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STATUS/الوضع: Issue 4.1 is Live!
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STATUS/الوضع: Issue 4.1 is Live!
Listen to educators and activists deconstruct conventional knowledge on a host of contemporary issues.
STATUS/الوضع: Issue 4.1 is Live!
From the electricity crisis in Gaza to a conversation with a Yemeni activist - Status covers it all.

Kuwait

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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New Texts Out Now: Farah Al-Nakib, Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life

Farah Al-Nakib, Kuwait Transformed: A History of Oil and Urban Life (Stanford University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Farah Al-Nakib (FA): This book is the culmination of nearly ten years of research on Kuwait’s urban social history, which I began working on in 2006 for my doctoral dissertation. But in many ways, I have been thinking about the kinds of urban and social transformations that I address in this book for much longer, ever since I was a teenager. Kuwait in the 1990s, when I was in high school, was dramatically different from the Kuwait in which I’d spent my childhood in the 1980s.  The Iraqi invasion of 1990 seemed the ...

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Critical Readings in Political Economy: Resilience

Sean Yom, From Resilience to Revolution (Columbia, 2015); Suzanne Maloney, Iran’s Political Economy since the Revolution (Cambridge, 2015). Why do governments last? What kind of governments last? Increasingly, studies on the stability of regimes in the Middle East/North Africa region focus on how elites enfold the middle and working classes into socio-political orders. Such enfoldment happens through turning the state into not merely an instrument of violent class rule through extraction, but also part-and-parcel of everyday social reproduction. Sean Yom’s From Resilience to Revolution addresses government resilience and longevity. He builds his study on three ...

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التمييز كأداة للتسلط والإخضاع

[صورة للفنان المصري عبد الرازق عكاشة]

في بداية هذا الشهر (آذار/مارس) أعلنت وزارة الصحة في الكويت قراراً بتعميم العزل في العيادات الصحية بين المواطنين والوافدين، بعد نجاح فترة تجريبية استمرت طيلة ستة أشهر. وحسب ذلك القرار، تُخصص العيادات الصباحية للكويتيين فقــط بينما تُخصص العيادات المسائيـــة لغير الكويتيين (الذين يشكلون أكثر من ثلثيْ سكان البلاد). ويتيح القرار لمن أراد من المواطنين "حرية الاختيار بين الفترتين الصباحية والمسائية". قرار العزل بين المواطنين والوافدين هو أحد النتائج السلبية لإعادة الهيكلة الاقتصادية التي فرضت تقليص عدد من الخدمات الأساسية، بما فيها الصحية، في الكويت كما في باقي بلدان الخليج العربي. لم تؤثر إجراءات التقليص على الفئات الميسورة التي تستطيع الاستفادة من التوسع الملحوظ ...

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Manifesto Against the Woman

[Image by Rana Jarbou.]

Weeks before the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, Indian theorist Chandra Talpade Mohanty published her book, Feminism without Borders, in which she discusses the hegemony of Western feminism and its deadly transnational effects. In doing so, Mohanty did not reveal a truth that other feminists had somehow missed. She did, however, theorize what she called “third world difference”–that brute pedestal upon which western feminists stand as they survey the world. Mohanty uses the term to critique the problematic practices and relationships through which western feminism purports to speak for third world women. Mohanty describes this “difference” as “that stable, ahistorical ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 30)

[Bahraini activist Abdulhadi Al-Khawaja (left) remains imprisoned after ending his hunger strike protesting conditions in Jaw prison, while Nabeel Rajab (right) has been sentenced to six months for

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Wikileaks Docs Reveal Saudi intrigues against Bahrain’s Arab Spring Faten Bushehri examines Saudi Arabia’s meddling in Bahrain’s affairs during the 2011 uprising. The Saudi Cables: Revelations from Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Lebanon, Sudan & Egypt Kevin Gosztola reports on regional issues ...

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Sami Mohammad: On the Path to Al Sadu

[Sami Mohammad sculpting

Within a few years of joining Kuwait’s Free Atelier in 1959, Sami Mohammad created a collection of paintings and sculptures that would determine the direction of his art over the next five decades. As one of the studio’s first artists, he was given a stipend by the Kuwaiti government that allowed him to focus on developing his artistic practice fulltime. The groundbreaking art space and its associated programs provided Mohammad and his colleagues with an ideal setting—a place where they could liberally work with various media while receiving artistic training outside the rigid directives of an academy. The benefits of the open-studio environment are evident in the range ...

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أكثر المطلوبين: محمد العجمي. محادثة ل "الوضع" بين منى كريم ومحمد العجمي

في هذا اللقاء الذي أجرته منى كريم يسلّط محمد العجمي الضوء على نشاطه وعلى أسباب وظروف اعتقاله بالإضافة إلى مسائل أخرى.  محمد العجمي مغرد مشهور على التويتر وناشط سياسي من الكويت. اعتُقل عدة مرات  لانتقاده النظام. عجمي عضو في “اللجنة الوطنية لمراقبة الانتهاكات”. اعتُقل في في ٢٧ آب\أغسطس بعد أن استُدعي وحُقّق معه مطوّلاً  وقد أمر المسؤولون باحتجازه فترة مبدئية من ١٠ أيام على ذمة التحقيق      

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Gulf Women's Writing: On Slavery, Migrant Labor, and Statelessness

[Announcement for Mona Kareem's talk at Binghamton University. Image from ArabLit.]

On 10 November, Mona Kareem will give a talk at Binghamton University (1:00pm in room LT 1506) on how Gulf women writers adopt—or challenge—nationalist narratives. How, Kareem asks, do women writers deal with racialized minorities, migrants, and stateless individuals? What kinds of feminist positions are taken within their discussions of racism? Can citizen-women offer an alternative history or new narratives on issues of slavery, migrant labor, and statelessness? Kareem is herself stateless, a poet and writer who has brought out two collections of Arabic poetry, and is currently a PhD candidate in the comparative literature program at Binghamton ...

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Understanding Modernity: A Review of the Kuwait Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

 [The Kuwait Pavilion in the Arsenale during the public opening on 7 June 2014. Photo by Roberto Fabbri.]

On 6 June 2014, the Kuwait pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia’s 14th International Architecture Exhibition opened with a restaging of an event that took place three decades earlier: the ceremonial opening of the Kuwait National Museum. Under the heading “Acquiring Modernity” (responding to the overall Biennale theme “Absorbing Modernity”), the Kuwait pavilion seeks to “articulate the nation’s history of modernization” by focusing its participation on the history of the national museum, first established in 1957 and then re-opened in 1983 in a structure designed by French architect Michel Ecochard (figure 1).

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لا تقصص رؤياك

[غلاف الرواية. الصورة من المؤلف]

نواف اكتسحني برد شديد، انتشلني من إغماءة، كنت أنتفض. حاولت أن أفتح عيني باتساع فلا أستطيع، جفناي متورمان وثقيلان. استطعت فتح فرجة صغيرة من عيني الشمال منها سبرت المكان الذي تسرب إليه خيط نور من ثقب في ساتر حديدي يسد النافذة. غرفة صغيرة، عدة كراسي بأرجل طويلة جنب الحائط، طاولتان بينهما قطعة سجاد، صندوق قناني مشروبات غازية فارغة، علب أصباغ رائحتها اتعبت تنفسي. نظرتي مهزوزة وألم انتشر في رأسي. ما لبثت النظرة قليلا حتى أسدلت جفني من الألم وعدت للظلام، ارتحت قليلا. صمت مطبق كصمت بدايات الكوابيس لا يخترقه سوى هدير مكيف هواء حوّل الغرفة لثلاجة. تذكرت بعضا من الكابوس الذي رأيته؛ كنت أغوص في ماء بارد والدنيا مظلمة من حولي. سطح الماء جليدي، أريد أن أتنفس فلا أجد فجوة أخرج منها. ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 17)

[Eight army medics were killed and nine others injured in an attack on a bus north of Aden, Yemen. Image from Jialiang Gao/Wikimedia Commons.]

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations Jihadistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran Immanuel Wallerstein argues that the success of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant may bring Riyadh and Tehran closer together. Saudi rejects foreign interference in Iraq, blames 'sectarian' Maliki Noah Browning analyzes the official Saudi position on ...

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Media on Media Roundup (April 4)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup discusses several important stories affecting the MENA mediascape. According to CNN and CBS, the recent “electronics ban” by the Trump administration was largely prompted by intel that al-Qaida and ISIS militants are developing ways to plant explosives in electronic devices. VICE Media are looking to expand their website and digital channel to the Middle East, aiming to open approximately fifty new staff positions in Dubai. Suppression of free speech ...

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Call for Papers: Mobilities and Materialities of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula (Kuwait, 17-19 March 2017)

The Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait will hold its third Gulf Studies Symposium (GSS) on 17-19 March 2017. The GSS is a meeting of worldwide Gulf scholars and researchers held biennially in Kuwait. Each symposium is based on a particular scholarly theme that is timely both to the region and to the field of Gulf studies. The theme of the 2017 GSS is "Mobilities and Materialities of the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula." CALL FOR PAPERS The 2017 GSS will bring together ...

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35 عاما على تشكيل مجلس التعاون الخليجي

 في 25 أيار/ مايو الماضي مرّت الذكرى الخامسة والثلاثون لتأسيس مجلس التعاون الخليجي. احتفى الإعلام الرسمي، وإن في أطر ضيقة، بنشر مقالات وبثّ برامج أشادت بما "حققه العمل الخليجي المشترك من إنجازات في المجالات السياسية والأمنية والاقتصادية والتنموية". وبالمقابل، لم تثر المناسبة اهتمام مواطني بلدان المجلس، فهو تأسس بقرار سياسي اتخذه الحكام دون مشاركة عامة بأي شكل من الأشكال، واستمر طيلة السنوات الماضية شأناً خاصاً بالعوائل الحاكمة وحدها، فيه تَعقد اتفاقاتها وتَحِل خلافاتها وتُناقش أمورها ...

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المجتمع المدني في الخليج العربي: الواقع والاحتمالات. مقابلة للوضع بين انور الرشيد وفاتح عزام

نقاش حول واقع وانشطة وتاريخ حركات المجتمع المدني في منطقة الخليج العربي. أنور الرشيد رئيس منتدى المجتمع المدني الخليجي منذ 2007. يعمل أيضاً كصحفي ومحلل سياسي، وعضو جمعية الصحفيين الكويتيين، وهو مراقب دولي للانتخابات في المنطقة وكان نائب رئيس مجلس مديري شبكة انتخابات العالم العربي. وهو عضو في منظمة حقوق الإنسان الكويتية، ونسّق عدة “مؤتمرات ظل” للمجتمع المدني بالتوازي مع مؤتمرات قادة مجلس التعاون الخليجي  

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اللاجئون السوريون والخليج: لحظة فك السحر

عندما كتب ميشيل فوكو عن علاقة المعرفة بالسلطة ركز على أهمية العلوم الاجتماعية لتقديم المعرفة الدقيقة اللازمة لأي سلطة تريد تنوير أو ترويض رعيتها. فالإحصائيات والأرقام والمسوحات والاستبيانات والمقابلات المعمقة هدفها تقديم حد أدنى من المعلومات التي على ضوئها سيتم تفسيرها من قبل السلطات السياسية، وإنشاء ما يسمى "بنظام الحقيقة". ومع كل أسف ما نجده هذه الأيام من جدل حول لماذا لم تستقبل دول الخليج اللاجئين السوريين هو تتويج لنظام يتناقض كلياً مع "نظام الحقيقة": إنه "نظام الجهل" أو ...

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Discussion: Gulf Youth and the City (17 June 2015, AGSIW)

Gulf cities have followed similar paths of urbanization and architecture shaped by state planning and commercial development. While local differences exist, all reflect the demands of government and business, with little attention paid to civic requirements and public spaces. Recent events across the globe, from the Occupy movements to the 2011 Arab uprisings, have brought the role of cities in political life to the forefront. However, with few exceptions, Gulf cities are known more as glittering global ...

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'The Thing Is to Be Light as Air': An Interview with Mai Al-Nakib

Last spring, Bloomsbury published Mai Al-Nakib’s debut work of fiction, The Hidden Light of Objects (released in the US this January). Since then the collection of short stories has won praise and acclaim from across the globe, including the First Book Award at the Edinburgh International Book Festival in 2014. The Hidden Light of Objects is not so much a collection but rather, to borrow from the language of Gilles Deleuze, an assemblage of fictions whose themes, characters and things are deeply ...

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Snapshot: Kuwait City

Every Friday during my day off work, I take my camera and explore Kuwait City. Kuwait on the weekends, especially in the mornings, is very peaceful. Everyone seems relaxed and to be having a quiet time. Some days I go to the Friday market, which is a flea market that opens on weekends only, to photograph pieces of life there, such as sellers arranging their used goods and antiques, a boy laying on the carpets he helps to sell while he waits for potential customers, and peoples’ interactions. Or I ...

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Call For Papers: Knowledge-Based Development in the Gulf (Kuwait, March 2015)

Knowledge-Based Development in the Gulf Call for Papers Kuwait, 13-15 March 2015 Deadline: 15 October 2014  The Center for Gulf Studies at the American University of Kuwait will hold its second Gulf Studies Symposium (GSS) on 13-15 March 2015. The GSS is a meeting of worldwide Gulf scholars and researchers held biennially in Kuwait. Each symposium is based on a particular scholarly theme that is timely both to the region and to the field of Gulf studies. The theme of the 2015 GSS is ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (September 2)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]  Regional and International Relations You Can't Understand ISIS If You Don't Know the History of Wahhabism in Saudi Arabia Alastair Crooke argues that ...

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Home Surveillance and the Rights of Domestic Workers

[The following report was originally published by Migrant Rights on 25 July 2014 under the title "Home Surveillance Marketed Against Domestic Workers' Privacy Rights."] The alleged link between migrants and crime is a commonly regurgitated misconception in much of the migrant receiving world. In the Gulf States, local media particularly dramatize the ‘danger’ of migrant domestic workers to family privacy and child safety. Authorities further fuel these xenophobic narratives, regularly ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (June 10)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on the Arabian Peninsula and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Arabian Peninsula Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to ap@jadaliyya.com by Monday night of every week.]   Regional and International Relations  Saudi Arabia and Iran Reach Out Tentatively Ben Hubbard examines the recent rapprochement between Riyadh and ...

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