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War

Civilians Paying the Price for “War on Terror” in Mosul-A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Loulouwa Al-Rachid

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Shahram Aghamir speaks with Loulouwa Al-Rachid on the military operation in Mosul, its effects, and it's consequences for Iraq. Find out more in this interview. Shahram Aghamir is a well-known political commentator on issues related to the Middle East for public and alternative media. Loulouwa Al-Rachid is a post-doctoral researcher at the European Research Council Wafaw (When Authoritarianism Fails in the Arab World) and an associate researcher (PhD) in the Center for International Research (CERI) at SciencesPo Paris. Her research focuses on Iraq and Baathist authoritarianism. She defended a PhD thesis in political ...

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New Texts Out Now: Bashir Saade, Hizbullah and the Politics of Remembrance: Writing Nations

Bashir Saade, Hizbullah and the Politics of Remembrance: Writing Nations. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2016. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Bashir Saade (BS): This book is based on my PhD dissertation and the research I had done at the time, from 2006 to 2011. I started after the July 2006 war, which was the trigger for an already growing interest in understanding the phenomenon of Hizbullah. I was mostly interested in questioning the way Hizbullah had been studied so far, and I was not satisfied with any of the paradigms that plagued the literature on the subject. My project was two-fold. One was to understand Hizbullah and the other which ...

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Visualizing Palestine: #NoAccountability

In July 2014, Israel began a military assault on the Gaza Strip, including an indiscriminate bombing campaign and a brutal ground invasion. In total, the assault killed 1,545 Palestinian civilians, including 556 children, and made 11,166 families homeless. Three years on, no justice has been attained for victims and survivors of the attack. While five hundred Palestinian complaints were filed with Israeli military courts over the 2014 Gaza war, only three soldiers were convicted as of August 2016, for minor felonies such as credit card theft. Military commanders and politicians—those most responsible for the massive loss of life—were never held accountable for their ...

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حوار مع مناضلة يمنية: حوار لمجلة الوضع مع رضية المتوكل

أجرت نهلة شهال لمجلة "الوضع" هذا الحوار مع رضية المتوكل، مؤسسة جمعية "مواطَنة" في اليمن، وهي صحافية ومناضلة حقوقية. تركز المقابلة حول الدفاع عن المعتقلين والمختفين قسريا في حروب اليمن، وعن عبثية الحرب الحالية، وعن تعريف النسوية. 

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War is Here: The Lebanese Political Elites Unite Again

[Syrian Refugees Wait in Line to Register with UNHCR in Arsal, 2013. Image by UNHCR]

War is often understood as a temporally bounded event. A war begins, and eventually it ends. In the process, people are killed, maimed, starved, and traumatized; infrastructure is damaged; and life-worlds are destroyed. In such context, survival, not life, becomes the goal. Yet such an understanding of war is often duplicitous. For example, one might look to the Gaza Strip, where slow death under a globally-sanctioned siege under the temporality of a “ceasefire” is easily as violent, as final, as the next “war” with Israel.  In Lebanon whispers of the war to come have intensified in ways that go beyond the constant anticipation of violence that characterized the ...

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Longing for Life in Yemen- A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Afrah Nasser

Traditional Yemeni living room.

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Mohamad Ali Nayel speaks with Afrah Nasser about the forgotten war in Yemen. Nasser reflects on the humanitarian crisis created by the war in Yemen and the situation of Yemeni women six years after thousands of women marched the streets of Sanaa commemorating International Women’s Day.  Afrah Nasser worked as a reporter at the Yemen Observer newspaper in Yemen (2008-2011) and started blogging since Yemen’s 2011 uprising, focusing on politics and human rights issues. Her blog was featured as one of the ten must-read blogs from the Middle East by CNN and one of the top Middle East blogs by Al-Monitor. Her writings were ...

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Syria’s Rebels, Before and After Aleppo: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Bassam Haddad and Aron Lund

In this conversation for STATUS/الوضع, host Bassam Haddad talks to Aron Lund about the state and status of Syria’s rebels, more than five months after the battle for Aleppo. Lund addresses the aftermath of the rebels defeat in east Aleppo in December 2016 and the significance of this loss for the opposition in general as well as the armed groups. Bassam also asks Lund to elaborate on what he thinks explains the pattern of mergers and factionalism among rebel groups over the years. The conversation ends with Lund addressing the manner in which he conducted research and what most surprised him along the way.  This conversation is divided into four parts. Select ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sami Hermez, War is Coming: Between Past and Future Violence in Lebanon

Sami Hermez, War is Coming: Between Past and Future Violence in Lebanon. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2017. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sami Hermez (SH): I wrote this book because I felt there was a story that needed to be told of how people in states of protracted conflict live their lives with the specter of war continually hovering in the background, akin to the sounds of Beirut traffic. The potentiality of a coming war during my research in Lebanon moved in parallel with people and organizations working on preserving the memory of past war, on communal peace building initiatives, and on advocating for forms of transitional ...

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مراجعة كتاب: صُنع العدو: أو كيف تقتُل بضمير مرتاح؟

[غلاف كتاب: صنع العدو او كيف تقتل بضمير مرتاح؟]

ما العدو؟ هل هو معطى سياسي أم اجتماعي أم ثقافي؟ مَنْ يحدّدُه؟ وما الدور الاجتماعي والسياسي الذي يؤدّيه في المجتمعات المعاصرة؟ هل يجب على الهُوية أن تُبنى بالضرورة ضدّ "الآخر"؟ في كتابه الصادر عن "المركز العربي للأبحاث ودراسة السياسات"، بترجمة نبيل عجان، يوضّح الباحث والأكاديمي والدبلوماسي الفرنسي بيار كونيسا أنه لا يهدف إلى تحديد طريقة مقبولة أو غير مقبولة للقتل، لكنه يرنو إلى تحليل كيفية نشوء علاقة العداوة، وكيف يُبنى الـمُتخيَّل قبل الذهاب إلى الحرب. استـهلَّ كونيسا (وهو أستاذ في معهد العلوم السياسية) كتابه بكلام للشاعر الفرنسي هنري ميشو: "إنّ تحديد الأعداء والأصدقاء والتحقّق منهم، يشكّل آلية ضرورية قبل شنّ الحرب. ومن المنطقي أنْ نحاول فهم ...

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Media on Media Roundup (April 12)

[Members of the Syrian community in Hannover, Germany protesting the Ghouta chemical attack in 2015. Photo by Bernd Schwabe, Wikimedia Commons]

This week’s Jadaliyya “Media on Media” roundup looks at several important issues affecting the Middle East and North Africa mediascape. A chemical attack in Idlib, Syria caused the death of many civilians, resulting in competing media narratives on the nature of the attack and those injured. US President Trump’s missile strike in Syria caused mixed feelings among supporters and opponents of Trump in the US and abroad, with some arguing that his decision violated Syria’s national sovereignty. In Egypt, President Abdelfattah Al-Sisi declared a state of emergency following attacks on two Coptic churches in the country during Palm Sunday, urging the media to report ...

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Is Trump Going to Commit the Next Great US Catastrophe in Syria?

[The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Barry launches a Tomahawk cruise missile from the ships bow. Photo by DVIDSHUB via Flickr]

At the UN Security Council on 5 April 2017, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley held up pictures of children killed by a gas attack in Khan Shaykhun, south of the Syrian city of Idlib. Estimates suggest about fifty to sixty people died in this attack. The United States, the United Kingdom, and France placed a resolution before the Security Council condemning the attack and asking for an investigation of it. There is no call for armed action against anyone because the council is divided on who perpetuated the act. Strikingly, Ambassador Haley then said, "We don’t yet know about yesterday’s attack," meaning nobody had definitive intelligence about ...

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Seul le Grenadier

[Illustration de coverture: L'Arbre, copyright: Beatrice Boissegur. Image de Actes Sud]

Seul le Grenadier (Extrait de Roman) Sinan Antoon [Traduit de l’arabe (Irak) par Leyla Mansour] 1 "Elle dormait nue sur une table d’albâtre, dans un espace découvert, sans toit ni murs. Il n’y avait personne autour de nous et, à perte de vue, rien d’autre que le sable qui s’étendait jusqu’à l’horizon. Des nuages moutonnés dans le ciel, qui se relayaient pour voiler les rayons du soleil, fuyaient pour s’y dissiper. J’étais dévêtu et déchaussé. Tout m’étonnait. Je sentais le sable sous mes pieds ainsi que le vent frais. Je me suis lentement approché de la table pour m’assurer que c’était bien elle. Quand et pourquoi est-elle revenue de l’étranger après ...

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Kurdish Blood for Arab Lands?: Prospects for Raqqa

The founding editor of KurdishQuestion.Com, a beloved British-Kurdish activist and filmmaker Mehmet Aksoy was killed by ISIS in Raqqa while he was shooting a documentary on the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and Women’s Protection Units (YPJ). Jadaliyya Turkey Page co-editor Ayça Çubukçu was at the Kurdish Community Center in London on September 27, 2017 where the Kurdish community and Kurdish solidarity activists came together to mourn the loss of this remarkable man. She spoke with ...

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Egypt’s Power Game: Why Cairo is Boosting its Military Power

Recent spending patterns in Egypt pose a dilemma. While experiencing the worst economic crisis in decades, which involves a dwindling of resources, a sharp currency devaluation and an acute shortage of foreign exchange, levels of military spending in Egypt have dramatically increased. How can the two trends be reconciled? Why would a cash-strapped government spend massively on guns when its population of 90 million needs more bread and jobs and services? This peculiar pattern began to take shape as soon ...

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مشاهدات يومية واجتماعية من السويداء: من حركة الاعتصام... إلى اغتيال البلعوس

تعود مدينة السويداء لتظهر من جديد في ساحة الخبر السوري مع مشهد اعتقال الناشط المدني والمعارض جبران سلامة مراد. الشاب الثلاثيني الذي ألقت دورية تابعة للمخابرات العسكرية القبض عليه، على الطريق بين مدينَتَي السويداءــ القريَّا، له سجلٌ حافل في النشاط السياسي والعمل على تحقيق أهداف الانتفاضة السورية في التحرر من الاستبداد، والتأسيس لحياة سياسية وديمقراطية في البلاد. فجبران ينتمي لعائلة لم تكن بعيدة عن أجواء الاعتقال والملاحقة في عهد الأسد الأب، والده سلامة مراد وعمّه حديثة مراد الوزير السابق وصاحب كتاب ...

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The Use and Abuse of the Kurdish Question

In August 2005, Turkey’s then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan made what was, by Turkish standards, a remarkable public statement. Speaking at a rally held in the spiritual capital of Turkey’s predominately Kurdish southeast, a location which only added to the symbolism of the occasion, Erdoğan stated that with regards to Turkey’s Kurdish population, “mistakes had been made,” further noting that: “The Kurdish problem does not belong to a certain part of this [Turkey’s] society alone, but to all of it. ...

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الاغتيال والاختطاف في العراق: حقل التحريض المتسع

 لا توجد إحصائية دقيقة للاغتيالات والاختطاف في العراق. فالسلطات الرسمية لا تكترث كثيراً بأرشفة الاخبار السيئة التي تحدث يومياً، أما الصحافة فلا تعير أهمية أيضاً لمثل هذه الحوادث، وغالباً تتعامل معها إذا ما هزّ اغتيال او اختطاف الرأي العام بنقل الرواية الرسمية "اضطراراً" ومن ثم تقمص رواية "جديدة" يضعها الممول المدعوم من جهة سياسية أو ميليشيا مسلحة، ويكون تسويق هذه "القصة" عبر وسائل التواصل الاجتماعي التي تعمل كماكنة نشطةٍ لتسطيح أي حدث ومن ثم ابتلاعه في خضم "قصص ...

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Survivor: Life After Cluster Bomb

Survivor is a decade-long documentary photography project following the story of Mohammed, a young cluster bomb survivor. During the summer 2006 Israel-Hizbollah war in Lebanon he was riding as a passenger on his father's motorbike when it struck a cluster bomb. Over the past 10 years I have documented how Mohammed, like so many other survivors around the world, lives with the horrifying repercussions of cluster munitions. Mohammed was eleven years old when he lost both legs during the last week of the ...

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Yemen's War [Ongoing Post]

[This is an ongoing post that will be updated regularly. It was first published on 6 December 2016. The updates appear at the bottom.] The conflict in Yemen seems set to intensify as 2016 draws to a close. The deposed president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi returned to Aden from exile in mid-November after his government was reestablished in the southern city. This move, alongside a renewed ground campaign and the continued aerial bombardment throughout northern Yemen by the Saudi Arabia-led ...

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Task Force on Population Movement Yemen Report (May 2017)

[The following report summary was published by the International Organization for Migration on 14 May 2017. For the full report, click here.] The Task Force for Population Movement (TFPM), co-led by IOM and UNHCR is a Technical Working Group of the Yemen Protection Cluster. The TFPM implements an information management tool that gathers data on the status and location of displaced persons across Yemen. As of 01 April 2017, the TFPM has identified, 1,988,946 internally displaced persons (IDPs) ...

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Instruments of Pain: Conflict and Famine in Yemen

[The following report was originally published on 13 April 2017 by the International Crisis Group. The full report can be found here.] War in denying Yemenis food to eat. This special briefing, the first of four examining the famine threats there and in South Sudan, Nigeria and Somalia, urges the Saudi-led coalition not to assault Yemen's most important port, Hodeida, and both sides to immediately resolve deadlock over the Central Bank. I. Overview Yemenis are starving because of war. No natural ...

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Donald Trump’s “Unbelievably Small” Attack on Syria

Rarely did such a limited attack as the one launched by the United States by means of cruise missiles against the Syrian air base of Shayrat provoke so much ado. US President Donald Trump authorized the attack in the evening of Thursday 6 April, shortly before having dinner with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping at his own Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. It is in all likelihood the minimal option that Barack Obama had envisaged when the Syrian regime crossed his “red line” in August 2013. In one of his ...

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Changing Ecologies of War and Humanitarianism - A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Omar Dewachi and Jonathan Whittall

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Mohamad Ali Nayel speaks with Omar Dewachi and Jonathan Whittall about the changing nature of humanitarianism from an academic and a practitioner’s perspectives. Omar Dewachi is Assistant Professor of Anthropology and Global Health at American University of Beirut (AUB). Trained as a physician in Iraq during the 1990s, Dewachi received his doctorate in social anthropology from Harvard University in 2008. His research explores the social and medical consequences ...

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Task Force on Population Movement Yemen Report (March 2017)

 [The following report summary was published by the International Organization on Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix on 15 March 2017. For the full report, click here.]   Task Force on Population Movement | TFPM Yemen | 13th Report – March 2017 The Task Force for Population Movement (TFPM), co-led by IOM and UNHCR is a Technical Working Group of the Yemen Protection Cluster. The TFPM implements an information management tool that gathers data on the status and location of ...

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