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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 ...


An Archive of Perversion; 1966 and a Desire to Criminalize

Image by Maya Mikdashi; An Opinion Issued in 1959 Regarding

On Friday I was at the library of the Lebanese Syndicate of Lawyers (Bayt al Muhaami), where I have conducted much of the archival research related to my dissertation. As I was researching decisions made by the Ministry of Justice's advisory body regarding religious conversion, I came across an advisory opinion issued by Hay'at al Tashri` wa'l-Istisharat in 1966 in response to an inquiry made by then Prime Minister Rashid Karami. The Hay'at al Tishree` Wa Al Istisharat is an extra-judicial body housed at the Ministry of Justice. Currently it is headed by the jurist Marie Denise Ma`ouche. Members of the Lebanese government can request advisory opinions on matters such ...

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Still at Sea: A Review of "Hope"

[Amal Basry/ Hope Press Kit]

Hope, directed by Steve Thomas. Australia, 2007. In one of his late poems, the Iraqi poet Sargon Boulus (1944-2007) wrote of “A million refugees clinging to his footsteps.” This was not poetic hyperbole. Boulus was haunted by a visceral tragedy. The invasion and occupation of Iraq back in 2003 and the sectarian civil war that followed displaced more than 4.5 million Iraqis and forced them to leave their homes. Around 2.5 million of them were internally displaced within Iraq. The rest were scattered in neighboring countries and some managed to reach other countries outside the region. These post-2003 waves of refugees fleeing death and destruction were only the latest ...

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Salaam Salim: A Review of The Oath

[Salim Hamdan. Image byJanet Hamlin; Abu Jandal. Image from The Oath.]

The Oath, directed by Laura Poitras. USA, 2010. The Oath by filmmaker Laura Poitras weaves a documentary account of the lives of two Yemeni men to offer a fresh perspective on the “war on terror.” The man you have probably heard of, Salim Hamdan, is conspicuously absent because it was shot while he was locked away in the US naval base on the south side of Cuba. Like a ghost, Salim haunts the other man, the film’s main protagonist, his brother-in-law “Abu Jandal.” It was Abu Jandal, a charismatic jihadist, who worked as Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard from 1997 to 2000 and who got Salim a job as his driver. Salim was captured by the Northern Alliance in November 2001 and ...

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The Pomegranate Alone (Excerpt)

[

She was lying nude on her back on a marble bench in an open place with no walls or ceilings. There was no one around and nothing in sight except the sand, which reached all the way to the horizon where clouds crowded the sky and took turns blocking the sun before rushing to disappear. I was nude, barefoot and dumbfounded by everything I saw around me. I could feel the sand under my feet and a cool wind. I moved slowly to the bench to make sure it was she. When and why did she come back after all these years? Her long black hair was piled next to her head. A few of its locks covered her right cheek, as if guarding her face, which the years hadn’t changed at all. Her ...

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Mubarak's "Mubarak?" (Part 1)

[Image from unknown archive]

With parliamentary elections only a few months away and a widely anticipated presidential election due next year, many observers have projected that change is coming to Egypt, possibly the kind of change that partisans of democracy can believe in. Looking at Egypt from the outside, there are many reasons to believe that a real transformation is in sight. After all, news reports from Egypt over the past few years have tended to focus on the deteriorating health of the 82-year-old president, street protests, riots, and sit-ins in response to various government failings, and Mohamed ElBaradei’s emergence as a potential contender for the Egyptian presidency. Such reports ...

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The Forgotten War

[Iraqi Casualties. Image from unknown archive]

Selective amnesia is often deployed or manipulated to package history in a more simple and palatable narrative. The process involves major elisions to edit out any event(s) that might complicate the desired reductive and truncated narrative. One such major elision in the reigning Iraq narrative is that of the Iran-Iraq War (1980-1988). That destructive war claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and Iranians and predetermined the lives of millions of others. It impacted the societies of both countries in a visceral manner and many of its effects and repercussions can still be discerned today, yet it is rarely discussed beyond its name and a passing mention. ...

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Waiting for History: A Meditation on the Trial of Omar Khadr

Guantanamo military commission building

The Guantánamo military commission trial of Canadian child soldier Omar Khadr began on August 12. But at 4 p.m. on the first day, Khadr’s lawyer, Lt. Col. Jon Jackson, collapsed in the courtroom from extreme pain related to a surgery he had earlier in the summer. Jackson and all the other trial participants and attendees—except Khadr, of course—were transported back to the mainland. Had the trial not been interrupted, by now the forty-some scheduled witnesses would have testified, the seven-member military jury would have rendered its verdict, and we would already be pondering how to write this new chapter in the history of the “war on terror.” Jackson’s medical ...

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Kafala Politics and Domestic Labor in Saudi Arabia

[Image from Al-Jazeera Online]

As we prepare to land at Riyadh’s King Khalid International Airport, I grudgingly wear my abaya and wrap the headscarf around my neck. A few Saudi men in jeans and t-shirts rush to the bathrooms and change into their long, white thobes. When we touch down, I call my wakil, a male agent who has to be physically present in lieu of my male guardian to “collect me.” The word in Arabic is yistilimni. I ask him to meet me at the immigration counter. A few meters outside the door of the plane is the VIP entrance, which royalty and prominent Saudi citizens can access. A crowd of wukala (sing. wakil) hovers there to greet their clients, whom they escort to the male or female-only ...

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At The Beach With Nancy Ajram

A few weeks ago, I found myself sitting next to Nancy Ajram at a beach/restaurant in Batroun-a lazy town in the north of Lebanon. No, not the Nancy Ajram, star of the stage, Melody TV, and many a teenage boy’s fantasy. I was sitting next to an attempt at Nancy, an approximation of her or rather, a mold of her made of plasticized flesh. My friends and I had gone to a restaurant that is situated inside a hollowed out rock cove in the sea. There are caves lining the cove that you can swim into and explore. And the food is quite delicious, even if exquisitely overpriced. We arrived first, claimed our plastic table in the shallow water, and promptly went for a swim. When I ...

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Can A Muslim Truly Be An American?

[Image from CAIR]

There are numerous ways to approach this question.  From a legal standpoint, many Muslims are American, having been born in the United States.  Many Muslim immigrants are in possession of a United States passport, an item that ideally would be the only criterion by which one is judged “American.” National identity is only partly informed by formal citizenship, however.  In the United States today, as throughout its history, citizenship is invested with crucial symbolic features. Most of the symbolic features of proper American-ness involve race or religion (wherein, say, Jews or African Americans aren’t seen to be fully American ...

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Egypt's Power-Cuts (Part 2)

[Image from Jadaliyya]

In part one we saw how exceptional heat wrecked havoc on Egypt this summer, as it supposedly increased demand for electricity beyond the national generation capacity. This prompted the authorities to cut power off whole cities and neighborhoods for long durations everyday to bring demand down to a level within the network’s capacity. As we have seen, the social and economic cost of doing so have been plain huge. And as such, they signalled the state’s failure to all. But the reason why all of this happened remained a matter of speculation, as people explaining it in terms of increased demand only failed to hold any water. Thus the question remained, why did this collapse ...

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Presumed Intelligent

[Image from Propublica.org]

If you gave an exam with 779 questions and the test taker got anywhere from 36 to 84 of the answers “not totally wrong”—not 36 to 84 percent but actual answers—you would regard said test taker as not the master of this domain, right? Of course, right. (You might even advise said taker to find another major.) Well, that’s the US government’s score on the test that is the Guantánamo Bay (GTMO) detention facility. The total number of foreign prisoners ever detained at GTMO is 779. Or rather, 778 foreigners plus one naturalized American (that latter, Yaser Hamdi, was moved stateside to a brig and released to Saudi Arabia in 2004 on the condition that he ...

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The Predicament of Independent Opposition (Part 3)

My emphasis in the original post on the predicament of independent opposition stands, but I felt compelled to say more about the context of the second wave of liberalization in Syria (L 1.2), which started in 2000/2001. This is a third in a 4-part series post (I promise I’ll stop at 4). In part 2 I discussed the official narrative regarding the accession to power of Bashar Asad in 2000. Below, I discuss the "other" narrative peddled by various independent observers (as an aside, see my fellow ...

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Make www.Jadaliyya.com your facebook profile/status for one day: Today, Wednesday

Dear Friends, As most of you know, we launched this Ezine last week and we have had a super warm welcome from all of you and from our increasing readership. But we are privately funded and need your help in spreading the word, provided you like what you see here by way of an alternative source of commentary on the region--and beyond. We are asking all our facebook friends to support us TODAY only (Wednesday, September 29) by using the Jadaliyya icon as their facebook profile and by ...

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Committee of Independent Experts: Israel Investigation Bad, But Not Bad Enough

On Tuesday September 21st, the Human Rights Council released an advance version of its report on the Independent Expert Commission created to assess the adequacy of Israeli and Palestinian domestic investigations of alleged war crimes committed during Operation Cast Lead pursuant to the UN Fact-Finding Mission recommendations, also known as the Goldstone Report. Oddly, while the 28-paged report finds that the domestic investigations fail to meet international standards of justice, it makes no ...

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Farewell Germany

وداعاً المانيا في ساعات الصباح المبكرة وأنا في طريقي إلى العمل، حين يكون المترو البرليني مزدحماً، غالباً ما يستوقفني منظر أولئك الذين يجلسون على المقاعد ويغفون فوق زجاجة الجعة التي بين أيديهم. يبدو عليهم وكأنهم سيهوون أرضاً في أي لحظة من الثمالة. كل هذا وعقارب الساعة لم تصل التاسعة صباحاً بعد. لم يكن هؤلاء الألمان في بال المصرفي الألماني تيلو سارازين ( 65 عامًا)  عندما كان يتحدث عن الألمان كشعب يكد ويعمل بشكل دؤوب وتمكن من بناء أحد أقوى الإقتصادات في العالم بعد الحرب العالمية الثانية. لا تكمن ...

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New Methods of Warfare Target Civilians--And it's Legal

The laws of war, or humanitarian law, are dynamic and read like a rich treatise on lessons learned-always commentary on the regulations of war that should have existed in order to avoid grotesque brutality. Consider that the International Committee of the Red Cross is the progeny of Henri Dunant's reflections on the lack of care for combatants in the Battle of Solferino, which he captured in his Souvenir de Solferino. The Hague Conventions of 1906 and 1907 came on the heels of Russo-Japanese War of ...

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What's in a City? (Part 1)

One night a few months ago, while spending some time in Beirut, I needed to get from the Sinn al-Fil neighborhood to that of Ras Beirut, and called a taxi to pick me up. After driving around for twenty minutes, it became clear that the cab driver had no idea how to get us out of the urban planning nightmare that is Sinn al-Fil. So we flagged down a family in a silver SUV to ask directions. “Brother, how do I get to Beirut?” the taxi driver asked. SUV driver stared at him. “We ARE in Beirut, man. ...

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Is Lebanon Ready?

هل لبنان مستعد؟ قبل ثمانية وعشرين عاما، كان الذباب يحوم حول أجساد ممزقة، بعضها ببطون مبقورة، وبعضها الآخر تهاوى على الأرض في صفوف منتظمة. بعضها كان أشلاء، وبعضها الآخر كان متجمدا بيد ترتفع حاملة بطاقة هوية. بعضها كان يعود لرجال، ونساء، الكثير منها كان لأطفال. بعضها كان لحيوانات.      كانت أرض خراب، صورة ما يمكن للإنسان أن يرتكبه من هول، بيدين عاريتين، وفي مواجهة ضحيته وجها لوجه. الذين عاثوا ما عاثوا في مخيمي صبرا وشاتيلا يومي السادس عشر والسابع عشر من أيلول العام 1982، كانوا ...

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The Predicament of Independent Opposition (Part 2)

In part I, here, the three waves of political liberalization in Syria were listed, but only the first was discussed. The second wave, L 1.2, is discussed below. The purpose of these narratives is ultimately to discuss the predicament of independent opposition in Syria, i.e., the opposition (to the Syrian regime) that is anti-US foreign policy, anti-Islamists who have their bases and some allegiances abroad, and the one that opposes the creeping dominance of business interests in the country. Many of ...

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Laugh! There is a Bomb in your Car

Ramadan is a very special time of year for Muslims and it is impossible to overestimate its socio-cultural importance. Additional time and effort are invested in its daily rituals and practices. Familial and social bonds are augmented and celebrated. Traditional games used to be an important facet of the month’s celebratory and festive mood culminating in the feast marking the month’s end. While these games are still popular and are still played in many parts of the Islamicate world, they have been ...

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Burn Baby Burn

I have been thinking a lot about electricity. A couple of nights ago, I spent 24 hours without it. At ten pm the lights went out, and they did not come back on until the next evening. With the lights went the air conditioner, the television, the refrigerator, the internet, the fan, my stove, and finally, my computer and my telephone. That night, I put a puzzle together by candlelight, opened all my windows, sat naked on my couch, and re-learned the value of a summer breeze. I slept on the marble floor of ...

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.. مستوطنة اريئيل والأمير الضفدع

 إنضمت وزيرة الثقافة والرياضة الإسرائيلية ليمور ليفنات إلى جوقة المنددين برسالة وقع عليها 53 ممثلاً وكاتباً مسرحياً إسرائيلياً يعلنون فيها عن رفضهم الإشتراك في أي فعاليات فنية أو عروض مسرحية ستقام في أي مستوطنة بنيت في الأراضي الفلسطينية المحتلة، بما في ذلك مستوطنة اريئيل. وبحسب مركز"بتسيلم"م لحقوق الإنسان في الأراضي المحتلة، فإن المستوطنات الإسرائيلية في الأراضي المحتلة يفوق عددها ال 150  مستوطنة إضافة إلى أكثر من  100 بؤرة إستيطانية. يعيش قرابة النصف ...

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What is Good Sex?

I am sure we all have our own answers to this question. While I can only imagine how interesting these answers may be, the answer according to the Lebanese state (or any other state) is much more complicated. This answer is refracted and expressed through various mediums, including the law. One way to understand what "good sex" is according to the Lebanese state is to study the way that sex is regulated in the Lebanese legal system. In order to do this, the legal system in its ...

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