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Remembering Sound

Hamule, directed by Mauricio Misle. Palestine/Chile, 2014. Diasporic and non-Western artists have increasingly turned to the archive as a source for their artistic practice. Mindful of the histories of colonialism and slavery, they have attempted to address the archive as a contested site where knowledge about the ...  Read More »

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Grandchildren: New Geographies of Belonging, DEPO-Istanbul, opened 3 September 2015. Anniversaries are pretexts for remembering decisive moments in history, for interpreting them with the help of added data and research material, and filling gaps in existing accounts about them. Retrospection is employed here to ...  Read More »

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An Ecology of World Literature

Alexander Beecroft, An Ecology of World Literature: From Antiquity to the Present Day. London and New York: Verso Books. Alexander Beecroft’s most recent study, An Ecology of World Literature, is a profound undertaking that uses the scientific framework of ecology to “facilitate the comparative study of the ...  Read More »

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The Early Plight of Humanitarianism

Keith David Watenpaugh, Bread from Stones: The Middle East and the Making of Modern Humanitarianism. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2015 America is a comfortable and rich country. We have safe homes….Their homes are in ruins….The moan of a race moves out across the heart of a stricken ...  Read More »

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Of Shadows and Solidarity

Keith P. Feldman, A Shadow over Palestine: The Imperial Life of Race in America. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2015. In July 2014, at the height of the most recent Israeli military assault upon Gaza, a major rally was held in New York City—in defense of Israel. “United We Stand with Israel” attracted ...  Read More »

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Whitewashing Colonialism

Sharon Rotbard, White City, Black City: Architecture and War in Tel Aviv and Jaffa. Translated from Hebrew by Orin Gat. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2015. As the “enlightened public” and guests from Dessau’s Bauhaus Institute celebrated UNESCO’s recognition of Tel Aviv’s “Bauhaus” White City as a World Heritage site in ...  Read More »

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What Do We Talk About When We Talk About Political Economy?

Mandy Turner and Omar Shweiki, editors, Decolonizing Palestinian Political Economy: De-Development and Beyond. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2014. Anyone who visited Ramallah in 2013 would have heard a lot of talk about seatbelts. Everyone there—everyone—was talking about them, and how consistent and prevalent they had ...  Read More »

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Leila Sansour’s Open Bethlehem: Making Palestine Legible and Bethlehem Accessible

Open Bethlehem. Directed by Leila Sansour. Palestine, 2014 Towards the end of her new documentary Open Bethlehem (Palestine, 2014), filmmaker Leila Sansour discusses her aim to make Palestine “more important and palatable” to the White House and to US citizens. She stands outside the gated capitol of the United ...  Read More »

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Inheriting More than Loss

Siamak Vossoughi, Better Than War. Athens and London: University of Georgia Press, 2015. [Winner of the Flannery O’Connor Award for Short Fiction] What is it like to grow up in a country that routinely threatens to wage war on the place you are from? What happens to your sense of your self in the world? The Iranian ...  Read More »

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The Moroccan Non-Exception: 'Much Loved' and Realism, Colonialism, and Pornography in Moroccan Cinema

[The following is the second installment in "The Moroccan Non-Exception" Jadaliyya roundtable. Read the introduction here.] A wave of contentious reactions have dominated the Moroccan media landscape following the release of Nabil Ayouch's new film Much Loved, a fictional story about three Moroccan ...  Read More »

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The Architecture of Nostalgia

The Invisible Landscape and Concrete Futures: A Solo Exhibition of Hazem Harb, Salsali Private Museum, Dubai. 3 March—1 September 2015 Contemporary colonialism—exemplified by Israel’s occupation of Palestine—asserts its hegemony through the manipulation of two key sites: historical narratives and physical ...  Read More »

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A Theory of the Drone

Grégoire Chamayou, A Theory of the Drone, translated by Janet Lloyd. New York: The New Press, 2015. Since the turn of this century, armed drones (that is, unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs) have become a weapon of choice for the United States. Drone strikes started during the Bush administration with the “war on ...  Read More »

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The Settling of the United States from the Perspective of its Victims

Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States. Boston: Beacon Press, 2014. The Acoma poet Simon Ortiz writes in From Sand Creek that “the future will not be mad with loss and waste though the memory will.” People will not forget their past, but that should not stand in the way of change. ...  Read More »

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Daoud’s Camus Fanfiction Is More of the Same

Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation. Translated by John Cullen. New York: Other Press 2015. Algerian journalist Kamel Daoud’s debut novel The Meursault Investigation, recently translated into English, retells the story of Albert Camus’s The Stranger from the point of view of Harun, the brother of the unnamed ...  Read More »

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If Israeli Tactics in Gaza Are Legal, No One is Safe: Response to Michael N. Schmitt and John J. Merriam

In their forthcoming paper, The Tyranny of Context: Israeli Targeting Practices in Legal Perspective, Michael Schmitt and John J. Merriam examine Israel’s targeting practices against the Gaza Strip and Lebanon. Their purpose is to scrutinize the context in which these attacks take place as well as the Israeli Army’s ...  Read More »

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Planning Beirut during the French Mandate: The Construction of a Modern City and its Legacy

Marlène Ghorayeb, Beyrouth sous mandat français, construction d’une ville moderne. Paris: Karthala, 2014.   This is a wonderful addition to our knowledge of Beirut’s early days of modern planning, during the transition from Late Ottoman to French Mandate, and later. In the lineage of Jens Hanssen’s Fin de Siècle ...  Read More »

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The Art of Posing

Zones of Contention: After The Green Line. 8 February – 3 May 2015. The Bob & Lissa Shelley McDowell Gallery, Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In March 2015, I delivered an invited “Point of View Talk” at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s Weatherspoon Art Museum ...  Read More »

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Un portrait de la jeunesse des banlieues populaires de Tunis aujourd’hui

Recension: Olfa Lamloun et Mohamed Ali Ben Zina (dir.), Les jeunes de Douar Hicher et d’Ettadhamen. Une enquête sociologique (Tunis: Arabesques, International Alert, 2015) Depuis les « printemps arabes », les jeunes du Monde arabe attirent volontiers l’attention des chercheurs. Dans la littérature ...  Read More »

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The Armenian Genocide and the Politics of Knowledge

Ronald Grigor Suny, “They Can Live in the Desert but Nowhere Else": A History of the Armenian Genocide. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015. In this centennial year since the Armenian Genocide, countless conferences, meetings, and commemorations are underway across the globe. While they have all been ...  Read More »

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Reflections on Public Spaces in Revolutionary and Post-Revolutionary Tunis

Chiara Sebastiani, Una città, una rivoluzione. Tunisi e la riconquista dello spazio pubblico. Cosenza: Luigi Pellegrini Editore, 2014. Collective, Au centre de Tunis: Géographies de l’espace public après une Révolution, available online here. The question of public space has been among the most discussed ones ...  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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Istanbul 2023

Yoann Morvan et Sinan Logie, Istanbul 2023, Paris: Editions B2, Coll. Territoires, 2014. Les éditions B2 ont récemment enrichi leur collection Territoires par un « arpentage dans le temps et l’espace » d’Istanbul. Mais pas dans n’importe quel Istanbul. Istanbul 2023, c’est avant toute chose le choix de ...  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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Loving the Lens: ‘American Sniper’ as Movie and Event

American Sniper, directed by Clint Eastwood. USA, 2014. There is a lull at the moment in the clamor around Clint Eastwood's controversial film American Sniper, as award season ends and the movie's powerful box office stamina pushes the DVD release into the summer. This moment perhaps offers an opportunity to consider ...  Read More »

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A New Secularism?

[This is the third of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here; for Naomi Davidson’s response, “The Vagaries of Laïcité,” click here.] In bringing the ...  Read More »

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The Vagaries of Laïcité

[This is the second of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Joan W. Scott’s response, “More on Laïcité in Historical Context," click here.] A cartoon by the French cartoonist Gil from 10 January, titled “Communion nationale,” ...  Read More »

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Dead Sea Living

Dead Sea Living, directed by German Gutierrez. Canada/France/Palestine, 2013. Although the Dead Sea has no life, it provides living through the rich minerals extracted from it. Yet the flood of water into the Dead Sea is slowly receding. It has witnessed a ninety-foot drop in only thirty years on a lake that is just ...  Read More »

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More on Laïcité in Historical Context

[This is the first of three responses to Muriam Haleh Davis’ review essay of books by Joan W. Scott, Naomi Davidson, and Mayanthi Fernando. For Naomi Davidson's response, "The Vagaries of Laïcité," click here.] I find Muriam Haleh Davis’ commentary on Charlie Hebdo and French secularism (by way of a review ...  Read More »

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‘A Distinctly French Universalism’: Translating Laïcité after Charlie

Mayanthi L. Fernando, The Republic Unsettled: Muslim French and the Contradictions of Secularism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2014. Naomi Davidson. Only Muslim: Embodying Islam in Twentieth-Century France. Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2012. Joan Wallach Scott. The Politics of the Veil. Princeton: Princeton ...  Read More »

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A French Atlas of the Gulf States

Philippe Cadène and Brigitte Dumortier, Atlas of the Gulf States. Leiden: Brill, 2013. Mapping as a French Academic Tradition and its Critics It seems that English-speaking geographers and urbanists publish many fewer atlases, and draw fewer maps, than their French and—at least until recently—German counterparts. In ...  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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