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Iraqi Authorities Turn Their Sights on Journalists

[The following briefing was published by Reporters Without Borders on 26 March 2014] Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned about the growing hostility that the Iraqi authorities are displaying towards critical journalists. One of latest violations of freedom of information is a warrant for the arrest of ...  Read More »

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Notes on Turkey's Local Elections

After weeks of tension and uncertainty, there was an almost carnival atmosphere at polling stations in Istanbul on 30 March—at least during the daytime. The sun shone from a crisp, blue sky, and there was a sense among government supporters and detractors alike that Turkey’s long spiral into political crisis since the ...  Read More »

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Digital Platforms, Analog Elections: How Civic Groups Are Trying to Bring Back Democracy in Turkey

When Gezi protesters occupied the park last summer and took their frustration with the government to the streets, Prime Minister Erdoğan told them to “be patient and face off at the ballot box.” It was exactly Erdoğan’s reductive framing of democracy, which limits political legitimacy to elections and takes an ...  Read More »

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في نقد الثورة2/2

عالجنا، في المقال السابق، مشكلة انحسار النقد الثوري، وشرعية النقد، والمحددات التي ينبغي تأبطها عند دخول الحيز النقدي، وعطفْنا على ذلك بكشف وفحص نقدين شائعين ومناوئين لمنطق الثورة الذي نعتقده. ونروم، في هذا المقال، نقد تصورين ظهرا لنا أثناء محاولاتنا تحليل الحِراك الثوري الممتد، منذ لحظة الميلاد في آخر يناير وحتى الوقت ...  Read More »

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On Prison & Egyptian Regime’s "War on a Whole Generation": Democracy Now! Interview with Alaa Abd El-Fattah

In a Democracy Now! global broadcast exclusive, we spend the hour with one of Egypt’s most prominent dissidents, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, speaking in his first extended interview after nearly four months behind bars. An open Internet and political activist, Fattah has been at the forefront of the struggle for change in ...  Read More »

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Media On the Margins: An Interview with Alex Christie-Miller about Turkey's Attack on the Media Beyond Twitter

On this edition of "Media on the Margins," Malihe speaks with Istanbul-based freelance journalist Alexander Christie-Miller shortly after Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's ban on Twitter went into effect and before the country's elections. On 20 March, during a campaign rally ten days before the local ...  Read More »

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Event Report-Back: Countering the Counter-Revolution in Egypt

On 5 March 2014, the Middle East Studies Center at the American University in Cairo hosted political scientist Timothy Kaldas for a lecture titled “Countering the Counter-Revolution.” Kaldas is a professor at Egypt’s Nile University whose work can be found on Mada Masr and other media outlets. Following the ouster of ...  Read More »

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part Three)

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part Three) [Part one of this article can be found here; part two can be found here.] Even before the campaign had started, there had been whispers that Sarıgül would make a better CHP General President than Deniz Baykal. At the time, he had dismissed such ...  Read More »

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part Two)

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part Two) [Part one of this article can be found here.] By 1987, Turkish politics was returning to its old patterns. Though the new constitution remained in effect and General Evren still presided over the state as president, the five-year ban from politics for ...  Read More »

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part One)

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part One) [People ask,] “Why are you always beating up on Sarıgül?” Let’s start the matter from here. I ask you: in this country has there ever been a party like the Republican People’s Party, which—without having done a bit of work—turns to the left for its votes? ...  Read More »

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What Role for Law in the Palestinian Struggle for Liberation?

Is international law part of the solution in the Palestinian quest for self-determination and human rights – or part of the problem as a number of voices now argue? Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat provides insights into the positions of those who argue the law is the problem and then discusses the ways in which ...  Read More »

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Official Statement Regarding Barnard Administration's Removal of SJP Banner

[The following statement was issued by Students for Justice in Palestine of Columbia University on 11 March 2014] On March 10th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine hung a banner on Barnard Hall. The banner was placed after members of C­SJP went through the required bureaucratic channels and processes in ...  Read More »

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Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 3 February 2014] Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya Introduction After four decades of authoritarian rule, Libya faces the challenge of reforming outdated and repressive legislation and writing new laws that guarantee the full panoply of citizens’ ...  Read More »

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في نقد الثورة 1/2

ضمن مُشكلات ثورة 25 يناير 2011 ضمور، ولا أبالغ في حال قُلت نُدرة، القراءات النقديّة الثورية للثورة. والنقديّة الثورية، هنا، تُفيد نقد وتقويم الثورة من قِبل من لديهم الحِس الثوري، والمعرفة بمنطق الثورة، والرغبة في تمكينها وتفعيلها في شتى المساحات. الأمر الذي ساهم في تكثير وشيوع الانتقادات غير الثورية (اليمينية الفجة) ...  Read More »

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Tunisia’s Consensus, or When a Kiss Is Just a Kiss

With the constitution out of the way and a technocratic government appointed to oversee the country up until the election, Tunisia’s cultural wars have taken a backseat, but that does not mean they are not over. Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa replaced the Ennahda-led coalition government after it stepped down on 29 ...  Read More »

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Committee to Protect Journalists: Second Worst Year on Record for Jailed Journalists

 [The following briefing was written by Elana Beiser and published by the Committee to Protect Journalists on 18 December 2013] Turkey, Iran, and China accounted for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world in 2013, the Committee to Protect Journalists has found. In its annual census, CPJ ...  Read More »

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الأنبار بين مفهومين: الحرب والسلام

هزيلة صورة الدولة الآن، لإنها مازالت تستخدم الجيش كـ"مفتاح" لحل سياسي من جهة، ووجود السلاح خارج إطار الدولة من جهة آخرى. قطعت هذه الصورة الطريق أمام السلم الأهلي، ووفرت فرصاً كبيرة للإنقسام الأجتماعي. الجيش على مسرح السياسة: في تفاصيل هذه الصور، سرعان ما تنقلب المعادلات في العراق، تعلن الحكومة عن عزمها ...  Read More »

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Event: Grounding Political Change in Egypt: The Public Interest, Local Roots of Democracy, and the Right to the City (Cairo, 3 March)

Grounding Political Change in Egypt:  The Public Interest, Local Roots of Democracy, and the Right to the City While national electoral politics and the struggles between state institutions and protesters have been dominating headlines from Egypt, Egyptian citizens have been organizing to address chronic ...  Read More »

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العمل المشترك بين القوى اليسارية والعلمانية والديمقراطية

يتم الفصل في المجتمعات الحديثة ما بين الذاكرة وعلم التاريخ، الذي أصبح هو الذي يحدد ويفسر أحداث الماضي. وينتقد الفيلسوف نيتشه، المؤرخين الذين ينتهجون ذاكرة انتقائية في ٳختيارهم، فقط لما يعتبرونه مفيداً للمجتمع وللإنسان. فقد شهد القرن العشرين اهتماماً ملحوظاً بمسألة الذاكرة. فبحسب أبحاث سيجموند فرويد، فإن (الذاكرة ...  Read More »

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Lebanon’s New Government (15 February 2014)

After nearly eleven months (329 days to be exact), Lebanon has a new government. Some thoughts are forthcoming about why the process took so long, what happened to facilitate it, and what this suggests about a shifting regional picture on the situation in Syria, but in the meantime, here are some quick ...  Read More »

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An Inside Look at the Fight for Freedom of Speech in College Newspapers

The words you are about to read were fully censored by The Daily Targum, Rutgers University's daily newspaper, even though they were all fact-checked by Targum staff and are true to my personal experiences working there. Because all of these things happened privately, it was said that writing about them would break ...  Read More »

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البحث عن غابة في عمّان

  "والغابة الأَجمة ذاتُ الشجر الـمُتَكاثف، لأَنها تُغَيِّبُ ما فيها" - لسان العرب       ملصق على شبّاك يطل على عمّان صباح كل يوم، وفي نفس الموعد، يخرج ستينيّ ملتحٍ من منزله بملابس النوم يحمل كيس قمامة وحقيبة سوداء باتّجاه حاويات القمامة على زاوية منزل مهجور بحديقة كبيرة. ...  Read More »

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Judiciary Draft Laws in Morocco: Undercutting the Young Judges Movement

Judicial reform in Morocco has been a major item of discussion for decades on the agenda of the country’s reformist forces and legal rights activists. Many international reports have also expressed concern over how fragile the guarantees for the judiciary’s independence are in the context of Morocco’s existing ...  Read More »

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Crise politique et question territoriale en Tunisie

La question territoriale a été un des fondements du soulèvement en Tunisie à la fin de l’année 2010: développement des zones défavorisées de l’intérieur du pays et accès à l’emploi et aux services étaient parmi les principaux slogans de la révolte. Les inégalités régionales et le mode de gouvernance territoriale ont ...  Read More »

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Press Release: CIHRS Issues Report on Egyptian Referendum Coverage of Twenty Media Outlets

[The following press release was issued 14 Janaruary 2014 by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS).] Report monitoring the referendum coverage of 20 media outlets CIHRS:
 Media joins the chorus of public mobilization On Tuesday, January 14, 2014, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies issued its ...  Read More »

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Egypt's Terrible Three: Interview with Hossam El-Hamalawy

Nearly three years after the fall of Mubarak, with the deep state and the military openly back in control, Egypt seems to have come full circle. How did that happen and what is the situation on the ground really like, with Egyptians going to the polls yet again to vote on a new constitution? Vomena's Khalil Bendib ...  Read More »

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Briefing: Growing Campaign of Judicial Harassment and Intimidation of Human Rights Defenders in Saudi Arabia

[The following briefing was released by the Gulf Center for Human Rights on 15 December 2014] The GCHR is gravely concerned that the Saudi authorities continue, under the direct orders of senior officials within the Ministry of Interior, to systemically target human rights defenders using false or fabricated charges. ...  Read More »

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Substantive Erasures: Essays on Academic Boycott and the American Studies Association

Introduction [by Noura Erakat] Members of the American Studies Association (ASA) first considered an academic boycott seven years ago, discussed it openly four years ago, and presented a resolution to endorse it a little over one year ago. As with most boycott, divestment, and sanctions efforts (BDS), ...  Read More »

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NAISA Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions

[The following press release was issued by the Council of the Native American and Indigenous Studies Association on December 15, 2013.] Declaration of Support for the Boycott of Israeli Academic Institutions  A broad coalition of Palestinian non-governmental organizations, acting in concert to represent ...  Read More »

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Remembering Graham Usher

Obituary (by Barbara Plett) Graham Robin Usher passed away peacefully early Thursday morning, August 8th 2013.He died at home after succumbing to the effects of a rare degenerative brain condition known as Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. He was 54. Graham was born on 12th December 1958 in Debden, a Council Estate on the ...  Read More »

Syrian Population Regression

Population: ~ 22.5 Million

2011:  5,800+ (killed)

2012:  60,000+ (killed) and 500,000+ (external refugees)

2013:  100,000+ (killed), 2,000,000+ (external refugees), and 8 million+ displaced

 

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Syria Map and Stats

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Population: 22,517,750
GDP: $107.4 billion 
Unemployment: 8.3%; Youth Employment (ages 15-24): 19.1%
Internet Users: 4.469 million 
Exchange Rate: ~ 98.00 Syrian pounds per US dollar
GDP Growth Rate: 3.2% 
Military Expenditures: 5.9% of GDP (World Rank: 10)
Health Expenditures: 2.9% of GDP (World Rank: 180)
Population Growth Rate: 0.913% 
Age Structure: 0-14 years: 35.2%; 15-64 years: 61%; 65 years and over: 3.8%
Literacy: 79.6%
Religious Demographics: Sunni Muslim 74%; other Muslim (includes Alawite, Druze) 16%; Christian (various denominations) 10%
Ethnic Demographics: Arab 90.3%, Kurds, Armenians, and other 9.7%

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