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On Palestinian Cinema: The State of Israel vs. Suha Arraf

Suha Arraf is a Palestinian filmmaker based in Mi’ilya in the Galilee in Israel. Arraf is a journalist by training. This interview with Arraf was conducted following the recent screening of her debut feature film, Villa Touma, at the Cleveland International Film Festival in the United States. Isis Nusair (IN): Where ...  Read More »

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From Khaled Kaddal's Trapped Sounds

Trapped Sounds is a conceptual sound art performance by Alexandrian artist Khaled Kaddal. Performed for the first time at Rawabet Theater in downtown Cairo, it aims to examine the relationship between the individual and collective intelligence, manifested in the mass-produced noises observed in our surroundings. The ...  Read More »

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Nikhil Chopra's Use like Water

Use like water is a nine-day performance by Indian artist Nikhil Chopra. It starts as a journey he undertakes through the deserts and seaside areas of the UAE and Oman and culminates with a performance, re-presenting his travels to audiences in Sharjah during the biennial's opening week. Chopra explores the layers ...  Read More »

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Twenty Wheelchairs Roam Downtown Cairo in Mission Roosevelt

Twenty wheelchairs driving through the city streets can feel like an invasion, says Diane Bonnot, the co-creator of Mission Roosevelt. As part of the Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF), Bonnot along with Iacopo Fulgi adapted their performance to downtown Cairo's streets. And through an open call, 20 ...  Read More »

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On Developments in Yarmouk: France 24 Interview with Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani

In this interview with France 24, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani speaks about the situation in the Yarmouk district of Damascus. Yarmouk has historically been the primary center of Palestinian life in Syria, and much of it was recently seized by the Islamic State movement. Rabbani discusses the situation of the ...  Read More »

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It’s a Kind of a Domesticated Wilderness: An Interview with Abbas Akhavan

People ask me, “What does it mean?” And I say: “It doesn’t mean anything.” Evidently, the work of Toronto-based artist Abbas Akhavan carries connotations, pointing the viewer to a certain direction. Yet the artist refrains from pedagogic messages, thus encouraging viewers to form their own opinions. At the core of ...  Read More »

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Performing 'An Iliad' in Cairo

Like 'The Iliad', 'An Iliad' is a story about the glory and horror of war. Homer focused on the last few weeks of The Trojan War in his epic work, and director Lisa Peterson and actor Denis O'hare did the same in their theatrical adaptation. A major goal for them was to actively engage contemporary audiences with the ...  Read More »

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The Present and Future of Climate Change in Turkey and Beyond: An Interview with Umit Sahin

[In this interview, Dr. Ümit Şahin, an Sabanci University Istanbul Policy Center Senior Scholar and an ecological, anti-nuclear, and human rights activist in Turkey, discusses the politics of climate change in Turkey and the globe. In November 2014, Şahin published a thorough report called “Mapping the Actors of ...  Read More »

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Adrian Villar Rojas' Planetarium

Argentine artist Adrián Villar Rojas is known for his large-scale, site-specific sculptural installations that attempt to transform spaces and take visitors to a post-human moment in the future. Invited by curator Eungie Joo to take part in the 12th Sharjah Biennial, he picked one of the furthest locations from ...  Read More »

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Reclaiming Academic Freedom: A STATUS/الوضع Special Segment

In this gripping special segment, host Tareq Radi speaks to Judith Tucker, Ilana Feldman, Nashiha Alam, Lisa Rofel, and Nadia Abu El Haj, who illuminate the challenges of passing academic boycott, as well as the evolution of the tactics of repression affecting both students and faculty. The segment is a culmination of ...  Read More »

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Five Decades of Painting and Innovation: An Interview with Samia Halaby

Last month, Samia Halaby’s retrospective, Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, traveled to Lebanon. Organized by Ayyam Gallery, the retrospective was held at the Beirut Exhibition Center, where it was shown from 2 to 26 February. For the Beirut installment, Halaby added nearly two dozen rarely seen drawings and ...  Read More »

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Driven by Storms: An Interview with Sadik Alfraji and Nat Muller

Diluting the melancholic longing for unattainable dreams, which will only ever remain dreams, Sadik Alfraji injects the possibility of hope into his latest exhibition, currently on view at Ayyam Gallery Dubai’s Al Quoz outpost. Curated by Nat Muller, who also edited Alfraji’s first monograph, Driven by Storms (Ali’s ...  Read More »

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Illicit Sex in Ottoman and French Algeria: An Interview with Aurelie Perrier

The association of the Arab world with Western sexual fantasy figured prominently in the artwork and literature that was critiqued so famously by Edward Said in Orientalism. Yet beyond the fantasies embedded in Delacroix’s paintings of odalisques, what did sex actually mean in nineteenth-century Algeria? In ...  Read More »

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Yemen at Crossroads: An Interview with Activist Hisham Al-Omeisy

Yemen has grabbed the world's attention as the country’s political crisis appears to have been deepened with the Saudi-led military intervention. According to The Guardian and other news organizations, the U.S. is providing “logistical and intelligence support” to the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi forces in ...  Read More »

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New Vision for 13th Festival of Young Creators

The French Institute in Cairo has been organizing an annual festival since 2003 to support the work of emerging theater groups in Egypt. This year, the institute developed its vision to accommodate and better serve the needs of the local scene. As Cultural Project Manager Noemi Kahn explains in this interview, the ...  Read More »

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Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

For Kurdish Alevis, music serves as a mode of articulating and transmitting ideas about collective history, identity, and connections to the geography of former homes in the countryside of Anatolia. Our guest in Ottoman History Podcast Episode #187, Dr. Ozan Aksoy, has explored this crucial role of music within the ...  Read More »

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Twelve Years After Iraq Invasion: An Interview with Rijin Sahakian, and “ A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street” by Sinan Antoon

On 19 March 2015, twelve years will have passed since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, the country is back in the headlines because of the brutality with which ISIS has been trying to destroy what is left of Iraq’s diverse cultural and human landscape. Since ISIS has moved into northern Iraq, they have ...  Read More »

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On Palestinian Cinema: An Interview with Film Director Najwa Najjar

Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian filmmaker based in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. She has worked in both documentary and fiction. Her debut film was the feature  Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009), and her second feature is. Eyes of a Thief (2014). The latter was selected as the Palestinian entry for ...  Read More »

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Imperial Consequences of Things: An Interview with Alan Mikhail

In this interview, Alan Mikhail discusses his own work on the environmental history of the Ottoman Empire, the wider intervention of environmental history, and the challenge of interdisciplinarity. The interview was initially conducted in person at the 2013 Middle East Studies Association (MESA) conference and ...  Read More »

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STATUS/الوضع: Issue 2.1 is Live!

We are excited to announce that the second issue of Status Audio Journal is live! www.StatusHour.com.  Officially, this is our -2 Episode (minus two), denoting our experimental phase.  Status / الوضع, is an evolving critical, collaborative, and independent monthly audio journal combining analysis, ...  Read More »

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Do Muslims Belong in the West? An Interview with Talal Asad

In this discussion, Talal Asad identifies the problematic ways in which the presence of Muslim communities in Western contexts has been characterized in response to outbreaks of violence such as the recent events in Paris. Asad argues that many of the critiques to which Muslims are subjected, namely their dependence ...  Read More »

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Asli Bali on Iranian-US Nuclear Negotiations and What Republican Invite to Netanyahu Means

In the aftermath of Barak Obama's State of the Union Address, and his announcement that he will veto any congressional actions increasing sanctions on Iran, the Republican Party proceeded to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, making the latter on par with Winston ...  Read More »

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Mubarakism on Steroids: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Hesham Sallam Interviewed on the Anniversary of the Revolution

Jadaliyya Egypt Page Co-Editor Hesham Sallam gave an interview to KPFA 94.1 Berkeley on the current state of the Egyptian revolution and the return of authoritarianism in the country on the fourth anniversary of the uprisings that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak. Sallam argues that the level of repression ...  Read More »

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The Worker’s Trap: An Interview with Sara Rahbar

Dirty gold is the color that smothers every surface of Sara Rahbar’s New York City studio. Disembodied casts of the artist’s own anxiously clenched hands and feet are laid out, clinically, on long tables alongside bullet casings, rifle butts, chains, and other found objects. With the same studied intensity that won ...  Read More »

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Gezi’deki demokrasiyi laiklige baglamak solu bitirir

Berkeley Üniversitesi Sosyoloji Bölümü Öğretim Üyesi Doç. Cihan Tuğal, söyleşimizin ilk bölümünde, AKP’nin yaşamı daha da dayanılmaz kılacak hamleler yapmayı sürdüreceğini ifade etmişti. Buna karşılık eğitimden sağlığa, çalışma yaşamından çevreye AKP politikaları, giderek daha fazla insanı sokağa/direnişe sevk ...  Read More »

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Censorship and Detention in Egypt, A Personal Account: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Alaa Abd El Fattah and Lina Attalah

Alaa Abd El Fattah is a writer, programmer, community organizer and activist who constantly generates new meanings to the notion of activism. He has been in political detention during the Hosni Mubarak era, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces interim rule following the January 25 revolution, the ...  Read More »

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Syrian Refugees in Lebanon: Racism, Alliances, and Misery: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Moe Ali Nayel and Bassam Haddad

Moe Ali Nayel, a freelance journalist, fixer, and translator based in Beirut, Lebanon, discusses the question of Syrian refugees in Lebanon and how the landscape of Lebanon receives them. In addition to his insights and observations, Moe Ali provides signs, posters, warnings, and maps from Beirut. Please find the ...  Read More »

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Academic Freedom in the United States: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation Between Steven Salaita and Noura Erakat

Steven Salaita is the author of six books: Israel's Dead Soul; Modern Arab American Fiction: A Reader's Guide; The Uncultured Wars: Arabs, Muslims, and the Poverty of Liberal Thought; Anti-Arab Racism in the USA; The Holy Land in Transit; and Arab American Literary Fictions, Cultures, and Politics. He is a former ...  Read More »

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Expropriation, Lawlessness, and Resistance in Yirca's Olive Groves: An Interview with Olcay Bingol and Deniz Bayram

[This interview regarding the ongoing resistance and expropriation processes in Yırca (Soma) was conducted by Boğaziçi University students Çiğdem Artık and Mustafa Kaba. The interviewees are Olcay Bingöl, who is an ecological activist resisting in solidarity with the villagers in Yırca against the expropriation of ...  Read More »

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Armenian Diaspora Tourism in Turkey: An Interview with Anny Bakalian

[This interview explores the rising phenomenon of diaspora Armenians traveling throughout Anatolia, following their ancestors’ footprints. Specifically, it focuses on the following questions: What is the meaning of Armenian diaspora tourism to Turkey? Is it a return to the homeland? What emotions do travelers share ...  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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