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The Everyday Experience of Humanitarianism in Akkar Villages (Part One)

It is very common nowadays to come across reports discussing the negative impact of the Syrian humanitarian crisis on the Lebanese economy as a whole. On the one hand, there have been several attempts to focus on the victims and their plight, rather than looking at the complex dynamics of humanitarian intervention in ...  Read More »

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Inhabiting a Grudge

My father and I were discussing increasing construction and diminishing public space in Beirut and, in particular, access to the seafront in the Manara neighbourhood. Suddenly, he asked if I had ever noticed al-Ba'sa (in English: The Grudge). “Which grudge?” I answered. “I thought we were speaking about buildings.” ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Reinoud Leenders, Spoils of Truce: Corruption and State-Building in Postwar Lebanon

Reinoud Leenders, Spoils of Truce: Corruption and State-Building in Postwar Lebanon. Cornell: Cornell University Press, 2012. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Reinoud Leenders (RL): Since my first encounter with Lebanese politics and society in the mid-1990s, I have been fascinated with the nature and ...  Read More »

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On Power Cuts, Protests, and Institutions: A Brief History of Electricity in Beirut (Part One)

[What follows are some preliminary findings on the history of the electricity sector of Lebanon in general and that of Beirut in particular. Such research forms part of a broader project on the history of struggles over the political economy of Lebanon, within which the issue of electric public utilities was and ...  Read More »

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A Guide to Lebanon’s Street Protests

Thousands of Lebanese workers and activists have been pouring onto the streets over a litany of issues since parliament resumed work this month following a year-long hiatus. Most of the protests are related to the country’s startling income inequality and stark poverty levels. Even before the Syrian war triggered an ...  Read More »

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Let Us Now Praise Murderous Men; Lebanese Presidential Candidates, Considered

Lebanon is slated to hold presidential elections next week, despite the fact that the parliamentary elections have yet to be held and it is the Lebanese parliament that elects the Lebanese President. Last year elections were postponed for the first time in the state’s history, and parliament ...  Read More »

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من قصة النقل المشترك لمدينة بيروت: باصاتٌ ومترو في محطة الأحلام

لم يبقَ من مصلحة سكك الحديد لا سكك حديدية ولا حتى الصدأ. كلُ ما تبقى هو ماضٍ نتحسر عليه بغرافيتي تملأ الجدران وبحلمٍ من الصعب ان يتحقق. فحتى أحفاد البيروتيين من الأرجح انهم لن يكحّلوا أعينهم برؤية "ترام" او باص عمومي محترم يتنقلون به في مدينتهم. وفيما تؤكد مختلف الأطراف المعنية ان الحل يتطلب قرارا موحدا ...  Read More »

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Stasis Shift: Guernica Interviews Jadaliyya Co-Founder Bassam Haddad

Jadaliyya co-founder on telling alternative stories about the Arab world, understanding the life cycles of revolution, and confronting “the weight of ancient problems.”   In the fall of 2010, I was crossing a crowded hotel lobby at the Middle East Studies Association convention in San Diego when a friend ...  Read More »

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On the Struggle of Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Spring has just landed in Lebanon. Its warmth and colors soothing the dried winter skin of the vast majority of Syrian refugees who resisted icy temperatures and freezing to death underneath thin canvas tents. Lebanon is now home to approximately one million Syrians, displaced from their war-ravaged cities and towns ...  Read More »

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بيروت.. أول مرّة

كل شارع في بيروت يمكنك أن تصعد أو تنزل به. يتعلق ذلك بالجهة التي تأتي منها إليه. الشوارع المركزيّة، مثل الحمراء والجمّيزة، تكون مستوية. ومنها تتفرّع المنحدرات صعودًا ونزولاً. أغلبية شوارع بيروت الساحقة، هي طلعات ونزلات في الوقت نفسه. بيروت كلها، سفح شرس وعنيف صعوده منهك ومتعب. وفي الوقت ذاته بيروت كلها منحدر سهل ...  Read More »

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في أعقاب زيارته لبيروت: اعتقال الصحافي مجد كيال واقتحام منزل عائلته

اعتقلت الشرطة الإسرائيلية مساء السبت الصحافي والناشط السياسي مجد كيال (حيفا) عند معبر "جسر الشيخ حسين" قرب بيسان، وهو في طريق عودته من بيروت إلى البلاد عبر الأردن. ووصل كيّال الحدود الأردنية - الإسرائيلية مساء السبت برفقة والدته، سهير، التي التقته في الأردن، بعد زيارته للعاصمة اللبنانية دامت نحو أسبوعين ...  Read More »

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Reconfiguring Relief Mechanisms: The Syrian Refugee Crisis in Lebanon

The Issam Faris Institute (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) has released a report, authored by Rabih Shibli, the associate director for Development and Community Projects at AUB’s Center for Civic Engagement and Community Service. The report investigates the impacts of the Syrian refugee crisis in ...  Read More »

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Book Launch Event: Leisurely Islam (10 April, Harvard University)

The Center for Middle Eastern Studies Outreach Program at Harvard University is pleased to present an author talk by Lara Deeb - Associate Professor of Anthropology, Scripps College and Mona Harb - Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Politics, American University of Beirut Moderated by Susan Kah, Associate ...  Read More »

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Hello, Zimo

Hello, Zimo November 2013 Beirut, Lebanon   Samer Saem Eldahr (aka Zimo) is a musician and visual artist from Aleppo, Syria. Five years ago, he began working on a project that has now become a hit in the Arab underground music scene: Hello Psychaleppo. The two albums that he released so far mix classical ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (21 March)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions,and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the ...  Read More »

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Bourj Hammoud: Seeing the City’s Urban Textures and Layered Pasts

Bourj Hammoud, a municipality just east of the Beirut River, is a densely populated residential and commercial district known as much for its sizeable Armenian population as its jewelry markets, small-scale clothing, and shoe manufacturing workshops. Until refugees of the Armenian genocide in Ottoman lands urbanized ...  Read More »

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Call for Applicants: AUB Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Public Policy and International Affairs in the Arab World

Post-Doctoral Fellowship Announcement The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) American University of Beirut Post-Doctoral Fellowships in Public Policy and International Affairs in the Arab World IFI announces the availability of two post-doctoral fellowships in public policy and ...  Read More »

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Ghaniyeh bil miyah (Riche en eau): Un film sur la réforme de l’eau au Liban

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Conference--AUB City Debates 2014: Of Property in Planning (Beirut, 7-8 March)

City Debates is a yearly conference organized by the Masters in Urban Planning & Policy and Masters in Urban Design Programs at the American University of Beirut. Started in 2002, City Debates brings together professionals, academics, and students from Beirut and beyond to explore issues of contemporary relevance ...  Read More »

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Palestinian Refugees in Lebanon: Health, Access, and Contributions

[The following infographics were originally published by Visualizing Palestine.]   [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.] [Click image to enlarge.]  Read More »

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Stop the Highway, Build the Fouad Boutros Park

In Lebanon, highway projects cutting through urban neighborhoods and displacing people, in the name of urban modernity, economic development and improving traffic are not new. They are often implementing old designs elaborated in the 1960s by planners who conceived the city prioritizing vehicular movement. More than ...  Read More »

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The AUB Noise and Silence Research Group: صوت وصمت

Car horns, screeching tires, motorists’ blaring music, motorcycle accelerations, sirens—official and unofficial, construction jack hammers, grinding electricity generators: all these create a deafening din of background noise in Beirut. Noise is an important issue affecting the quality of life. Research in other parts ...  Read More »

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How to Do Things with Hair

How to Do Things with Hair Curated by Barrak Alzaid  thejamjar, Dubai, UAE 26 October—2 December, 2013   Curator Barrak Alzaid has been critically grappling with hair—men’s body hair, to be more precise—for years now. “I find men’s body hair compelling, and as I did studio visits over the last four ...  Read More »

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Dawawine: A Space for the Arts of Stage, Sound, and Image

Dawawine November 2013 Beirut, Lebanon   Dawawine is a reading and events space that theater specialist and publisher Sara Sehnaoui set up with musician Abed Kobeissi and filmmaker and artist Rami El Sabbagh in the summer of 2013. Their goal has been to make available specialized books in contemporary ...  Read More »

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Moral Panics, Sex Panics and the Production of A Lebanese Nation

In the past few months sex panics and moral panics, centered on gendered bodies and abuses, have rocked Lebanon.  In this article I want to revisit three of these panics: photos of a semi-nude Lebanese Olympic Skier’s body and reactions to it; the impunity of wife murderers and wife abusers; and the razing of a ...  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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A Gentle and Generous Mentor: Janet Abu-Lughod

I first met Janet Abu-Lughod at a meeting of the Arab American University Graduates (AAUG). AAUG was co-founded in 1967 (disbanded in 2007), by Janet’s husband, Ibrahim Abu-Lughod, a leading political scientist of the Arab world. A graduate student at Columbia University at the time, I was rather in awe of scholars ...  Read More »

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Conference--The Lebanese Civil Wars: History, Politics, Memory (6-7 February, Michigan State University)

The Muslim Studies Program at Michigan State University presents a conference on the Lebanese Civil Wars of 1975-1990. Twenty-five years after the wars’ end, we bring together scholars of national and international stature to revisit the experiences of this period. How and why did the wars begin? What local, regional, ...  Read More »

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مدينة طرابلس: من يقوى على الحلم؟

"جحيم الكائنات الحية ليس شيئاً سيأتي. هناك جحيم موجود أصلاً وهو الذي نسكن فيه كل يوم. وثمة وسيلتان لتجنب ألمه. الأولى تنجح بسهولة وتناسب الأغلبية من الناس: قبول الجحيم، وأن تصبح جزءاً منه إلى درجة أنك لا تعود تراه. أما الثانية ففيها مخاطرة وتتطلب انتباهاً وتعلماً دائمين: البحث والتعرف على منْ وماذا، وسط الجحيم، ...  Read More »

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98Weeks Research/Project Space

98Weeks Research/Project Space Beirut, Lebanon  November 2013   On a side street overlooking the central area of Mar Mikhael in Beirut, Lebanese artist Marwa Arsanios and curator Mirene Arsanios founded 98Weeks in 2009. The initiative, which started as an artistic research project that focuses on a ...  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



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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