While the human and financial means were limited, civilian institutions have nevertheless emerged in a few months in the zones conquered by the insurrection movement in Northern Syria. This experience of reconstructing an administrative system through the bottom-up has enabled to restart the public service system and ... Read More »
Doha is a boom city on the Arabian littoral and the singular pre-eminent urban agglomeration on the low Qatari peninsula. Like many other cities on the coast of the Arabian Peninsula, the city has long been entwined in the maritime trade routes of the Indian Ocean world. The city grew around the native pearling ... Read More »
Les villes petites et moyennes dans les révoltes arabes: un état des lieux.
Compte rendu de: Karine Benafla (dir.), Dossier « Villes arabes: conflits et protestations », Confluences Méditerranée, 85 (2013), 9-164.
Une des dimensions singulières des révoltes arabes est leur territorialité, qui a ... Read More »
While urban sociality seems at times to be ruled by the constancy of everyday practices, at others that reliability is revealed as artifice by the capricious instability of our economic and political structures. The routine intimacies of our lives are punctured by the dysfunction of the material foundations that make ... Read More »
Beirut usually conjures up images of conflict, tension, and warfare. While it is certainly not immune to these dynamics, media reports tend to overemphasize these aspects, just as their obsession with the city’s famous nightlife and glitzy shopping districts pays disproportionate attention to the lifestyles of rich ... Read More »
[This is one of six pieces in Jadaliyya's electronic roundtable on the anniversary of the Algerian Revolution. Moderated by Muriam Haleh Davis, it features contributions from Ed McAllister, James McDougall, Malika Rahal, Natalya Vince, Samuel Everett, and Thomas Serres.]
Algiers, summer of 1972. A decade after ... Read More »
Public space seems to be back in vogue these days, especially in relation to social protests taking place in city squares and along major streets, occupying and claiming spaces, often violently. Why do public spaces matter in cities? Is the absence or presence of public spaces in cities related to the rise of ... Read More »
A multimedia section from “Mapping Dubai,” a research project undertaken by Yasser Elsheshtawy, is currently featured in the BMW Guggenheim Lab exhibition in New York. “Participatory City: 100 Urban Trends” is on view at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from 11 October 2013 to 4 January 2014. The exhibition is a ... Read More »
Nelida Fuccaro, editor, Histories of Oil and Urban Modernity in the Middle East. Special issue of Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East (April 2013).
Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this issue?
Nelida Fuccaro (NF): It was my interest in the urban history of oil producing ... Read More »
The 2013 uprising in Turkey commenced with a call by a handful of activists to guard a park located adjacent to Taksim Square–the most centrally-located public square in Istanbul–from the Istanbul Municipality’s bulldozers. As a part of the redevelopment plan for the whole square, the PM Erdoğan and the Istanbul mayor ... Read More »
Jadaliyya announces the launch of its new Cities Page. Cities are important economic, social, political, and cultural centers. They are the home of more than half of the globe’s population, and urban centers continue to grow rapidly in different parts of the world. Despite the central role of cities in a our global ... Read More »
In what ways is the study of cities important to the broader field of Middle East studies, and what are the broader trajectories of such forms of analysis? For insight into the issues that underpin such a question, the following interview was conducted on 30 August 2013 with Nezar AlSayyad, who is Professor of ... Read More »
Who is ‘Ain al-Hilweh? I ask not because I am interested in the answer, if we were to believe it exists, but for the reason that demanding one is enough to set a process of research in action. The title is a play on words highlighting the uneasiness that accompanies attempts at defining what places are. It combines ... Read More »
Recent research shows that lighting in cities has become a salient public policy issue. I will argue here that this is also the case in numerous cities in the Arab world, using some original field observations and raising several research issues—namely the inequalities of service provision in urban areas, citizens’ ... Read More »
Lara Deeb and Mona Harb, Leisurely Islam: Negotiating Geography and Morality in Shi‘ite South Beirut. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2013.
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Lara Deeb (LD) and Mona Harb (MH): Leisurely Islam began as a series of conversations about how Dahiya—the area ... Read More »
From 22-24 March 2013 the Center for Gulf Studies (CGS) at the American University of Kuwait held a three-day Gulf Studies Symposium on the theme "Gulf Cities: Space, Society, Culture." The symposium brought together forty regional and international scholars from diverse disciplinary backgrounds to ... Read More »
On Saturday, the International Olympic Committee opted to host the 2020 Olympic games in Tokyo rather than Madrid or Istanbul. All three cities have been plagued by issues that make them risky venues in the eyes of the IOC: a nuclear disaster, austerity and recession, and mass protest, respectively. Nonetheless, it is ... Read More »
Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits. Directed by Imre Azem. Turkey and Germany, 2012.
Almost exactly a year before the current protests in Turkey—commonly referred to as “Occupy Gezi,” after Gezi Park, located in the Taksim neighborhood of Istanbul—a film called Ecumenopolis: City Without Limits was screened in the ... Read More »
Taksim Commune: Gezi Park and the Uprising in Turkey
A video by Brandon Jourdan and Marianne Maeckelbergh
This short documentary tells the story of the occupation of Gezi Park, the eviction on 15 July 2013, and the protests that have continued in the aftermath. It includes interviews with many participants and never ... Read More »
One morning on a recent visit to Damascus, my first in a year, I went to the Umayyad Mosque. One of the oldest mosques in existence, the spectacular building was a Roman temple and then an early Christian basilica before it became what many Muslims consider to be Islam’s fourth holiest place of worship. As usual, it ... Read More »
Taksim is Tahrir. Taksim is not Tahrir. As the Gezi-Taksim protests began to escalate in early June, these comparative and contrasting statements were proposed in the media and amongst activists. Responding to this debate, the Adalet ve Kalkınma Partisi (AKP) has continued to address the question of Taksim’s ... Read More »
[The following recommendations were issued by the Lebanese Center for Policy Studies (LCPS) on 20 June 2013.]
The Challenges of Managing the Influx of Syrian Refugees
Roundtable Discussion Series
LCPS discussion group recommends six immediate actions on the Syrian refugees:
The government must lead the ... Read More »
Was it a few trees, was it the Turkish Spring, or was it a nationalist reflex? Attempts to label and appropriate the surplus value created at Gezi Park in Istanbul demonstrate that it will indeed be very difficult to subsume the mass of energy generated there under existing perceptional categories. The reason why I ... Read More »
The English translation of Rabai al-Madhoun’s acclaimed novel, The Lady from Tel Aviv has just been published by Telegram Books. It tells the story of a novelist returning home to the Gaza Strip for the first time in decades. Like Ghassan Kanafani in Returning to Haifa, Madhoun explores the difficulties of ... Read More »
Neha Vora, Impossible Citizens: Dubai's Indian Diaspora. Durham: Duke University Press, 2013.
Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?
Neha Vora (NV): I have always had an interest in South Asian diasporas, particularly in the forms of identification, cultural production, and belonging that occur as people move ... Read More »
Andrew Gardner and Autumn Watts, editors, Constructing Qatar: Migrant Narratives from the Margins of the Global System. Smashwords, 2012.
Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this book?
Andrew Gardner (AG): Migrants in the Gulf states have been a central focal point in my research for more than a decade now. ... Read More »
Taksim: A Political Ecology
The uprising that started with Taksim Square’s Gezi Park in Istanbul on 28 May emerged as a unique movement of resistance in Turkey’s history and has continued without interruption in the last several weeks. The Gezi Park Movement will be remembered as a successful mass movement of youth ... Read More »
Call for Papers: DiverCities: Contested Space and Urban Identities in Beirut, Cairo, and Tehran
Date: 12-14 December 2013
Organisers: Orient-Institut Beirut (OIB) and Goethe-Institut Beirut
Deadline: 31 July 2013
This conference aims to look at urban governance, its agents, agendas and options, ... Read More »
In recent years, urban space has emerged as a critical point of political contention in Turkey. However, this is by no means a new phenomenon. The politics of urban transformation in Istanbul—Turkey’s largest city and the capital of the former Ottoman Empire—have offered a visible representation of the dominant ... Read More »
It is with alarming regularity that I read coverage of the protests and ensuing police brutality that erupted in Gezi Park and Taksim Square, Istanbul that emphatically insists that the confrontations are about “so much more than a park.” Reassuring their readers that the protests are not about something as silly or ... Read More »