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IMEU Interview: The Iran Nuclear Agreement and the Question of Palestine

[In the following online interview conducted by the Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani, Palestinian analyst Diana Buttu, and syndicated columnist Rami Khouri respond to questions about the implications of the Iran nuclear agreement for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. ...  Read More »

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A Shift in Turkey's Foreign Policy? An Interview with Osman Shahin

Last week, Turkey joined the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), after the group carried out a suicide bombing in the town of Suruç close to the Syrian border, killing thirty-two young socialist activists and students, and injuring many more. Following that horrific tragedy, the Turkish ...  Read More »

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Muslims in Quebec, Belonging to an Intercultural Society: An Interview with Charles Taylor

Hicham Tiflati (HT): In my research on identity formation and the sense of belonging of young Muslims in Quebec, I have been finding that most of my participants deny their Quebecness and insist on being only Canadians. However, some of them cannot be anything else but Québécois because of the visible Quebecness in ...  Read More »

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Quick Thoughts: Ali Vaez on The Iranian Nuclear Agreement

[On 14 July 2015 in the Austrian capital Vienna, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif jointly announced the conclusion of a Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action between Iran, the permanent members of the United ...  Read More »

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Iran’s Nuclear Deal and the Day After: An Interview with Kamran Matin

For more than a week, diplomats from Iran and six world powers have gathered in Vienna’s Coburg Palace to finalize a historic deal on Iran’s nuclear program.   The officials from Iran and the US have told reporters  “we are making good progress on almost all of the issues..But there are a few issues which ...  Read More »

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Alif: Aynama-Rtama

Alif, a band of five musicians at the forefront of the Arab underground music scene, is launching its debut album Aynama-Rtama (Wherever It Falls) on the 4 September 2015. Conceived in 2012 and taking its name from the first letter of the Arabic alphabet, Alif features Khyam Allami (Oud), Tamer Abu Ghazaleh ...  Read More »

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From Rags to Riches: On Public Art in Cairo

From rags to riches is a year-long project initiated by the Cairo-based foundation Baad el Bahr and curated by Mashrabia Gallery to produce a number of art installations and projects made from recycled materials for pubic spaces across the city. The first phase of the project was a four-day workshop in March, led by ...  Read More »

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Pixelated Intifada: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Amer Shomali

This interview was conducted in Ramallah, Palestine on 16 June 2015 following the local and international release of Amer Shomali’s film, The Wanted 18, which opens in US theaters on 19 June 2015. Isis Nusair (IN): Where did the idea of the film come from? Amer Shomali (AS): I grew up in the Yarmouk [Refugee] Camp ...  Read More »

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A Walk Through 'Ahmed's Revenge and Other Untold Stories'

Ahmed’s Revenge and Other Untold Stories is Mohamed Abdelkarim’s first solo exhibition. It brings together a selection of videos, installations, books, digital images, sculptures, found materials and objects he produced from 2010 to 2015. On the opening night, Abdelkarim presented Ahmed's Revenge, a ...  Read More »

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Between 'Reality' and Memory: An Interview with Palestinian Filmmaker Michel Khleifi

Isis Nusair (IN): How did you start making movies? Michel Khleifi (MK): It happened by chance. There was nothing in our life in Nazareth that would have prepared me to be a filmmaker. The films we saw, like all the children our age in the 1960s, were popular and commercial. This was our only chance to breath in the ...  Read More »

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Chocolate Bar of the Future

Chocolate bar of the future is Hend Samir's first solo show. It is organized and hosted by Medrar for Contemporary Art as one of the awards for its annual arts competition titled Roznama. The exhibition takes a critical view of modern consumerism, individuals’ shopping habits and the role of advertising in ...  Read More »

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Nidaa Tounès et Ennahda, l’alliance entre « deux forces d’ancien régime » en Tunisie. Retour sur l'histoire de la révolution avec Aziz Krichen

Aziz Krichen est une figure historique de la gauche tunisienne. Son opposition frontale aux régimes de Habib Bourguiba et de Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali le conduit en prison puis à l’exil. Ministre conseiller du président Moncef Marzouki depuis janvier 2012, il a démissionné de ses fonctions en mai 2014 pour ne ...  Read More »

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Sharjah Biennial 12: Uriel Barthelemi's Souls' Landscapes

Souls' Landscapes is a three-part performance produced by Uriel Barthelemi in collaboration with Entissar Al Hamdany, Joel Lokossou, Rigo 23, and Fabrice Taraud. It is loosely inspired by Frantz Fanon's 1961 book The Wretched of the Earth and incorporates music, dance, shadow, and text, developed using a personal and ...  Read More »

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Naema’s Office is Bleeding

Medrar for Contemporary Art started its new workshop program this year with a painting and collage workshop led by Cairo-based artist Hany Rashed. The workshop aimed to introduce participants to different practices and techniques in painting and collage and to train them in conceptualizing artworks, inspired by media ...  Read More »

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Then and Now: LCPS Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish on State Institutions in Lebanon

In the following interview with the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Ziad Abu-Rish discusses the history of state institutions in early independence Lebanon, and some of the legacies they left behind. The interview was conducted over email, and first published on the LCPS ...  Read More »

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This is the Time. This is the Record of the Time

Curators Angela Harutyunyan and Nat Muller take the cue for their latest exhibition 'This is the time. This is the record of the time" from Laurie Anderson's 1982 song "From the air" where she describes the duration between becoming conscious that the plane will crash and its actual impact - a moment ...  Read More »

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Olivier Roy on Laicite as Ideology, the Myth of 'National Identity' and Racism in the French Republic

Following the Charlie Hebdo attacks, Professor Olivier Roy, Head of the Mediterranean Program at the European University Institute discusses the development of the concept of laicite in France, from its emergence as a tool for the management of diversity, to its rebranding as an ideology of exclusion. In this ...  Read More »

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Farida El Gazzar's Dream City: Drawings and Paintings from Cairo

Gypsum Gallery celebrated the launch of its new space with a solo show by Egyptian-Greek artist Farida El Gazzar. Titled 'Dream City,' it brings together a collection of small-scale drawings and paintings produced between 2012 and 2015. The exhibition acts as a visual memoir of Cairo for the Athens-based artist, ...  Read More »

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What's the Vision Behind D-CAF's 2015 Music Program?

In this video, journalist and Dandin.me co-founder Abdel-Rahman Hussein interviews Mahmoud Refat about the vision for the music program in the 4th Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF). Refat, an acclaimed musician from Cairo and founder of 100Copies label and 100Copies Music Space has been curating the ...  Read More »

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Studio Visit: Lebanese Artist and Musician Raed Yassin

In this video, we visit Lebanese artist and musician Raed Yassin in his studio in Beirut. He tells us about his ongoing interest in Egyptian cinema and how he uses it as a reference for many of his art projects be they video, photography, sound, installation or his well known neon signs. Yassin has been interested in ...  Read More »

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani Interviewed by Al-Jazeera English on UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura

In this interview with Al-Jazeera English Diplomatic Editor James Bays, Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani discusses the failure of the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, to make any headway with an initiative to negotiate a ceasefire in Aleppo. Based on his own personal experience with the ...  Read More »

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Highlights from the 4th Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival

In this interview, Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival Artistic Director Ahmed El Attar discusses the festival's vision and how it has evolved over the past four years. A main priority for D-CAF which is gradually being realized is expanding the contemporary arts audience base be it theater, dance, music or visual ...  Read More »

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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 »

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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