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Lebanon

Media on Media Roundup (April 25)

[Hezbollah flag in Baalbeck, Lebanon. Photo by yeowatzup, Wikimedia Commons]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup tackles several important themes shaping the Middle East mediascape. A leaked video allegedly showing Egyptian soldiers killing detainees in the Sinai Peninsula caused a great deal of debate surrounding Egypt’s human rights record. In Lebanon, a Hezbollah-organized media tour of the country’s demarcation line with Israel generated controversy regarding Lebanon’s relationship to Israel and Hezbollah’s military power. Following a referendum extending President Erdogan’s ruling powers, the Turkish government detained the editor-in-chief of leftist website Sendika.org for denouncing  Erdogan’s win as illegitimate. The New ...

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Two Video Installations by Dictaphone Group (Houston, 18-23 April 2017)

This year's installment of Houston's CounterCurrent Festival will feature two video installations by the Lebanon-based Dictaphone Group, a research and performance collective that creates live art events based on multidisciplinary study of space. The two video installations on display in Houston tackle different aspects of displacement, refuge, and urban space, taking on the experience of individual Syrian and Palestinian refugees. Both installations are showing every from 12pm to 8pm, 18-23 April 2017. Admission is free, but reservations are required. Below are brief descriptions of each instllation, including location and a URL for additional information as ...

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جلد وحبر: مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع طه سمور

أجرى محمد علي نايل لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع طه سمور، متخصص بوشوم المدرسة القديمة والحديثة، وفن الخط الياباني والعربي. درس في الجامعة اللبنانية، كلية علم الاجتماع والدراسات الإنسانية. يعمل كفنان وشم منذ أيلول ٢٠١١ وأستاذ للغة والأدب الإنكليزي منذ ٢٠١٢. تركز المقابلة على استعادة الحروفية في فن صناعة الوش.

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Dark Beirut: The (In)Visibility of Electricity

[Electricity pole in Hamra. Photo by Abi Weaver, 2016]

As filmmakers and researchers working on electricity in Beirut, it is tempting to become too attached to the visible, namely electricity wires that drape the city like garlands, dangerously gaping down at pedestrians, changing their paths, forcing detours. The ubiquity of wires stretching like lianas from rooftops, or hanging heavily in overgrown bunches from leaning poles, inches from your head is difficult to avoid. The crowding of sky and street by intertwining cables, whose origins and destinations are difficult to trace, is one of the most distinctive features of the city’s urban landscape, and a very explicit metaphor of Lebanon’s chronic electricity crisis. The ...

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Remembering Husayn Muruwwah, the ‘Red Mujtahid’

[Husayn with his wife, Fatima, 1980. With thanks to Ghassan Nasser]

On 17 February 1987, during one of the bloodiest periods of the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990), the prominent journalist, literary critic, intellectual, and activist Husayn Muruwwah (or Hussein Mroué[i]) was assassinated at his home in Ramlet al-Baida, West Beirut. Muruwwah left Lebanon at the age of fourteen to train at the Najaf hawza (seminary) in Iraq. He intended to follow in the footsteps of his father, who was a respected religious scholar and cleric. Yet after a multifaceted intellectual journey that spanned several decades and multiple locations, Muruwwah went on to become a celebrated Marxist philosopher and senior member of the Lebanese Communist Party (LCP); ...

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Growing Sustainability at Beirut Design Week 2016 (Video)

[Screenshot from video below]

Growing Sustainably is a documentary film made during Beirut Design Week 2016. It focuses on four initiatives that took place over the course of that year. Each project represents a certain aspect of sustainability. The Beirut Makers, a collective of over a dozen designers and makers, are featured as an example of economic sustainability for the Lebanese design industry. TheOtherDada, an architectural studio, represents the importance of environmental sustainability through their Beirut River 2.0 installation. The Alonsor project shows the value of design in cultural sustainability, where the aesthetics of African diaspora become a tool for engagement. ...

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Call for Applicants--2017 Doctoral Dissertation Summer Institute: Researching Lebanon

The Arab Studies Institute (ASI), AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies (CAMES), and AUB's Asfar Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship are pleased to announce the second Doctoral Dissertation Summer Institute on Lebanon, to be held 12-23 June 2017. The program aims to provide a framework for facilitating and advancing rigorous inter-disciplinary doctoral dissertation research on Lebanon. Scholarly literature on Lebanon is seldom fully integrated into the graduate coursework of PhD students focusing on the Middle East and North Africa. Furthermore, such students rarely find themselves at institutions with ...

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New Texts Out Now: Nadya Hajj, Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps

Nadya Hajj. Protection Amid Chaos: The Creation of Property Rights in Palestinian Refugee Camps (New York: Columbia University Press, 2016). Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Nadya Hajj (NH): My book was motivated by something I heard in more than two hundred interviews in Palestinian refugee camps across Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The central Palestinian refugee narrative was that the community searched for ways to find communal protection in the midst of fawda or chaos in the camps. Refugees felt the camps were chaotic because there was no central authority governing the camps. Property rights were one tool, among many, that Palestinians used to ...

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De l’impuissance des citoyens libanais face au système. "Powerless," les ambiguïtés d'un documentaire

[Le Robin des bois de l'électricité dans le film Powerless. Crédit : Road 2 Films]

Compte rendu: Powerless ('Indama ya’ti al-zhalam), documentaire réalisé par Cynthia Choucair (2012) (arabe, sous titré en anglais) La fin de l’année 2016 a été porteuse de nombreuses déceptions pour les militants libanais qui luttent pour la préservation du littoral et son accès libre à tous les publics, avec la construction d’un complexe touristique sur une partie de la plage de Ramlet el-Bayda à Beyrouth. De même, la (ré)ouverture de décharges sur la mer à Borj Hammoud et à Costa Brava, sur deux autres tronçons déjà dégradés du littoral de l’agglomération de la capitale libanaise, en principe temporaire, n’en signale pas moins l’échec des ...

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Media on Media Roundup (December 14)

[Students and supporters protest the arrest of Lebanese University student Bassel Elamin for a Facebook status defending Syrian refugees against mistreatment. Photo by Richard Samour]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup features stories on the manufacturing of media narratives during war, Egypt’s media laws, and a new ISIS radio show for concerned jihadis. The New York Times has scrutinized Bana Alabed’s Twitter account. A seven-year-old girl from East Aleppo who tweets with the help of her mother and has gained massive popularity online, although some question the authenticity of the account. Moreover, Jadaliyya has published an article calling for free and open debate on Syria, in reference to the frequently intolerant propaganda war being waged for the dominant media narrative. In Egypt, the press syndicate continues its struggle ...

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The Five-Square-Meters Maid's Room: Lebanon's Racist, Gendered Architecture

[Worker's room. Image by Bassem Saad]

Pick any mid- to upper-class residential project in Lebanon and you will more often than not find the floor plan featuring a small room with the label of “maid’s room.” Through ubiquity, this label and the architecture it signifies have long passed the stage of normalization not only in Lebanon but also in other parts of the Arab world such as Qatar, UAE, and Saudi Arabia where middle and upper class families rely on cheap manual labor in the form of predominantly female foreign workers to maintain households. The Lebanese case, however, serves as one where (a) land per capita is one of the lowest in the world and (b) a neoliberal construction law that is deliberately ...

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Report: Tripoli City Profile

[Tripoli City Profile. Credit: UN-Habitat]

UN-Habitat just released a report on the city of Tripoli (Lebanon), entitled Tripoli City Profile. This is the first of a series of City Profiles UN-Habitat, Lebanon will be publishing in the following months. City Profiles are a multi-sectoral spatial tool to improve understanding of vulnerabilities in specifically urban settings, and to inform the response. Developed in close collaboration with municipal unions, municipalities, humanitarian partners, and other stakeholders, the profiles are based on currently available data, and will be updated online to take account of new information, including information gathered from UN-Habitat Neighbourhood Profiles, and ...

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The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840-1920

Carol Hakim, The Origins of the Lebanese National Idea, 1840–1920. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2013. [This review was orginally published in the Spring 2017 issue of the Arab Studies Journal. For more information on the issue, or to subscribe to ASJ, click here.] Against teleological accounts that locate the origins of national ideas in a distant past and trace their evolution along a linear path into the present, Carol Hakim’s Origins of the Lebanese National Idea cautiously ...

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Woman Healers - A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Rola Yasmine

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Mohamad Ali Nayel speaks with Rola Yasmine about women’s health issues in Lebanon and the impact of patriarchy within the medical field.   Rola Yasmine is a feminist, nurse and researcher based in Beirut and working on sexuality and gender and their intersections. For 3 years in youth sexual and reproductive health research at the American University of Beirut (AUB) and co-published peer reviewed papers on youth sexuality. Rola has a Master of Science ...

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Media on Media Roundup (March 30)

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup covers several important topics affecting the MENA mediascape. A terror attack in London prompted the British government to ask that its security services be granted access to encrypted applications like Whatsapp, thought to be essential for planning the assault. In other news, Forbes Middle East comments on a British and US-issued electronics ban that prohibits the use of laptops and tablets on board direct flights from several Middle Eastern ...

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دورنا في صناعة الظلام

[المقالة لربيع علم الدين ترجمها عن الإنجليزية إسامة إسبر] بعد الانتخابات الرئاسية مباشرة امتلأ حسابي على التويتر بالتعبيرات عن الصدمة والشكاوى. بدا كما لو أن العبارة المفضلة للجميع هي:"نحن أفضل من هذا”. لكنني اعتبرت هـذا الكلام خاطئاً، وفهمتُ منطقه الملتوي، والصدمة والأذى اللذين سيقودان أحداً ما كي يقول هذا، لكن هذا لم يكن صحيحاً. لسنا أفضل من هذا. نحن هذا. لقد انتُخبَ الرجل رئيساً. وبحكم طبيعة الحال إن أميركا هي هذا، نحن هذا. لا أقول كلامي هذا كي أوحي أننا يجب أن نُلام، أو أن أحداً ما ...

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Specters of Palestine: Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

There are at least 1.5 million Syrian refugees in Lebanon, a number that represents a quarter of Lebanon’s total population. This is the highest concentration of Syrian refugees in the world. Syrians are not the only refugee population in Lebanon. When considered alongside Palestinian, Iraqi, Kurdish, and Sudanese refugees, the total refugee population easily represents a third of Lebanon’s current residents. Lebanon had no revolution, or sustained uprising, to contribute to the regional fervor that ...

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Call for Volunteers: LEAP Summer English Program with Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon (Deadline: 17 February 2017)

Apply Today Deadline: February 17, 2017  ABOUT LEAP  Learning for the Empowerment and Advancement of Palestinians (LEAP) is an educational empowerment program for Palestinian refugee-youth in Lebanon dedicated to nurturing the intellectual growth and creative curiosity of our students. LEAP encourages youth to become agents of change by supporting them in their educational pursuits during their most formative years. 
LEAP aims to illuminate ...

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Camp Pause: Stories from Rashidieh Camp and the Sea

We know very little about why Palestinian camps are located where they are in Lebanon. We also know little about the trajectories of their communities. We often assume that, upon their arrival, refugees were directly transported to tents that later became “camps.” Reflecting on ideas of refuge and ways of writing alternative histories of Palestinians camps in Lebanon, Dictaphone Group created a project entitled Camp Pause, commissioned by Dar El-Nimer in Beirut for Qalandia International Festival ...

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Beirut Conference: Rethinking Media Through the Middle East

Organized by the Media Studies Program at the American University of Beirut in collaboration with the Arab Council for the Social Sciences and AUB’s Center for Arab and Middle Eastern Studies--American University of Beirut on 12-13 January 2017. Within the field of media studies, Middle Eastern media is often treated as a domain of interest only to area specialists. If knowledge about Middle Eastern media usually serves only to supplement dominant frameworks and paradigms, we are interested in ...

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استراحة مخيّم: روايات من مخيم الرشيدية والبحر

لا نعرف الكثير حول سبب تواجد المخيمات الفلسطينية حيث هي اليوم. كما لا نعرف المسارات التي اتخذها سكانها من فلسطين إلى تلك المخيمات. كثيراً ما نظن أنّ اللاجئين، نقلوا عند وصولهم، مباشرة إلى الخيام التي أصبحت في وقت لاحق "مخيمات." انطلاقاً من أفكار حول اللجوء وسُبل كتابة تاريخ مغاير للمخيمات الفلسطينية في لبنان، عملنا في مجموعة الدكتافون على مشروع "استراحة مخيم" الذي تم تطويره بتكليف من مقر دار النمر للفن والثقافة في بيروت خلال فعاليات مهرجان قلنديا الدولي لعام 2016. عملُنا في مجموعة ...

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بيان: أوقفوا ترحيل الناشطتين في نقابة عاملات المنازل في لبنان

بيان مشترك بيروت، في 9/12/2016 نحن الجمعيات الموقّعة أدناه، علمنا أن السيدتين سوشيلا رنا المعروفة باسم سوجانا رنا، والسيدة روجا مايا ليمبو والمعروفة باسم روزي ليمبو، من الجالية النيبالية وعضوتان في نقابة عاملات المنازل قد تم توقيفهما في الاسبوع الماضي لأسباب غير معروفة بعد، وهما قيد الاحتجاز من قبل المديرية العامة للأمن العام في بيروت، لبنان. كما علمنا أن سوجانا معرّضة للترحيل نهار السبت الواقع في 10 كانون الاول 2016، ولم تردنا أي معلومات حول مصير روزي. إن سبب توقيف سوجانا وروزي لا يزال حتى ...

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Quick Thoughts: Maya Mikdashi on the Lebanese Presidential Elections

[On 31 October 2016, Michel Aoun was elected to the Lebanese presidency by a parliamentary majority. Aoun’s election ended a period of two years during which Lebanon functioned without a head of state on account of the inability of the country’s rival political coalitions to agree on a candidate. Jadaliyya Co-Editor Maya Mikdashi, Assistant Professor of Gender Studies and Middle East Studies at Rutgers University, elaborates on this crisis, its resolution, and the broader implications for the Lebanese ...

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Mapping New Constructions in Beirut (2000-2013)

In a world of rapidly modernizing and globalizing cities, Beirut does not stand out as an exception. Spreading citywide since the early 2000s is an urban renewal process sparked by a well-resourced Lebanese diaspora and foreign investors, and influenced by an ambitious, controversial project to rebuild Beirut’s war-devastated central district (Solidere’s project). Indeed, over the past fifteen years, most neighborhoods in municipal Beirut have undergone conspicuous transformations that have dramatically ...

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