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Metrography: An Independent Iraqi Photo Agency

What images come to mind when foreigners think of Iraq? Perhaps a blurry shot of soldiers dodging gunfire. A young girl displaced by ISIS staring sadly into the lens. Women who wear black abayas. These are the kind of images taken mostly by foreigners, especially American and European photo agencies and media ...  Read More »

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Three Theses on ISIS: The Universal, the Millenarian, and the Philistine

The ruthless brutality of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) unfolds before our eyes on the screens. As commentators struggle to explain and understand it, it becomes convenient to revive old Orientalist tropes. Beyond the spectacular brutality, the reason that ISIS invites attention (both fascination ...  Read More »

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New Texts Out Now: Ali Issa, Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq

Ali Issa, Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq. Washington, DC: Tadween Books, 2015. [Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq is co-published with the War Resisters League.]   Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?  Ali Issa (AI): I wrote this book to remedy the ...  Read More »

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خطوط مرسومة على خريطة فارغة: حدود العراق وأسطورة الدولة المصطنعة الجزء الثاني

[هذا المقال هو الثاني من سلسلة جزئين حول صنع الحدود العراقية. اضغط/ي هنا لقراءة الجزء الأول بالعربية ]   لا تهدف دراستي لكيف قام الفاعلون المحليون بصياغة تشكّل العراق كدولة ـ أمة بعد الحرب العالمية الأولى إلى إنكار سلطة القوات الإمبراطورية البريطانية، أو العنف الذي سلّطتْهُ على العراقيين ...  Read More »

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خطوط مرسومة على خريطة فارغة: حدود العراق وأسطورة الدولة المصطنعة الجزء الأول

 قد لا تكون هناك دولة ـ أمة حديثة دُعيت "مصطنعة" أكثر من العراق. وبينما يُقرّ معظم الباحثين بأن جميع الدول ـ الأمم مصطنعة، بمعنى أنّ بشراً أنشأوها، فإن العراق، على ما يبدو، مصطنع أكثر منها كلها. وتبدأ القصة دوماً بمعاهدات السلام التي وُقِّعتْ في أعقاب الحرب العالمية الأولى، والتي وضع أثناءها الأوربيون ...  Read More »

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الوقوف على تخوم أرض السواد

في واحدة من مقولاته الأثيرة كتَبَ دريدا أن ”كل القراءات تصاحيف“. ولكن التصْحيف في سياق هذه المقولة يحمل معنى إيجابياً، ويشير إلى لانهائية المعاني، وإلى فرادة وخصوصية كل قراءة، لأنها نتاج تفاعل القارئ مع النص في لحظة وسياق معينين. وتتجسّد هذه المقولات (التي قد تبدو تجريدية ونظريّة لأول وهلة) بالفعل عندما نعود إلى قراءة ...  Read More »

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New Book! Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq

Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq By Ali Issa E-book: $8.99 Paperback: $11.99   Description Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Oddspresents the unique ...  Read More »

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NYC Event -- Against All Odds: A Night Celebrating Iraq (25 June 2015)

Join War Resisters League & Center for Constitutional Rights for an evening of music, art & activism as we jointly launch Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq, a new book bringing the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground to NYC!  We are honored ...  Read More »

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Introducing Fikra Space: Where Iraqi Youth Can Take Fate into Their Own Hands

It is an unusually hot day in February in Baghdad, even for a city where February is usually hot. But everything else is business as usual. Traffic jams. Car horns. Street vendors. Security situation. Chaos. Except for maybe one thing. In downtown Baghdad, Ahmed Ramz, a twenty-two-year-old electronics engineering ...  Read More »

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'Lines Drawn on an Empty Map': Iraq’s Borders and the Legend of the Artificial State (Part 2)

[This article is the second in a two-part series on the making of Iraq's borders. Click here to read Part 1] In attending to how local actors shaped Iraq’s formation as a nation-state after World War I, the point is not to deny the power of British imperial forces, or the violence they unleashed on Iraqis ...  Read More »

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'Lines Drawn on an Empty Map': Iraq’s Borders and the Legend of the Artificial State (Part 1)

It may be that no modern nation-state has been called “artificial” more times than Iraq. While most scholars are quick to admit that all nation-states are artificial, in the sense that they are created by humans, Iraq, it would seem, is more artificial than most. The story invariably begins with the post-World War I ...  Read More »

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فصل من رواية أسد البصرة

" أغوح لماريو بس هو يفهم علينو ! " " أي غوح لجهنم ! " " أي أغوح لجهنم... " رد " أمل " على عمته هيلا بمزيد من الغضب : " أحسنلي من الغوحة ليسرائيل!"  أسرع إلى غرفته صافقاً الباب وراءه بقوة. تحمحم قليلاً كأنه يريد الدخول إلى المرحاض، وهي العادة التي لا تفارق كبار ...  Read More »

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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (March-April 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]  English Articles        ISIS Threatens Twitter Founder And Employees Over Blocked Accounts (1 March 2015) David Mack reports ...  Read More »

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Declassified 2012 Defense Intelligence Report on Syrian Uprising, Gulf Intervention, and Potential for al-Qa'ida Gains

The declassifed document below was obtained as part of a document trove secured by the right-wing institution, Judicial Watch. It obtained the report through a May 2014 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. The Defense Intelligence Agency authored the report, which dates August 2012. It ...  Read More »

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العراق.. لا عزاء للصناعات المحلية

وقفت أم عبّاس قدّام الكاميرا وهي تَعتمرُ خوذة عسكريّة، وقالت بتحدٍّ "من منكم يحمل سلاحاً فليوجه إطلاقاته إلى رأسي.. أنا من صنع هذهِ الخوذة وأُراهن عليها بحياتي"، وتساءلت "لماذا تبقى صناعاتنا مكدَّسة في المخازن فيما الدّولة تستورد مثيلاتها التي لا ترق إلى جودتها بملايين الدولارات؟"  لا تجد ...  Read More »

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Dwekh Nawsha: A Christian-Iraqi Militia

[Text by Sinan Antoon, photos by Andy Spyra from November 2014 and March 2015.] The fall of Mosul and other towns on the Nineveh plain in northern Iraq to ISIS this past summer was a monumental tragedy. It forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee their homes. Iraqi Christians, together with Yazidis and Shi‘a, ...  Read More »

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Event--ISIS: Origins and Illusions (14 April, Princeton University)

Princeton Middle East Society invites you to a panel discussion: ISIS: Origins and Illusions Tuesday, April 14, 2015, 4:30 p.m. Computer Science Building (Room 104) Princeton University, Princeton, NJ Co-sponsored by The Mamdouha S. Bobst center for Peace and Justice Distinguished Panelists Chris Hedges: ...  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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ISIS in the News: Extensive Media Roundup (January-February 2015)

[Editorial Note: This is not a "Best of," only a roundup of significant pieces. See here for an introduction to this roundup series]    English Articles        2014: The Year ISIS Won the Propaganda Battle (31 December 2014) Markham Nolan writes about the ...  Read More »

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Twelve Years After Iraq Invasion: An Interview with Rijin Sahakian, and “ A Letter to Al-Mutanabbi Street” by Sinan Antoon

On 19 March 2015, twelve years will have passed since the invasion and occupation of Iraq. Today, the country is back in the headlines because of the brutality with which ISIS has been trying to destroy what is left of Iraq’s diverse cultural and human landscape. Since ISIS has moved into northern Iraq, they have ...  Read More »

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Dismantling Iraqi Health Care and its Regional Impacts: A STATUS/الوضع Conversation between Omar Dewachi and Rania Masri

In this interview, anthropologist and physician, Omar Dewachi, discusses the building, dismantling, and outsourcing of the Iraqi health care system. In addition to examining the impact of migration on Iraqi patients and Lebanese healthcare today, Dewachi historicizes accusations of Iraq's "ungovernability" ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Media Roundup (14 March)

 [This is a roundup of news articles and other materials circulating on Occupation, Intervention and Law and reflects a wide variety of opinions. It does not reflect the views of the O.I.L. Page Editors or of Jadaliyya. You may send your own recommendations for inclusion in each biweekly roundup to ...  Read More »

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Capitalizing Urbanism: On David Kilcullen’s "Out of the Mountains"

“It’s a book about future conflicts and future cities.” David Kilcullen, Out of the Mountains “…the whole fucking city was trying to kill them!” Mark Bowden, Black Hawk Down   In his book, Out of the Mountains: The Coming Age of the Urban Guerilla, author David Kilcullen, describes how in 2007, ...  Read More »

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الدولة الإسلاميّة: نزهة في كهف التنين

بنفس الحدّة التي يقول فيها وائل الحلّاق "إنّ الغالبية العظمى من مسلمي العصر الحديث تتمنّى عودة الشريعة بشكل أو بآخر"، يمكن القول إنّ الغالبية العظمى من قرّاء "الدولة المستحيلة: الإسلام والسياسة ومأزق الحداثة الأخلاقي" سيرون فيه كتابًا في غاية الاستفزاز. تنبّه مترجم الكتاب عمرو عثمان لذلك فكتب في ...  Read More »

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O.I.L. Monthly Edition (February 2015)

[This is a monthly archive of pieces written by Jadaliyya contributors and editors on the Occupations, Interventions, and Law (O.I.L.) Page. It also includes material published on other platforms that editors deemed pertinent to post as they provide diverse depictions of O.I.L.-related topics. The pieces reflect the ...  Read More »

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Video: Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross Debate US Policy in the Middle East

[The following video is of  the Lund Critical Debate Series event American Foreign Policy in the Middle East: Success or Failure, featuring Jadaliyya Co-Editor Bassam Haddad and US Ambassador Dennis Ross. The event took place at Cornell University on 3 March 2015 and was moderated by Aziz Rana.The ...  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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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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Beyond Authenticity: ISIS and the Islamic Legal Tradition

The Atlantic thinks ISIS is Islamic. President Obama and countless others disagree. As the debate rages on with no shortage of interlocutors, one must stop to ask, what is the utility of making such pronouncements? Is the simple binary of whether ISIS is Islamic or not an effective way to discuss and understand the ...  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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