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The Syrian Uprising Six Years On: Causes, Dynamics, Prospects, GMU Lecture by Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad

       The Middle East Policy Group at the Schar School of Policy and Government, in collaboration with the Middle East and Islamic Studies program of George Mason University, invites you to attend the second session of the Reflections on Middle East Policy series.       The Syrian Uprising Six Years O

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The Precarity of Youth: Entrepreneurship is not the Solution

In 2011, the year people across the Arab world poured into the streets demanding bread, dignity and social justice, The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, by labor economist Guy Standing, hit the stands. Though Standing’s work wasn’t informed by events in the region, his book on labor and life amid anxiety in the 21st century speaks more pointedly to the realities of many young people in the Middle East and North Africa than the much-anticipated 2016 Arab Human Development Report. The term “precariat” is an aggregate of precarity and the proletariat, used to describe a group of people in society that experience what Standing refers to as the ...

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Why Space Matters in the Arab Uprisings (and Beyond)

[1945 map of Beirut]

Many non-scholarly and scholarly accounts on the societies, culture, and political economy of the Middle East post-“Arab Uprisings/Spring” still deal with cities and regions as mere repositories of social, cultural, political, and economic action—despite the spatial turn that has informed social sciences and humanities for more than three decades ago now. Indeed, they often overlook the shaping roles of the built and natural environments in the production of events unraveling in cities and regions of the Middle East. We thus read about cities and regions as backgrounds and contexts for processes and practices, rather than environments that have determining impacts ...

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Doubling Down: Jordan Six Years into the Arab Uprisings

[Another example of logo and design efforts at state propaganda in Jordan]

The political economy of Jordan today is characterized by greater degrees of authoritarianism and neoliberalism than was the case in 2010. Yet two trends in knowledge production on Jordan seem to claim otherwise. The first of these trends privileges narrowly defined security concerns. The second assumes the best of intentions by a core group of those in power. Whether through reporting or analysis, authors of either suasion typically ignore the machinations of authoritarianism and neoliberalism in Jordan, their varied effects on sociopolitical dynamics, and forms of resistance against both. Jordan did not feature the types of anti-regime mobilizations many of us ...

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Media on Media Roundup (February 14)

[Iranians take to the streets in memory of the 1979 Revolution; Photo by Abedin Taherkenareh/European Pressphoto Agency]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup addresses several issues affecting the MENA mediascape. Iran marked the anniversary of the 1979 revolution this Friday, and the New York Times showcased some memorable posters from the procession, some of which thanked Americans who opposed the “Muslim ban.” According to Human Rights Watch representatives, Saudi Arabia intensified its attacks on journalists and activists in 2016. Also in Saudi Arabia, young women are taking to social media to report experiences of sexual harassment and abuse, using the hashtag #Break_Your_Silence_Speak_Up. Al-Monitor takes on Turkey’s television industry, analyzing whether digital ...

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حكاية ما انحكت: مدن ثائرة - مقابلة لمجلة الوضع مع محمد ديبو

[محمد ديبو رئيس تحرير حكاية ما انحكت]

أجرت كاتي الحايك لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع محمد ديبو، رئيس تحرير ”سوريا أنتولد“ (حكاية ما انحكت)، وهو شاعر وكاتب سوري وباحث مهتم بالثقافة والاقتصاد في سوريا. يناقش محمد ديبو “حكاية ما انحكت” ومشروعه الجديد “مدن ثائرة”، ،الذي يستقصي تاريخ الانتفاض السورية في ست مدن مختلفة.      

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January 25 at Six

[Tahrir Square sit-in on 9 February 2011. Photo by Jonathan Rashad.]

Six years have passed since Egyptians have taken to the streets and public squares demanding “bread, freedom, and social justice.” Traces of January 25 Revolution may appear faint in present day Egypt. Certainly, the actors and players who once led the effort to mobilize opposition against thirty years of the rule of Hosni Mubarak have suffered a great deal of marginalization under the military sponsored regime that the coup of 3 July 2013 has put into place. And yet even with the seeming containment of the partisans of the January 25 Revolution, advocates of the status quo, notably the regime of Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi, have been anything but triumphant. Even after four ...

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الذاكرة المجروحة

لم تستطع التجربة السياسية المغربية أن تؤسس ذاتها بعيدا عن القوة والمخزنة، وتكاد أدبيات هذه التجربة أن تعلو على كل التجارب ،في المجال الثقافي والحقوقي والاجتماعي؛ أي أن أوفقير وإدريس البصري والدليمي علامات فارقة في المشهد المغربي، أكثر من الحبابي، المنجرة، الجابري، العروي، الخطيبي، المرنيسي، ولولا فسحة البحث ومتعة الكلمة لما كان لهذه الأسماء من ذكر وصيت، و إن دل هذا الطغيان على أشخا بعينهم، فإنه ينبئ بطبيعة النظام و جبروته، و ما المفهوم الجديد للسلطة إلا محاولة لتجميل هذا النظام، وإقبار وحشية صورته في الذاكرة والمخيال الاجتماعي، بإيعاز من المسار الحقوقي وطنيا و دوليا، ومحاولة لإعادة بناء السلطة بما يتماشى ومنطق العصر، وما يكفل تجذير المشروعية الاجتماعية والسياسية للنظام ...

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Aleppo: Impending Battle [Ongoing Post]

[Image from Oman Observer]

[This is an ongoing post and is updated regularly. It was first published/launched on 4 November 2016. Recent posts/updates are below. The reports of suffering become more devastating as you scroll down] 4 November 2016 The battle for Aleppo has been underway for some time, but is in all likelihood entering an even more critical and costly phase in terms of loss of human life. This post will be updated during the coming days to reflect what portends to be a potential calamity with serious implications. Without a doubt, the parties that hold the initiative and ultimate responsibility for the consequences of this battle are the Syrian regime and the Russian forces, who ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad on the Left, Imperialism, and Syria at KPFA

The following interview aired live on Wednesday 21 December 2016 on the UPFRONT show of KPFA (Pacfica Radio San Francisco and Oakland). The episode takes the recent developents in Aleppo as the launch point to discuss dynamics in Syria. The episode features Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad (also the Director of the Middle East and Islamic Studies program and Associate Professor at the Schar School of Policy and Government at George Mason University) and author and journalist Richard Becker.     Listen to the Show Here   [STARTS AT 10:10]   Download the Show Here      INTERVIEW TRANSCRIPT Cat Brooks ...

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Why History Matters in Post-2011 Morocco

[Protestors demand justice for the death of fish vendor Mohcine Fikri in al-Hoceima, Morocco, a week after his death. Image by Samia Errazzouki]

The Story of the Fishmonger A few weeks ago, the media carried the tragic story of a Moroccan fishmonger named Mouhcine Fikri, aged thirty-one, from the northern coastal town of al-Hoceima. Fikri was crushed to death by a rubbish compactor as he tried to retrieve a bundle of swordfish that had been callously tossed into the back of a garbage truck by sanitation workers, presumably acting under orders from some higher, unseen authority. Fikri was planning to sell the fish in the market. Swordfish is a delicacy in Morocco and commands a high price; in this instance, Fikri’s catch was reportedly worth more than $11,000. But it is also a protected species by European Union ...

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Media on Media Roundup (November 29)

[Image taken at a protest outside the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in Cairo from May 2016. Image from Egyptian Chronicles Blog]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup revolves around a number of topics dealing with Egypt’s legal dispute with its press syndicate, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s absence from Twitter, and how White Helmets’ "Mannequin Challenge" video blew up in their face. Egyptian authorities have recently been under heat for their continuing efforts to silence opposition media. Imprisoned photojournalist Mahmoud Abou Zeid "Shawkan" was awarded an International Press Freedom Award in absentia by the Committee to Protect Journalists, for his dedication to documenting the Egyptian revolution. Commentators are questioning Sisi’s position towards the ...

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Egypt Media Roundup (March 6)

[This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Egypt and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the Egypt Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each week's roundup to by Sunday night of every week.]  Political Rights Court acquits Mubarak of ordering 2011 protester killings The Court of Cassation has ordered the final acquittal of ousted President Hosni Mubarak, clearing him of ...

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Media on Media Roundup (February 21)

This week’s Jadaliyya "Media on Media" roundup delves into several topics affecting the Middle East and North Africa region. Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ continues to make headlines, prompting a series of interesting debates and discussions. Security researcher Ryan Lackey advises visa-holders affected by Trump’s "Muslim ban" on how to enter the U.S. with their digital privacy intact. The Washington Post discusses a German news story accusing a refugee "sex mob" of harassing ...

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A Preface to A Critique of Instant Analysis and Scholarship on the Arab Uprisings

Much of the writing on the Arab uprisings continues to suffer from the new think-tank-ish, self-important, semi-casual, sloppy-analysis syndromes. It is as if having a platform and a mandate are sufficient to produce sound knowledge. For the most part, the proof is in the pudding. Follow platforms and individuals across time and space and this becomes clear: zigzagging and pendulum-swing judgments and analysis, driven more by events and politics than by historical and analytical depth. Worse still, this ...

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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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Press Release: NYC Yemeni Grocery Stores to Shut Down in Response to "Muslim Ban"

Wednesday, February 1 (New York, New York)  On Thursday, February 2, Yemeni grocery store owners across five New York boroughs will close 1,000 stores from 12pm to 8pm in response to the Trump administration’s infamous “Muslim Ban” executive order. This shutdown of grocery stores and bodegas will be a public show of the vital role these grocers and their families play in New York’s economic and social fabric and, during this period, grocery store owners will spend time with their families and loved ...

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Arabian Peninsula Media Roundup (January 26)

[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 by Monday night of every week.] Regional and International Relations  Saudi inflation plunge aids government in fight to tame deficit  “While inflation could fall a ...

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The Egyptians: A Radical History of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution - Afterword

[This is an edited extract from Jack Shenker’s book, published in the UK as The Egyptians: A Radical Story (Allen Lane / Penguin) and in the US as The Egyptians: A Radical History of Egypt’s Unfinished Revolution (New Press) – for more details, see here.] In late February 2016, President Sisi strode up to the podium at Cairo’s El Galaa theatre, looked into the waiting television cameras, and addressed the nation. “Don't listen to anyone but me,” he declared. “I am dead serious. Be careful, no one ...

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

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, ...

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Jadaliyya Syria Page Co-Editor Basileus Zeno on Sectarianism, Syria, and Iran, on BBC Newshour Extra

After Aleppo? On Friday, 23 December 2016, the BBC’s Newshour Extra featured a discussion on the sectarianism as a framework of analysis for the war in Syria. Host Owen Bennet Jones mediated between panelists Basilseous Zeno (PhD Student in Political Science at University of Masschusetts Amherst), Mohammed Alyahya (Non-Resident Fellow at the Atlantic Council), Haydar al-Khoei (Researchers at the Centre for Academic Shi‘a Studies), and Ariane Tabatabai (Visiting Assistant Professor of Security Studies ...

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Quick Thoughts: Elyse Semerdjian on Standing Rock

[On 4 December 2016, the operators of the North Dakota Access Pipeline were informed they no longer had permission to pursue construction plans under Lake Oahe, the main water source of the nearby Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. The announcement crowned many months of activism led by the inhabitants of Standing Rock, and which garnered growing support and solidarity across the United States and indeed worldwide. Jadaliyya turned to Elyse Semerdjian, currently a visiting fellow at Cornell University, to ...

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Symposium -- Left-Wing Trends in the Arab World (1948-1979): Bringing the Transnational Back In (Beirut, 12-13 December 2016)

Left-Wing Trends in the Arab World (1948-1979): Bringing The Transnational Back in 12-13 December Orient-Institut Beirut Gilbert Achcar, Abdulnabi Alekry, Haggag Ali, Abdulsalam Alrubaidi, Anne-Linda Amira Augustin, Orit Bashkin, Dalal al-Bizri, Michaelle Browers, Musa Budeiri, Jeffrey Byrne, Maher Charif, Elliott Colla, Yasmeen Daifallah, Nicolas Dot-Pouillard, Alexander Flores, Nate George, Gennaro Gervasio, Laure Guirguis, Dyala Hamzah, Jens Hanssen, Sune Haugbolle, Elizabeth Holt, Idriss Jebari, ...

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad Addresses Aleppo Today on Democracy Now!

"Nothing Short of a Slaughter": 1 Million Syrians in Aleppo Under Siege with No Hospital, Food" As the United Nations says nearly 1 million Syrians are living under siege and the last remaining hospitals in eastern Aleppo have been destroyed, we speak with Syrian analyst Bassam Haddad and get an update from a physician in touch with medical personnel in Aleppo. Dr. Zaher Sahloul is founder of the American Relief Coalition for Syria and senior adviser and former president of the Syrian ...

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