Iraq and Morocco where suspected “enemy ...

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Sailing for Safe Abortion Access: The Emergence of a Conscious Social Nonmovement in Morocco

The story of nonmovements is the story of agency in the times of constraints - Asef Bayat  An international non-governmental organization, Women on Waves, collaborated with a local Moroccan collective, Mouvement alternatif pour les libertés individuelles (MALI), in a direct action ship campaign to promote safe abortion access in Morocco in October 2012. Women on Waves and MALI operate under the principle that a woman’s right to access a safe abortion is a fundamental human right. Based on Asef ...

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