Middle East Research and Information Project: Critical Coverage of the Middle East Since 1971

Ambivalence and Desire in Revolutionary Syria

Daniel Neep 11.10.2020

Daniel Neep reviews Lisa Wedeen’s book Authoritarian Apprehensions: Ideology, Judgment, and Mourning in Syria and finds it a “serious, powerful work operating on multiple levels: it speaks to an impressive range of debates in the Anglophone academy and the Syrian artistic field without losing sight of the visceral suffering of Syrians both inside and outside the country.”

An Interview with Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins

Sophia Stamatopoulou-Robbins, an assistant professor of anthropology at Bard College, is the author of Waste Siege: The Life of Infrastructure in Palestine (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2020), which won the Albert Hourani Book Award from the Middle East Studies Association in 2020. Tessa Farmer talked to her about her research, the book and her next project.

Big Village Interactive Documentary Tells Small Stories of a Rebel Kurdish Village

After the 1979 Iranian revolution, Iranian Kurds fighting for autonomy moved to the village Gewredê in Iraq. The online, interactive documentary Big Village reconstructs life in Gewredê in the mid-1980s, as remembered by the residents. The viewer can click on interviews, pictures, videos and texts, which makes Big Village an excellent teaching tool for studying Kurdish history and the Iranian revolution. This article is in Middle East Report, issue 295, “Kurdistan, One and Many.”

Occupying Palestinian Space

Haim Jacoby 10.21.2019

Peteet’s main theoretical contribution is to show how the violent territorial expansion of Israeli settler-colonialism has developed mobility regimes that govern and restrict Palestinian movement through space.

Memoir of a Jewish Arab

Dana El Kurd 10.4.2019

Hayoun identifies himself as a Jewish Arab and traces his family history to show how Jewish Arabs were maliciously separated from their societies and how their identities were used in a game of colonial domination.

Talhami, American Presidents and Jerusalem

Jerusalem has been the focus of an increasing number of academic publications in the past several years. Most of these publications focus mainly on the city’s history, identity and changing architectural features since Israel occupied its eastern section after the June 1967 War. Few serious attempts have been made to discuss the human aspect of the city’s united, yet divided, population and even less attention has been paid to US policies toward the city.

Shenker, The Egyptians

Jack Shenker, The Egyptians: A Radical Story (London: Penguin, 2016). Jack Shenker’s book is the definitive account of the 2011 Egyptian uprising to date. Many scholars and journalists have taken as their point of departure the notion that the uprising was a one-off...

Bennis, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror

Phyllis Bennis, Understanding ISIS and the New Global War on Terror: A Primer (Northampton, MA: Olive Branch Press, 2015).

The amalgamation of Iraqi ex-Baathists, Iraqi and Syrian jihadis, disgruntled locals and outside recruits known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, continues to cast a long shadow over the Middle East and the world. The grip of the would-be caliphate upon its “home” territory in Iraq and Syria is slipping, but groups raising the ISIS banner are winning battles in Afghanistan and Libya. Meanwhile, the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California on December 2, 2015 has kept the specter of ISIS-inspired attacks hovering over political debate in the West.

Tolan, Children of the Stone

Sandy Tolan, Children of the Stone: The Power of Music in a Hard Land (New York: Bloomsbury, 2015).

Two stories, two dreams: one realized, the other dashed.

A boy born to a fragmented, impoverished refugee family living under harsh military rule is mesmerized by the sound of a violin and vows not only to master the instrument but also to start a school to share its liberating beauty with others. And he does it.

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