Awakening to the Politics of Israel—An Interview with Sonya Meyerson-Knox of Jewish Voice for Peace

In the context of Israel’s newly elected far-right government and ongoing censorship of Palestine in academia and social media, MERIP shares the second of a two-part series of interviews on changing American Jewish attitudes towards Israel and Zionism. In this interview, Lori Allen speaks with Sonya E Meyerson-Knox, Communications Director of Jewish Voice for Peace. They discuss the generational changes among American Jews, the role of social media and the increasing attention to intersectional organizing on the Jewish left.

The Challenge in Sudanese Women’s Football

Women’s football in Sudan has grown significantly since the 2000s, with more than 720 players and 21 teams now participating in the women’s national league. Yet attitudes toward women’s play vary across the country, with many footballers facing religious condemnation, social stigmatization, police harassment and even arrest. Players also point to “gender washing” by the Sudanese Football Association, an organization that diverts funds dedicated to developing women’s football from international bodies like FIFA. Based on interviews with women football players in Khartoum, Sara Al-Hassan and Deen Sharp highlight the challenges to women’s pursuit of the beautiful game, and their tenacity in continuing to play.

COP27, Alaa Abd El-Fattah and the Dreams of the Revolution—A Conversation with Omar Robert Hamilton and Ashish Ghadiali

The Editors 11.4.2022

On November 6, 2022, COP27 will begin in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, with the aim of delivering on the Paris Agreement and the intention to acknowledge the disproportionate effects of climate change on the Global South, through “Loss and Damage.” On the same day, British-Egyptian political prisoner and revolutionary activist, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, will escalate his over 200-day hunger strike and stop drinking water. In the context of these events, MERIP invited racial and environmental justice activist Ashish Ghadiali to speak with novelist, filmmaker and cousin of Abd El-Fattah, Omar Robert Hamilton, about the tensions that underpin “the African COP.’”

Constructing Qatari Citizenship in the Shadow of the World Cup

While the World Cup constructs and fortifies a distinctly Qatari nationalism, the tournament has not erased the underlying tensions and inequities in Qatar’s migration system and citizenship policies. Beginning with the “Hayya Card,” a new visa tied to the purchase of a FIFA ticket, Jaafar Alloul and Laavanya Kathiravelu consider how ambiguous legislation is being used to differentiate and divide resident groups for purposes of retaining control. At the same time, they highlight emerging spaces for everyday solidarity between Qatari citizens and migrant communities made possible through generational change.

The Politics of “Unskilled” Labor in Qatar—An Interview with Natasha Iskander

With the approach of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, Natasha Iskander speaks to Arang Keshavarzian about the politics of labor that underpin the tournament – and their devastating effects. From the deliberate framing of migrant workers as “unskilled” to the regulation of workers protests, minimal reforms to the kafala system and strategic recruitment from climate damaged areas, Iskander highlights how calculated policies and practices shore up power at the cost of human life. The conversation provides a reflection on the often violent mechanisms that sustain “the beautiful game.”

The Beautiful Game between Algeria and France

Sami Everett 10.25.2022

Legacies of colonialism and decolonization have long shaped what football means to the large shared population of binational citizens between France and Algeria. One in every ten people in France has a direct familial connection to Algeria, complicating any distinction of national belonging and clouding footballing loyalties. Fans decide which national side to back, or opt to support both, in international tournaments. In the case of professional footballers, they must choose which nation to play for. This tense footballing relationship, rooted in colonial France’s civilizing mission, reverberates in social life in France today. Meanwhile, the sport itself grows increasingly enmeshed in systems of global capital.

Iranians are Done Debating

Alireza Eshraghi 10.19.2022

Recent protests mark a tectonic shift in the method and rhetoric of expressing dissent in Iran. For over four decades, the Islamic leadership has fostered a culture of debate without delivery, using student debate tournaments and TV programs as an outlet for narrow critique. Previous protest movements—like the Green Movement in 2009—argued with the Islamic Government, largely on its terms and with its terminologies. The 2022 protestors have given up on persuasion.


Pin It on Pinterest