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The Perils of American Muslim Politics الهَدم والبناء الاستعماري في الجولان حقوق المثليين والمثليات محكّ لحقوق الإنسان بين المدرسة والمسجد نص للأديب
[Turkish riot police detained demonstrators who gather at Besiktas to support detained teachers Semih Ozakca and Nuriye Gulmen, in Istanbul on 23 May 2017. Image by Depo Photos/Press Association via openDemocracy.]

Fear and Loathing in Turkish Academia: A Tale of Appeasement and Complicity

It was a “call for papers” like all others. “On behalf of the Turkish Political Economy Society (TPES),” said the organizers of the Fifth TPES Interdisciplinary Workshop on Turkey and Latin America in Comparative Perspective, “we would be ...

[اللوحة للفنان العراقي قيس السندي]

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 ...

The Referendum in Turkey-A STATUS/الوضع Interview with Sinan Birdal

In this interview for STATUS/الوضع, host Shahram Aghamir speaks with Sinan Birdal, who unpacks Turkey's constitutional referendum that passed on April 16. In a turbulent political environment where the soft and hard executive ...

[Tanks in the streets of Tehran in 1953. Image via Wilipedia]

Musaddiq’s Spectre: On the Recent Declassification of US Documents

Following the 1989 release of the first Iran-related volume of the State Department’s Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) series, a plethora of books and articles have been written detailing the MI6-CIA coup d’état in Iran on 19 ...


Morocco on the Eve of the Demonstrations

[Image from the Mouvement du 20 Fevrier Facebook site]

“When I go out in the street, no cares about #feb20, I connect and boom, the revolution is brewing” (Qd je sors ds la rue, no one cares about #feb20, je me connecte et boom c'est la révolution qui couve). The above, tweeted yesterday in the style of much that’s being produced on the internet about the demonstrations on Sunday — a combination of text message French and English (and often transliterated Darija) — is a perfect encapsulation of the immediate situation, at least in Rabat (as I write this, demonstrations have just turned to riots in Tangier, to which I’ll return below). Here, however, on the streets, little is visible, in the air an almost palpable lack of ...

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Iraq and Its Tahrir Square

[Government building in flames after protests in al-Qut. Image from al-Jazeera]

[This article is a slightly updated and edited translation of the original Arabic version that was posted on Jadaliyya and can be found here.] Iraq’s absence from the “Egypt Today, Tomorrow the World” map, published a week after the massive demonstration in Egypt on January 25th and which included the dates of planned demonstrations in different Arab capitals, was striking. The absence was not limited to the dates listed. Iraq as a country was not included. It is as if the absence of protests indicated the absence of the country itself. As if Iraq was not affected by the recent events in Tunisia and Egypt. This conspicuous absence is due to the nature of the present ...

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Is Bahrain Next?

[Image Source: Unknown]

On Monday hundreds of young Bahrainis poured into the streets in communities and villages across the small island country. Mobilized by decades of autocratic excess, torture, and years of anguish over the unfulfilled promises of political reform, the country’s activist community is struggling to tap into the revolutionary fervor that has gripped the Middle East in recent weeks and move forward a democratic agenda. They have made clear their desire to set aside an often paralyzing sectarianism that has recently divided the country’s Shiite majority from their Sunni rulers. Inspired by pro-democracy protesters elsewhere, they have also made clear their commitment to ...

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Libya Erupts and Morocco Protests Planned for February 20th

[Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, Image from Unknown Archive]

The revolutionary wind is heading west as well. In addition to clashes in Benghazi, earlier today, one of al-Qadhdhafi’s murals went up in flames in al-Bayda. They chanted “It’s your turn Qadhdhafi, O dictator.”             

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King Abdullah Announces a Discount for Dictators

[King Abdullah, Image from Unknown Archive]

Two Arab dictators are out of the game, but there are others. Here is a cartoon by Khalil Bendib about possible efforts to accomodate future ex-presidents.  

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Why Tahrir Infuriates the Neo-Cons

[Niall Ferguson. Image from CNReview]

Everywhere you turn, Niall Ferguson is berating Obama’s “muddling” of Egypt. He’s blogging on The Daily Beast, spewing angrily on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, and inaugurating his new column in Newsweek with a cover story blasting Obama. Tahrir Square is the neo-cons’ worst nightmare… And Ferguson is one of the scribes who helped globalize and legitimize the neo-cons’ ideas. Since 9/11, Ferguson’s books on empire have become airport bestsellers, and he’s gone from Oxford to NYU to Harvard. Like the Oxford chap that he is, Ferguson took on the role of tutor: it’s not that imperialism is bad, he advised, it’s just that you Americans didn’t perfect it the way we Brits did. ...

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Red-White-and-Black Valentine

[Image from unknown archive]

There are moments in world affairs that call for the suspension of disbelief. At these junctures, caution ought to be suppressed and cynicism forgotten to let joy and wonderment resound. Across the globe, everyone, at least everyone with a heart, knows that the Egyptian revolution of 2011 is such a time.  Before January 25, date of the mass protests that kicked off the revolutionary fortnight in Cairo and other cities, Egypt was another populous, impoverished country laboring under an autocratic regime whose police worked assiduously to keep dissent at the margins of civic life. It was a place where the establishment, political, economic and religious, spread the ...

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[Eighteen Days of the People's Revolution to Topple the Dictator]

[Image from an unknown archive]

   ١٨ يوما من الثورة الشعبية عندما انتفضت الجماهير المصرية لإسقاط الديكتاتور   سقط الديكتاتور مبارك بلا رجعة، وسقطت معه عصابته الحاكمة ومشروعه للتوريث، سقطت ثلاثون عاما من سياسات النهب والفساد والاستغلال والإفقار والإرهاب والتعذيب والقتل والاضطهاد والطائفية. الشعب أراد إسقاط النظام وفعلها، فبعد 18 يوما من الثورة الشعبية استطاع هذا الشعب، الذي كثيرا ما نعته أعداؤه بالجبن والخضوع، أن يسطر ملحمته ويعيد كتابة التاريخ المصري من جديد بدمائه وصموده، لقد شاهدنا في هذه الأيام بطولات أقل ما يمكن لإعطائها حقها أن تدرس كخبرة ثورية عظيمة ستلهم عن حق شعوب المنطقة والعالم كحافز على طريق الثورات الشعبية لإسقاط كل صنوف الاستبداد والديكتاتورية. ولكن هل يمكن أن ...

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العراق وساحة تحريره [Iraq and Its Tahrir Square!]

[Image from unknown archive]

[A slightly updated and edited English translation of this article is avaiable on Jadaliyya and can be found here.] كان لافتاً غياب العراق عن خريطة "اليوم مصر، غداً العالم"(١) (نشرت بعد اسبوع من مسيرة ٢٥ كانون الثاني (يناير)) والتي ضمت مواعيد المظاهرات في عدد من البلدان العربية. وهذا الغياب لم يقتصر على التأريخ وإنما على ذكر البلد كذلك. وكأن غياب الأحتجاجات كناية عن غياب البلد برمته، وكأن العراق غير معني بما يحصل في تونس ومصر على الأخص. ويعود هذا الغياب الصارخ الى طبيعة النظام السياسي في العراق في الوقت الراهن، الذي أعتمد خطاباً طائفياً بعد سقوط صدام حسين ومأسسه. فأصبح العراق مثل لبنان وأصيب العمل السياسي بالشلل في ظل المحاصصة الطائفية. فكيف يمكن خلق مبادرة ...

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Five Questions on Jordan

[Protesters outside the Egyptian Embassy in Amman. Image from Assoicated Press]

In the shadow of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions, social mobilizations and political developments in Jordan have prompted a significant amount of attention on the Kingdom. Below are the five most common questions I’ve received from both friends and reporters as well as composites of my responses. (1) Will we see in Jordan the type of upheaval we are witnessing in Tunisia or Egypt? To date, what has happened in Jordan does not compare to what is happening in other parts of the Arab world neither in terms of degree (i.e., the number of people out in the streets) nor in terms of nature (i.e., the types of demands being made). Jordan shares many of the structural ...

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The Art of the Impossible

[Image from the Guardian]

Like millions of people around the world, I’m deeply inspired by the great victory that was won by the Egyptian people today, and deeply humbled by their magnificent power. Eighteen days, without a moment of respite, spent in the streets (not to mention the years of struggle by human rights and democracy activists against the regime that helped lay the groundwork for the latest protests) has made the impossible come true. “Look at the streets of Egypt tonight; this is what hope looks like,” as Ahdaf Soueif wrote a few hours ago. Bassam Haddad says what many of us are feeling: “The implications are grand, for Egypt, and beyond. But the jubilation at this moment must be ...

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"Crapping in Their Pants:" Israeli Responses to Democracy in Egypt

[Image from an unknown archive]

Last Sunday night the Palestinian filmmaker Elia Suleiman submitted to a Q&A after a showing of The Time That Remains, his latest feature, at Columbia. (If you’ve not seen it yet: do.) The first question was a classic: ‘Have Israelis seen this film? What did they think?’ The answer was more so. (Tone: utterly gracious.) “It is amazing that, even with what is happening in Egypt, the first thing we have to do is to ask the Israelis what they think. Whether they are scared. Whether they are terrified. Whether they are crapping in their pants.” I felt a paper coming on. ‘“Crapping In Their Pants”: Israeli Responses to Democracy in Egypt.’ For MESA, perhaps; integrating ...

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Sunken Mythologies

"They told me in an articulate foreign tongue: all nations more or less are moving forward in the direction of history; towards globalization, the knowledge society and political modernity except for you making headway running in the opposite direction ...We know that your unenlightened religious culture is a terrible obstacle that hinders your transition into less closed, less obscurantist societies and less inimical to individuals, women, non-Muslims, reason, modernity and life. We also know ...

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Tahrir Tel-Aviv

February 11, 2011 It is 8:00 a.m. on a dark Seattle Friday morning. As my recent wake-up ritual has mandated in the last two weeks, I reach out for my laptop before leaving bed or fueling with the first cup of coffee. I need to see the latest news and status updates on/from Egypt. Six windows of online newspapers, Al-Jazeera live (in Arabic and English), Facebook, Skype and chat pages pop up simultaneously on my blue notebook screen. Al-Jazeera live is broadcasting the thrilling echoes of millions from ...

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Past is Present: Settler Colonialism Matters!

On 5-6 March 2011, the Palestine Society at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London will hold its seventh annual conference, "Past is Present: Settler Colonialism in Palestine." This year's conference aims to understand Zionism as a settler colonial project which has, for more than a century, subjected Palestine and Palestinians to a structural and violent form of destruction, dispossession, land appropriation and erasure in the pursuit of a new Jewish Israeli society. By ...

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Egypt, Tunisia, and 'The Resumption of Arab History'

The recent popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt attest above all to the indomitability of the human spirit, and the extraordinary capacity of collective action to bring out the very best in humanity. In these respects the daring, creativity, discipline, resolve, perseverance and euphoria of the people of Egypt and Tunisia  - while primarily theirs – belongs to us all, joining as they do an endless caravan of successful, aborted, hijacked and failed challenges to illegitimate authority across the ...

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Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon?

We are living in extraordinary times. 2011 Egypt, in hindsight, will be seen as just as, if not more, “historic” as the 1952 coup. This precedent and others illustrate that this revolution is not the instantiation of the political awakening of a “stagnant” part of the world, and nor was it brought to you (only) by Facebook or twitter. For now, the 2011 people’s uprisings in Egypt and in Tunisia resist categorization, and cannot be contained or explained by adjectives that Middle East “experts” have used ...

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The Architects of the Egyptian Uprising and the Challenges Ahead

On February 11, 2011, President Mubarak finally resigned, less than 24-hours after he refused the protesters' demand “Go Mubarak Go!” that has been echoing across Egypt for the past two weeks.   The euphoria that swept the protestors gathered in Tahrir Square cannot be described in words: all those tuned into al-Jazeera (Arabic or English) around the world witnessed one of the most moving events of our lifetime as Egyptian demonstrators roared in victory over what they had achieved. The ...

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Iranians In Solidarity with Egyptians and Tunisians Need Your Support, Now

While celebrating the exhilarating achievements of the popular democratic uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, I have also been consumed with a restless hope and deepening concern for Iranians with parallel dreams of realizing a free and democratic society. Iranian pro-democracy activists and opposition figures Mir Hossein Moussavi and Mehdi Karroubi have called for peaceful rallies across the country today, on the 25th of Bahman (February 14), to express solidarity for the spreading democratic movements in ...

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The Long Shadow of the 1952 Revolution

Almost exactly fifty-nine years ago, on January 26, 1952, downtown Cairo was in flames. Cinemas, department stores, and hotels were set alight by rioters in the streets. The identity of these rioters would become the focus of enormous speculation: Were they revolutionaries who sought the expulsion of British colonial rule from Egypt, or rather, were they counterrevolutionary forces who were giving the then-Egyptian regime or the army a pretext to intervene? Whatever the case, within a matter of six ...

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The Workers, Middle Class, Military Junta, and the Permanent Revolution

Since yesterday, and actually earlier, middle class activists have been urging Egyptians to suspend the protests and return to work, in the name of patriotism, singing some of the most ridiculous lullabies about "let's build new Egypt," "Le'ts work harder than even before," ect . . . In case you didn't know, actually Egyptians are among the hardest working people around the globe already. Those activists want us to trust Mubarak’s generals with the transition to ...

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Egypt's Revolution 2.0: The Facebook Factor

The call for a Day of Rage on January 25, 2011 that ignited the Egyptian revolution originated from a Facebook page. Many have since asked: Is this a “Facebook Revolution?”  It is high time to put this question to rest and insist that political and social movements belong to people and not to communication tools and technologies. Facebook, like cell phones, the internet, and twitter, do not have agency, a moral universe, and are not predisposed to any particular ideological or political orientation. ...

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Celebrations Shake Saudi Capital

Tonight, We Are All Egyptian. For the first time in decades, Arabs the world over will unite in celebration, not in protest against this imperial war or the next. We will dwell in victory, not in the shadows of yesteryear’s defeats. We will pontificate the future and its many possibilities, not arguments against the mere idea of “what went wrong.” For some time to come, we will see Egyptians for the heroes that they are, and ignore that their laborers will continue to inhabit the lowest scales of ...

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The Egyptian Revolution: First Impressions from the Field [Updated]

Al-Qahira, The City Victorious, February 11, 2011 Never has a revolution that seemed so lacking in prospects gathered momentum so quickly and so unexpectedly. The Egyptian Revolution, starting on January 25, lacked leadership and possessed little organization; its defining events, on Friday, January 28, occurred on a day when all communication technologies, including all internet and phones, were barred; it took place in a large country known for sedate political life, a very long legacy of ...

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