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call for pa “Til Sect Do You Part?” On Sectarianism and Intermarriage in Lebanon Israel’s Big Business of War قصائد مختارة للشاعر والروائي تشارلز بوكوفسكي 'The King

“Til Sect Do You Part?” On Sectarianism and Intermarriage in Lebanon

In August 2017, a Christian man and a Muslim woman (Boutros and Marwa) made headlines when they married in Lebanon. Why? One might assume that the interreligious nature of the couple prompted this media attention. However, that was far ...

[المصدر موقع المواطن]

آخر أيّام المدينة - الجزء الاول

"آخر أيّام المدينة" أو "الحضارة في آخر أيامها" كما قال "آخر الرجال المحترمين" بدأ حضور "المدينة" في السينما المصريّة يأخذ شكلًا مميزًا خلال السبعينيات كنتيجة للفترة الساداتيّة التي وُعدت ووعَدت ...

[An image of Ahmed Ouyahia, current Algerian prime minister. Image from Wikimedia Commons]

Game of Mustaches: A Song of Mustache and Technocracy

It was the second unexpected sacking of an Algerian prime minister in less than three months. After Abdelmalek Sellal, Abdemajid Tebboune's turn came with no going-away party. The prime ministers fell one after the other, and one wondered ...

Istanbul: A Megacity in the Light of Turkey’s Political Transformation

Jean-François Pérouse, Istanbul Planète, La Ville-Monde Du Xxie Siècle. Paris: La Découverte, 2017. This book is the result of more than twenty years of social, economic, and urban observations and investigations by a geographer[i] ...

What Emergency? The ADL, Academic Freedom, Lawfare, and Palestine

[Palestinian boy crawling through the wall. Image by Baz Ratner/Reuters]

On the evening of March 24, the board of directors of University of California – Hastings College of the Law held an emergency meeting that lasted until midnight. The putative emergency was a two-day conference titled “Litigating Palestine” scheduled to start at 3 pm the following day. What resulted was the following statement: BE IT RESOLVED by the Board of Directors…in its EMERGENCY CLOSED SESSION that it is in agreement that the College should take all steps necessary to remove the UC Hastings name and brand from the "Litigating Palestine" conference. By taking this action, the Board strongly endorses the principles of academic freedom and the ...

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Roundtable on Syria Today (Part 1)


This is Part 1 of the first Jadaliyya Roundtable on Syria, moderated by Bassam Haddad and Joshua Landis, of Syria Comment. It features Steven Heydemann, Fred Lawson, David Lesch, and Patrick Seale. This post will be published on both Jadaliyya and Syria Comment. [See Part 1 here, Part 2 here, and Part 3 here].   After two weeks of protests in Syria, many still wonder where matters are headed. The Syrian regime is firm in its stance, and so are the protesters. A plurality of Syrians (some say a majority) are not yet certain where to throw their weight. Yesterday’s speech by President Bashar al-Asad was presumed to include wide-ranging reforms ...

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Al-Jazeera English Interview with Bassam Haddad on President Bashar's Speech

[Image from Al-Jazeera English]

This interview was conducted by Al-Jazeera English with Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Bassam Haddad. It focused on the reactions to President Bashar's speech on Wednesday, in which viewers expected him to announce wide-ranging reforms. No such reforms were announced, triggering a spate of disappointments inside Syria and internationally. Not everyone was diappointed equally, however, as many Syrians are concerned about restoring stability and preventing strife and chaos, especially of the sectarian variety.

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Two Poems by Rashid Hussein

[1980 Land Day Poster by Abed Abdi. Image from Unknown Archive]

March 30th is Yam al-Ard (Land Day). It marks the general strike and marches organized in Palestinian towns in Israel on that day in 1976 to protest the Israeli government’s expropriation of thousands of dunams of land for “security and settlement purposes.” Six Palestinians were killed in the confrontations. The day and its events marked a turning point in national mobilization and the relationship between Palestinian citizens and the Israeli state. It became an annual day of commemoration for Palestinians everywhere. Rashid Hussein (1936-1977) was born in Musmus, Palestine. He published his first collection in 1957 and established himself as a major Palestinian poet ...

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Why Secularism is Not the Answer; Gays in the Lebanese Khutba

[Protestors in Lebanon,

In the past 48 hours, a debate has erupted on the facebook page of the movement to “overthrow the political sectarian regime in Lebanon.” This debate was not about how to accomplish this lofty goal, or how to better strategize for more effective and powerful street demonstrations, or even what the actual demands of the movement are, should be, and how these demands can be enacted. Rather, the debate is about homosexuals and homosexuality in Lebanon. What does homosexuality have to do with secularism? A lot, if you ask many of the people involved in this debate. Last Friday, the sermon (khutba) delivered by a local imam at a local mosque warned that if civil marriages ...

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Narrating the Past, Confronting the Present

[Still image from

The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Directed by Dahna Abourahme. Lebanon, 2010 Could I do today what I was able to do then, questions Nadia, one of the women in Dahna Abourahme’s latest documentary film The Kingdom of Women: Ein El Hilweh. Based on stories of the women of Ein El Hilweh, a Palestinian refugee camp in South Lebanon, between 1982-4 during the Israeli invasion and the imprisonment of the majority of the male population (those between the ages of 14-60), the film is also a reflection on the act of narration itself. The weaving of the women’s voices with tangible objects — letters from their husbands written from inside Israeli prisons, rich embroidery ...

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Democracy Now! Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor on Syria

[Image from Democracy Now interview]

Scores of protesters have been killed in Syria during 10 days of protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad. In an attempt to appease protesters, Assad’s administration has reportedly vowed to lift the emergency law, which for nearly 50 years has allowed the government to detain people without charge. "For more than 40 years, people have been politically suppressed,” says Bassam Haddad, the director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. “That suppression was coupled more recently in the past 20-some years with neoliberal-like economic policies that have created huge gaps between different segments of Syrian society.” Watch the ...

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ثورة يناير وتأسيس شرعية جديدة [The January Revolution and Establishing a New Legitimacy]

[Tahrir Square. Image from Unknown Archive]

بينما ما زالت بقايا النظام السابق تطلق على ما حدث في مصر لفظ «حركة» أو «فورة»، نجد أن الإعلام الرسمي قد طور خطابه ليصفها بأنها ثورة، ولكن دائماً ما يضيف إليها لفظ آخر مثل الشباب، الانترنت، أو كما حلا لبعض المحللين أن يصفوها بثورة الطبقة الوسطى. مع التقدير الكامل لكل هذه الفئات والطبقات والأدوات ودورها البارز في ثورة يناير، إلا أن هذه الإضافة - لتكون الثورة مكونة من مضاف ومضاف إليه - فيها انتقاص شديد من حق الكثيرين ممن شاركوا فيها، والذين عملوا لسنوات طوال من أجل هذه اللحظة. وإذا كان سر نجاح هذه الثورة يكمن في الحشد الشعبي وتزايده يوماً بعد يوم، وقدرته على الضغط المتواصل على النظام وباقي الأطراف الداخلية والخارجية حتى حقق نصره، فلا يمكن بأي حال من الأحوال أن نقتصر الثورة ...

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Elia Suleiman's Time

[Still from Elia Suleiman's film

The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi]. Written and directed by Elia Suleiman. UK/Italy/Belgium/France, 2009. An early scene in The Time that Remains [Al-Zaman Al-Baqi], Elia Suleiman’s latest film, reveals a great deal. The scene begins with a shot of the harried-looking mayor of Nazareth banging open a door at the end of a long hallway. We have some sense of why he is so harried: we have just watched the car that was driving him to the meeting being repeatedly menaced by a low-flying propeller plane. The airplane sequence has a recognizably Suleimanian feel, racing along somewhere between physical comedy and horror: at one point, the white flag of surrender being ...

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The Bidun of Kuwait: A Look Behind the Laws

[A photo of Kuwaiti riot police beating a Bidun protester. Image from author's archive]

In Kuwait, some young Bidun men and women often wonder what more they could offer the country to get accepted as one of its own. Their fathers had lost their lives liberating Kuwait from the Iraqi invasion in the 1990 Gulf War. Their ancestors had settled in Kuwait for three consecutive generations but Bidun today have yet to be afforded any state recognition. Other Bidun question when they will become “pure enough” in the eyes of the Kuwaiti state and society to get recognized as equal humans, if not citizens. There are 120,000 Bidun jinsiyya (without nationality) in Kuwait today suffering from the lack of political, economic and human rights. None of them can ...

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Video Interview (#2) with Ali Ahmida on Libya and Intervention

[Image from Interview]

[This interview was conducted by Jadaliyya Co-Editor, Noura Erakat, on March 24, 2011] In this second interview, Ali Ahmida (bio here) discusses the balance of power on the ground in Libya. On March 18th, the UN Security Council passed Resolution 1973 and effectively imposed a no-fly zone over Libya's airspace in response to what many anticipated would be a bloodbath in Benghazi. The next day, French and British air forces began aerial bombardment of Libya with broad international support including from the Arab League, and  particularly Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. The intervention has sparked heated debate amongst advocates, ...

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Of the Elites, By the Elites, For the Elites: An Update on Yemen's Revolution

[Image from European Press Photo Agency]

As the clock ticks closer to Friday, Yemenis and observers of Yemen are bracing themselves for the unknown. Reports of a prospective deal between Ali Saleh and Ali Mohsen for a mutual resignation flooded social networking sites, Yemeni homes and Taghyir Square today, speculating hopefully on its potential to spare the country further bloodshed. Saleh dispelled those rumors in a TV appearance Thursday night, looking haggard and worn and declaring he would not be stepping down. However, it is not clear that negotiations behind the scenes have really terminated, and if they have, what the reasons for the failed deal were. What terms did Saleh find unacceptable? Or was it ...

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Roundtable on Syria Today (Part 2): On Portrayal

This is Part 2 of our first Jadaliyya Roundtable on Syria, moderated by Bassam Haddad and Joshua Landis, of Syria Comment. It features Steven Heydemann, Fred Lawson, David Lesch, and Patrick Seale. This post will be published on both Jadaliyya and Syria Comment. [See Part 1 here and Part 3 here.]     Roundtable Question #2   2. What do you consider to be missing or exaggerated in the discussion/writings/policy on the Syrian uprisings?      Heydemann (Q #2). ...

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Essential Reading: State Building and Regime Security in Jordan

[Editors’ Note: This is the first in a series of “Essential Readings,” in which we ask contributors to choose a list of must-read books, articles, and new media resources on a variety of topics. These are not meant to be comprehensive lists, but rather starting points for readers who want to read more about particular topics. Ziad Abu-Rish, a Co-Editor of Jadaliyya, provides a list of readings focusing on state building and regime security in Jordan. Some of Abu-Rish’s own writing on Jordan can be found ...

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الشعب قرر الإضراب وهذا ما سيكون" عن يوم الأرض" [On Land Day: The People Have Decided to Strike and so it Shall be]

كانت تلك هي المرة الأولى التي أرى فيها هذا الكم الهائل من قوات الجيش والشرطة تنتشر في أغلب أحياء بلدة الطيبة التي كبرت بها، والتي تقع حوالي اربعين كيلومتراً شمال يافا. لا أدري كم عاماً كان قد تركني في حينه، ربما ثمانية أو تسعة. واعتقدت، وكان الصباح في آخره، بأن الحرب قد قامت. فسألت أمي عما إذا كان الجنود ينتشرون في البلدة لأن حرب ال 67 قد عادت من جديد، تلك الحرب التي كان أبي يحدثني عنها كثيراً لأنه يعيها ويعرف تفاصيلها التي حفرت في ذاكرته أكثر من تفاصيل النكبة التي ولد قبلها بأعوام  ثلاثة. ضحكت أمي ...

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The Unfolding Situation in Yemen

How serious is the situation in Yemen? This weekend, negotiations over the departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh broke down. After several weeks of mixed signals concerning his willingness to depart the presidency on acceptable terms – including amnesty for himself and his extended family – President Saleh reversed himself and announced that he has no intention of leaving office before the end ofhis term in 2013. Politics in Yemen is always fluid, and President Saleh has made many contradictory ...

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Interview with Toby Jones on the Situation in Bahrain (Conducted by Sharam Aghamir)

[See Toby Jones on  Bahrain in Jadaliyya here] AUDIO PLAYER BELOW    On March 15th, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa declared a three-month emergency rule and invited armed forces of Saudi Arabia and other Arab states of the Persian Gulf to help quash two months of growing anti-government protests in the country.   Since the start of the protests and the deadly government crackdown in Bahrain, more than twenty-one people have been killed and up to one-hundred ...

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The Meaning of "Syrian Opposition Figures Urge Peaceful Change" Story from Reuters

This (report from Reuters here and below) is not an insignificant call from the traditionally vociferous leadership of the opposition, including those who were imprisoned for years after the botched "Damascus Spring" after 2001. The likes of Michel Kilo and `Arif Dalila were among the most outspoken critics for years. I watched Dalila make public condemnations of the regime's corruption in public panels on Syria's political economy in 1998, 1999, and 2000, when Hafiz al-Asad was president. He ...

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The Egyptian Elite and the Egyptian Revolt: Video Interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy (Part 3)

Jadaliyya is hereby presenting the third installment in a interactive (see below) series called "A Portrait of a Revolutionary," featuring interviews with an Egyptian journalist and activist who was at the forefront of the Egyptian protest movement. Hossam's vantage point is quite unique, and his broad knowledge of the Egyptian political landscape as well as history positions him to provide an unparalleled account of the the context and developments that have led to the resignation of ...

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Is Bahrain Back to Normal?

“Your remarkable and unflinching efforts have protected the lives of innocent people, restored order and maintained security and stability across Bahrain,” Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad al-Khalifa praised security forces on Friday March 25th for bringing life in Bahrain back to “normal.” As he thanked his dedicated forces for “creating conditions that are favorable for a national dialogue,” riot police were being deployed to put down some twenty-five small, peaceful protests that took place across the ...

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How to Lose Friends and Alienate Your People

The extraordinary events that have been gripping the Arab world since December 2010 have demonstrated the steadfastness of Arab citizens across the region in the face of despotic regimes. But they have also demonstrated that Arab despots indeed engage in authoritarian learning. From Tunisia to Egypt to Bahrain to Libya to Morocco to Yemen to Syria (and the list goes on), Arab rulers have followed a peculiarly familiar pattern in the way they have—and are—responding to the protests calling for regime ...

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What is Political Sectarianism?

*Note: This analysis refers to political sectarianism in Lebanon, it cannot be “applied” to the workings of sectarianism in other contexts, such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Israel, Bahrain or Bosnia Herzigovina. There is an ongoing spasm of activism in Lebanon directed towards changing the sectarian structure and ethos of the state. For the past five weeks, growing numbers of people have taken to the streets stating their refusal of both the March 14 and March 8 coalitions and demanding the end of ...

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Is the 2011 Libyan Revolution an Exception?

After the fall of Hosni Mubarak, the strong man of the Middle East on February 11, 2011, the Arab Spring appeared to be an unrelenting force. In the week following his downfall, three theaters of major rebellion—Libya, Yemen, Bahrain—quickly emerged, with Iran’s suppressed Green revolution resurfacing for a while as well. In the weeks that followed mass demonstrations demanding significant political reforms continued or sprang up in countries such as Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Mauritania, Djibouti, ...

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All Sorts of Interventions

The focal point of the “Arab Spring” has shifted from the successful uprisings of Tunisia and Egypt to the bleak developments in Bahrain and Libya. As the military forces of Britain, France, and the United States are taking “all necessary measures” to topple the Qaddafi regime, troops from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Peninsula Shield Force continue to “stabilize” the al-Khalifa regime in the face of a peaceful democratic uprising in Bahrain. The discrepancies between intervention for regime ...

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