PRAD 2017-2019
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Amy Bogaard, Dragana Filipović, Andrew Fairbairn, Laura Green, Elizabeth Stroud, Dorian Fuller, Michael Charles
Agricultural innovation and resilience in a long-lived early farming community: the 1,500-year sequence at Neolithic to early Chalcolithic Çatalhöyük, central Anatolia
Anatolian Studies6720171
Intensive archaeobotanical investigations at Çatalhöyük have created a unique opportunity to explore change and continuity in plant use through the ca 1,500-year Neolithic to early Chalcolithic sequence of an early established farming community. The combination of crops and herd animals in the earliest (Aceramic) part of the sequence reflects a distinct and diverse central Anatolian ‘package’ at the end of the eighth millennium cal. BC. Here we report evidence for near continual adjustment of cropping regimes through time at Çatalhöyük, featuring recruitment of minor crops or crop contaminants to become major staples. We use panarchy theory to frame an understanding of Çatalhöyük's long-term sustainability, arguing that its resilience was a function of three key factors: its diverse initial crop spectrum, which acted as an archive for later innovations; its modular social structure, enabling small-scale experimentation and innovation in cropping at the household level; and its agglomerated social morphology, allowing successful developments to be scaled up across the wider community. This case study in long-term sustainability through flexible, changeable cropping strategies is significant not only for understanding so-called boom and bust cycles elsewhere but also for informing wider agro-ecological understanding of sustainable development in central Anatolia and beyond.
agriculture, farming, sustainability
Emma L. Baysal
Reflections of faraway places: the Chalcolithic personal ornaments of Canhasan I
Anatolian Studies6720171
Excavations during the 1960s of the site of Canhasan I in Karaman province in central Turkey revealed that the Chalcolithic ornaments of the region were both complex and varied. The ornaments of the site, consisting of beads (including pendants and plaques), bracelets and plugs or labrets, were made in many forms and from a variety of different materials, and thus hint at a connected world where ideas, resources and products moved from one place to another. While a catalogue of some of the artefacts has been produced previously (French 2010), this article details these ornaments and considers their temporal and geographical positions within the history of beads, bracelets and other decorative items for the first time. It explores legacies from the past, new fashions and the complicated relationships between material sources, technology, forms, style and use during a period and in an artefact category that have often been overlooked.
archaeology, artefacts, ornaments
Michele Massa, Orlene McIlfatrick, Erkan Fidan
Patterns of metal procurement, manufacture and exchange in Early Bronze Age northwestern Anatolia: Demircihüyük and beyond
Anatolian Studies6720171
This paper adds a new interpretive layer to the already extremely well-investigated site of Demircihüyük, a small Early Bronze Age settlement at the northwestern fringes of the central Anatolian plateau. It presents a reassessment of the evidence for prehistoric mining in the region, as well as a new programme of chemical composition analysis integrated with an object functional and technological typology of the site's metal assemblages. The results reveal complex manufacturing techniques (such as bivalve mould casting, plating and lost wax) and the co-occurrence of several alloying types, including the earliest tin bronzes in the region. Object typology further indicates that the Demircihüyük community was at the intersection of two distinct metallurgical networks: one centred on the western Anatolian highlands, the other spanning the northern part of the central plateau. Additionally, several strands of evidence suggest that the beginning of interregional exchanges, linking central Anatolia to northern Levantine and Mesopotamian societies, may have started at an earlier date than the commonly assumed ca 3000–2800 BC.
Bronze Age, metalwork
Çiğdem Atakuman
Figurines of the Anatolian Early Bronze Age: the assemblage from Koçumbeli-Ankara
Anatolian Studies6720171
Through analysis of a figurine assemblage from the site of Koçumbeli-Ankara, this study aims to re-evaluate the origins, meanings and functions of the Early Bronze Age (third millennium BC) anthropomorphic figurines of Anatolia. Conventional typological approaches to figurines are often focused on their origins and sex; however, such approaches hinder an understanding of the context of the norms of production, display and discard within which the figurines become more meaningful. Following an examination of breakage patterns and the decorative aspects of the Koçumbeli assemblage, a comparative review of figurine find contexts, raw materials and abstraction scales in Anatolia is provided, so that the social concerns underlying the use of these figurines can be explored. It is concluded that the origins of the figurines are difficult to pinpoint, due to the presence of similar items across a variety of regions of the Near East from the later Neolithic onwards. The sex of the figurines is equally ambiguous; while some human sexual features can be discerned, it is difficult to decide whether these features are ‘male’, ‘female’, both or beyond classification. Alternatively, the decoration, breakage and find contexts of the figurines suggest that the imagery was embedded in more complex perceptions of social status, death and social regeneration. The need for materialisation of these concerns in the form of the figurines could be related to the development of a new social landscape of interaction leading to political centralisation by the second millennium BC. Furthermore, the figurines were produced through a meaningful linking of particular raw materials and particular abstraction scales to particular use contexts, which seems to have shifted during the centralisation process.
Bronze Age, figurines
Albert Planelles Orozco
The Hittite title Tuhkanti revisited: towards a precise characterisation of the office
Anatolian Studies6720171
It is nowadays commonly accepted that the Hittite title Tuhkanti refers to the heir to the throne of Hattusa. However, while there are plenty of biographical works about individuals who held the title, there is a remarkable lack of studies about the position itself. Furthermore, there has until now been no complete compilation of the attestations of the word. With the aim of revisiting the role and the identity of the officer, this article catalogues all the occurrences of the term in Hittite contexts. Secondly, it offers a partially new characterisation of the office based on consideration of all the (currently known) attestations. The final picture that emerges diverts from the regular definition of a crown prince and reveals a type of emergency office, instituted in exceptional circumstances in order to reinforce the reigning dynasty.
Hittite, Tuhkanti
Nurettin Arslan
Surface surveys in the northern Troad and the identification of Çiğlitepe as ancient Arisbe
Anatolian Studies6720171
The region known as the Troad in western Anatolia is famed not only as the setting of Homer's Iliad but also for the Hellespont strait (modern Çanakkale Boğazı) linking the Sea of Marmara to the Aegean. In addition to large cities such as Sigeum, Abydus and Lampsacus, ancient writers also mention smaller cities located on the Hellespont. In this article, the location of the ancient city of Arisbe, presumed to have existed between Abydus and Lampsacus, is examined in the light of new archaeological data. Between 2002 and 2010, the author conducted surveys in the northern Troad. These surveys revealed an ancient settlement with archaeological material belonging to the Late Bronze Age, late Geometric, Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods. The location of this settlement, the archaeological data and information from ancient literary sources all indicate that this site should be identified as Arisbe.
archaeology, Bronze Age, cities
Ergün Laflı
Funerary and votive monuments in Graeco-Roman Cilicia: Hellenistic, Roman and early Byzantine examples in the museums of Mersin and Alanya
Anatolian Studies6720171
In this contribution, 13 previously unpublished grave and votive monuments are analysed, plus two boundary markers. These monuments, housed in the museums of Mersin and Alanya in Cilicia in southern Asia Minor, are both artistic and epigraphic documents. Most of them were made in this region, but three were imported from Antioch-on-the-Orontes, Pisidia and the island of Delos, as can be deduced from their iconography. These new examples from Cilicia and eastern Pamphylia offer insights into the different concepts of μνῆμα or μνημεῖον (memorial) popular in Hellenistic and Roman times throughout Asia Minor.
Anatolia, Asia Minor
Anthony Comfort
Fortresses of the Tur Abdin and the confrontation between Rome and Persia
Anatolian Studies6720171
Although research is currently impossible on the ground, satellite photographs allow some further information to be gleaned concerning the region of the Tur Abdin, of crucial importance during the wars between the late Roman Empire and Sassanian Persia in the fourth to seventh century AD. This article examines the ancient sources and the reports of visitors to the area in the light of what is now visible to all via Google Earth and other suppliers of free satellite imagery. Apart from describing the remains of the fortresses and their role in defending an important redoubt against Persian attacks, it draws attention to the urgent necessity for proper ground surveys of what remains of the fortifications of various periods before these are completely destroyed by looting and reuse of building materials. Dams also present a substantial risk to some of the monuments discussed here.
monuments, Roman Empire, Persian Empire
Beatrice Teissier
Crimean Tatars in explorative and travel writing: 1782–1802
Anatolian Studies6720171
This article discusses the portrayal of Crimea, particularly Crimean Tatars and their culture, through the writings of nine men and women who travelled in the region in the late 18th century. These writers travelled in different capacities and represent a diversity of viewpoints; they include figures of the Russian academic and political establishment and western European travellers, with or without Russian affiliations. The article sets their writings in the context of the imperial Russian rhetoric of conquest associated with the annexation of Crimea in 1783 and Catherine II's tour of the area four years later. This rhetoric remains relevant today through the marked persistence of certain historic tropes in contemporary Russian attitudes towards Crimea. The article also discusses the writers’ responses to Crimea in the light of broader Enlightenment tropes in travel writing and ethnographic observation. It examines the extent to which the travellers’ accounts of Crimea were shaped by notions of ancient Greek heritage, Scythians and ‘Tartar hordes’, attitudes towards the Ottoman Empire (Crimea had previously been an Ottoman protectorate) and Islam, and 18th-century orientalism.
culture, attitudes, ethnography
Omar Husain Qouteshat
The Enforceability of the Unfair Arbitration Agreement in Consumer Disputes before Dubai Courts
Arab Law Quarterly31120171
Online transactions in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region and particularly Dubai has undergone a phenomenal rise in recent times. However, reform is required to improve the legislation as it relates to consumer rights. Upon successful completion of online transactions, consumers often end up agreeing to unclear arbitration clauses among other terms and conditions, thereby bearing extra costs and expenses. They may also waive their right to litigate, which is a primary consideration and should be secured. This article seeks to examine current legislation and court approaches in Dubai, relating to consumer rights. Essentially, possible solutions directed at protecting consumers from referring to arbitration.
arbitration; United Arab Emirates; consumer protection; enforcement; e-commerce
Iyad Mohammad Jadalhaq
Duress and Its Impact on Contracts in the UAE Law on Civil Transactions: Analytical Study in the Light of Islamic Jurisprudence
Arab Law Quarterly31120171
This research addresses and analyses ‘duress’ and its impact on contracts, being one of the defects in consent, as regulated by the UAE legislators in the Law on Civil Transactions. UAE legislators have gleaned duress-related provisions from Islamic jurisprudence, as per its approach to regulation of the provisions of civil transactions. Therefore, this research needs to be referred to the different Schools of Islamic jurisprudence, these being the source of the UAE Law on Civil Transactions. The research concluded that there is consensus among scholars of Islamic jurisprudence, as to the fact that duress affects a contract; however, these scholars hold differing views as to the extent of such impact. The research further concluded that the UAE legislators have derived the legal regulation of duress from the Ḥanafī and Mālikī Schools of Islamic Sharīʿah—though there are some differences between these Schools—and the research arrives at additional conclusions and makes some recommendations.
Islamic jurisprudence; suspension of contract; illegitimate; duress
Badruddin Hj Ibrahim
Hibah (Gift inter vivos) by Parent in Favour of Some Children to the Exclusion of the Others under Islamic Law
Arab Law Quarterly31120171
This study examines issues arising from gift giving (hibah) by a parent to one or more of his/her children to the exclusion of the others under Islamic law in general and as applied to Muslims in Malaysia in particular. Does a parent have an absolute right to dispose of property to his/her children by means of hibah without concern for fairness to the other children? Is hibah a valid and acceptable practice in a modern Muslim society? Is the core issue one of an individual’s absolute property rights or is it restrained by the principle of fairness in dealing with properties? This study will attempt to provide a right and acceptable guidance with respect to the disposal of property to children by means of hibah.
Malaysia, Muslim World
hibah; individual property rights; child; justice; parent
Giancarlo Anello
‘Plural Sharīʿah’. A Liberal Interpretation of the Sharīʿah Constitutional Clause of the 2014 Egyptian Constitution
Arab Law Quarterly31120171
This article addresses the Egyptian Constitution issued in 2014 (dustūr ǧumhūriyyah miṣr al-ʿarabiyyah). Article 2 declares that Islam is the religion of the State and that the Sharīʿah is the main source of legislation. The aim of the author is to interpret this provision considering the role that the Islamic religion plays in the cultural and legal framework of Arab countries, notably in Egypt. Furthermore, this article tries to develop a pluralistic interpretation of the norm, taking into account some foundational aspects of the Egyptian legal system including the Civil Code of 1948, the particular tradition of Arab Constitutionalism, and the former jurisprudence of the Supreme Constitutional Court.
codification; legal pluralism; constitutional theory; eternity clause; Egyptian Supreme Constitutional Court; Sharīʿah clause; al-Sanhūrī
Khalifa A. Alfadhel
The GCC Human Rights Declaration: An Instrumentation of Cultural Relativism
Arab Law Quarterly31120171
For the first time the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) adopted a regional human rights declaration that codifies the relevant States’ commitment to human rights. The Declaration illustrated the content and scope of such a collective regional pledge to protect and respect fundamental rights and freedoms. Although a soft-law instrument, the Gulf Declaration provides the foundations for a doctrinal commitment to human rights, based on a normative framework adopted in a mutual manner. This article will provide an overview on the content and scope of such document, and the theoretical arguments of universalism versus cultural relativism in light of comparative instruments. This article will argue that the Gulf Human Rights Declaration reflects a cultural aspect of human rights that needs to be commended in the consideration of such soft-law instrument, which will form a foundation for a regional customary law regime, based on State practice affirmed in the commitment to the Declaration.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (udhr); Gulf Cooperation Council (gcc); United Nations (un); Bahrain; Islam; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (iccpr); human rights; Saudi Arabia
Asim Jusic
Kuwait’s Administrative Risk-based Model for the Prevention of Money Laundering: Costs and Benefits of Compliance with the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Standards
Arab Law Quarterly31220171
During the period from 2013-2015, Kuwait adopted the new administrative risk-based anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regulatory framework. This article analyses the costs and benefits of the compliance of the new framework with the FATF’s standards, focusing on the structural changes: (1) a move from a hybrid-prosecutorial to a fully-fledged administrative model of financial intelligence unit; (2) adoption of the risk-based approach to the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing (ML/TF); and (3) the increase in reporting obligations and preventive measures. The main argument advanced in the article is that while the new framework is highly compliant with FATF standards and will maintain the already low level of ML/TF in Kuwait, in comparison with the pre-2013 anti-money laundering regulations, the costs of compliance for reporting parties and clients are higher, and outweigh the benefits. The article suggests how to respond to this and other challenges.
Kuwait; risk-based approach; financial regulation; money laundering; administrative law; Financial Action Task Force
Mohamed Badar, Masaki Nagata, Tiphanie Tueni
The Radical Application of the Islamist Concept of Takfir
Arab Law Quarterly31220171
The ideology and actions of certain militant groups in the Middle East are often condemned as a perversion of Islamic precepts. In order to achieve a theologically ideal society, these groups espouse takfirism, a minority ideology that endorses violence, and in particular advocates the killing of other Muslims who are declared to be unbelievers. These groups justify their words and deeds with direct quotations from the Qur’an and the Sunna, which are the sources of Islamic law (Shari‘a), as well as by citing historical precedents such as the Khawarij movement and Ibn Taymiyya’s fatawa. This article aims to analyse how these groups (and in some cases state actors) defend their actions in legal terms and how mainstream Islamic scholars respond to what they consider to be doctrinal deviations.
Middle East
isis; fatwa; blasphemy; hisba; apostasy; Takfir; radical Islamist groups; the Khawarij; Wahhabism
Bawar Bammarny
The Caliphate State in Theory and Practice
Arab Law Quarterly31220171
The history of Islām shows clearly how the question of the Caliphate is of central, enduring and great ongoing importance. While Christianity was split into different religious denominations, in particular during the 5th century due to theological questions about the divine and human nature of Christ, the biggest split in Islām was due to questions about the Caliphate. This article offers an introduction to the divergent approaches to government in Islām and a discussion of recent efforts to restore an Islāmic Caliphate.
Muslim World
Islāmic State; Caliphate; Sharīʿa
M.A. Ansari-pour
Indexation of Mahr (Dower): A Precursor of the Law of Inflation in Iran
Arab Law Quarterly31220171
One legal issue that has not been clarified properly by Muslim jurists is whether the creditor can claim the rate of inflation from the debtor, especially when the economy is suffering from a high inflation rate. One area where the issue of inflation was taken seriously was the payment of dower (mahr) fixed in Iranian money. Generally speaking, there was no clear ruling in the law allowing women to claim more than the face value of their dower, while the purchasing power of Iranian money had dropped steeply in comparison with the date of marriage. In order to tackle this problem, Parliament passed a very important law in 1997 (reiterated in 2013), that provides for the indexation of dower. This article deals with the indexation of money-dower and the way it is assessed under Iranian law. This law is the foundation of the law of inflation in Iran.
inflation; indexation; (mahr) dower; assessment; money-dower
Mostafa Abu-Hagras
Two ICC Arbitrations Disturbed by Two Court Orders: The Impact of Ignoring the Power of the ICC Court to Extend the Time Limit for the Award
Arab Law Quarterly31320171
The 1994 Egyptian Arbitration Act has conferred the jurisdiction to terminate arbitral proceedings, if the time limit for the award expires, on Egypt’s courts. The Egyptian courts have wrongfully terminated two International Chamber of Commerce arbitration proceedings. Egypt’s Court of Cassation has ultimately reversed the decisions of the Egyptian lower courts, so the two ICC arbitration awards have survived. This article examines the manner in which the Egyptian courts were asked to grant, recognise or refuse to recognise the termination orders, and clarifies how arbitrators, the ICC Court and parties reacted to them.
jurisdiction of Egyptian courts to terminate arbitral proceedings when the award time limit expires; interaction between icc Arbitration Rules and the Egyptian Arbitration Act; arbitrator’s decision to complete the proceedings in resistance of a court order; discretion of icc Court to extend time limits; dilatory tactics; expiry of time limit for final award; party autonomy
Valentino Cattelan
Between Theory(-ies) and Practice(-s): Legal Devices (Ḥiyal) in Classical Islamic Law
Arab Law Quarterly31320171
By assuming a disconnection between jurists’ doctrines and the reality of social life, Joseph Schacht interpreted ḥiyal (legal devices) in classical Islamic law as ‘the maximum that custom could concede, and the minimum (that is to say, formal acknowledgment) that the theory had to demand’. Challenging this interpretation, this article argues that ḥiyal were not exclusively the product of commercial customs that were unrelated to the jurists’ ideal law. In actual fact, the diverging contractual theories of the Sunni maḏāhib contributed to the development of diverse ḥiyal practices, whose social acceptance in medieval trade was correspondingly fostered (or rejected) by underlying fiqh doctrines.
normative pluralism; ḥiyal; legal devices; stratagems; niyya; Sunni maḏāhib; contract
Taher Habibzadeh
Developing Internet Jurisdiction in B2B and B2C Contracts: Focusing on Iranian Legal System with Comparative Study of American, English and EU Laws
Arab Law Quarterly31320171
In the modern world, electronic communications play a significant role in areas of national and international law such as Internet jurisdiction. Private international law provides that the competent court is the court within which jurisdiction the contract is performed, so it is important to know the place of performance of the contract in the case of contracts for digital goods such as e-books or computer software delivered online. It is equally important in the case of electronic services such as e-teaching. Furthermore, as consumer protection in B2C contracts is important in developing global e-commerce, it is important to consider whether the consumer party is able to bring an action against the business party in his own place of domicile or habitual residence. The article analyses these questions and proposes ways in which the Iranian legal system might be developed to address issues of Internet jurisdiction in B2B and B2C contracts.
consumer protection; e-commerce; B2C contracts; B2B contracts; e-contracts; Internet jurisdiction
Mohamed Badar a, Masaki Nagata b
Modern Extremist Groups and the Division of the World: A Critique from an Islamic Perspective
Arab Law Quarterly31420171
Modern extremist groups have revived the use of certain concepts of Islamic dogma and wilfully misinterpreted them as a means of achieving their own ends. Dae‘sh (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) is the most striking example. They have made declarations of takfir (excommunication) regarding Muslim rulers, maintaining that only Dae‘sh land is a dar al-Islam (abode of Islam) and that other lands are dar al-kufr or harb (abodes of unbelief or war), just as the Khawarij sect believed in the 7th century CE. They do not employ the concept of hijra (migration) in its traditional, defensive sense, but rather as a means of strengthening their own power by recruiting from around the world and launching military jihads, all in order to ‘reclaim’ the dar al-kufr and establish an Islamic state. This article examines the evolution of these terms throughout Islamic history, their misinterpretation by extremist groups, and their modern legal status.
Muslim World
dar al-kufr or harb (abodes of unbelief or war); hijra (migration); Dae‘sh (isis/is); military jihad; dar al-Islam (abode of Islam)
Aminath Amany Ahmed; Azhar Mohamad, Aghilasse Kashi
Does an Islamic Finance Industry Need a Unification of Standards? A Qualitative Discussion
Arab Law Quarterly31420171
The two main problems faced by the Islamic finance industry in Muslim countries are that the markets are fragmented, which gives rise to different governing standards, and that the markets’ growth is very much region-centric. In this article, using a qualitative approach, we identify the obstacles facing the industry in its quest to unify the differences and implement a uniform standard. We argue that if Malaysia’s Islamic finance industry is to become a leader in the global Islamic finance industry, a key policy must be to reduce the gaps in Islamic finance practices between countries by adopting unified standards. Unifying standards could enable Muslim countries to accrue greater benefits from the globalisation of the Islamic financial sector and attract more foreign direct investment and portfolio equity flows. It could also enable greater integration of Islamic financial markets, increase diversification opportunities and expand the set of available financial instruments.
Muslim World
Islamic finance; regulation; qualitative approach; standards
Laith K. Nasrawin
Protection against Domestic Violence in Jordanian Law and International Conventions
Arab Law Quarterly31420171
This article addresses the issue of protection against domestic violence in both Jordanian law and international conventions. It does so by defining domestic violence and its various causes and by exploring the relevant global standards and best international practices for combating it. The article also deals with the reality of protection against domestic violence in Jordan by referring to the special protection of the family and to the related follow-up by national and governmental institutions, and the relevant national standards. The Law Regarding Protection from Domestic Violence (Law No. 6/2008) contains protective provisions and other treatments to reduce this phenomenon, but it fails to provide optimal protection against domestic violence. The article proposes a set of recommendations to improve national standards for protection against domestic violence so that Jordan’s laws concerning protection against domestic violence conform to international standards.
domestic violence; international standards of domestic violence protection; domestic violence causes; Jordanian Law for Protection from Domestic Violence
Iyad Mohammed Jadalhaq
Fundamentals of the Real Estate Legislative System and Its Impact on Sustainable Development: Dubai Case Study
Arab Law Quarterly31420171
The real estate legislative system is one of the bases of the sustainable development process. This research focuses on the role of the legal system in sustainable development, according to the most prominent relevant international reports. The UAE ranked forty-first globally in the Human Development Index (HDI). In the World Bank’s ‘Doing Business Report’, the UAE ranked second globally and first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) for the ‘Dealing with Construction Permits’ indicator. Thus, the Emirate of Dubai is deemed the second-best city in the world in terms of ease of dealing with construction permits. For the ‘Registering Property’ indicator, the UAE ranked tenth globally and first in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Despite the UAE’s great achievements in terms of developmental ranking at the global level, there is still more to achieve in the field of development.
escrow accounts; uae Development Indicators; sustainable development; property registration; real estate; developers
Dina Ibrahim
The Birth and Death of 25TV: Innovation in Post-Revolution Egyptian TV News Formats
Arab Media & Society2320171
This case study highlights an experiment that aimed to disrupt traditional television news production and presentation models in post-revolution Egypt. It is a snapshot of a brief moment in Egyptian television history when an attempt was made at innovating news production and content, but much like the Egyptian revolution, ultimately failed to change the status quo. The case study of 25TV examines how political, social, and economic dissatisfaction among Egyptian youth inspired innovation in news formats that gave more content production power to younger and less experienced news presenters and producers. Through the brief lifespan of 25TV, this article will discuss the role of social media and television in the immediate aftermath of the revolution, the contentious relationship between freedom of speech and military rule, and the innovative ways in which television formats in Egypt were nurtured, grew and perished in the post-revolution era.
youth movements, media history, media culture
Cynthia Gabbay
Travelogue of the Israeli Protest: A Dialogue with Contemporary Street Poetry
Arab Media & Society2320171
The article deciphers the symbolic deconstruction of the Israeli Indignant Protest (2011–2012) on behalf of the local cultural simulacrum—based on Zionist narratives of Judaism. It presents, through the subjective eye of a participant observer, the symbolic paradigm by which the protest opened its way through street poetry’s contemporary representation, including in this concept poetry, prose, songs, pictures, memes, graffiti, and other social media and street phenomena.
social media, art, Zionism, protest, political narrative
Chihab El Khachab
State Control Over Film Production in Egypt
Arab Media & Society2320171
This essay is part of an ethnographic study of Egyptian film production conducted between August 2013 and September 2015. The study is centered on participant observation within two main film companies, New Century Film Production and Al-Batrik Art Production, in addition to interviews conducted with key actors in the industry as well as all workers involved in two film projects, Décor (dir. Ahmad Abdalla, New Century, 2014) and Poisonous Roses (dir. Ahmad Fawzi Saleh, Al-Batrik, in postproduction). All interviews cited below have been conducted as part of this ethnographic study, which was aimed at examining the use of new media technologies by Egyptian filmmakers.
state media control, media production, bureaucracy, film, ethnography
Rounwah Adly Riyadh Bseiso
Revolutionary Art or “Revolutonizing Art”? Making Art on the Streets of Cairo
Arab Media & Society2320171
In an article published on December 17, 2014, Surti Singh, an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the American University in Cairo (AUC), wrote that “a new set of questions is crystallizing about the role of art in contemporary Egypt” and posed the following questions: “Can art still preserve the revolutionary spirit that spilled out in the graffiti and murals that covered Egypt’s streets? Should this even be art’s focus?” (Singh, 2014). Singh’s questions at the time were indicative of a growing debate in Egypt over what constitutes a legitimate “art” and what its focus should be following the uprising of January 2011, given the emergence of new forms of art in public spaces. Public art is not a new phenomenon in Egypt – its modern history goes back to the late 19th century (Karnouk 2005; Winegar 2006), and street art also has a history prior to the uprising in Egypt (Charbel 2010; Jarbou 2010; Hamdy 2014, Abaza, 2016). However, the form, content and even the players of public art and street art have changed as practices have become more visible and with this visibility come new questions – what is the role of art in uprising and post-uprising Egypt? Should art incite the public to act against a repressive government, should it serve as a form of awareness, and/or should it document the revolutions “real” history versus what is reported in state media? Is overtly “political” art serving the “revolution” or undermining it? Is aesthetically pleasing, but seemingly content deprived art, a disservice to the revolution?
art, street art, political art, uprising, public space, Cairo
Andrew Hammond
“Arab Culture”: From Orientalist Construct to Arab Uprisings
Arab Media & Society2320171
Any attempt to write an account of popular culture in the Middle East must face the question of how to define Arab and the Arabs? This might seem an odd statement at first glance: some 350 million people speak the language, ergo they are Arabs, and Arab, the Arabs, the Arab world are terms used so ubiquitously today that the issue is rarely raised. But the need for qualification becomes clear when considering political institutions, regional diversity, historical and cultural patrimony, and the multiple discourses on identity of the region. The political institution par excellence that houses the Arabs is the Arab League, an organization formed in 1944 when its founding countries were still subject to British and French colonial tutelage. Its 22 members include a country in which hardly any Arabic is spoken (Somalia) and countries in which a significant section of the population speak another language as their mother tongue and resist identification through the term Arab (Berbers in Morocco and Algeria; Kurds in Iraq and Syria). Others have lost the language of a previous identity and remain divided over ‘Arab’ (Egyptian Copts). Others do not attempt to define themselves as Arab yet control territory in which around half the population is Arabic-speaking and embrace the Arab identity marker (Israel and the occupied territories). What we are dealing with then is a contingent identity, a complex political and cultural formulation, deployed politically and embraced culturally at various stages of the past and present.
Arab World
Arab nationalism, pan-Arabism, Arabness, popular culture, art, language
Marwan M. Kraidy
Creative Insurgency and the Celebrity President: Politics and Popular Culture from the Arab Spring to the White House
Arab Media & Society2320171__MENA
popular culture, Trump, uprising, political parody, populism
Mohammad Al-Azdee
Mediated Policy Effects of Foreign Governments on Iraqi Independent Media During Elections
Arab Media & Society2420171
I use the term mediated policy to refer to messages about Iraq sent by international news media outlets of foreign governments during the Iraqi parliamentary elections of 2010, and I hypothesize that US Mediated Policy, Iranian Mediated Policy, and Saudi Mediated Policy are three latent constructs interacting in a structural model where they influence a fourth latent variable, Iraqi Independent Media. To feed the model with data, I run a content analysis of relevant international and domestic media coverage. I measure saliences of two news media frames, Former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ayad Allawi. The analysis shows that in 2010: (1) English represented a barrier to Iraqi independent media. (2) US foreign policy simultaneously dealt with two opposing regional policies, Iranian and Saudi. (3) There were significant policy messages about Iraq carried by international news media of foreign governments, which evidently influenced Iraqi independent media.
elections, Saudi Arabia, U.S., media bias, independent media
Dana Caplan & Gal Levy
The Arab Spring in Israeli Media and Emergent Conceptions of Citizenship
Arab Media & Society2420171
This article returns to 2011 and the beginning of the Arab Spring in order to ask how the Israeli middle class came to draw similarities between their conditions and those of the Arab citizens who had risen against authoritarian rule. This question is also about the movement of ideas through the media and their incorporation into a dominant culture, or what Raymond Williams saw as the emergent elements of culture. Specifically, it examines the way the conception of citizenship traverses national boundaries. Whereas most studies of citizenship in this context focus on the imaginary of citizenship of the Other, and on 'Western' perceptions of citizens of the 'South,' we inverse our outlook. By offering a textual analysis of Israeli media coverage of the uprisings, we seek to shed new light on the cultural conceptions of citizenship in Israeli society.
citizenship, Tunisia, Egypt, democratization, media representation, uprising
Elizabeth Monier
Middle Eastern Minorities in Global Media and the Politics of National Belonging
Arab Media & Society2420171
Since the Arab uprisings began in 2010, some communities have experienced increased levels of violence or insecurity on the basis of their ethnic, religious, or linguistic identity. This article examines how such communities have mobilized and developed their media strategies in order to protect themselves and adapt to their changing circumstances. Through investigating the cases of Coptic Christians in Egypt and Ezidis in Iraq, this article demonstrates that both of these communities have begun to connect their community interests with international political concerns and narratives through engaging with global media. Recent scholarship on indigenous media shows globalizing trends in media production and consumption have led indigenous media to increasingly tap into both national and global media to support their advocacy. In my case studies, the move to engage global media has particularly flourished since 2014 but the emphasis is on direct engagement with international political discourses through global media. Most notable is the mobilization of a campaign to recognize violence against Christians and Ezidis in the Middle East as genocide. The aims in engaging the international level differ between the Coptic and Ezidi cases. For Copts, there is a balance between raising the profile of violence against Copts in global media while employing narratives that support Egyptian state policies and strengthen pre-existing Coptic discourses of national belonging. Ezidi diaspora activists seek international protection and potentially an autonomous area in Iraq. This article argues that the differences in the terms and aims of global media engagement stem partly from the way the community perceives its status within the home nation, particularly with regards the notion of being a minority, as well as experiences of national belonging.
Egypt, Iraq
Copts, Ezidis, global media, genocide, diaspora
Zainab Abdul-Nabi
Al-Jazeera’s relationship with Qatar before and after Arab Spring: Effective public diplomacy or blatant propaganda?
Arab Media & Society2420171
Since its foundation in 1996 until the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, the Qatar-based and funded channel, Al-Jazeera, was considered by many media and politics scholars as a major element of a “pan-Arab public diplomacy” and even a “virtual state.” The main reasons behind Al-Jazeera’s success as an effective public diplomacy tool before the Arab Spring can be attributed to its popularity, credibility, critical coverage, and relative independence from Qatar’s politics. However, after 2011, Al-Jazeera, especially the Arabic channel, has “degenerated to a propagandistic agent” serving Qatar’s policy and agenda. Based on scholarly work and interviews conducted by the author, this article argues that the dramatic change in Qatar’s foreign policy from a neutral mediator to an aggressive militarily interventionist during the Arab uprisings, has been followed by a similar shift in Al-Jazeera’s editorial policy. More specifically, Al-Jazeera’s “dual standard coverage” of the uprisings in Bahrain and Syria has been entirely consistent with Qatar’s propaganda, interests, and politics at the time.
Al-Jazeera, virtual state, Arab Spring, propoganda
Jinjin Zhang
The Politics of Representation on Social Media: The Case of Hamas during the 2014 Israel–Gaza Conflict
Arab Media & Society2420171
Alongside the military confrontation that took place in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip in July and August 2014, a battle in the media sector was also underway. This study focuses on the agenda of Hamas during different stages of the psychological war between the two sides involved, namely itself and the Israeli government. By selecting texts and images from two Hamas-affiliated Arabic social media accounts respectively, the study applies grounded theory to inspect the themes of Hamas’s political marketing and tracks the evolution of the themes in terms of time and frequency by cross-referencing events on the timeline. It also explores how the themes interacted and co-evolved with local and international attitudes towards the Gaza Conflict.
Hamas, psychological war, political marketing, Gaza conflict
Wisam Abdul-Jabbar
Deconstructing Arab Masculinity in Diana Abu-Jaber's Crescent (2003): The Return of the Unheimlich
Arab Studies Quarterly 39120171
This study focuses on the deconstruction of dominant perceptions of Arab masculinity, particularly with respect to Hans, the exiled Iraqi protagonist of Diana Abu-Jaber's 2003 novel Crescent. Employing the concept of the unheimlich as it intersects with the Iraqi Al-Futuwwa movement, this article explores the ways in which the condition of being exiled strips the protagonist of his masculine ideals that are often associated with nationalism and chivalry, and exposes his internalized vulnerabilities to “unhomeliness,” since he has been disconnected from country and family. In effect, the study subverts hegemonic conceptualizations of Arab masculinity by examining the unsettling repercussions of forced migration.
Iraq, Arab World
Masculinity, Exile, Novels, Gender identity, Middle Eastern studies, Men, Guilt, Poetry, Betrayal, Conceptualization
Chris Reyns-Chikuma, Houssem Ben Lazreg
Marjane Satrapi and the Graphic Novels from and about the Middle East
Arab Studies Quarterly 39120171
Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi's prominent graphic autobiography, depicts her coming-of-age in Iran during and after the Islamic Revolution. It offers an intriguing perspective that challenges preconceived ideas and stereotypes about Iran and the region overall. In light of the story's success as a graphic novel and a film on the international arena, this genre has become very popular among several Middle Eastern writers and artists such as Zeina Abirached, Lena Irmgard Merhej, Magdy El Shafee, Leila Abdelrazaq, and Riad Sattouf, who used it to shed light on personal, sociopolitical and cultural issues in the Arab/Muslim world. In this article, we examine the literary, aesthetic, and thematic influences of Satrapi on other North African and Middle Eastern graphic novelists. The corpus we selected encompasses five main countries (Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, Palestine, Turkey) as well as the Maghreb (e.g., Tunisia, Algeria, Libya) due to the strong linguistic and religious ties with the Middle East. We conclude by commenting on a highly controversial graphic novel entitled L'Arabe du Futur, which, like Persepolis, provides a problematic political and ideological representation of the region.
Middle East
Graphic novels, Narratives, Publishing industry, Comic books, Popular culture, French literature, Literature, Middle Eastern studies, Drawing, Book publishing
Syrine Hout
Artistic Fallout from the July 2006 War: Momentum, Mediation, and Mediatization
Arab Studies Quarterly 39220171
A decade after the end of Israel's 2006 war on Lebanon, I spotlight the hitherto under-researched literary portrayals of the conflict. Following an overview of the immediate and (then-) innovative media tools and techniques used to capture its momentum—blogging, video-making, and online comics—and of Arabic-, French-, and English-language literary writings referring to the war, I focus on how literature, which requires time for its “contents” to be distilled into a form removed from emotional immediacy, succeed not only in reflecting it but also in reflecting on it through various fictional(izing) prisms. I do so by comparing the methodologies adopted by Nada Awar Jarrar's A Good Land and Abbas El-Zein's Leave to Remain: A Memoir, both published in 2009, and by arguing that they share a sense of guilt and hence exhibit an ethical exigency by incorporating particular discourses to mediate and mediatize this war as crisis: the social/humanitarian in A Good Land and the visual/photographic in Leave to Remain.
Israel, Lebanon
Civil wars, War, Photographs, Memory, Writing, Journal writing, Memoirs, Middle Eastern studies, Blogs, Novels
Muhammad Agami Hassan Muhammad
Arabic Performance Poetry: A New Mode of Resistance
Arab Studies Quarterly 39220171
Performance poetry, as a literary term, is known in the Western literature, although some critics may not consider it literary in the first place. This article assumes the applicability of this term to new attempts of some Egyptian youth whose poems share the common features of performance poetry in English literature. Their poetic works are passionate, rhythmic, using aural and visual effects in the background, and dialects in addition to the poet's presentation of the poem face to face with the audience. Regarding the content, their verse has preceded and accompanied the political turmoil Egypt witnessed before, during, and after 25 January Revolution. For this reason, this poetic pattern loudly reflects the concerns, demands, and aspirations of the rebellious generation of youth and the whole Egyptian society. It can be considered the manifestation of the new challenging spirit of the youth in Egypt. The aim of the research is to highlight the similarities between the Anglo-American performance poetry and the literary works of two Egyptian young poets: Hisham al-Gakh and Amr Qatamish. As an interdisciplinary study, literary criticism, cultural criticism including socio-political analysis will be utilized to elucidate how performance poetry represents a new trend of resisting corruption and injustice, as well as a revolution against conventional poetic forms.
Poetry, Literary criticism, Love poetry, Oral poetry, Arab revolutions, Audiences, Poetic meter, Slam poetry, Performance art, Middle Eastern studies
Yousef Awad and Tareq Zuhair
Hideous Hydropolitics in Darraj's A Curious Land
Arab Studies Quarterly 39220171
Water is a contextual symbol in literature. It stands for many things, depending on how it is used in a literary work. It represents, among other meanings, cleanliness, life, salvation, purification, and redemption. In Susan Muddai Darraj's A Curious Land, water plays a pivotal role in conveying themes and ideas that are pertinent to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In particular, this article explores how Darraj draws on the multivalent connotations of water to aesthetically and thematically valorize some of the dynamics of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. In a way, water intricately intertwines with the national Palestinian identity and it explains the causes of several Israeli assaults and aggressions on Palestinian territories and neighboring Arab countries. As the collection shows, Israeli hydropolitics and hydro-apartheid keep the Palestinians below the water poverty line in a bid to destroy their resilience and force them to emigrate. Hence, water in this collection acquires important meanings for the Palestinians, like rejuvenation, resistance, and rootedness.
Water resources, Groundwater, Rain, Soldiers, Water wells, Water consumption, Water pollution, Zionism, Agricultural land, Water shortages
Walid Keilani
Clovis Maksoud: The Departed, Who Is Forever Present
Arab Studies Quarterly 39320171
Love poetry, Meetings, Poetry
Samar Attar
How Can I Ever Hope? In Memory of Clovis Maksoud
Arab Studies Quarterly 39320171
Zionism, Newspapers, Jewish peoples, Graduates, School campuses, Middle Eastern studies, Universities
Janice J. Terry
Unrequited Hope: Obama and Palestine
Arab Studies Quarterly 39320171
The early hope that the two-state solution would be implemented during the Obama presidency faded as both the Mitchell and Kerry negotiations failed. Only during his final weeks in office did Obama agree to the US abstaining on a UN vote condemning the ongoing Israeli settlements in territory earmarked as part of a future Palestinian state. After he leaves the presidency, there is a slim chance that Obama might join Jimmy Cater in working to mobilize American voters and taxpayers around efforts by Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) and other movements to oppose pro-Zionist lobbies, especially American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and to force Congress and the President to pressure Israel to withdraw from the Occupied Territories and enable the creation of a de-militarized Palestinian state.
Voting, Zionism, Political campaigns, Peacetime, Occupied territories, Peace treaties, Political conflict, International cooperation, Prime ministers, Presidency
Khalil Mousa Marrar
Unity on Palestine Without Arab Unity? US Policy and the Post-Maksoud Arab World
Arab Studies Quarterly 39320171
Taking off from Clovis Maksoud's idea about the centrality of the Palestinians to Arab unity, this article traces out the historic struggle between secular nationalism and Islamism throughout and after the Arab Spring-turned-Winter and the complex interactions with American foreign policy. The trajectory of Middle Eastern and North African countries and politicized identity within them are analyzed in relation to that unsettled context. The article concludes with an evaluation of the possibilities for moving beyond the violence and authoritarianism in the Arab world using the lessons imparted by Maksoud.
Muslims, Terrorism, Political protests, Middle Eastern politics, Political violence, Middle Eastern studies, Countries, Political power, Political identity, Authoritarianism
Rami Siklawi
The Palestinian Resistance Movement In Lebanon 1967–82: Survival, Challenges, and Opportunities
Arab Studies Quarterly 39320171
This article addresses the issue of the Palestinian resistance movement and its evolution and survival in the deeply divided state of Lebanon between 1967 and 1982. The Arab defeat in the 1967 war allowed the Palestinian resistance to present itself as the main resistance movement in the Arab World, and this automatically gave the Palestinians wider support in the Arab World. However, clashes between the Palestinian resistance and the right-wing Lebanese factions (who opposed the Palestinians and their military presence in Lebanon) eroded support for the Palestinian resistance, especially as the divisions and frictions spread during the Lebanese Civil War. This created seemingly endless clashes between the Palestinians and the Lebanese. These developments led to the fragmentation of the Palestinian resistance, which had always been an Israeli objective. Finally, the Israeli invasion of 1982 led to the ouster of the Palestinian Liberation Organization from Lebanon.
Resistance movements, Palestinian refugees, Invasion, War, Middle Eastern studies, Military operations, Military bases, Armed struggle, Civil wars, Political power
Sally Gomaa
The Uses of Geography in Youssef Ziedan's Azazeel
Arab Studies Quarterly 39420171
Youssef Ziedan's controversial novel Azazeel follows an anonymous narrator's journey from Upper Egypt to Aleppo during the first half of the fifth-century AD. This article argues that descriptions of landscape enable the narrator to articulate personal and historical crises otherwise censored or repressed. By incorporating geographical features into his identity, the narrator creates a poetic version of himself free from the hegemony of the dominant religious discourse. The search for a free, private space shapes the novel's aesthetic as well as political concerns. Overall, Azazeel is an important novel because of its literary value, its denouncement of geopolitical definitions of God, and its ability to place the history of religious violence in Egypt within the global context.
Novels, Narrators, Geography, Monasteries, Christian monasteries, Christianity, Written narratives, Narratives, Middle Eastern studies, Literary postmodernism
Zahia Smail Salhi
Withstanding the Winds of Change? Literary Representations of the Gulf War and Its Impacts on Saudi Society
Arab Studies Quarterly 39420171
This article argues that the 1991 Gulf War had a deep transformative effect on Saudi Arabia. It aims to analyze the extent to which this war brought about major ideological changes to a society seemingly deemed unchangeable. Through the study of three Saudi novels which drew on this war as a source of creative and political inspiration, this study brings to life Saudi people's discussions, dilemmas, and reactions to the crumbling of the edifice of Arab unity and the emergence of “America” in its place as the “savior” from the evil of Saddam Hussein. We contend that despite resistance from various conservative elements of Saudi society, the winds of change brought by this war could not be resisted. The novels under study skillfully portray the events of this war not as battlefield accounts, but as accounts of a society wrestling with an irresistible wind of change.
War, Novels, Invasion, Middle Eastern studies, Literature, Soldiers, Novelists, News content, Literary history, Men
Muharrem Hilmi Özev
Saudi Society and the State: Ideational and Material Basis
Arab Studies Quarterly 39420171
This article considers religious, social, political, and economic dimensions of the Saudi-Wahhabi state imagination. Since the inception, the Saudi state has relied on two main pillars: the monarchy and Wahhabism, which have been in a symbiotic relationship. In time, the state imagination in Saudi Arabia has been determined and reconstructed by factors like Wahhabism, monarchism, rentierism, internal and international political and economic obligations, and modernization efforts imposed by being a “nation state.” Those factors made Saudi Arabia a sui generis state. The legitimacy of the monarchy has been ensured through tribalism and, on a larger scale, religion. Foreign aid, booties, oil revenues, and, on a rather insignificant scale, tax revenues have created a material infrastructure to build citizenship.
Muslims, Islam, Middle Eastern studies, Countries, Arab nationalism, Monarchy, Tribalism, Middle Eastern politics, Rentier states, Sunni
Nathaniel A. Miller
Seasonal Poetics: The Dry Season and Autumn Rains among Pre-Islamic Naǧdī and Ḥiǧāzī Tribes
This article maps out the depiction among pre-Islamic tribes of two seasons, the August ḫarīf rains and the qayẓ dry season. References to the ḫarīf rain are found almost exclusively in southwestern Arabia, Yemen and the Ḥiǧāz. Tribes in these regions evidently began their seasonal migration in August, that is, earlier than tribes of central and northeastern Arabia (Naǧd), where migration began in October and November. The most conspicuous result of this difference is the development of two regional methods of depicting the ẓaʿn, or departure of the beloved’s caravan, in the classical qaṣīda (polythematic ode). Naǧdī tribes set this scene at the beginning of the summer dry season, while the Ḥiǧāzī Huḏayl set it in a rainy season. A sequence of poets within Tamīm developed an idiosyncratic set of vocabulary for developing the early-summer ẓaʿn, just as certain Huḏalī poets developed certain techniques to describe their rainy season ẓaʿn.
Ḥiǧāz; Pre-Islamic; ḫarīf; Ǧāhiliyya; Arabic poetry; Ḏū l-Rumma; Tamīm; Naǧd; Antéislam; Huḏayl; poésie arabe; migration
Gabriel Said Reynolds
Noah’s Lost Son in the Qurʾān
In Kor 11 (Hūd), 42-47 the Qurʾān has Noah address one of his sons and plead with him to enter the ark. Noah’s son refuses to do so, explaining that he plans to seek refuge from the flood on a mountain. When the son is lost in the flood, Noah turns to God in order to ask that his son be forgiven. In the present article, I discuss the relationship of this Qurʾānic episode with larger themes in the Qurʾān—seen also in the material on Abraham and his father—regarding the believer’s proper disposition towards unbelievers, and unbelieving family members in particular. After a study of earlier theories about this passage, I propose that the account of Noah’s lost son (not found in the Bible) has a particular relationship to Ezekiel 14, a passage which speaks hypothetically of an unrighteous son of Noah. In conclusion, I argue that this passage is an important example of how the Qurʾān applies, and transforms, earlier traditions in order to advance its particular religious arguments.
flood; Noah; Bible; Coran; Koran; intertextual; intertextualité; Muḥammad; Noé; Déluge
Christian C. Sahner
“The Monasticism of My Community is Jihad”: A Debate on Asceticism, Sex, and Warfare in Early Islam
This article explores Muslim attitudes towards asceticism in the second/eighth and third/ninth centuries by examining the famous Prophetic hadith: “Every community has its monasticism, and the monasticism of my community is ǧihād.” The hadith serves as a lens for assessing several broader phenomena, including early Muslim views of Christian monasticism, the rejection of celibacy in Islamic culture, and the promotion of a new code of sexual ethics in the post-conquest Middle East—what this article terms the “second sexual revolution of Late Antiquity.” It concludes by presenting several accounts of Christian monks who converted to Islam and joined the ǧihād, as well as Muslim soldiers who converted to Christianity and became monks.
célibat; sexuality in Islam; conversion; Christianity under Muslim rule; Monachisme; ǧihād; celibacy; sexualité en islam; Abbassides; Abbasids; Ibn al-Mubārak; asceticism; christianisme en islam; Monasticism; ascétisme; ʿUṯmān b. Maẓʿūn
Liana Saif
From Ġāyat al-ḥakīm to Šams al-maʿārif: Ways of Knowing and Paths of Power in Medieval Islam
In recent years, we have witnessed an efflorescence of research on Islamic esoteric traditions and occult thought. Such scholarly activity has established that the occult sciences are part of Islamic intellectual history that cannot be overlooked; rather, they constituted a primary mode by which people thought about the hidden, the extraordinary, and their potential for partaking in the divine and wondrous. Occult beliefs and practices are thus inextricably embedded in philosophical, scientific, and religious discourses. This article focuses on occult thought in medieval Islam (second-seventh/eighth-thirteenth centuries), particularly in its relation to the ways in which nature and the divine were perceived and experienced. I argue that medieval Islamic occult sciences distinguished themselves from forbidden siḥr or sorcery by identifying legitimate conditions of acquiring power on the basis of two differing paradigms: by association with natural philosophy on the one hand, and by association with Sufism on the other. A shift of emphasis occurred in the medieval period: from the second/eighth to the fifth/eleventh centuries, legitimisation of occult practices derived mainly from natural philosophy, stressing causation and knowledge of signs as the core principles of magical efficacy. By the seventh/thirteenth century, however, occult practices were increasingly justified on the basis of mystical and Sufi doctrines. During the first phase, magic was generally deemed natural, inasmuch as it functioned according to a causality proven empirically and understood rationally; during the second phase, the power of extraordinary acts, including magic, became the prerogative of a select group who has achieved non-rationalised revelation and theophany, which undermined natural causality and transformed signs from indicators of natural links into tokens of God and the spiritual agents mediating between Him and the gnostic. Scholars such as Pierre Lory, Constant Hamès, and Toufic Fahd have noted the difference between the magic of early Islam and that of the later Middle Period; however, this article elaborates on the epistemological transformations in this period and their implications for cosmological and ontological structures that had a direct impact on magical theory and practice.
Sirr al-asrār; Šams al-maʿārif; philosophie naturelle; Magic; Ibn Masarra; occultisme; soufisme; Ibn al-ʿArabī; Neoplatonism; Ibn ʿArabī; néoplatonisme; Rasāʾil Iḫwān al-Ṣafāʾ; al-Būnī; al-Kindī; astrology; natural philosophy; Abū Maʿšar; Magie; Sufism; Ġāyat al-ḥakīm/Picatrix; occultism; Sirr al-asrār,; astrologie
Matthew Melvin-Koushki
In Defense of Geomancy: Šaraf al-Dīn Yazdī Rebuts Ibn Ḫaldūn’s Critique of the Occult Sciences
The late 8th/14th century saw a renaissance of high occultism throughout Islamdom—a development alarming to puritan scholars. This includes Ibn Ḫaldūn (d. 808/1406), whose anti-occultist position in the Muqaddima is often assumed to be an example of his visionary empiricism; yet his goal is simply the recategorization of all occult sciences under the twin rubrics of magic and divination, and his veto persuades more on religious and social grounds than natural-scientific. Restoring the historian’s argument to its original state of debate with the burgeoning occultist movement associated with the Mamluk sultan Barqūq’s (r. 784/1382-791/1389 and 792/1390-801/1399) court reveals it to be not forward-thinking but rather conservative, fideist and indeed reactionary, as such closely allied with Ibn Qayyim al-Ǧawziyya’s (d. 751/1350) puritanical project in particular; and in any event, the eager patronage and pursuit of the occult sciences by early modern ruling and scholarly elites suggests that his appeal could only fall on deaf ears. That it also flatly opposed the forms of millennial sovereignty that would define the post-Mongol era was equally disqualifying. I here take Šaraf al‑Dīn ʿAlī Yazdī (d. 858/1454), Ibn Ḫaldūn’s younger colleague and fellow resident in Cairo, as his sparring partner from the opposing camp: the Timurid historian was a card-carrying occultist and member of the Iḫwān al-Ṣafāʾ network of neopythagorean-neoplatonic-monist thinkers then gaining prominence from India to Anatolia via Egypt. I further take geomancy (ʿilm al-raml) as a test case, since Yazdī wrote a tract in defense of the popular divinatory science that directly rebuts Ibn Ḫaldūn’s arguments in the Muqaddima. To set the stage for their debate, I briefly introduce contemporary geomantic theory and practice, then discuss Ibn Ḫaldūn’s and Yazdī’s respective theories of occultism with a view toward establishing points of agreement and disagreement; I also append a translation of Yazdī’s tract as a basis for this comparison.
magic; théories de l’histoire; geomancy (ʿilm al‑raml); monisme; science des lettres (ʿilm al-ḥurūf); millennial sovereignty; occult sciences (al-ʿulūm al-ġarība); lettrism (ʿilm al-ḥurūf); theories of history; Ibn Ḫaldūn; Mamluk Cairo; Šaraf al-Dīn ʿAlī Yazdī; divination; Le Caire mamelouk; néoplatonisme; neopythagoreanism; sciences occultes (al-ʿulūm al-ġarība); monism; souveraineté millénaire; Sulṭān Barqūq; magie; neoplatonism; Muqaddima; géomancie (ʿilm al‑raml); néopythagorisme
Noah Gardiner
Esotericist Reading Communities and the Early Circulation of the Sufi Occultist Aḥmad al-Būnī’s Works
The Ifrīqiyan cum Cairene Sufi Aḥmad al-Būnī (d. ca 622/1225 or 630/1232-1233) is a key figure in the history of the Islamicate occult sciences, particularly with regard to the “science of letters and names” (ʿilm al-ḥurūf wa-l-asmāʾ). Drawing on textual and manuscript evidence, this paper examines the role of esotericism—religious secrecy and exclusivity—in al-Būnī’s thought and in the promulgation and early circulation of his works in Egypt and environs. It is argued that al-Būnī intended his works only for elite Sufi initiates, and that, in the century or so after his death, they indeed circulated primarily in “esotericist reading communities,” groups of learned Sufis who guarded their contents from those outside their own circles. This tendency toward esotericism, and the eventual exposure of al-Būnī’s texts to a wider readership, are contextualized in relation to broader developments in late-medieval Mediterranean culture.
Egypt; Arabic manuscripts; Kabbalah; ésotérisme; occultism; Ayyūbid; Égypte; occultisme; manuscrits arabes; Al-Būnī; science of letters; Kabbale; manuscript culture; esotericism; Mamlouks; culture manuscrite; Ayyoubides; Mamlūk; Ibn ʿArabī; science des lettres
Daniel Martin Varisco
Illuminating the Lunar Mansions (manāzil al-qamar) in Šams al-maʿārif
The lunar zodiac, generally known as the manāzil al-qamar in Arabic, served both as an astronomical and an astrological system. This was a system of 28 lunar “mansions” or “stations” in which the moon was said to station (nazala) each night of the sidereal month. For each of the asterisms of the mansions there were prognostications, astrological and mystical connections. One of the more widely traveled sources on this astrological content in the past three centuries has been based on the work of the 7th/13th century Aḥmad b. ʿAlī l-Būnī (d. ca 622/1225 or 630/1232-1233), especially the text known as Šams al-maʿārif. This article provides a translation and edition of the relevant section on the lunar mansions with a critical commentary. It is based primarily on a 11th/17th century manuscript preserved in Istanbul’s Süleymaniye library and attributed to al-Būnī.
prognostication; magie; prédiction; mansions lunaires; al-Būnī; Astrology; astronomy; lunar mansions; spirits; zodiac; Zodiaque; esprits; magic; Astrologie; astronomie
Nicholas G. Harris
In Search of ʿIzz al-Dīn Aydamir al-Ǧildakī, Mamlūk Alchemist
This article attempts to establish basic biographical information about the prolific Egyptian alchemist ʿIzz al-Dīn Aydamir al-Ǧildakī, more specifically his birth and death dates and his origin. To this end, the article makes use of and critics manuscripts and secondary sources in order to untangle probable facts from unsubstantiated assumptions. The result moves closer to identifying the time and place, and thus the historical context, for an influential alchemist in the medieval Islamic world.
Alchimie; mamlūks; manuscrits; Alchemy; manuscripts
Ahmet Tunç Şen
Reading the Stars at the Ottoman Court: Bāyezīd II (r. 886/1481-918/1512) and His Celestial Interests
This study seeks to determine the extent of the patronage of the science of the stars (ʿilm al-nuǧūm) at the court of the eighth Ottoman sultan Bāyezīd II (r. 886/1481-918/1512). Throughout the medieval and early modern Islamicate world munaǧǧims (astronomer-astrologers) offered rulers their expertise in calculating heavenly configurations and interpreting them with a view to predicting future events; here the Ottoman polity is no exception. In the case of Bāyezīd II, however, the sheer number of munaǧǧims employed and texts and instruments commissioned by or dedicated to the sultan unequivocally singles him out and makes it possible to further argue that his deliberate attempt to personally study and cultivate the science of the stars was inextricably related to the broader political, ideological, and cultural agendas at the time. The first part of the article provides statistical evidence on the exceptional nature of Bāyezīd’s patronization of the science of the stars based upon a number of archival documents, taqwīms (annual almanac-prognostications) and related texts presented to the sultan. Here a number of key munaǧǧims active at his court will also be introduced. The second part focuses upon Bāyezīd’s own learned interests and intellectual aspirations, and examine the celestial inquiries of the sultan in light of a few curious archival reports, textual evidence from surviving manuscripts, and testimonies of his contemporaries.
Bāyezīd ii; alchemy; astronomie; astrologie; alchimie; zīǧ; ʿilm al-nuǧūm; taqwīm; Ottomans; munaǧǧim; astrology; astronomy; science
Emin Lelić
Physiognomy (ʿilm-i firāsat) and Ottoman Statecraft: Discerning Morality and Justice
In the tenth/sixteenth century six treatises on physiognomy (ʿilm-i firāsat)—a science widely considered able to predict inner moral dispositions (aḫlāq-i bāṭina) based on external appearances (aḥwāl-i ẓāhira)—were written for the Ottoman court. In a world in which statecraft and politics were ultimately based on questions of morality (aḫlāq), physiognomy was presented as a particularly useful skill for the Ottoman court due to its ability to evaluate inner moral character with scientific precision. Based on such knowledge, a partial conception of justice could be implemented with an instrumental coating of impartiality. Moreover, men with prized moral qualities could be selected for the ruling elite. The science also offered the sultan and his court a modus operandi for attaining self-knowledge and, if combined with moral self-disciplining (riyāḍat), a way to acquire divine characteristics.
physiognomy; Firāsatnāme; ʿIlm-i firāsat; physiognomonie; Ottoman; aḫlāq; ʿilm-i qiyāfat; Qiyāfatnāme; ottoman; naṣīḥat
Özgen Felek
Fears, Hopes, and Dreams: The Talismanic Shirts of Murād III
There is much evidence that Ottoman Turks were interested in talismans and magic. However, this area has not yet been studied in depth. A few recent studies present information about material artifacts, but without deep analysis of the use of talismans and magic among Ottoman Sufis. The present study examines talismanic shirts prepared for the Ottoman sultans, in particular the shirts of Murād III (r. 982/1574-1003/1595), who was a devout disciple of a Ḫalwatī master, Šuǧāʿ Dede. After a brief introduction to talismanic shirts prepared for Ottoman sultans, I analyze the motifs, symbols, and divine words on the talismanic shirts produced for Murād III. I also explore what insights can be gained when his shirts are read together with his dream letters that he sent to his spiritual master. Intertextual reading of significant symbols on Sulṭān Murād’s shirts, when taken in conjunction with his letters, demonstrates that his shirts are infused with a more complex meaning than is evident at first glance.
rêves; épîtres; Murād, iii; chemises talismaniques; talismanic shirts; dreams; epistles; Ottoman
Rose E. Muravchick
Objectifying the Occult: Studying an Islamic Talismanic Shirt as an Embodied Object
Islamic talismanic shirts from pre-Mughal South Asia form a stylistically cohesive subset within the larger corpus of Islamic talismanic shirts from the patrimonial-bureaucratic period. These objects have eluded sustained study due, in large part, to their wide geographical purview and dissimilarity from other period textiles. While these objects bear some similarities with talismans of smaller shape and disparate media, their form as garments has yet to be considered as integral to their function. In analyzing one of these South Asian shirts, from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, parallels between the arts of the book and the construction of armor highlight the apotropaic function of Koranic text when placed on the human body.
talismans; vêtements; chemise talismanique; Sultanate India; garments; magic; bihārī; magie; Inde sultanienne; talismanic shirt
Marijn van Putten
The Feminine Ending -at as a Diptote in the Qurʾānic Consonantal Text and Its Implications for Proto-Arabic and Proto-Semitic
This paper examines the feminine ending -at in the Qurʾānic Consonantal Text. It argues that from the Qurʾānic Consonantal Text, and various data of comparative linguistic evidence, it is likely that the language of the Qurʾānic Consonantal Text goes back to a variety of Arabic where the feminine ending was treated as a diptote. It is moreover argued, that this feminine ending was likely also diptotic in Proto-Arabic.Cet article examine la terminaison du féminin -at dans le texte consonantique du Coran. Il soutient qu’à partir du texte consonantique du Coran et de nombreuses données de linguistique comparée, il est probable que le texte consonantique du Coran remonte à une variété d’arabe dans laquelle la terminaison du féminin était traitée comme un diptote. En outre, il est soutenu que cette terminaison du féminin était probablement aussi diptote en proto-arabe.This article is in English
texte consonantique du Coran; Arabe; Qurʾānic Consonantal Text; diptotes; linguistique historique; terminaison du féminin; Arabic; historical linguistics; feminine ending
Samira al-Khawaldeh
Naǧīb al-Kīlānī and the Islamic Storyteller
Naǧīb al-Kīlānī is an Egyptian novelist and theorist whose work acquires more importance by virtue of its unique position as a literary manifestation of the thought and worldview of the Society of the Muslim Brotherhood. To embark on such a writing career in Egypt at mid-twentieth century meant first the antagonisation of certain power centers, leading to political jail, and ultimate diaspora; and second addressing the task of transforming the rudimentary conjecturing about an Islamic theory of art into a somewhat systematic form of theorization. The study thus aims to investigate al-Kīlānī’s contribution to the foundation of a theory of Islamic novel, focusing on his approach to the dilemmas and ambiguities surrounding the role of the modern Islamic novelist such as maintaining the intricate balance between the demands of religion and the freedom of art.Naǧīb al-Kīlānī est un romancier et théoricien égyptien dont le travail acquit une importance en raison de sa position unique en tant que manifestation littéraire de la pensée et de la vision du monde des Frères musulmans.S’engager dans une telle carrière d’écrivain en Égypte au milieu du vingtième siècle signifiait d’abord se trouver en porte-à-faux avec certains centres de pouvoir, menant à la prison pour motifs politiques et à l’exil définitif, et, deuxièmement, s’atteler à la tâche de transformer les rudiments d’une théorie islamique de l’art en une forme quelque peu systématique de théorisation. L’étude vise donc à étudier la contribution d’al-Kīlānī à la fondation d’une théorie du roman islamique, en se concentrant sur son approche des dilemmes et des ambiguïtés entourant le rôle du romancier islamique moderne, comme le maintien de l’équilibre complexe entre les exigences de la religion et la liberté de l’art.This article is in English
réalisme islamique; Islamic realism; littérature islamique; Islamic theory of literature; théorie islamique de la littérature; Frères musulmans; Naǧīb al-Kīlānī; Muslim Brotherhood; Islamic literature; Islamic novel; roman islamique
Najib Ismail Jarad
Grammaticalization in Emirati Arabic
This paper is concerned with the process of language change whereby lexical items and constructions, in specific contexts, come to serve new grammatical functions. Emirati Arabic provides us with a wide range of grammaticalization phenomena. The aim of this paper is twofold: to shed light on the basic concepts relating to grammaticalization phenomena and to examine the grammaticalization of a number of constructions in Emirati Arabic, investigating their formation and the changes in their functions. The development of these grammatical constructions follows a grammaticalization pathway identified for a wide range of linguistic items cross-linguistically.Cet article s’intéresse au processus du changement de la langue dans laquelle des éléments et des constructions lexicales, dans des contextes spécifiques, viennent assurer de nouvelles fonctions grammaticales. L’arabe émirati nous offre un large éventail de phénomènes de grammaticalisation. L’objectif de cet article est double : mettre en lumière les concepts fondamentaux relatifs au phénomène de grammaticalisation et examiner la grammaticalisation d’un certain nombre de constructions en arabe émirati, en étudiant leur formation et les changements dans leurs fonctions. Le développement de ces constructions grammaticales suit un processus de grammaticalisation identifié pour un large éventail d’éléments linguistiques.This article is in English
pronom réfléchi; Arabe émirati; conjonction subordonnée; verbe de volonté; genitive exponent; grammaticalisation; subordinate conjunction; volition verb; reflexive pronoun; Emirati Arabic; grammaticalization; génitif
Saad Al-Gahtani
Sequence Organization of Requests among Australian English and Saudi Arabic Speakers: A Contrastive Study
Previous research on cross-cultural pragmatics has primarily focused on how native speakers of different languages perform speech acts in relation to politeness and directness. However, Gabriele Kasper (2006), among others, has called for adopting a more discursive approach rather than analyzing data according to the Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP) coding scheme. Therefore, this paper used Conversation Analysis for Interlanguage Pragmatics to investigate sequence organization of requests in Australian English and Saudi Arabic using role-play scenarios. It specifically examined pre-expansions, pre-pres, accounts in request turn, insert-expansions, and post-expansions, and the extent to which the social variable power affects them. The results showed that both languages shared some regularities in aspects of sequence organization but differed in others. Power influenced the production of some regularities in both languages.Les recherches antérieures sur la pragmatique interculturelle se sont principalement concentrées sur la manière dont les locuteurs natifs de différentes langues accomplissent des actes de parole en lien avec la politesse et la franchise. Cependant, Gabriele Kasper (2006), entre autres, a appelé à adopter une approche plus discursive plutôt qu’à analyser les données selon le système de codification du Cross-Cultural Speech Act Realization Project (CCSARP). Par conséquent, cet article utilise l’Analyse Conversationnelle pour la Pragmatique Interlangue afin d’explorer l’organisation séquentielle de requêtes en anglais australien et en arabe saoudien, en utilisant des scénarios de jeu de rôle. L’article examine spécifiquement les pré-expansions, les pré-prés, les justifications dans les tours de requête, les expansions insérées et les post-expansions, ainsi que l’étendue dans laquelle le pouvoir de la variable sociale les affecte. Les résultats montrent que les deux langues partagent certaines régularités dans des aspects de l’organisation séquentielle, mais diffèrent dans d’autres. Le pouvoir a influencé la production de certaines régularités dans les deux langues.This article is in English
conversation analysis; Pragmatique interlangue; interlanguage pragmatics; sequence organization; organisation séquentielle; analyse conversationnelle
Sumeyra Alpaslan Danisman
Attitudes towards culture in the new home: self-initiated expatriate academics in Turkey
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The main question of this paper is ‘What are the attitudes of self-initiated expatriate academics towards their host culture?’ This question was explored in terms of whether the expatriates view themselves as separate from or part of the new cultural environment. The question was examined empirically with a qualitatively structured study.. Eighteen participants from 13 countries who are expatriate academics living and working in Turkey were interviewed, and thematic analysis was used to interpret the qualitative data. Communication, religion, food culture, daily life, social relations and structure are the main cultural themes that directly influence the expatriates. The results reveal that participants’ attitude towards each cultural issue can be categorized as being adjusted, exploring or missing home. Self-initiated expatriate academics who feel at home, those who learn new things from the host culture and those who have difficulties, feel themselves as a native, an explorer or a stranger, respectively.
Seckin Baris Gulmez
Turkish foreign policy as an anomaly: revisionism and irredentism through diplomacy in the 1930s
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article discusses why Turkey persisted in diplomacy in the pursuit of a proactive foreign policy during the 1930s while use of force and unilateral action were the popular alternatives. Accordingly, first, the prevailing literature will be examined outlining five primary foreign policy practices of the time, namely, revisionism, irredentism, bandwagoning, appeasement and isolationism. The article will then discuss the foreign policy preference of Turkey which stands as an anomaly in comparison to its contemporaries, focusing on two main cases: Turkey’s reacquisition of the Straits and the accession of Alexandretta. After analysing the underlying factors behind Turkey’s persistent attachment to multilateral and bilateral diplomacy, the article will conclude by applying the term ‘Holder of Balance’ to Turkish foreign policy in the 1930s. Overall, it is argued that the Great Depression attributed a new role to Turkey, the holder of European balance, enabling partnership with both aggressors and appeasers and thus facilitating the settlement of disputes through diplomacy.
Suzanne Pinckney Stetkevych
Abbasid Panegyric: Badīʿ Poetry and the Invention of the Arab Golden Age
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This study argues that the third AH/ninth CE century panegyrists (praise poets) of the Abbasid caliphal court at Baghdad (and briefly at Samarra) were responsible for constructing the image of a Golden Age of Arab-Islamic dominion that was subsequently adopted by the poets and thinkers of the Nahḍa or ‘Arab Awakening’ of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Challenged to create a poetry that would serve as the linguistic correlative of the astounding and unprecedented might and dominion of the rulers of the Arab-Islamic state, the Abbasid Modernist Poets (al-shuʿarāʾ al-muḥdathūn) invented a powerfully and radically innovative poetic style, termed badīʿ. The panegyric odes of poets such as Abū Tammām and al-Buḥturī were canonized so as to promote a vision of an Arab-Islamic Golden Age and, further, to serve as models for the expression of Arab-Islamic hegemony and the conferral and contestation of legitimate authority. In the Nahḍa of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Neo-Classical poets such as Aḥmad Shawqī recouped the Abbasid master poets to both retroject and project a vision of an Arab-Islamic ‘Enlightenment’. Finally, this study examines the fraught relationship of the post-Naksa (1967) Arab poet, as exemplified in the modern Yemeni poet ʿAbd Allāh al-Baradūnī, with the poets and poetry of the Golden Age.
Dara Conduit
The Patterns of Syrian Uprising: Comparing Hama in 1980–1982 and Homs in 2011
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Economic grievances that marginalized rural citizens and eroded the Syrian government’s political base are widely considered to have sparked the 2011 uprising. Although the country’s 1980–1982 protests were also blamed on economic factors, commentators to date have largely resisted comparing the events. This article draws parallels between Hama in the lead-up to 1980–1982 and Homs pre-2011, arguing that while there are differences between the uprisings—including the socioeconomic group involved—the root causes of grievance were remarkably similar. Both uprisings followed a redrawing of Syria’s social contract that marginalized a group that had previously had a stake in the Syrian state. In both cases, a new underclass was formed that became the backbone of the political unrest. Although economic factors cannot explain the 2011 uprising in its entirety, this article argues that some of the seed dynamics in 2011 were remarkably similar to 1980–1982.
Banu Eligür
The 1934 anti-Jewish Thrace riots: the Jewish exodus of Thrace through the lens of nationalism and collective violence
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article analyses the causes and the dynamic process of production of the 1934 anti-Jewish Thrace riots. The article, based on the US State Department Records, British Documents on Foreign Affairs and the Turkish Republic’s Prime Ministry Republican Archives as well as Turkish, US and British newspapers, argues that the 1934 anti-Jewish Thrace riots were not spontaneous occurrences caused by over-excited masses, but instead planned actions by some local state elite and Republican People’s Party (RPP) local officials as well as anti-Semitic Turkish ultra-nationalists. The article argues that it was not popular anti-Semitism, but the Turkish state establishment’s security concerns vis-à-vis the perceived Italian and Bulgarian threat that resulted in the riots. The local state elite and RPP local officials, who were uneasy about the economically well-off Jews, acted as ethno-nationalist entrepreneurs by allowing the ultra-nationalists to operate in the riot-prone Thrace, while the rioters mainly participated in the collective violence to receive economic gains as a result of the expulsion of the Jews.
Feras Alkabani
The meanings of oriental masquerade in T.E. Lawrence’s Arabian ventures
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article explores the changing trajectory of T.E. Lawrence’s interaction with the Arab East on the eve of modernity. It traces his pre-First World War scholarly interest in Levantine antiquities (his archaeological expeditions in Syria), through to his subsequent military engagement in the Arab Revolt (1916–1918). An analysis of Lawrence’s adoption of various forms of Middle-Eastern attire provides a narrative of the events that led to his metamorphosis from a passive scholar into an active soldier. The article examines the homoerotic strands in Lawrence’s assumption of Oriental disguise and highlights its metaphorical significance vis-à-vis the political marriage of British imperial interests and Arab nationalist ambitions in the Arab campaign. The article finally draws on the implications of the Anglo–Arab alliance and its impact on changing the region and altering the image of the ‘Unchanging East’.
Hanne Eggen Røislien
Where is the State of Israel? Testimonies from IDF Nachal soldiers on Israel’s territorial integrity
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The present article aims to uncover how and where combatants in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) draw the boundaries of the State of Israel. The territorial integrity of Israel remains unsettled and IDF’s combatants cannot look merely towards fixed territorial borders and legal agreements when drawing the demarcation lines between Israel and its neighbours. The article’s empirical basis is a longitudinal study of 34 soldiers in the IDF’s 50th Battalion in the Nachal Infantry Brigade in the period 2006–2010, and explores how this group ‘mapped’ the State of Israel during their military service. The article shows how the combatants operated in a strategic universe where the boundaries of Israel’s territorial integrity were drawn by stressing the combatants’ sense of attachment to certain areas as Israeli Jews; not merely as Israeli citizens. This became particularly clear and overt in the case of the West Bank, which they viewed as a patchwork of Israeli and Palestinian territories.
Raymond A. Hinnebusch
Political parties in MENA: their functions and development
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article provides an overview of the development of parties and party systems in the MENA region from early oligarchic pluralism to the mass single-party systems of the populist era and the limited multi-party experiments of the 1990s era of political liberalization. The survey shows how parties develop in parallel with the deepening of politicization and become nearly indispensable adjuncts in the construction of political order. The article then examines parties in the post-2010 period, with case studies of Turkey, Egypt, and Tunisia demonstrating how very different configurations of party development dramatically impact on regime trajectories, ranging from democratization to hybrid regimes.
Mona Tajali
Protesting gender discrimination from within: women’s political representation on behalf of Islamic parties
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
In recent decades, Islamic political movements, and their subsequent political parties, have been increasingly recruiting and nominating women to high-level decision-making positions despite the fact that the ideology they espouse often acts to dissuade women from assuming positions of political leadership. My ethnographic research on religious women’s activism in Iran and Turkey helps explain this unexpected trend by shedding light onto the role of Islamic party women in challenging the gender discriminatory attitudes and behaviours of their male party leaders. In particular, I highlight the role that a number of high-ranking Islamic party women with close ties to the ruling elites played in pressuring their male party leaders to address women’s political underrepresentation in formal politics. Women’s close ties to the ruling elites consisted of formal ties with key Islamic leaders that evolved thanks to women’s long-term devotion to the Islamic movement or learning at Islamic seminaries. I demonstrate that such close ties to the leaders, as well as the presence of a public discourse in favour of women’s increased access to politics, enabled influential Islamic women to leverage a form of ‘internal criticism’ as an important strategy to enhance women’s political rights and status from within the Islamic movements.
Christian Thuselt
‘We wander in your footsteps’—reciprocity and contractility in Lebanese personality-centred parties
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This contribution questions the widespread assumption of Lebanese parties being mere ‘instruments’ in their leaders’ hands by asking what partisans see through their chairmen. It describes an informal social contract between partisans and leaders, outlining reciprocity in interpreting the ‘cause’, being symbolized by the latter. The core of this contract is made up by a particular interpretation of a global normativity of the modern nation-state and reciprocity. Whereas the latter might be deeply felt, it often lacks institutionalized control within the party. Finally, the contribution highlights some noticeable restrictions of this informal contractility.
Marie Vannetzel
The party, the Gama’a and the Tanzim: the organizational dynamics of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s post-2011 failure
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
In April 2011, the Egyptian Muslim Brothers (MB) founded the first political party in their 83-year-long history, known as the Freedom and Justice Party (FJP). Yet the party remained under the control of its parent organization—the Gama’a (literally the ‘community’)—and its internal apparatus, the Tanzim. While both had been shaped during decades of MB’s semi-clandestine existence as a banned-yet-tolerated group, these did not adapt to the changing socio-political configuration and have resisted the transition to fully overt activity. Through an analysis of the FJP’s uneasy creation and with a grounding of extensive empirical research, this article argues that the party’s development was to a certain extent hampered by those pre-existing organizational structures. Organizational crystallization prevented the party from conforming to the emerging rules of the political field then under construction. Instead, the Gama’a’s undefined nature and opaque pattern of regulation were replicated within the FJP’s structure. Thus, the article seeks to uncover a hitherto hidden aspect of in the MB’s post-2011 failure, one which is rooted in organizational dynamics.
Joseph Sassoon
Party and governance in the Arab republics
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
By focusing on political memoirs as an important source, the article deals with the ruling party and governance in the Arab republics, whether they had a one-party system such as Iraq and Syria, or a multi-party system such as Egypt and Tunisia. However, one country among the republics, Libya, annulled political parties and parliament and created its own unique system of governance. Through memoirs of party members, parliamentary opponents, and ministers, the article analyses the substantial role of the ruling parties in perpetuating the regimes. While the triangular relationship between the leadership, the party, and the bureaucracy differed from one republic to another, the overall structure of governance did not vary widely, except in the case of Libya.
Zehra F. Kabasakal Arat
Political Parties and Women’s Rights in Turkey
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Political parties are important political actors, but they are seldom studied in relation to human rights. This article examines the human rights discourse of political parties in Turkey by focusing on women’s rights. The content analysis of party programmes issued by major political parties between 1923 and 2007 reveals significant differences and changes in parties’ approach to women, ranging from no mentioning of women to addressing women’s issues from a feminist perspective. Women’s rights and issues, once neglected practically by all political parties, have gained attention during the last few decades, largely due to women’s activism. While conservative, religious, and Turkish nationalist parties started to display a dualist approach that combines traditionalism with gender equality, social democrat, socialist, and pro-Kurdish parties increasingly employ feminist terminology and analysis.
Khalil Dahbi
The historical emergence and transformation of the Moroccan political party field
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article offers a historical analysis of the emergence of the political party field in post-independence Morocco and makes the case for a bottom-up approach that pays close attention to actors’ cultural dispositions, capabilities and the constraints imposed upon them by emergent fields. It starts by briefly introducing the conceptual toolbox of Bourdieusian field theory, underscoring the analytical strengths of the concepts it includes. Drawing on a qualitative analysis of both primary and secondary sources, the article then deploys the aforementioned concepts to trace the historical processes that shaped the emergence of the Moroccan political party field. In doing so, this article suggests a novel approach to the study of political parties that emphasizes the importance of adopting a bottom-up perspective, and the need to go beyond mono-causal explanatory accounts.
Francesco Saverio Leopardi
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine during the First Intifada: From Opportunity to Marginalization (1987–1990)
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
In understanding the decline of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the analysis of its political agency allows the identification of a pattern of policy fluctuation that recurs throughout several critical phases of its trajectory. In this regard, the First Intifada is a case in point. The new geographical setting, the strong network of affiliated organizations and the more favourable balance of power with Fatah represented a major opportunity for the PFLP to revive its political initiative and increase its political weight. However, the PFLP was unable to grasp this opportunity due to its inconsistencies in confronting the main challenges posed by the Intifada, namely Fatah’s diplomatic agenda, the relations with the PFLP’s branch in the Territories, the fragmentation of the Palestinian Left and the rise of the Islamist movement. Resorting to a systematic study of the PFLP’s official publications and to interviews with former and current militants, this article identifies the pattern of policy fluctuation that transformed the First Intifada into a turning point in its weakening process. This pattern acquires further relevance since it illustrates the basic poles of tensions behind the fluctuation of the PFLP’s political conduct throughout the following decades.
Philipp O. Amour
Israel, the Arab Spring, and the unfolding regional order in the Middle East: a strategic assessment
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Since 2011, geo-strategic interactions have exerted pressure on various political communities. In particular, uncertainty over the foreign policy intentions of new leadership elites and the nature of the unfolding regional security system in the Middle East have impacted the strategic questions Israel must answer: how can Israel rationally assess the new environment? What foreign policy approach would best serve Israel’s distinct national interests? Using insights from the levels-of-analysis framework and from the realist theory of International Relations, this article aims to explore Israel’s reading of recent regional developments and its attitudes and behaviours towards the attendant and emerging strategic challenges. The analysis reveals that the Arab Spring uprisings exacerbated the already anarchic Middle East environment, aggravating mistrust and antagonism in Israel. The urgency of the attraction of protectionism and militarism in Israel was an expression of the realist approach to Israel’s primary strategic consolidation. With time, the regional dynamic has evolved into a more predictable—but still complex—structure than it was during its early phase (2010–2013). Although there have been signs of potential regional political eruptions, other developments have promoted continuity in the Middle East, which plays to Israel’s strategic advantage.
Participatory governance or deliberative disjuncture? Exploring the state–civil society policy nexus in the gender mainstreaming programmes of seven Middle Eastern states 2005–2015
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
To better understand why Middle Eastern states continue to languish at the bottom of world rankings on gender equality, this study presents critical discourse analysis of state and civil society organizations’ implementation of the Participative Democratic Model of gender mainstreaming. A requirement of the 1995 United Nations Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Participative Democratic Model entails state–civil society engagement to embed gender equality concerns in every stage of the policy process. It is in this context that the original contribution of the article is twofold. In methodological terms, it is argued that contemporary analysis of mainstreaming needs to examine the formative phase of policy implementation and the discourse between state elites and civil society organizations. This is integral to effective agenda-setting and coordinated action—and thus to securing successful gender-equality outcomes. In empirical terms, the study findings show how presently, across the Middle East, there are marked contrasts in state and civil society policy framing and issue prioritization. The resulting disjuncture is a hitherto under-examined pathology preventing the realization of the normative vision of gender equality in the region.
Omar Hesham AlShehabi
Contested modernity: divided rule and the birth of sectarianism, nationalism, and absolutism in Bahrain
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This study argues that political mobilization based on ethnosectarian identities in Bahrain is a modernist product of the contestations that occurred in the period of increasing British colonial involvement in the early twentieth century. Two concepts are utilized. The first is the colonial ‘ethnosectarian gaze’, marked primarily by its underlying epistemology that saw ethnosectarian cleavages as the main analytic units for approaching local political power, practice, and discourse. The second is ‘contested and divided rule’. With the advent of Curzon’s ‘forward policy’ in the Gulf, Britain actively divided sovereignty between itself and the local ruler, with actors on the island faced with two conflicting sources of jurisdiction. The British viewed issues of jurisdiction primarily through an ethnosectarian lens, and increasingly so did other actors, creating an inter-feeding dynamic between ethnosectarianism, nationalism, and divided rule. Two emergent forms of political mobilization are emphasized. The first mobilized based on ethnosectarian identity-specific demands and grievances. The other took an overtly nationalist, trans-sectarian, anti-colonial tone, having its roots in the al-Nahda renaissance that swept the Arab world in the nineteenth century. Thus, colonialism, absolutism, ethnosectarianism, and nationalism went hand in hand, products of a similar period of divided rule, their lingering effects still felt today.
José Ciro Martínez
Jordan’s self-fulfilling prophecy: the production of feeble political parties and the perceived perils of democracy
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article analyses the depiction of political parties in a ‘hybrid regime’ so as to explain how state-sponsored articulatory practices contribute to the discrediting of potential opponents. Through an examination of textbooks, speeches and government documents combined with semi-structured interviews and participant observation, it dissects how tropes concerning party weakness or extremism make Jordan appear unprepared for democracy. Making the legal opposition seem menacing or incompetent helps the Hashemite regime legitimize the haphazard pace of political reforms. It is a crucial strategy through which the monarchy maintains the backing or tepid compliance of foreign and local supporters. Yet still, the discursive features of authoritarianism, in Jordan and elsewhere, continue to receive short shrift. Far from epiphenomenal, the monarchy’s discursive practices shape the conceptual universe and institutional contexts in which politics takes place.
Rachel Busbridge
The wall has feet but so do we: Palestinian workers in Israel and the ‘separation’ wall
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
While the Israeli-constructed wall in the occupied West Bank seemingly signifies a shift to a policy of separation, every year thousands of West Bank Palestinians legally and illegally cross its bounds into Israel for work. In this article, I explore the varying regimes of (il)legality and (im)mobility that have accompanied the construction of the Israel–West Bank separation wall, which decisively impact the lives of Palestinians who work in Israel. The peculiar separation legislated by the wall, which is often treated as a de facto ‘border’, obscures the ways in which it facilitates continued Israeli territorial expansion and deepens the subjugation of the Palestinian population. As a border, the separation wall functions more as a colonial frontier, the asymmetry of which has powerful implications for the border crossings of documented and undocumented workers, as well as their respective experiences of illegality inside the West Bank and in Israel. It is in the context of West Banker Palestinians who work in Israel, I argue, that the doctrine of separation embodied in the wall is exposed as not only deceptive, but also obfuscating of the relation of asymmetrical dependence between the two entities.
David Kaposi
A proper study of the discourse on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict? Methodological implications of a large-scale study of the first Gaza war
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
Drawing on a large-scale study examining the British broadsheets’ coverage of the first Gaza war, this paper proposes some methodological considerations for analyzing the particularly emotive discourse on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and suggests a reflective multi-methodological approach to account for both the complexities and the intensities of the conflict. The paper starts by arguing that, working with a large data-set, quantitative data are both required and required to be interpreted by acts of contextualisation. Two strategies of contextualization are then introduced: interpreting patterns and associations in the numerical data. Following this, the paper continues by examining the findings and dilemmas that have emerged from quantitative analysis, using qualitative analysis of editorial extracts. It therefore shows examples for how quantitative codes can be built into and built up by narratives and arguments. Doing this, it also demonstrates possible ways of connecting qualitative to quantitative research: explanation, extension, and transformation/subversion.
Nedim Nomer
Ziya Gökalp’s idea of cultural hybridity
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This paper is a reflection on the distinctiveness and scope of the ideas of Ziya Gökalp (1876–1924), who played a key role in the formation of the ideology of the Turkish Republic created in 1923. Gökalp is generally cast by interpreters as a ‘Westernist’ or ‘modernist’ nationalist thinker, like many other thinkers in late developing societies, whose chief concern was the establishment of a modern Turkish nation-state and who, therefore, tried to combine Western knowledge with the culture of his own society. Contrary to received wisdom, I argue that Gökalp developed not just a model of modernity befitting Muslim Turks but also a distinctive general theory of social life, according to which the cultures of all societies are hybrid, i.e. blends of other (past and present) cultures. If this is correct, then Gökalp’s social thought is more than a mere specimen of late nationalist ideologies; it is applicable to all forms of social life just as much as the ideas of the European social theorists he cited.
Lawrence Rubin
Islamic political activism among Israel’s Negev Bedouin population
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This paper examines Islamic political activism among the Bedouin Arab citizens of Israel who reside in the Negev/Naqab (southern Israel). It describes how a religious-political movement became the dominant political force among the non-Jewish communities of the Negev, in doing so, this paper explores the link between religious-political ideology, represented by the Islamic movement, and tribalism, the dominant social-cultural influence among this population. While this paper is a first cut at trying to understand these linkages, I suggest that Israeli Islamist political leaders have mobilized support in two interconnected ways. First, they have attracted support through dawa (religious education), social-welfare activities, and mobilizing symbols. Second, Islamic political activists have worked within and exploited one of the most salient features of Bedouin life, tribalism, by recruiting support from the lower-status, largely urbanized, and landless tribes. These activities have taken place within the broader context of a changing landscape of identity within these communities of the Negev.
Yinon Shlomo
The Israeli–Egyptian talks at kilometer 101
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article deals with the Israeli–Egyptian talks after the October 1973 War, which are known as the Kilometer 101 talks since most of them took place at this spot on the Suez–Cairo road. After 17 years of indirect Israeli–Egyptian discussions, representatives from both sides met for direct talks that led to an agreement that allowed solving the exigent problems, like prisoners of war exchange and supplies for the encircled Egyptian Third Army. After about a month the talks ended, allegedly due to disagreement on disengagement and separation of forces.
Robert Springborg
The rewards of failure: persisting military rule in Egypt
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The Egyptian military, having been bogged down for almost five years in a losing war in Yemen, had to deal with a crushing defeat in June 1967. Similar defeats elsewhere, such as in Argentina and Greece, have led to militaries being removed from power. In Egypt, however, Nasser salvaged his and the military’s rule by purging elements of the High Command, by repressing the nascent protest movement and by calling in the Soviets to rebuild and essentially command his armed forces. Half a century later, the military is even more firmly in control of Egypt. Having ridden out successive challenges to its authority, including Sadat’s attempted civilianization, the global Third Wave of democracy, Mubarak’s effort to establish a family dynasty, the uprising of 2011 and the Muslim Brothers’ one-year interregnum, the Egyptian military’s political persistence is virtually unmatched in the region or indeed, the world. After tracing the historical evolution of military rule from 1967, this article explores the structural bases for the persistence of its power before assessing the overwhelmingly negative consequences of this remarkably protracted military rule of what was once the leading Arab country.
Sune Haugbolle
The new Arab left and 1967
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
In Arab political culture, the Naksa of 1967 had a number of watershed effects. Scholars have paid a lot of attention to the decline of secular Arab nationalism and the concurrent rise of Islamism. Much less research has been done on the way 1967 spurred radical left organizations, also known as ‘the new Arab left’, to organize resistance against Israel as well as gain a foothold in national politics. This article analyzes what 1967 meant for groups such as P.F.L.P., D.F.L.P., O.C.A.L. and the Syrian Communist Party - Political Bureau, and the wider political culture associated with the new left: its media, journals and art. Based on readings of this cultural production and new research on the tri-continental movement, revolutionary socialism and Third-Worldism in the late 1960s and early 1970s, the article argues that the defeat of 1967 helped to determine the shape the revolutionary moment that followed. This moment has had a lasting impact on Arab political culture and is being re-interpreted in interesting ways today by Arab revolutionaries post-2011.
Noha Mellor
Islamizing the Palestinian–Israeli conflict: the case of the Muslim Brotherhood
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The Arab capitulation in the Six Day War was posited to stimulate the so-called Islamic resurgence in the region since the 1970s, which several scholars see as a sign of Islamic resistance to the Western cultural presence within the Arab world. This article argues that Islamizing the conflict began well before the 1967 defeat, and that the hegemony of the Islamist discourse has been made possible owing to its penetration into mainstream political and media discourses. It is also argued that by ‘religionizing’ the Palestinian–Israeli conflict, Islamists provide a new narrative to reshape and reframe the perception of this conflict as being religious rather than political in nature. The article takes the Muslim Brotherhood as a topical case study, demonstrating how its print and digital media highlighted the Islamization of the conflict with Israel and providing frequent references to the 1967 defeat as evidence of God’s wrath meted out on Arab rulers, not only for abandoning the Islamic State project, but also for oppressing Islamist movements.
Amal Jamal
In the shadow of the 1967 war: Israel and the Palestinians
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The 1967 war in the Middle East has had major ramifications on the entire region including Israel. This article focuses on three of the major longstanding ramifications namely the change in the demographic balance between Jews and Palestinians west of the Jordan River, the challenge that the military regime imposed on the Palestinians in the newly occupied Palestinian territories poses regarding the nature of the Israeli regime as a whole and the reconnecting of Palestinians, citizens of Israel, with their fellow Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. This article demonstrates how Israeli policies towards Palestinians impacted on the disposition of the Palestinian community inside Israel and how the coming together of Israeli policies, changes in Palestinian struggle for independence and social transformations inside the Palestinian community in Israel have led to different adaptation strategies among the Palestinians to face their in-between reality.
Eyal Zisser
Syria – from the six day war to the Syrian civil war
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
The story of Syria during the Six-Day War is the story of a state whose leadership was young, inexperienced, reckless, and radical; it sowed fire and reaped a firestorm. For a while the war seemed as a turning point in the history of Syria since it led to the rise of Hafiz al-Asad, who gave his country political stability that enabled him to turn it into a powerful and esteemed state at home and abroad. However, the Asad’s era was marked by freeze, stagnation and the maintenance of the status quo which became the essence of the Syrian regime’s policies and course of action not only vis-à-vis Israel, but also in its activity domestically, whether in the social, political, or economic sphere. The ultimate result, as this article argues, was the outbreak of the Syrian revolution in March 2011, which demonstrated that the appearance of stability and strength projected by the regime was a false facade.
Ronen Yitzhak
From cooperation to normalization? Jordan–Israel relations since 1967
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article deals with the relations between Jordan and Israel from 1967 until 2015. The mutual interest of the Hashemite regime and the Zionist movement, namely to oppose the Palestinians, created the first opportunity for cooperation, which developed into economic ties and intelligence exchanges during the reign of King Abdullah I. A real strategic alliance between Jordan and Israel was formed in the 1950s, when Egyptian President Gamal Abd al-Nasser, together with other nationalist Arab elements, tried to subvert King Hussein’s regime and topple him. Israel unhesitatingly came to the side of the Hashemite ruler to protect Jordanian territorial sovereignty. This perception of Jordan informed Israel’s policy, which aimed to aid Jordan in confronting new challenges to the regime. The fact that Israel has stood by the Hashemite regime through most of its existence indicates a strategic partnership that will sustain, even if the peace treaty were to be revoked one day.
Uzi Rabi, Chelsi Mueller
The Gulf Arab states and Israel since 1967: from ‘no negotiation’ to tacit cooperation
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This article analyses the Gulf Arab states’ changing posture toward Israel since the June 1967 War. Fifty years on, the ‘three no’s’ of Khartoum have been replaced by the Saudi-coordinated Arab Peace Initiative, which offers Israel normalization in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state. Furthermore, the meaning of ‘normalization’ has been re-defined over the years in accordance with the changing geopolitical circumstances. Mutually beneficial ties between Israel and the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) have grown up in proportion to their shared interests and shared threat perceptions. In the period from the 1967 War to the 1979 Egypt–Israel Peace Treaty, the Gulf Arab states, for the most part, boycotted Israel in line with pan-Arab requirements. While Iranian propaganda during the Khomeini era (1979–1989) depicted Gulf Arab rulers as lackeys of Zionism and imperialism, GCC–Israel ties were anathema. In the 1990s, the GCC lent cautious support to the Israeli–Palestinian peace process, and two of its members, Oman and Qatar, expanded trade relations with Israel in defiance of Arab and Gulf norms. The emergence of the Saudi–Iranian regional cold war after the invasion of Iraq in 2003 gave rise to unprecedented levels of tacit security and intelligence cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Raymond Hinnebusch
Revisiting the 1967 Arab-Israel war and its consequences for the regional system
British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies
This paper examines the causes and consequences of the 1967 Arab-Israeli war utilizing Waltz’s three levels of analysis: system, state and decision-makers. It first examines the causes, looking at why the M.E.N.A. regional system, but particularly the Arab-Israeli subsystem, was so war prone; assessing why a certain bellicosity was built into both Israel and several of its Arab neighbours; and examining the calculations and miscalculations by leaders on both sides that led to war. 1967 was a ‘war of vulnerability’ and miscalculation for Egypt but for Israel the war derived from a mix of vulnerability (from vulnerable borders) and opportunity (to acquire ‘defensible’ borders). The paper then examines why the 1967 war did not lead to peace, but rather to a chain of new wars. Victory in 1967 reinforced Israel’s territorial ambitions; shifted the power balance decisively toward it; and ultimately shattered Arab unity against it; but because the imbalance in Israel’s favour was insufficient to impose a pro-Israeli peace, the result was new wars in which Arab states sought to reverse and Israel to reinforce the verdict of 1967.
Mediel Hove, Enock Ndawana
Regime-change agenda: the Egyptian experience from 2011 to 2015
Contemporary Arab Affairs10120171
This article discusses the role of the United States of America in the failure of the democratic revolution in Egypt during the Arab Spring. While appreciating the role of internal actors and the domestic dynamics, it demonstrates that regime change in Egypt was largely a consequence and a reflection of the US’s interests in Egypt and the region in general. It argues that the seemingly successful removal of the Hosni Mubarak regime by popular uprisings and the rise of Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood signalled the success of democracy. However, Morsi’s controversial overthrow and imprisonment, notwithstanding his weaknesses, led to the backfiring of the regime-change strategy. The subsequent rise to power of a former military man, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, and his administration has, thus far, demonstrated a contradiction to all the promises of the Egyptian revolution. It concludes that the drivers of regime change should re-examine the merits of their strategy in an effort to establish lasting peace in the country.
Amr G. E. Sabet
Geopolitics of identity: Egypt’s lost peace
Contemporary Arab Affairs10120171
This paper attempts to provide a conceptualization of Egypt’s current predicaments by process-tracing historical critical junctures and sequences of causal mechanisms that contributed to bringing about the January 2011 events. Focusing on the period between the July 1952 Revolution led by Gamal Abdel Nasser and the events of 2011, it traces the developments and changing political and strategic trajectories of the three presidents Nasser, Anwar Sadat and Hosni Mubarak. The case of Egypt is examined here as ‘an instance of a class of events’ focusing on phenomena related to the tracing of causal factors or critical junctures, and mechanisms leading to a particular outcome on 25 January 2011. It further links the uprising to that country’s 1979 ‘Peace Treaty’ with Israel. This treaty ‘de-securitized’ the latter, allowing it significant regional freedom of action. This had a causal effect on challenging Egypt’s identity-motivated action, contributing, in the process, to undermining its identity structure. An increasing awareness among many Egyptians of the link between the treaty and their identity formation is one of the main reasons for summoning the legacy of Nasser’s leadership as a source of ‘ontological security’.
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