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[Image from PLO Research Center publication showing their empty shelves in Beirut after looting by Israeli soldiers. Title of the publication, showing in Arabic in the image, reads: “A crime against culture.”]

Voyages of the Palestinian Archive: An Interview with Hana Sleiman and Ahmad Barclay

The exhibition “Sea of Stories: Voyages of the Palestinian Archives” was presented at Dar El-Nimer for Arts and Culture, Beirut, Lebanon (5 October – 15 November 2016), as part of the Qalandia International (Qi)’s third edition, “This Sea ...

Maghreb: l'Etat d'injustice en question

Irene Bono, Béatrice Hibou, Hamza Medded, Mohamed Tozy, L'État d'injustice au Maghreb. Maroc et Tunisie (Karthala: Paris, 2015) Fruit du partenariat noué entre les équipes de recherche de l’AFD d’une part et le fonds d’analyse des ...

غلاف الطبعة الثانية من رواية غوابا 2016

مقطع مترجم عن اللغة الإنجليزية من رواية غوابا للكاتب سليم حداد

  [مقطع رواية غوابا الصادرة بالإنجليزية للكاتب سليم حداد ترجمة ديمة ياسين]    ابتدأ هذا الصباح بالعار. لم يكن هذا بالشيء الجديد، سوى ان إحساسي بالعار هذه المرة يتعمق بشكل مخيف كلما تذكرت أحداث الليلة الماضية. يتجهم وجهي، ...


Vox Populi's September/October Issue Is Here!

For Vox Populi’s September/October issue, we chose to focus on the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting themes of activism, expression, and representation. Now more than ever, we must recognize the fight for queer justice as an ...

Notes from the Bahraini Field [Updated]

[Protesters gathered at Pearl Roundabout. Image from]

As of Saturday February 19, 2011, several people have been killed and hundreds more have been brutally injured in Bahrain. The Bahraini police and military’s violent oppression of the peaceful demonstrators was further escalated after the GCC’s 28th extraordinary meeting that took place in Manama last Thursday, February 17. The GCC ministers’ message was clear: The Bahraini monarchy (and by extension all other Gulf state regimes) will not tolerate such acts of resistance to its rule and will put down the protests at any cost.  The grave media and internet restrictions that the al-Khalifa regime imposed since the beginning of the demonstrations on February 14th ...

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How Egyptian Women Took Back the Street Between Two “Black Wednesdays”: A First Person Account

[Women protesting in Tahrir Square; Image from Daily Mail Online]

On February 16, Roger Ebert, an American film critic and commentator, tweeted: "The attack on Lara Logan brings Middle East attitudes toward women into sad focus." While the attack on CBS News correspondent Lara Logan was a tragic and upsetting event, it needs to be understood in its political context. Any attempt to propound this in such familiar orientalist terms would be offensive and unfair, not only to Egyptians protesting for democracy, but to Logan herself. She was not attacked as a woman--although the gendered nature of the assault is indisputable; she was attacked as a professional journalist and a supporter of the Egyptian protest. I, too, was ...

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Yemen's Turn: An Overview

[Poster of Ali Abdullah Saleh. Arabic text reads

To begin to understand the trajectory of recent political developments in Yemen, it is necessary to cast one’s eye back further than the heady days of 2011. Undoubtedly, events in Egypt and Tunisia have lent considerable force to demonstrations in the capital, Sana’a. However, it would be unfair to the thousands of Yemenis who for years have organized daily protests throughout the country and the thousands who have been killed, imprisoned, injured and tortured by the state to say that the widespread popular organizing against the regime of `Ali `Abdullah Salih had its genesis anywhere but Yemen. There have been street protests throughout Yemen, and especially in the ...

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A Word on Africa: Djibouti

[Image from]

“Arab world unrest reaches Horn of Africa” was how the Israeli website Ynet led off its coverage of the demonstrations that began in Djibouti yesterday. On Friday, thousands of protesters — 6,000, according to the Independent, in a country with a population of less than a million people — demanded the resignation of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, among other political reforms. Authorities used batons and fired tear gas grenades at demonstrators; by the end of the day, according to official reports, one protester and one policeman had been killed. As sporadic protests continued today, the government responded by detaining three opposition leaders: National Democratic ...

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From Cairo to Madison: the New Internationalism and the Re-Mystification of the Middle East

[Image Source: Unknown]

After being glued to Al-Jazeera for what seemed like decades, I returned to semi-normal life and found that there was breaking news in the academic circles as well. In the last three weeks, the popular overthrow of Ben Ali and Mubarak seems to have brought about the demise of another oppressive foe of the Arabs: Islam. Once fixated on Muslim psychology and Qu’ranic exegisis, commentators now have no choice but to emerge from their essentialist slumber to return to the Clintonian adage (not Hillary, the other one): it’s the economy stupid. It struck me that finally Marxists and liberals, literary critics and political scientists, beltway pundits and Russian ...

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Sunken Mythologies

[Image by Carlos Latuff]

"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 that your political imaginary from Othman to Saddam did not know but 'the Khalifah that is either deposed by death or explicit apostasy - [but] not oppression [of his ...

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Tahrir Tel-Aviv

[Young women holding the Palestinian flag in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Tel-Aviv. Image courtesy and copy rights of Alessandro Di Maio.]

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 Tahrir Square. Big bold white prints in Arabic appear on the wide red banner that underlines the four video frames showing live images from Cairo and Alexandria. The ...

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Past is Present: Settler Colonialism Matters!

[SOAS Palestine Society Organizing Collective; Image from their website]

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 organizing this conference, we hope to reclaim and revive the settler colonial paradigm and to outline its potential to inform and guide political strategy and ...

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

[Image from unknown archive]

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 globe since the dawn of time. It should take nothing away from the phenomenal achievement of Tunisia and Egypt to raise some questions about the manner in which these are ...

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Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon?

[Lebanese Army: Image from Now 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 to shape the dominant discourse on the Arab world such as "Islamist," "communist", "liberal", "pro-American", ...

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The Architects of the Egyptian Uprising and the Challenges Ahead

[Image from unknown archive]

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 reverberations of this historic turn of events are being felt all over the region as Algerians  and Yemenis take defiantly to the streets chanting the same slogan that ...

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

[Poster for 25 Bahman (February 14) demonstrations, from the 25 Bahman Facebook page]

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 Egypt and Tunisia, and, implicitly, to revitalize their own popular civil rights movement, known as the Green Movement. In Tehran, the planned rally is to conclude at ...

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Civil Society in Arab Lands: By Ballot or by Bullet?

Each time I attend a panel, workshop, forum, conference, symposium, brainstorming session, or congressional session on civil society in the United States, I am disappointed yet optimistic! I am disenchanted because at least since 9/11, the Bush administration as well as the Obama administration has not understood the real dynamics within the Arab and Middle Eastern civil societies. Rather than begging for money from the U.S., civil society actors in this region are asking U.S. policymakers to cease ...

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The Battle of Algeria

The departure of Tunisian leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011 and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s resignation on February 11 sparked conjectures about Algeria as the next country in the Arab world to attempt to rid itself of authoritarian leadership. While Egyptians have lived under “state of emergency” laws since Mubarak came to power after Sadat’s assassination in 1981, Algeria’s version, also prohibiting any public demonstrations, was enacted in 1992 after the country's first ...

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What If the Egyptian Protesters Were Democrats?

Their recent upheaval would certainly have been different, perhaps dramatically different.  In the past month, the people of Egypt—inspired by the recent democratic revolution in Tunisia and preceding emergent revolutions in Libya, Algeria, Bahrain, Jordan, Yemen, and Syria—have undertaken a revolt of truly stunning proportions, one that includes men and women from all class strata, religious and ethnic origins, and ideological commitments. They managed to rid themselves of a longstanding and ...

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Solidarity and Its Discontents

While building solidarity between activists in the U.S. and Iran can be a powerful way of supporting social justice movements in Iran, progressives and leftists who want to express solidarity with Iranians are challenged by a complicated geopolitical terrain. The U.S. government shrilly decries Iran’s nuclear power program and expands a long-standing sanctions regime on the one hand, and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad makes inflammatory proclamations and harshly suppresses Iranian protesters and ...

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Morocco on the Eve of the Demonstrations

“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, ...

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Iraq and Its Tahrir Square

[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 ...

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Is Bahrain Next?

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 ...

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Libya Erupts and Morocco Protests Planned for February 20th

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

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

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 ...

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Red-White-and-Black Valentine

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 ...

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

   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 ...

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Roundtable: Harold Wolpe’s Intellectual Agenda and Writing on Palestine


The 1967 Defeat and the Conditions of the Now: A Roundtable


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