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Five Decades of Painting and Innovation: An Interview with Samia Halaby

Last month, Samia Halaby’s retrospective, Five Decades of Painting and Innovation, traveled to Lebanon. Organized by Ayyam Gallery, the retrospective was held at the Beirut Exhibition Center, where it was shown from 2 to 26 February. For the Beirut installment, Halaby added nearly two dozen rarely seen drawings and ...  Read More »

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Kareem Risan: Archetypes

For more than twenty years, Kareem Risan has depicted his surroundings as richly painted surfaces free of temporal or spatial boundaries. Without references to the hermetic space of the canvas (or paper), Risan employs color as a compositional directive. The artist’s varying treatment of paint is emphasized with the ...  Read More »

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Nargess Hashemi: The Pleasure in Boredom

The Pleasure in Boredom charts Nargess Hashemi’s process of developing over ten years worth of experimentation on graph paper. She has doodled in notebooks from a young age; during long, tedious car journeys, over extended visits with family and at art school where her teacher, artist Farshid Maleki, also assigned her ...  Read More »

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Driven by Storms: An Interview with Sadik Alfraji and Nat Muller

Diluting the melancholic longing for unattainable dreams, which will only ever remain dreams, Sadik Alfraji injects the possibility of hope into his latest exhibition, currently on view at Ayyam Gallery Dubai’s Al Quoz outpost. Curated by Nat Muller, who also edited Alfraji’s first monograph, Driven by Storms (Ali’s ...  Read More »

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Ghassan Kanafani's The Stolen Shirt

[What follows is a translation of a short story written by Ghassan Kanfani in 1958, entitled “The Stolen Shirt.” Although among his relatively lesser known works, especially as compared to his far-reaching novels Men in The Sun and All That’s Left for You, this short story is no less representative of Kanafani’s ...  Read More »

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Beyond Romanticism: Scribbles Then and Now: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Wael Attili and Adel Iskandar

In this interview, Wael Attili, the founder of Jordan's most recognizable new media, cartooning, and digital media outfit, explains how soul-searching led to a shift in editorial mission for Kharabeesh.  The interview below includes four parts that you can click on separately. For animated videos from ...  Read More »

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Highlights from Sharjah Biennial 12 Open Week

Beginning with March Meeting 2014 and continuing through March Meeting 2015, Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible (SB12) shows works by over fifty artists and cultural practitioners from more than twenty-five countries. The exhibition, series of performances and screening program opened on March 5 ...  Read More »

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Boris Brejcha at D-CAF

The Downtown Contemporary Arts Festival (D-CAF) opened its 2015 music program with a bustling concert at Schehrazade Nightclub, featuring Egyptian Mahraganat band El Dakhlaweya and German DJ Boris Brejcha. Brejcha is a favorite in today’s club scene. He plays high-tech minimal music, a combination of minimal and ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution

Don Karl and Basma Hamdy, editors, Walls of Freedom: Street Art of the Egyptian Revolution. Berlin: From Here to Fame Publishing, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Don Karl and Basma Hamdy (DK & BH): Our main goal in creating the book was for preservation and documentation of the explosive ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail

Khalil Bendib, Too Big To Fail. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What was the idea behind putting together this collection of political cartoons?  Khalil Bendib (KB): It struck me at some point after the Arab Spring and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima—both following closely in the ...  Read More »

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New Vision for 13th Festival of Young Creators

The French Institute in Cairo has been organizing an annual festival since 2003 to support the work of emerging theater groups in Egypt. This year, the institute developed its vision to accommodate and better serve the needs of the local scene. As Cultural Project Manager Noemi Kahn explains in this interview, the ...  Read More »

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Announcing the Quarterly Journal in Arabic of Politics and Culture: Bidayat

[The following letter introducing Bidayat was received by Jadaliyya] I would like to bring to your attention a new quarterly journal in Arabic of political and cultural analysis and commentary, Bidayat.  Bidayat is an Arabic language intellectual and cultural quarterly publication that aims to make a ...  Read More »

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Kurdish Alevi Music and Migration: An Interview with Ozan Aksoy

For Kurdish Alevis, music serves as a mode of articulating and transmitting ideas about collective history, identity, and connections to the geography of former homes in the countryside of Anatolia. Our guest in Ottoman History Podcast Episode #187, Dr. Ozan Aksoy, has explored this crucial role of music within the ...  Read More »

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On Palestinian Cinema: An Interview with Film Director Najwa Najjar

Najwa Najjar is a Palestinian filmmaker based in the Palestinian Occupied Territories. She has worked in both documentary and fiction. Her debut film was the feature  Pomegranates and Myrrh (2009), and her second feature is. Eyes of a Thief (2014). The latter was selected as the Palestinian entry for ...  Read More »

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Kareem Lotfy and Andeel: New Folder (2)

Egyptian artist Kareem Lotfy and cartoonist Andeel were prompted by Nile Sunset Annex in Cairo to collaborate remotely and put together a show of extremely large drawings, video art, sculpture, and online/offline presences. The exhibition presents presents a cynical take on “the magic of the ordinary,” mixing ...  Read More »

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Open Letter Urging ‘Docunight’ to Cancel its Participation in Festival Sponsored by Israeli Government

What has quickly brought together a diversity of individuals—including a former Iranian political prisoner, a celebrated Palestinian filmmaker, important public intellectuals, and various professors, activists, students, artists, poets, writers, and cultural programmers? What has brought them together is their ...  Read More »

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الإنتاج الموسيقي المستقل والبديل في العالم العربي. محادثة ل"الوضع" بين هدى عصفور، خيام اللامي و كندة حسن

في هذه الفقرة الخاصة التي تقدمها هدى عصفور، تُطلع كندة حسن المستمعين على تجربتها في مؤسسة إي كي ٣. وتركز هدى وضيفاها على عدة فنانين من العالم العربي  وتستعلم من خيام اللامي عن  شركة نوى الناشئة لتسويق الأعمال الموسيقية. تتضمن المقابلة التالية جزأين، بحيث يمكنكم أن تنقروا عليهما بشكل منفصل. بوسعكم أن ...  Read More »

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Sami Mohammad: On the Path to Al Sadu

Within a few years of joining Kuwait’s Free Atelier in 1959, Sami Mohammad created a collection of paintings and sculptures that would determine the direction of his art over the next five decades. As one of the studio’s first artists, he was given a stipend by the Kuwaiti government that allowed him to focus on ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism

Joseph A. Massad, Islam in Liberalism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2015. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Joseph Massad (JM): I had been thinking for a while about a different book, namely one that traces genealogically the transformation in the semantic uses of the term “Islam” since the ...  Read More »

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ابتسام عازم.. عائدة إلى يافا

بعد حيفا، التي شكّلت خلفية لرواية ابتسام عازم الأولى "سارق النوم - غريب حيفاوي"، تحضر شقيقتها يافا في رواية عازم الثانية "سفر الاختفاء"، الصادرة حديثاً عن "دار الجمل". فالمدينة التي ألصقت اسمياً بتل أبيب بعد احتلالها وتهجير سكانها، تشكّل مساحة شخصية للكاتبة التي تخوض في أثقالها، في حقيقة ...  Read More »

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The Wanted 18: On Film, Comedy, and Resistance in Palestine: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Amer Shomali and Noura Erakat

In this interview, Amer Shomali discusses his film debut The Wanted 18, including the filmmaking process, creative resistance during the first Palestinian Intifada, and why he chose talking cows as his protagonists. Shomali tells Noura Erakat that the mix of animation, comedy, and documentary was a ...  Read More »

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Call for Submissions: BBC Arabic Film and Documentary Festival 2015

Following a successful first film and documentary festival in 2014, BBC Arabic announced its call for entries for its second festival, bringing films and documentaries about the Arab world to audiences in London. The BBC Arabic Festival is accepting submissions (deadline: 13 May 2015) in four categories; short ...  Read More »

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Painter Ahmed Sabry takes Inspiration from the Fifth Settlement

Ahmed Sabry is a painter based in Cairo. His work often builds on the images propagated by mass media, and reflects a dark sense of humor. His 2012 series, titled The True story of Mohannad's death for instance was inspired by the famous Turkish soap opera Noor. His latest project, titled Fifth District and currently ...  Read More »

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Loving the Lens: ‘American Sniper’ as Movie and Event

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

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Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon Featured in The Guardian

[The following profile of Jadaliyya Co-Editor Sinan Antoon was written by Farid Farid andpublished in The Guardian on 3 March 2015.] “How do you write about a country that is disintegrating?” says Sinan Antoon, on the line from his office at New York University. His words have taken on a more affective ...  Read More »

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el Seed and Aya Tarek Discuss Calligraffiti

Born to Tunisian parents in the suburbs of Paris, el Seed has risen to the forefront of the Arab graffiti scene over the past few years. He stands out for his unique style which mixes Arabic calligraphy with the modern art of graffiti, relying on poignant messages and unconventional writing styles. el Seed started out ...  Read More »

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New Media and the Spectacle of the War on Terror

US-based artists of the Arab diaspora who have explored the interventionist potential of new media have often done so within the context of the American spectacle: a reality in which life is reduced to mere representation and social interactions and civic engagement are mediated through mass media and mass ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Anthony Downey, Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa

Anthony Downey, editor, Uncommon Grounds: New Media and Critical Practices in the Middle East and North Africa. London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2014. Jadaliyya (J): What made you put together this collection of essays on new media and critical practices in the Middle East? Anthony Downey (AD): Ibraaz was ...  Read More »

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Nada Baraka's Fractals

Fractals is the first solo exhibition by Egyptian painter Nada Baraka. It was hosted in January 2015 by Mashrabia Gallery in Cairo. Experimenting with a range of materials, Baraka takes inspiration from science-fiction novels and internet images, and morphs them spontaneously in her paintings to examine the ...  Read More »

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ستاتوس\الوضع: العدد 2.1

يسرنا أن نعلن صدور العدد الثاني من مجلة "ستاتوس\الوضع" الصوتية. "ستاتوس\الوضع" مجلة صوتية مستقلة، تعاونية ونقدية وناشئة، تصدر شهرياً وتجمع بين التحليل والتغطية الأخبارية والسخرية. تنشر مقابلات\محادثات وتقارير ميدانية ومراجعات وتعليقات عميقة وقراءات. وتشمل المقابلات ناشطين وصحفيين وباحثين ومواطنين ...  Read More »

New Pages On Jadaliyya

Egypt Elections Watch Update

A Jadaliyya and Ahram Online Initiative

As part of the Egypt Elections Watch (EEW), Jadaliyya and Ahram Online, with the Center of Contemporary Arab Studies (Georgetown University) and the Middle East Studies Program (George Mason University) as co-sponsors, will produce articles/posts/profiles on a weekly basis, covering organizations, political parties, coalitions, relevant laws and procedures, and profiles of key individuals related to the Egyptian elections. This is in addition to news updates summarizing major developments surrounding the lead-up to the election, such as emerging or shifting alliances, new political positions, and candidacy announcements. If you have questions, comments, contributions, and/or an eye-witness account, please email us at: For a listing of EEW’s team members please click here.


Democratic Alliance for Egypt
Egyptian Bloc
Islamist Bloc (Alliance for Egypt)
Revolution Continues Alliance

Jadaliyya Features

Egypt Map and Stats

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Population   82,079,636
GDP  $497.8 billion
Unemployment   9%; Youth Unemployment (ages 15-24): 24.8%
Internet Users   20.136 million (2009)
Exchange Rate  5.6124 Egyptian pounds per US dollar
GDP Growth Rate  5.1%
Military Expenditures   3.4% of GDP (World Rank: 35)
Health Expenditures  6.4% of GDP (World Rank: 94)
Population Growth Rate  1.96%
Age Structure   0-14 years: 32.7%; 15-64 years: 62.8%; 65 years and over: 4.5%
Literacy   71.4%
Religious Demographics   Muslim (mostly Sunni) 90%; Coptic 9%; other Christian 1%

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