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Critical Currents in Islam Media Roundup rana bechara ماذا أطعم النور؟ Palestine Media Roundup Musaddiq’s Spectre: On the Recent Declassification of US Documents
[Gemmayze Graffiti. Beirut, Lebanon. May 2017. Image by Camille Reynolds.]

Vox Populi Relaunches on Jadaliyya!

The new and refreshed Vox Populi page has officially relaunched as of 21 August 2017. In the rejuvenation process, we focused on building on our existing mission but made some adjustments in order to ensure sustainable content. ...

[L'homme à la moustache de fer, Ahmed Ouyahia, est de retour. À l'heure de l'urgence économique, le voilà en première ligne, et ce n'est sûrement pas pour rigoler.]

La moustache de fer (A Song of Mustache and Technocracy)

C'est le deuxième limogeage en moins de trois mois. Après Abdelmalek Sellal, c'est au tour d'Abdelmadjid Tebboune de prendre la porte sans pot de départ. Les Premiers ministres algériens tombent donc comme des mouches, et l'on se demande ...

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 ...

[المصدر موقع رصيف 22]

تونسيات محرومات من اختيار أزواجهن

تشهد الساحة الحقوقية في تونس جدلاً واسعاً ومتواتراً بشأن منشور لا زال يثير حفيظة المنظمات الحقوقية. فمن فترة لأخرى تصدح أصوات المدافعين عن حقوق المرأة التونسية تطالب بإلغاء منشور يصفه البعض بأنه منشور ظالم ومجحف. المنشور الصادر ...


Present Absent: Palestinians in Israel (Part 1)

[Jaffa. Image from unknown archive]

The color of the Jaffa sea was reflected in his blue eyes so that they were even bluer. He had six decades behind him and was in his seventh, but was still laboring as a construction worker in order to pay for his youngest son's tuition at Tel-Aviv University. The campus of Tel-Aviv university is in the Ramat Aviv area or, as he calls it, Al-Shaykh Mwannis. Al-Shaykh Mwannis is a name engraved in Abu Hasan's memory. Whenever he mentions the university's name he mentions it, as if it were a synonym. So many names! Some are engraved in memory, others on street signs. Palestinians in Israel live between two names. Names that once were, and names that refer now to all that ...

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Reporting From Guantanamo: The Prison Tour (Photos)

[A Prisoner at GTMO. Image from Anonymous Source]

Twenty-five journalists flew on a chartered plane down to Guantánamo Bay on October 22, 2010, to report on the case of Omar Khadr, the Canadian 24-year-old who has been in US custody for one-third of his life. We would have been on the island (Cuba) a week earlier but for a sudden change of plan—again. The original original plan, let’s call it Khadr Trial 1.0, had a start date of August 12, and indeed the trial did start on that day. But at 4:00 p.m., Khadr’s military defense lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapsed in the courtroom. The trial was suspended. Khadr Trial 2.0: The Resumption would have begun on October 18. But on October 14, word came down: a plea ...

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Beyond Ghailani: The Implications of Kaplan’s Ruling for Ahmed Abu Ali’s Case

[Leon Golub's

At one level, Judge Lewis Kaplan’s decision, to render coercively procured evidence inadmissible in courts, can be read as unremarkable. After all, the ruling naturally extends from the fifth-amendment right that protects against self-incrimination. Public responses to Kaplan’s ruling, however, suggest otherwise; the decision seems to have come as a surprise to folks on all sides of the political spectrum, suggesting that many have become accustomed to the idea that terrorism-related issues elicit ‘exceptional’ responses, all too often arrived at outside of and in exception to the rule of law. These reactions might also be explained by the fact that, just a few months ...

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Two Poems by Sargon Boulus

[Sargon Boulus. Image from Samuel Shimon]

Railroad    The glass of the subway windows is foggy. Shapes escape across it, as if from a demon, and are sorted out behind us as “bygones.”   The shrieking of the wheels on the rail. The appearance of the next station, at the bend of a tunnel full of wailing. A few vagabonds on the platform gulping alcohol from bottles hidden in paper bags.   It is the same void rising from night’s end in any city overstuffed with the living and the dead: Paris, Berlin, London, New York.   The end of the west. The end of the line. The end rail.      A Pouch of Dirt   Um Muhammad, the fortuneteller, the woman ...

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Apologizing for Human Experimentation: Not Finished Yet

[Image from Glossynews.com]

On October 1, 2010, President Barack Obama issued an official apology for secret US medical experiments in the 1940s in which 696 Guatemalan prisoners were infected with syphilis and gonorrhea to test the effectiveness of penicillin. The objective of these experiments, according to Susan Reverby, the Wellesley College medical historian who uncovered documents about this study, was to keep American soldiers safe from sexually transmitted diseases. In a joint statement, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius said, “Although these events occurred more than 64 years ago, we are outraged that such reprehensible ...

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Three Poems by Saadi Youssef

[Image from unknown archive]

Fulfillment I used to, I often used to hope as autumn painted forests with gold walnut brown or muted crimson, I so hoped to see Iraq’s face in the morning to loosen water’s braids over me, to satisfy its mermaids with salty tears, to float over Abu l-Khaseeb’s rivulets to ask the trees: Do you, trees, know where my father’s grave is? . . . I often used to hope! Let it be . Let autumn finish its cycle. Iraq’s trees will remain naked. Iraq’s trees will remain high. Iraq’s trees will be secretly in the company of my father’s face.   London, 5-21-2003   Conversation As fall winds wailed in the surrounding hills he ...

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The Predicament of Independent Opposition (Part 4-Final)

[From a protest. Image from Reuters]

In the first three posts (1, 2, 3), I discussed two significant liberalization phases and the succession struggle/period. As promised, this is the last post where I discuss the most recent phase of liberalization as a detour into the structural limitations of change and the predicament of independent opposition. Since the adoption of the “Social Market Economy” at the 10th Ba`thist Regional Command Conference in 2005, the economic “face” of Syria has begun to change decisively, no matter what observers, including myself, might say about the nature of the transformation. What we have been witnessing since 2005 is irreversible (less so in the “civil society” sphere, ...

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"The Corpse" by Sargon Boulus

[Sargon Boulus. Image from Samuel Shimon]

They tortured the corpse until dawn broke down and the rooster rose up in protest. They thrust nails in its flesh. They whipped it with electric cables. They dangled it from the ceiling fan.   When the torturers were finally tired and took a break, the corpse moved its little finger, opened its wounded eyes, and muttered something.   Was it asking for water? Did it perhaps ask for bread? Was it cursing them or asking for more?  

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The Egyptian Regime's Crack Down On The Media Is Much More Than What You Think

[حتى المذيع الكروي علاء صادق أصبح خطرا على أمن الدولة-الصورة من موقع مصريات]

   ما يحدث الآن في مصر يتجاوز إشكالية التضييق على الإعلام بمراحل حملت الأسابيع القليلة الماضية العديد من نذر الشؤم التي تؤكد أن مساحة التعبير السياسي المستقل في مصر تدخل الآن مرحلة مقلقة للغاية. جاءنا النذير الأول عندما أكدت أحزاب المعارضة عزمها على المشاركة في الانتخابات المقبلة، وهو ما يعني المشاركة في مسرحية هزلية ومزورة بشكل غير مسبوق، وفي ذلك من تزوير للوعي كان يجب على أمثالهم التعفف عنه. وجاء النذير الثاني عندما باع <<عصام إسماعيل فهمي>> صحيفة <<الدستور>> لتحالف من رجال الأعمال يقوده الدكتور <<السيد البدوي>>، رئيس حزب الوفد. ثم توالت نذر الشؤم بسرعة مذهلة لم تتح للمعارضة المستقلة أي فرصة لالتقاط الأنفاس، فما بالكم ...

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Firing Ibrahim Eissa From Al-Dostour Exposes The Reality Of The Wafd's New President

[السيد البدوي، رئيس حزب الوفد، ومالك صحيفة الدستور]

وأخيرا خلع السيد البدوي برقع الحياء بفصله إبراهيم عيسى وطاقمه من الدستور   وحدث ما كنا نتخوف منه ونتوجس حدوثه. فقد أقال بالفعل مجلس إدارة صحيفة الدستور إبراهيم عيسى من رئاسة تحرير الجريدة أمس، ووقع القرار كلامن رئيس مجلس إدارة الجريدة د. السيد البدوي (رجل الأعمال المعروف ورئيس حزب الوفد الذي يتم تلميعه منذ شهور) والرئيس التنفيذي لمجلس الإدارة رضا إدوارد (وهو وعضو الهيئة العليا لحزب الوفد أيضا). وواجه صحفيو الدستور ذلك القرار على الفور باعتصام مفتوح بمقر الجريدة (بعد ساعات من صدور القرار)، وهو ما يعني دخول الجريدة في أزمة طاحنة لمدة لا يمكن لأحد التكهن بنتائجها. ثم تلى ذلك فصل كل أعضاء سكرتارية التحرير: شادي عيسي ومحمد فوزي، مساعدا رئيس التحرير، وعبدالمنعم محمود ...

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DC Court Closes Door to Families of Men Who Died At Guantanamo

[Image from CCR-video link in text below]

On September 28, 2010, Judge Ellen Huvelle affirmed the D.C. District Court’s decision to dismiss Al-Zahrani v. Rumsfeld, a civil lawsuit brought by the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) and co-counsel concerning three men who died in detention at Guantánamo in June 2006. Her decision came despite new evidence from four soldiers stationed at the base, which strongly suggests the three men were murdered at a secret site at Guantánamo and that the government worked hard to cover up the true cause and circumstances of the deaths. The government reported the three men committed suicide by hanging themselves in their cells. The court acknowledged that the ...

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Mubarak's "Mubarak?" (Part 2)

[Image from unknown archive]

[Note: This is the second in a series of posts titled "Mubarak's "Mubarak?.” Click here to view the first post in the series] I argued in my previous post that the transition to a Gamal presidency has been underway for almost a decade now. There are many reasons to believe that the president’s son has already established control over major decision-making bodies and is president in all but name. Passing on formal presidential powers to Gamal, therefore, will not require any major overhauls of the political system—the government and the ruling party, the constitution, and (arguably) the opposition have already been remolded to accommodate the smooth advancement ...

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Register: Exile + 1

The hallway felt increasingly smaller, tighter. Every minute drew in the baby blue trimmed walls closer to one another compressing me and my breath in between their administration. I tried to distract myself in David Harvey’s analysis of neoliberalism—yes uneven geographical development in China, Deng like Reagan like Thatcher...accumulation of wealth or was it capital accumulation or does he mean all out theft? The theories couldn’t embrace my imagination which fought against itself as it flew to the ...

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Collective Punishment or Not, Gaza Blockade Illegal (Part I)

Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal irrespective of the manner in which it is imposed because a blockade is an act of war and an occupying power cannot declare war upon the territory it occupies. To do so would conflate the right to initiate war (jus ad bellum) with the laws of occupation (jus in bello) and render useless the distinction of the permissible use of force in each case. This analysis is different in kind from the one that characterizes the blockade as illegal for its contravention of ...

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Choking Mecca in the Name of Beauty--and Development (Part I)

In the last decade, Mecca, Islam’s birthplace, has been the target of some of the world’s largest commercial development schemes. Over one hundred buildings are under construction around the Grand Mosque (Masjid al-Ḥarām) and will soon replace the historical, architectural and socioeconomic landscape of this rapidly developing city. Whole neighborhoods have been completely gutted out, their residents displaced to the outskirts of Mecca and other neighboring cities.[i] The once-heroic mountains on which ...

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A Meditation on the Importance of the Perpetrator-Centered Perspective to Theorizing about Justice

My research and writing tends to focus on gross injustices, specifically on gross crimes—war crimes, torture, crimes against humanity and genocide. The perpetration of most kinds of crimes—and certainly these—is, by definition, “legal injustice.” While we may quibble about and legitimately criticize various standards and models of criminal justice, when it comes to gross crimes, as I argue here, the prosecution of perpetrators is an essential if elusive means to produce “justice.” To tip my hand to where ...

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حاضرون غائبون: الفلسطينيون في الداخل

  حاضرون غائبون: الفلسطينيون في الداخل (١)  وكأن لون البحر اليافاوي انعكس في لون عينيه فازدادت زرقتهما زرقة. قطع عقده السادس واقترب من السابع وما زال يعمل في البناء ليؤمن لإبنه الأصغر الذي يدرس في جامعة تل أبيب جزء من تكاليف التعليم الباهظة. جامعة تل ابيب الواقعة في منطقة رمات افيف، الشيخ مونس. الشيخ مونس إسم محفور في ذاكرة أبو حسن ويذكره كلما ذكر  إسم الجامعة، حتى ليبدو وكأنه إسم مرادف لإسم الجامعة. أسماء وأسماء، بعضها محفور على اللافتات والبعض الآخر في الذاكرة. بين إسمين يعيش ...

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Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject

Saba Mahmood, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2005. Much of the implicit political background—the staging-point—of Saba Mahmood’s highly acclaimed ethnography of the women’s mosque movement in Egypt, Politics of Piety: The Islamic Revival and the Feminist Subject, is laid out in the brief preface to the book. In a couple of pages, Mahmood discusses the sense of embattlement and alienation experienced by an entire generation of ...

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Guilty of Being Muslim: Review of “Entrapped”

Review of "Entrapped" (Produced by Anjali Kamat and Jacquie Soohen) The new documentary “Entrapped,” which was aired as a special report by Democracy Now! on October 6 and is due to be released on DVD by Big Noise Films, is that rare documentary that not only informs us about an issue, but in doing so, actually transforms our understanding of this issue.   “Entrapped” is a thirty-five-minute documentary that encapsulates months of investigations and interviews by the filmmakers — Anjali ...

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Good Morning Palestine

For four days last week, I drank my morning coffee while gazing at Palestine. I was spending the weekend with friends at a house in a border village between Lebanon and what is now the State of Israel. Every morning, I walked from the bed I was sleeping in, to the kitchen to make a cup a coffee, then out onto the balcony where there was a cool breeze. The village is old, its remaining permanent inhabitants are mostly old, but its roads are new. The asphalt is still black in its newness, and its geometric ...

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American Innocence and Its Victims (Part 2)

[See Part 1 here]   For a literary editor, Chotiner is quite selective in his application of interpretative skills. When the Granta contributors touch on what we are already programmed to understand as the ills of Pakistani society—misogyny, for example, or religious fundamentalism—he is fully prepared to accept this as a transparent rendering of “the crueler, more vicious aspects of Pakistani society.” When the same writers represent the widespread discontent with the role played by U.S. foreign ...

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American Innocence and Its Victims (Part 1)

[See Part 2 here]  We should be somewhat grateful, I suppose, that the New York Times Book Review dedicated its back-page essay to a review of the current edition of the literary journal Granta, a special issue devoted to Pakistan. After all, literature from Pakistan deserves a wider audience in the U.S., and in addition to publishing work by Anglophone writers such as Mohsin Hamid and Fatima Bhutto, who have already gotten some attention, the Granta special issue also includes translations from the ...

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Poverty in the Oil Kingdom: An Introduction

When Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz went to see one of Riyadh’s many poor neighborhoods in November 2002, pundits and lay people alike heralded the landmark visit as the beginning of the end of poverty in Saudi Arabia. After all, it was the first-and only- such visit by a high-ranking member of the Saudi ruling family, let alone a Saudi Crown Prince who also happened to be one of the richest men in the world. At the time, the Crown Prince said he wanted to visualize what Saudi poverty looked like, ...

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The Implications of the Latest Egyptian Delirium Regarding Hizballah

    الهذيان المصري الأخير عن حزب الله ودلالاته   تثير الأخبار الأخيرة عن المناوشات التي تجري الآن بين مصر و «حزب الله» الكثير من التساؤلات عن دلالتها وعلاقتها بالسيناريوهات التي يجري إعدادها لمستقبل المنطقة. وتأتي هذه الأخبار كالعادة مقتضبة ومبهمة، تخفي أكثر مما تعلن. كما تحمل في طياتها الكثير من الهذيان المصري عن «حزب الله». وهذا بطبيعة الحال يصعب من قراءة دلالاتها، وإن كان لا يقلل من أهميتها. أتى آخر فصول هذا الهذيان في خبرين رئيسين يتناولان العلاقة بين مصر و«حزب الله» ...

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