[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the seventh in a series of “Peer-Reviewed Article Reviews” in which we present a collection of journals and their articles concerned with the Middle East and Arab world. This series will be published seasonally. Each issue will comprise one-to-three parts, depending on the number of articles included.]
Arab Studies Quarterly (Volume 41, Issue 1)
Paving a Concrete Path to Globalization with China’s Belt and Road Initiative Through the Middle East (pp. 7-32)
By: Liana M. Petranek
Abstract: This article discusses China’s economic development and political influence in the Middle East, and the construction of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). It also discusses Xi Jinping’s vision for relationships with the Middle East states as its natural partners, the China-Arab States Cooperation Forum (CASCF), the law of value, and the antagonistic contradictions China will encounter in its path to accumulation with US hegemony in the region.
Colonialism, Postcolonialism, Globalization, and Arab Culture (pp. 33-58)
By: Salam Mir
Abstract: This article will address two major related issues regarding Arab culture as an integral part of the globalization ethos. In order to expand the conceptual parameters of globalization and cultural studies, the exclusivity of political and economic globalization will be interrogated in favor of a more diverse, humanitarian definition of the term. At the heart of this argument, inflected by interdisciplinarity and the literature and theory of postcolonial studies, is tolerance, respect, and recognition of difference and for the marginalized voices of the “other.” The theoretical framework challenges the stereotyping, homogenization, and misrepresentation of Arabs, colonialist ideas that have been carried over into the practice of globalism and the marginalization of Arab history and culture within world heritage. It is my hope to correct the negative perceptions about the Arab people, mainstream misperceptions of politicians, the media, and public discourse. The article will underscore the diversity and complexity of the identity and history of people in the Middle East and North Africa. Although in the West Arabs are usually synonymous with Muslims, a discussion of Islam and/or Islamophobia will not be addressed in this article. The first part will elaborate on the historical context of the creation of the modern Arab world. Next, various definitions of the main domains of globalism and their correlation to the contemporary Arab world will be summarized. Integrated into both sections are two major issues: the creative resistance that has accompanied the founding of the modern Arab world and the impact of globalization on Arab society, concepts that have played out in the containment of this region.
The Arab Intellectual and the Present Moment (pp. 59-77)
By: Tahrir Hamdi
Abstract: The Iraqi poet Saadi Youssef urgently asks, “Why are the poets silent?/Where have they gone?” These questions underscore the compelling need for the guiding voices of Arab intellectuals at this deeply divided present moment in the Arab world that has effectively seen the destruction of seemingly stable nations and identities. It is important to understand why and how easily “things fell apart” for Arab nations and peoples under the destructive influence and direct intervention of imperialist and Zionist agendas and forces. What does it mean to speak truth to power in the current Arab and global context where the destruction of Arab nations, such as Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Yemen has become the all too familiar, convenient, and accepted status quo, which is marked by destructive and exclusionary discourses? It has become incumbent upon the Arab intellectual/writer/poet to lead the self-examination process in order to provide an understanding of the current Arab situation within its greater global context and construct a revolutionary and insurrectionary oppositional discourse that would expose and dismantle the current defeatist and divisionary discourses. Antonio Gramsci’s concepts of hegemony and consent, Louis Althusser’s ideological state apparatuses, and Edward Said’s important ideas on the intellectual’s critical consciousness, secular criticism, and beginnings are the theoretical lenses used to help decipher the catastrophic happenings in the Arab world. This study also examines excerpts of literary works by important Arab poets/intellectuals, such as Mahmoud Darwish, Mourid Barghouti, Bader Shaker Al-Sayyab, Saadi Youssef, and Yusuf Al-Ani.
The Palestinian Refugee Camps in Lebanon Post 1990: Dilemmas of Survival and Return to Palestine (pp. 78-94)
By: Rami Siklawi
Abstract: This article addresses the issue of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, their camps, their resistance, and the challenges they have been facing “as refugees” to survive in the deeply divided state of Lebanon and to return to Palestine. Currently there are about 450,000 Palestinian refugees scattered among 12 official and recognized Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon as well as many refugee gatherings; this number is part of the 6 million Palestinian refugees who are scattered in the world as a result of the establishment of the Zionist entity in 1948. However, on December 11, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly issued the UN resolution 194, during its third session, which stipulated that Palestinians have the right of return to their homes in Palestine. The Palestinian right of return is a Right and therefore it is not negotiable and cannot be compromised under any condition and/or circumstance. There have been continual attempts and proposals to terminate this Palestinian right of return to historic Palestine. To stop these toxic proposals from reaching their goals and to achieve their strategic goal, the Palestinian resistance has the legitimate right to use any means necessary, including armed struggle against the occupiers. The Palestinians in Lebanon are part of this process and they have been struggling on all levels to achieve their civil and human rights in order to improve their social and economic conditions in their refugee camps. Furthermore, the Palestinians have the legitimate right to continue their national struggle against Israel, which is the only way for the Palestinians to achieve their national goal for total liberation. However, there have been additional challenges affecting the Palestinians and their refugee camps in Lebanon post 1990; by the end of the Lebanese Civil War, the Palestinian refugee camps witnessed the emergence and growth of takfiri groups. Consequently, the Palestinian refugees have been sandwiched between oppressive Lebanese rules and the rise of the takfiris inside the camps. The article attempts to answer the following questions: What are the challenges affecting the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon? How can the Palestinians protect their identity from erasure and achieve their right of return to Palestine? Which internal and external groups currently control the camps? In what ways has takfiri ideology impacted the Palestinian identity? How can the Palestinian refugees and their camps survive under such conditions?
Conflict Over Oil and Gas in the Mediterranean: Israeli Expansionism in Lebanon (pp. 95-110)
By: Ibrahim G. Aoudé
Abstract: This article will discuss Israeli machinations to covet substantial areas of the Lebanese maritime exclusive economic zone, while knowing full well that international law has sided with Lebanon in this matter. The conflict between Israel and Lebanon will be discussed in the context of the relations among regional states and the conflict of East Mediterranean states over maritime oil and gas fields. Main questions that arise in this regard are as follows: First, is it a matter of oil and gas reserves over and above its share that Israel is seeking to capture or does the controversy have to do with regional domination or both? Second, what is the significance of the US envoys’ visits in early 2018 to Beirut, presumably to resolve the disagreement between Lebanon and Israel? Third, have those visits defused the situation between the two states involved or added fuel to the fire? Fourth, what is the significance of Israel’s occupation of parts of Lebanon’s territory to the issue of offshore oil and gas and how might it relate to the cement wall that Israel has been constructing partially in Lebanese territories? Fifth, what is the probability of an Israeli attack on Lebanon that could quickly transform into a regional conflict?
Comparative Studies of South Asia, Africa and the Middle East(Volume 38, Issue 3)
Tensions, Terrors, Tenderness: James Baldwin’s Politics of Comparison
By: Begüm Adalet
Abstract: This article assesses James Baldwin’s status as a symbol of third world solidarity by situating his nonfiction writings in the context of his travels to France, Turkey, Israel, and West Africa, as well as the Cold War institutions and ideologies that shaped the contours of his internationalism. Adalet suggests a reading of Baldwin as a comparative thinker who increasingly abandoned an imperial framework of comparison in favor of a more fluid approach that could unearth the particularities of oppression. In early writings, for instance, Baldwin enacted a Cold War politics of comparison, recycling a worldview in which Africa was deemed to be savage and alien, the Soviet Union totalitarian and sinister, and the United States open and free. In later writings, Baldwin arrived at a more critical lexicon that relied less on the maintenance of boundaries between discrete and fixed units than the possibility of their commensurability. Such an approach enables us to think through and historicize the “politics of comparison,” with its implications for anticolonialism, antiracism, and transnational solidarity.
Ignorance: Islam, Literacy, and Status in the Shadow of Revolution
By: Nermeen Mouftah
Abstract: Mouftah’s article explores Egyptian anxieties about ignorance and how the January 2011 uprising brought new urgency to calls for managing it. In post-Mubarak Egypt, literacy activism became a major platform from which to “continue the revolution.” Drawing on ethnographic research that observes a national literacy campaign among shipyard workers, Mouftah demonstrates how a particular strand of Islamic reformism makes modern education an indicator of morality, ultimately constraining the revolutionary potential of the literacy movement. Literacy activism offers a crucial lens to observe a major challenge for revolutionary action—the negotiation of recognition among social classes. Through attention to teacher-student interactions, she depicts how workers negotiated the power of the written word to gain respect in their early experiments with writing. This article contributes toward an anthropology of ignorance by revealing the political predicaments that arise out of an Islamic literacy activism that, Mouftah argues, is ultimately counterrevolutionary in its effects.
Constellations (Volume 25, Issue 4)
Civility, art and emancipation on the Arabian Peninsula
By: Rita Elizabeth Risser
Abstract: Not available
Global Change Peace & Security (Volume 31, Issue 1)
Maturing Sino-Saudi strategic relations and changing dynamics in the Gulf
By: Iain MacGillivray
Abstract: As the dynamics in the Middle East continue to fluctuate, powerful regional actors like Saudi Arabia and Iran have looked to other powers in the international order to help counter the growing influence of regional rivals. This is most demonstrated by the developing economic and political partnership between China and Saudi Arabia. This article offers an exploration of how Saudi Arabia has sought to use its relationship with China as a means of counterbalancing and limiting Iranian power projection in the region. It explores the triangular relationship between China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, and shows the growth in economic and political relations at the expense of established Sino-Iranian energy relations. Furthermore, it will illustrate how this relationship will have regional and international implications in the Gulf. This article demonstrates Saudi Arabia’s influence in the Sino-Saudi relationship with reference to its position on the Iranian nuclear issue and UN Resolution 1929. It concludes that despite a failure for Saudi Arabia to directly influence Chinese decision-making processes, this event sets a precedent that will continue to mature as Sino-Saudi relations further deepen into a strong strategic partnership and will have repercussions for the balance of power in the Gulf and Middle East.
A critique of western representations of ISIS: deconstructing contemporary Orientalism
By: Noah Raffoul Bassil
Abstract: The meteoric rise of the group calling itself the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Shams (ISIS) has been accompanied by an equally stunning effort to explain from where the organisation emerged, what it is, and why people have been attracted to it. What this article identities, is that despite what appears to be a veneer of intellectual heterogeneity, a deep Orientalism permeates knowledge production about ISIS. Adopting a hybrid-postcolonial lens, the analysis in this article demonstrates that due to a particular Eurocentric-Orientalist schema and disposition, ISIS and its horrendous crimes have been dehistoricised, depoliticised and decontextualised. Additionally, in the process ISIS has been reduced to the Muslim’s fundamentalist dispositions; its innate tendency to incorporate Islamic theological methods, medieval Islamic scholarship, Islamic culture into all forms of politics. Instead, we argue in conclusion, for ISIS to be understood there needs to be a re-reading of the emergence of Islamist violence and terror through a historicised, materialised and politicised methodological framework.
Islamic Law and Society (Volume 26, Issue 1)
Divorce Reform in Egypt and Morocco: Men and Women Navigating Rights and Duties
By: Nadia Sonneveld
Abstract: This essay focuses on recent divorce reforms in Egypt (2000) and Morocco (2004), with equal attention to the positions of men and women who end their marriages. Whereas in Egypt, non-consensual, no-fault divorce reform (khul‘) is open only to women, in Morocco, another form of non-consensual, no-fault divorce, shiqāq, is open to both women and men, with men using it almost as frequently as women. Based on legal analysis and anthropological fieldwork, I consider first how men and women navigate rights and duties in divorce and then examine the differences between the two countries in the way men and women try to obtain divorce. I conclude that when both men and women are given opportunities for non-consensual, no fault divorce, highly gender-specific divorce regimes, such as the ṭalāq and taṭlīq, quickly lose their popularity.
Journal of Arabic Literature (Volume 50, Issue 1)
Unpacking Saʿdallāh Wannūs’ Private Library: On the (After)Lives of Books
By: Sonja Mejcher-Atassi
Abstract: The private library of the Syrian playwright and public intellectual Saʿdallāh Wannūs (1941-1997) arrived at the American University of Beirut in 2015. This article sets out to read Wannūs through his library. After presenting a brief overview of the books in Wannūs’ library, their subject matter, and their provenance, it examines personal book inscriptions, which unravel a rich intellectual network and provide insight into Wannūs’ trajectory and recognition as a playwright and public intellectual. It then explores the conditions under which Wannūs’ library came into existence and flourished in a Syria marked by the Baʿth party and the al-Asad regime’s authoritarian control of the political and cultural fields, under which it migrated from Damascus to Beirut in the wake of the 2011 Syrian revolution-turned-war. Wannūs’ library, the article argues, opened an Arabic and world literary space, both physical and metaphorical, from which Wannūs emerged as a modern Arabic and world-renowned playwright.
Scripture as Literature: The Bible, the Qurʾān, and Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq
By: Rana Issa
Abstract: This article explores Aḥmad Fāris al-Shidyāq’s treatment of Christian and Islamic dogma in his linguistic and literary works, al-Sāq ʿalā al-sāq fī mā huwa al-Fāryāq and Mumāḥakāt al-taʾwīl fī munāqaḍāt al-injīl, among others. A convert to Islam, al-Shidyāq is a notorious critic of Christian doctrine and scripture. I draw parallels with his Bible critique to show how he thwarts the Qurʾān’s stronghold on the Arabic language. Borrowing from Muʿtazilah doctrines, al-Shidyāq proposes that language is a human creation—and meaning a human relation—and blames Arabic philologists for conflating language with submission to the divine. Through the technique of iqtibās, al-Shidyāq perforates the scriptural authority of the Bible and the Qurʾān by treating them as literary texts. Al-Shidyāq underscores the scriptures as products of the human, and not the divine, mind. His parodic play with iqtibās underscores literary rigor against authoritative discourse. Al-Shidyāq provides us with exquisite examples of how radicalness may be diffused, asserted, curtailed and covered up through word choice as well as conditions of book production, to affect a critique of authority that would long outlast his time.
Reframing the Politics of Aesthetic Appropriation in the late-Nahḍah Novel: The Case of “Plagiarism” in Ibrāhīm al-Māzinī’s Ibrāhīm al-kātib
By: Maria Elena Paniconi
Abstract: In his novel Ibrāhīm al-kātib (Ibrāhīm the Writer, 1931) the Egyptian poet, narrator, and humorist Ibrāhīm al-Māzinī borrowed several passages from his own translation—via English—of the Russian novel Sanin, by Mikhail Petrovich Artsybashev, which he had published in 1922 under the title Sanīn aw Ibn al-ṭabī‘ah (Sanīn, or The Son of Nature). In this article, I analyze several personal authorial accounts, including the introduction to the first edition of the novel Ibrāhīm al-kātib (1931), in which the author develops the idea of creative writing and translation as a mechanical process of filling in the gaps of a “lost original.” Alongside literary allegations raised by critics against al-Māzinī soon after the publication of Ibrāhīm al-kātib, I recontextualize this issue of self-borrowing in the light of two parallel processes: the changing politics of intertextual practices that took place in Egypt during the first quarter of the twentieth century; and the rise of concepts as “Egyptianness” and “aṣālah” (cultural authenticity), key ideas to a national canon. Both Sanīn aw Ibn al-ṭabī‘ah and the (partially) re-written Ibrāhīm al-kātib, are the outcome of a process of adaptation, in which translation, intertextuality, literary borrowing and manipulation of the text constitute a common working practice and are not isolated incidents in the author/translator’s career.
Journal of the Economic and Social History of the Orient (Volume 62, Issue 1)
Forcing the Wealthy to Pay Their Fair Share? The Politics of Rural Taxes in 17th-Century Ottoman Damascus
By: Malissa Taylor
Abstract: Focusing on the province of Damascus, this study shows that individuals of the ʿaskarī class were obligated to pay village taxes in proportion to the amount of property they owned, and that it was the village cultivators who had the primary authority for individuating and collecting these taxes. Providing a detailed picture of the relations between the ʿaskarī class and peasant communities before the rise of the a’yān in the eighteenth century, the study explores how peasants sought to enforce their decisions on these powerful individuals and to what extent they were successful in doing so.
The Power of Property: Land Tenure in Fāṭimid Egypt
By: Chris Wickham
Abstract: Egyptian land tenure in the Fāṭimid period (969-1171) is often assumed to have been based on state ownership of agricultural land and tax-farming, as was in general the case in the Mamlūk period which followed it, and as many Islamic legal theorists rather schematically thought. This article aims to show that this was not the case; Arabic paper and parchment documents show that private landowning was normal in Egypt into the late eleventh century and later. Egypt emerges as more similar to other Mediterranean regions than is sometimes thought. The article discusses the evidence for this, and the evidence for what changed after 1100 or so, and, more tentatively, why it changed.
The Early Islamic Mining Boom
By: Michael Morony
Abstract: The present article shows that, according to archaeological and literary evidence, an expansion in mining occurred in the early Islamic world as a result of changes in mining technology at the end of Late Antiquity. The production of gold, silver, copper, iron, and other minerals is shown to have peaked in the eighth and ninth centuries and then to have declined during the tenth and eleventh centuries due to insecurity and/or exhaustion of the mines. Mining development was financed privately, and mines were usually private property.
Educated with Distinction: Educational Decisions and Girls’ Schooling in Late Ottoman Syria
By: Christian Sassmannshausen
Abstract: Beginning in the 1850s, the Ottoman Empire’s educational landscape expanded and diversified. During this era of imperial reforms, discourses around education increasingly focused on the importance of female education. This article uses census material from Tripoli in today’s Lebanon to explore the experiences of students in the wake of these shifts. It examines literacy rates across different social and religious groups and the extent to which educational decisions parents made were biased by gender and class. The analysis reveals that the rate of Muslim boys’ literacy was high even before new schools opened starting in the 1850s. As for the post-reform developments, it shows that although around a quarter of propertied families decided to send their sons and daughters to school, a considerable proportion of Muslim and Christian families privileged sons alone. Still, reforms allowed a number of groups in the generations between 1860 and 1910 to achieve higher rates of literacy, including Muslim and Christian girls as well as the children of artisans.
Mediterranean Politics (Volume 23, Issue 4)
Palestine at the end of the state-building process: Technical achievements, political failures
By: Anders Persson
Abstract: More than two decades of Palestinian state-building have produced neither peace nor a state. In fact, the Palestinians are seemingly further away from statehood today than at any point since the state-building process began in the mid-90s, despite the fact that the West Bank’s institutions now perform, according to the UN, the EU, the World Bank and IMF, above the threshold for what is expected of a state. In this situation – with the Palestinians technically ready for statehood and large parts of Europe and the U.S. not politically ready to recognize Palestine – it is unclear what strategic objectives the internationally supported state-building process now can achieve in the Palestinian territories, except for upholding the status quo.
Egypt’s 2011–2012 parliamentary elections: Voting for religious vs. secular democracy?
By: H. Ege Ozen
Abstract: This study investigates whether individuals’ attitudes towards democracy and secular politics have any influence on voting behaviour in Egypt. Based on data from survey conducted immediately after the Egyptian parliamentary elections in January 2012, this study finds that Egyptians’ attitudes towards democratic governance were quite negative around the parliamentary elections, yet Egyptians still endorsed democracy as the ideal political system for their country. However, empirical findings suggest that support for democracy has a limited impact on electoral results. On the other hand, the main division in Egyptian society around the first free and fair parliamentary elections was the religious–secular cleavage. As people support secular politics more, they become significantly less likely to vote for Islamist parties. These results illustrate that preferences in regard to the type of the democracy – either a liberal and secular or a religious democracy – were the main determinant of the historic 2012 elections in Egypt.
Middle East Critique (Volume 28, Issue 1)
Imperial Grandeur and Selective Memory: Re-assessing Neo-Ottomanism in Turkish Foreign and Domestic Politics
By: Edward Wastnidge
Abstract: Since the coming to power of the Justice and Development Party (AKP), the Turkish government’s foreign and increasingly domestic politics have been characterized as ‘neo-Ottoman,’ a concept which both its critics and champions have wielded in different ways. The article revisits and reassesses articulations of neo-Ottomanism in Turkish foreign policy, and explores the significance of its appearance in Turkey’s domestic politics in Turkey. In doing so, it offers an explanation that draws out the distinct and varied interpretations of neo-Ottomanism present in such debates. It argues that neo-Ottomanism as used within a foreign policy milieu is not without its analytical use but is contestable due to its wide range of interpretations. Following this, the article analyzes the more recent appearance of the concept of neo-Ottomanism in Turkish domestic politics, highlighting its confluence with the increasing authoritarianism of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan as a newly empowered president. It highlights how the AKP has embraced and appropriated a precisely delineated neo-Ottomanism as a rhetorical and legitimating framework for its domestic policies. In doing so, the article demonstrates how neo-Ottomanism as developed and understood in the foreign policy arena initially, has been adopted in domestic politics under the AKP.
When Syrian ‘Girls’ Meet Turkish ‘Boys’: Mapping Gendered Stories of Mixed Marriages
By: Selin Akyuz, Özgün Tursun
Abstract: This article explores the gendered experiences and negotiations of Syrian refugee women throughout forced migration processes and the different strategies during family formation that both Turkish men and Syrian women develop in mixed marriages. Its aim is to unravel fluid gendered experiences that are different from ‘reported’ stereotypical stories in the media and ‘constructed’ in the society. By doing so, we argue that the partners’ narratives in these mixed marriages enable us to map the intricate ways in which agency is used and echoed gendered experiences of couples in forced migration and family formation. We conducted in-depth interviews with eight couples voicing different narratives on how they have negotiated with forms of hierarchies, discourses and how they have refined and transformed their refuge. The incorporation of agency into our analysis unpacked (1) heterogeneity of the spouses and their experiences; (2) potential gendered spaces/discourses to be transformed/refined; and (3) nuances of multifaceted impacts of forced migration. Hence, other than macro studies and tantalizing framings in media, this research offers a dynamic reading of gendered experiences to contribute to the growing literature on Syrian refugees.
Heterotopias of the Neoliberal Egyptian State in Sonallah Ibrahim’s Narratives
By: Mohamed Wajdi Ben Hammed
Abstract: This article offers an analysis of the prominent Egyptian novelist Sonallah Ibrahim’s literary critique of neoliberal Egypt in a selection of his novels: al-Lajna (The Committee, 1981), Dhāt (Self, 1992), and Sharaf (Honor, 1997). It argues that Sonallah Ibrahim makes strategic use of space in his novels as heterotopias of the neoliberal Egyptian state. Heterotopia, here, refers in the Foucauldian sense to a site of deviation, exclusion, and non-normativity that is capable of reflecting the totality of normative order. In Ibrahim’s novels, the heterotopias of the neoliberal state are both narrative and formal. They are spaces in which narrative action takes place as well as specific formal sites in the representational space of the text conveying non-narrative discourse. As such, this article explores the interplay between narrative and representational space in the construction of Sonallah Ibrahim’s critique of the neoliberal Egyptian state.
Making Refugees Work? The Politics of Integrating Syrian Refugees into the Labor Market in Jordan
By: Katharina Lenner, Lewis Turner
Abstract: Refugee response planners no longer frame Syrian refugees merely as objects of humanitarian care. Increasingly they are portrayed as enterprising subjects, whose formal integration into labor markets simultaneously can create self-sufficient actors and cure the economic woes of host countries. However, bringing together humanitarian and economic agendas is not an easy task. This article analyzes the contradictions and frictions that have emerged in the process of implementing the Jordan Compact, a political commitment to integrate Syrian refugees into the formal Jordanian labor market, and which is supposed to showcase such win-win strategies. It argues that the Jordan Compact should be seen as a policy model that has achieved enough consensus and incorporated enough disparate objectives to be labelled a ‘policy success.’ Yet, central actors have neglected core features of Jordan’s political economy and labor market, and/or the lives and survival strategies of refugees, such that their radical blueprints of transformation have been disrupted. Despite the widespread commitment to the scheme, it is thus unlikely that the Jordan Compact will both reinvigorate the Jordanian economy and offer Syrians the prospect of a dignified, self-sufficient life, an important lesson for comparable schemes being rolled out across the globe.
Near Eastern Archaeology (Volume 81, Issue 4)
Reuse and Recycling in the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmosis III (Luxor, Egypt): Archaeological Evidence of a Pottery Workshop
By: Juan Jesús Padilla Fernández, Linda Chapon, Francisco Contreras Cortés
Abstract: Archaeological excavations carried out during seasons 2013 and 2014 in the Temple of Millions of Years of Thutmosis III shed light on a set of material elements linked to the production process of ceramics. Among these elements are a kiln and possible decanting sink structures. Long after the sacred precinct had been abandoned, changes seem to have occurred in the ideological and ritual conceptions of the Theban Mountain situated on the west bank of Luxor. These changes led to the reutilization in more recent times of still-visible mud-brick structures, but with different functions and uses.
New Fragments of “Nectanebo the Falcon” from the Temple of Behbeit el-Hagar
By: Mahmoud A. Emam, Ehab Abd el-Zaher
Abstract: Two new fragments (no. 456 and Hor.Behbeit.4) presenting the lower part of two unfinished Horus statues in the form of a falcon embracing the king between his claws were discovered recently during irrigation works in the western side of the temple of Behbeit el-Hagar in 2009. The authors present a full description of the two newly discovered fragments and propose their dating to the reign of King Nectanebo II (360–342 B.C.E.) by comparing them with two other statue bases of the falcon Horus dated to the same king that are apparently from Behbeit el-Hagar. The strong relations between King Nectanebo II and the god Horus in Behbeit are in evidence. The author describes the recent, renewed vandalizing of the site of Khirbet el-Lauz in the West Bank. In doing so, he stresses the role of the general public in protecting the archaeological resources located in Area C, as well as the importance of raising awareness among the school students to engage them in safeguarding the archaeological sites, and offers some recommendations for reducing the looting of antiquities in the Palestinian Territories.
Khirbet el-Lauz Revisited: Lessons from the Renewed Destruction of a Vulnerable Heritage Site
By: Salah Hussein Al-Houdalieh
Abstract: Not available
Archaeological Excavations at Khirbet Beit Bassa, Palestine
By: Ibrahim Mohammad Abu Aemar
Abstract: Khirbet Beit Bassa is located about three kilometers southeast of Bethlehem city on a hilltop that in every direction overlooks other archaeological sites. The results of surveys and archaeological excavations conducted at the site indicate that it was inhabited during the Roman, Byzantine, and early Islamic periods, and for a time in the Ottoman period. The architectural remains that have been discovered during various archaeological activities at the site include a subterranean rock-cut tomb, ground graves, a wine press, residential structures, cisterns, and a khan. Over recent decades, many parts of the site have been exposed to destruction and vandalism resulting mainly from the looting of antiquities by local groups, by urban development such as the construction of new roads and houses, and through agricultural activities in which tractors were used for plowing. This study focuses on presenting the results of archaeological excavations that the author conducted at the site, mainly in 2009 and 2010.
Between Destruction and Diplomacy in Canaan: The Austrian-Israeli Expedition to Tel Lachish
By: Katharina Streit, Lyndelle Webster, Vanessa Becker, Ann-Kathrin Jeske, Hadas Misgav, Felix Höflmayer
Abstract: The transition from the Middle to the Late Bronze Age in the southern Levant is marked by violent destructions of most major cities. The prevalent historical narrative connects these events with the expulsion of the Hyksos, the reunification of Egypt, and the end of the Second Intermediate period. However, current radiocarbon evidence indicates that the destruction of the Middle Bronze Age cities began around 1600 B.C.E., about half a century before the defeat of the Hyksos under King Ahmose. Aiming to test this chronological question, which could again open up the discussion regarding the underlying cause for the Middle Bronze Age destruction layers, excavations have been renewed at Tel Lachish. In the course of the first two seasons by the Austrian-Israeli Expedition, substantial remains from the Middle and Late Bronze Age have been uncovered. This report highlights the potential of further excavations at Lachish and summarizes the preliminary results of the project and its excavation strategies.
A Second Cult Room at the Lachish Gate?
By: Elad Liraz
Abstract: Recently, a cult room was excavated in the southern side of the Level III gate structure of Tel Lachish. Within it, a desecrated double four-horned altar was found together with a stone privy, which led the excavators to suggest that this cult room was canceled during the religious reforms of King Hezekiah. The author proposes that a second, twin cult room existed in a parallel location on the northern side of the gate structure, containing similar elements, and that this room underwent the same process of desecration, probably during King Hezekiah’s reforms.
Pigs in Space (and Time): Pork Consumption and Identity Negotiations in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages of Ancient Israel
By: Avraham Faust
Abstract: Pork consumption and avoidance became a major issue in the study of ancient Israel in the 1980s. Initial works associated massive consumption of pork with the Philistines and its avoidance with the Israelites, and despite the doubts cast by some later studies, the topic is still closely associated with the study of Iron Age ethnic identities. The extensive data that has accumulated over the years, however, show that the distribution of pork-consuming communities in space and time is not random and, when examined in tandem with the wider social background of this era, can reveal a great deal about Iron Age group interactions and boundary maintenance. It appears that the arrival of the Philistines was a watershed as far as pork consumption was concerned, and in subsequent centuries pork consumption and avoidance correlate closely with the changing strategies of boundary maintenance used by the different groups residing in the region.
Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies (Volume 48)
BaΉrah 1: eight years of excavations of an Ubaid culture-related settlement in the al-Сabiyyah desert (Kuwait)
By: Piotr Bieliński
Abstract: Not available
From tentscape to landscape: a multi-scale analysis of long-term patterns of occupation in north-west Qatar
By: Jose C. Carvajal López, Kirk Roberts, Laura Morabito, Gareth Rees, Frank Stremke, Anke Marsh, Robert Carter, FayΒal ΚAbd Allāh al-NaΚīmī
Abstract: Not available
Living in MadāΜin СāliΉ/Hegra during the late pre-Islamic period. The excavations of Area 1 in the ancient city
By: Guillaume Charloux, Charlène Bouchaud, Caroline Durand, Yvonne Gerber, Jacqueline Studer
Abstract: Not available
СanΚāΜ: the origins of Abrahah’s cathedral and the Great Mosque — a water sanctuary of the old Arabian religion
By: Werner Daum
Abstract: Not available
Bridging the enclosure and the tower tomb: new insights from the Wādī Sharmā sites, north-west Arabia
By: Sumio Fujii
Abstract: Not available
The LCG2 complex at Dibbā (Musandam, Oman, II–I millennium BC): structural, material, and osteological elements
By: Francesco Genchi, Luciano Fattore, Alessia Nava, Elena Maini
Abstract: Not available
New evidence of Iron Age ritual practices in central Oman: 2017 excavations in MuΡmār East, near Ādam
By: Mathilde Jean, Maria Paola Pellegrino, Guillaume Gernez
Abstract: Not available
New light on Bronze Age trade in the Arabian Gulf: a Dilmun trading port on Сīr Banī Yās island, UAE
By: Abdulla Khalfan Al Kaabi, Ali Abdul Rahman Al Meqbali
Abstract: Not available
The new archaeological joint project on the site of Qurayyah, north-west Arabia: results of the first two excavation seasons
By: Marta Luciani, Abdullah S. Alsaud
Abstract: Not available
Life and living conditions in north-west Arabia during the Bronze Age: first results from the bioarchaeological work at Qurayyah
By: Marta Luciani, Michaela Binder, Abdullah S. Alsaud
Abstract: Not available
Sea level and climatic influences on the occupation of Qatar and the Gulf during the Holocene period
By: Phillip G. Macumber
Abstract: Not available
The Neolithic of Sharbithāt (Dhofar, Sultanate of Oman): typological, technological, and experimental approaches
By: Maria Pia Maiorano, Grégor Marchand, Jérémie Vosges, Jean-François Berger, Federico Borgi, Vincent Charpentier
Abstract: Not available
Women in Soqotri and Omani folklore
By: Vitaly Naumkin, Leonid Kogan
Abstract: Not available
The early Islamic glass from Сīr Banī Yās, UAE
By: Matt Phelps, St John Simpson, Ian C. Freestone
Abstract: Not available
Routes across Arabia: pilgrimage routes from the region of the modern United Arab Emirates in historical context
By: Fergus Reoch
Abstract: Not available
A tumulus cemetery on the north coast of Kuwait Bay: results of survey and excavation in the al-Сabiyyah region
By: Łukasz Rutkowski
Abstract: Not available
Al-ΚAyn Oases Mapping Project: al-Hīlī Oasis 2017
By: Peter Sheehan, Timothy Power, Omar Salem Al Kaabi
Abstract: Not available
Understanding the urban space of an Arabian oasis: the residential quarter of TaymāΜ
By: Luna Watkins
Abstract: Not available
Third World Quarterly (Volume 39, Issue 12 and Volume 40, Issues 1 & 2)
Rising powers and the global nuclear order: a structural study of India’s integration
By: Harsh V. Pant, Arka Biswas
Abstract: The global nuclear order has been built around the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT), primarily aimed at addressing the challenges of nuclear non-proliferation. In the last two decades, this order has faced growing challenges from the demands of emerging nuclear powers which it has been unable to meet effectively. These powers have either been outside the order, like India, Israel and Pakistan, or withdrawn from it, like North Korea, or could leave in future due to arguably compelling security concerns, like Iran, Japan and South Korea. These nations and the challenges they pose to the global nuclear order are mostly considered unique and are treated as exceptional. This paper examines the case of India which has found partial acceptance into the extant order from being a pariah nuclear state outside the NPT to a de facto nuclear weapon state designated by the US–India civil nuclear cooperation pact of 2008. It explicates the ongoing process of its integration into the order, underlining why this task remains daunting. Other than factors unique to India, the case of its rise in the global nuclear order captures the structural shortcomings of the extant order. While these underlying shortcomings remain, new nuclear powers, with or without support from the established ones, are likely to challenge the order in future.
Assessing Turkey’s changing conflict management role after the Cold War: actorness, approaches and tools
By: Emel Parlar Dal, Ali Murat Kurşun
Abstract: This paper aims to shed light on Turkey’s conflict management role after the Cold War using a three-layered framework consisting of the layers of actorness, approaches and tools. In doing so, it seeks to profile Turkey’s international conflict management since the Cold War years with a special focus on the nature of its participation in conflict management as an active or passive actor, the perspectives from which it approaches conflict management, and the conflict management instruments it utilises. First, the paper will provide a conceptual framework of international conflict management based on the above-mentioned triad of actorness, approaches and tools as derived from the existing literature. Second, it will apply the selected three-layered analytical framework to Turkey to decipher its strengths and limitations in managing international conflicts.
Pragmatic eclecticism, neoclassical realism and post-structuralism: reconsidering the African response to the Libyan crisis of 2011
By: Linnéa Gelot, Martin Welz
Abstract: This article analyses the role of the African Union (AU) during the Libyan crisis of 2011. It addresses the question of why the AU has not played a central conflict manager role in that crisis. Inspired by pragmatic eclecticism, we take a theoretical detour to answer this question. Through a neoclassical realist and post-structuralist lens, we provide a novel eclectic reconsideration of the crisis response and we also highlight shared ground between both perspectives. Our theoretical and empirical discussion moves along the categories ‘primacy of power’, ‘discourses’ and ‘leader images’. We highlight the ability of dominant powers to influence the unfolding of events with material forms of power but also through immaterial ones such as the advancement of a dominant discourse on a cosmopolitan liberal order related to the responsibility-to-protect.
Otherising Iran in American political discourse: case study of a post-JCPOA senate hearing on Iran sanctions
By: Elham Kadkhodaee, Zeinab Ghasemi Tari
Abstract: Using van Dijk’s critical discourse analysis, this paper attempts to analyse the ways in which the Islamic Republic of Iran is constructed as a security threat in US congressional hearings. The article is based on the case of the two-day congressional hearing on post-JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) held by the US Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, on 24–25 May 2016. The session was presumably held to examine ‘sanctions relief’ provided to Iran; however, the study reveals that through the use of discursive tools such as lexical style and argumentation, Iran is framed and evaluated as a security threat to (1) the US; (2) US allies, specifically Israel; and (3) the international community. This construction reflects the established political and ideological stereotypes and also orientalist clichés which have led to Otherisation and vilification of Iran. Therefore, by representing Iran as an ‘irrational’, ‘radical’ and ‘barbaric’ entity, the US discrimination against Iran through sanctions and other unilateral political decisions is legitimised and justified.
Manhunt Presidency: Obama, race, and the Third World
By: Sankaran Krishna
Abstract: President Obama’s commitment to a creedal narrative of American exceptionalism and his understanding of the Third World as a space of ontological deficit together made for a presidency that could neither mitigate the structural racism of the United States nor deflect a racist foreign policy premised on an unending war against terror. By examining the murders of two American teenagers – Trayvon Martin and Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki – this essay argues that the very self-fashioning narratives that propelled Obama to the presidency of the United States rendered him incapable of effecting any substantive changes in the racism than animates its domestic and foreign policies.
A ‘synchronised attack’ on life: the Saudi-led coalition’s ‘hidden and holistic’ genocide in Yemen and the shared responsibility of the US and UK
By: Jeffrey S. Bachman
Abstract: Since the Saudi-led coalition (Coalition) began its military campaign in Yemen in March 2015, upwards of 13,000 Yemen civilians have been killed, including nearly 2000 women and 3000 children. Additionally, Coalition aerial attacks have intentionally targeted Yemen’s civilian infrastructure, economic infrastructure, medical facilities and cultural heritage. Combined with the ongoing air and naval blockade, which has impeded the ability of Yemenis to access clean water, food, fuel and health services, the violence visited upon Yemen has created near-famine conditions. Furthermore, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) predicts another imminent outbreak of cholera, with the potential to be as deadly as last year’s which infected more than one million children and killed a child every 10 minutes. Through engagement with genocide studies literature, this article applies a holistic conception of genocide to the Coalition military campaign. It finds that the Coalition is conducting an ongoing campaign of genocide by a ‘synchronised attack’ on all aspects of life in Yemen, one that is only possible with the complicity of the United States and United Kingdom.
Violence on Iraqi bodies: decolonising economic sanctions in security studies
By: Mariam Georgis, Riva Gewarges
Abstract: United Nations agencies report that by 1998, Iraqi infant mortality had risen from the pre-Gulf War rate of 3.7% to 12%. Insufficient food and medical supplies and deterioration of sewage and sanitation systems and electrical power systems reportedly caused an increase of 40,000 deaths annually of children under the age of 5 and of 50,000 deaths annually of older Iraqis. Why is this violence on Iraqis absent from analyses of sanctions in international relations and security studies? This paper is concerned with, first, situating sanctions against the Global South as violence by challenging the conventional theorisation of violence inflicted by the hegemon as a mechanism of ‘national security’. Second, we offer a decolonial reading of the sanctions imposed on Iraq by shifting the locus of enunciation from the state to Iraqi people’s suffering.