[The Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative (MESPI) brings you the thirteenth 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 Law Quarterly (Volume 34, Issue 3)

Urbūn (Earnest Money): Legal Framework in Islamic and Positive Law and Comparison with the Call Option Contract

By: Laita Ibtihal Fares, Abdellah Marghich, Mohamed Habachi

Abstract: Financial derivatives such as futures, options and swaps play an important role in the development of financial markets because they can be employed in many ways, notably for hedging, arbitrage and speculation. However, for a variety of reasons, such conventional instruments are considered unlawful under Islamic law and are impermissible in Islamic financial markets. The search for a Sharīʿah-compliant alternative has become a major concern to Islamic financial and legal engineering. Indeed, in this article, we will study the ʿurbūn (earnest money) contract according to Islamic law and positive law in several Muslim countries. Thereafter, we will examine the possibility of substituting the conventional call option contract (Call) by the ʿurbūn contract for hedging market risk, by providing a technical and legal comparison between the two contracts.

Gulf Declaration of Human Rights (GDHR) Protection against Slavery: A Double-edged Sword

By: Mustafa el-Mumin

Abstract: The Gulf Declaration of Human Rights (GDHR) is a regional human rights document that has largely evaded wide academic discourse. The substantive debate is primarily between Khalifa Alfadhel and the author: Alfadhel praises the GDHR for its attempt at reconciling Islamic values with international human rights law, whilst the author argues the GDHR is an intrinsically flawed and vapid document that does not cement human rights in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). This article seeks to strengthen the author’s argument, focusing on the GDHR’s protection against slavery through a case study of the GCC’s kafala system. Comparative analysis between the GDHR, domestic GCC legislation, Sharīʿah and international human rights standards will plainly show how the GDHR fails in its intended objectives. Ultimately, the article will provide opportunity for further discourse surrounding the GDHR and what steps could be necessary to elevate the document to one of substance.

The Legislative and Institutional Framework for War-affected Land Rights in Iraq: Up to the Task Post-ISIS?

By: Jon D. Unruh

Abstract: Land and property rights in Iraq are an important component of recovery, particularly subsequent to the ISIS conflict. The return of 3.3 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) due to the ISIS conflict are encountering claimants who were dislocated from previous wars and expropriations. This results in numerous land conflicts that if not dealt with will contribute to the country’s instability. Of primary importance in this regard is an ongoing discussion in government and the international community which focuses on a central question—are the current laws and institutions in Iraq, made for stable socio-political settings, able to manage the large-scale land and property problems emerging and ongoing in the country? This article considers this question by examining and critiquing the current legislative and institutional framework in Iraq in the context of the historical-to-present trajectories of land rights problems and development of land and property laws and institutions.

The Carrier’s Liability for Delay under UAE Maritime Law: A Comparative Study

By: Eman Naboush

Abstract: The carriage of goods by sea plays a vital role in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) economy as its several seaports are strategically located at the crossroads of the Middle East/southwest Asian region. Therefore, knowledge of the legal rules governing the carriage of goods by sea, as they are applied in the UAE, is important. This study focuses particularly on those rules relating to the carrier’s liability for delay in the delivery of goods by sea to their port of destination. Since in most cases of delay no physical loss of goods incurs, economic loss is a prominent aspect of delay cases. This study analyses the provisions of delay in the UAE and compares those with the pertinent international conventions on the carriage of goods by sea. The aim is to examine the extent to which provisions of UAE commercial maritime laws align with the international conventions regarding delay of cargo delivery.


British Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (Volume 47, Issue 3)

Governing uncertainty: challenges for the first Tunisian provisional administration of 2011 and its impacts in 2012-2014

By: Sabina Henneberg

Abstract: The first Tunisian provisional administration (TPA) formed in an ad hoc manner in the wake of President Zayn al-͑Abidin bin ͑Ali’s departure on 14 January 2011. Due to its nature as a first provisional administration (or interim government) as well as the constraints and circumstances it faced, the TPA confronted many challenges. This article discusses four main types of challenges with which it struggled: representation and legitimacy, state building and national identity, media and electoral reform and transitional justice and judicial reform. The ways the TPA dealt with these challenges had an impact on later phases of post-authoritarian governance. The article demonstrates the importance of studying initial decisions taken (and the constraints shaping them) during attempted transition from authoritarian rule.

Shi’i division over the Iraqi state: decentralization and the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq

By: Benjamin Isakhan, Peter E. Mulherin

Abstract: This article traces the evolving political platform of one of Iraq’s oldest and most powerful Shi’i political parties, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI). Drawing on an analysis of 15 years of primary materials produced by ISCI, it focuses principally on their promotion of decentralization as a path towards peace and stability in Iraq. However, the article also traces the origins of a deep schism that emerged within ISCI between the movement’s old guard who were beholden to the Iranian regime and their model of vilāyat-i faqīh, and the youth-led Iraqi nationalist faction who wanted to see the instalment of a civil government without religious oversight. The article demonstrates that this division is indicative of a theological debate between Shi’i religious scholars over differing interpretations of the role of Shi’ism in politics. The article concludes by arguing that understanding the extent to which such esoteric religious debates manifest themselves politically is crucial to interpreting divisions within Shi’ism not just in Iraq, but across the broader Middle East.

Saudi Arabia plans for its economic future: Vision 2030, the National Transformation Plan and Saudi fiscal reform

By: Daniel Moshashai , Andrew M. Leber, James D. Savage

Abstract: In response to a rapid decline in world oil prices, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman introduced a new economic blueprint called Saudi Vision 2030 and the accompanying National Transformation Plan that would enable the Kingdom to diversify its heavily oil-dependent revenue base, reduce its growing budget deficits, balance its budgets, and promote long-term economic growth. This article analyses the goals of the Vision and the policies offered to achieve them, which entail significant reforms to the Kingdom’s fiscal and budgetary procedures and policies. This study considers the political and institutional challenges that confront the Saudi Vision and its likelihood of success.

Tracing the movement of the blood vengeance theme within Arabic poetry: from the classical poetic tradition to the present

By: Dena Fakhro

Abstract: Blood vengeance is a popular literary theme in classical Arabic poetry, particularly in elegies which lament a fallen hero and in the poetic cycles of folkloric epics. The poetic model for blood vengeance was established at least 1500 years ago, and persists to the present day. In this article, I focus upon the role that language plays in such rituals and, specifically, how the poetic speech act shapes memory and conditions behaviour. More recently, modern jihadist movements provide a political backdrop for newer poems, from across the Arab world, which contain the old blood vengeance message. My research traces the migration of this code through examination of a cross-section of Arabic poetry. Poetry belongs to a ritual complex, whereby a hymn of incitement provides an imperative for a bloody act. Moreover, rituals are legitimized by ancient myth, which not only ennobles blood lust, but is perpetuated by their repetition or reinterpreted over time.

The alla franca dandy; modernity and the novel in the late 19th-century Ottoman Empire

By: Korhan Mühürcüoğlu

Abstract: In the late 19th-century Ottoman novel, an iconic character draws attention: the alla franca dandy; a man who admires the Western culture to the point of mindless imitation, and who stands aloof from his own society as he condemns the Ottoman/Islamic culture in aesthetical terms. He was born out of the Ottoman intellectuals’ ideas of and anxiety over Westernization, who sought to modernize the society without subverting the traditional foundations. As the Ottoman/Islamic and Western cultures collided, the alla franca dandy figure became the embodiment of Westernization gone astray and served the intellectuals’ objective to educate the masses by setting a bad example to be avoided. However, though the alla franca dandy figure was brought forth, in this manner, to circumscribe the proper limits of modernization, he ironically evolved, through the novels of different authors, to express individualistic attitudes, and put forth a modernist critique of the Ottoman/Islamic tradition as the intellectuals’ epistemological assumptions eroded and the society’s present is questioned and problematized as in need of intervention.


‘Reading the ads in al-Daʿwa magazine: commercialism and Islamist activism in al-Sadat’s Egypt’

By: Aaron Rock-Singer, Steven Brooke

Abstract: This article probes the return of the Muslim Brotherhood to prominence in 1970s Egypt through a systematic analysis of advertisements in the organization’s flagship periodical, al-Daʿwa (The Call). In every issue of the magazine, which was published between June 1976 and October 1981, entreaties to proper conduct and appeals to Islamic solidarity appeared alongside advertisements for everything from Pepsi to breakfast biscuits to automobiles. We utilize the methodological insights of social and cultural historians to the value of advertisements to cast new light on the reconstruction of the Brotherhood, its relationship with the diverse institutions comprising the Egyptian state, and on how the Muslim Brotherhood’s vision of piety both reflected and challenged a changing economic reality. Moving beyond a story of the Brotherhood’s return as a product of independent Islamist enterprise that had emerged due to both the Gulf oil boom and Egypt’s economic liberalization programme, significant public sector advertising in al-Daʿwa, especially prominent across the most valuable advertising real estate, underscores both internal divisions within the Egyptian state as well as the tangible ways that various state institutions were patrons of religious change.

No mood for change: neoliberalism and Turkish fiction

By: John Glassford, Sahit Murat Kara

Abstract: This study examines various literary archetypes of social and political agency in popular Turkish fiction since the implementation of neoliberal economic policies (NLPs) in the 1980s. The extent to which NLPs have shaped notions of social and political agency is considered in the light of post-liberalization economic trends, and urban challenges facing Turkey today. It has been said that in Turkish literature, social and political actors must inevitably find self-transcendence either in self-imposed marginalization, or in quietist contemplation. However, we find in at least one case a new literary hero who points towards a more defiantly existential affirmation of freedom. What we suggest is that in A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk, the central character in the novel, Mevlut Karataş, is something of a departure. Mevlut must weather all the difficulties of the individual buffeted by NLPs, yet he endures unbowed if not undamaged. What emerges is a hero of today’s Turkey who has more affinities with Heidegger’s authentic Dasein than more traditional literary figures, who often are either impotent leftists or bourgeois aesthetes.

To loosen and bind: Khomeini, Rafsanjani, and supplementary governance in the Islamic Republic

By: Alexander Nachman

Abstract: Despite attention to Khomeini’s Guardianship of the Jurist (1970) and to Sunni iterations of maṣlaḥa, there is a dearth of Western scholarship on what Iranian scholars and journalists recognize as indispensable to governance in the Islamic Republic. With a comparative approach to modern perceptions of maṣlaḥa from inside and outside Iran, this article reveals a new perspective on how the outcome of debates in the earliest years of the Islamic Republic between the parliament and the Guardian Council went against the grain of traditional discussions on reconciling new laws with the shari‘a’s principles. Using academic literature, Sunni and Shi‘i jurisprudence, and, most significantly, one of Ayatullah Hashemi Rafsanjani’s (d. 2017) final interviews, this article shows that in these debates, Rafsanjani invoked the welfare of the state and national interest using the traditionally legal and limited concept of maṣlaḥa to justify new laws. Khomeini, on the other hand, re-imagined maṣlaḥa as necessary for Islamic Republic’s existence. Curiously, Khomeini’s re-imagining bears unexpected parallels with Jacques Derrida’s ‘supplement’, which, unlike maṣlaḥa, maintained human existence while the latter maintained political existence. Both maṣlaḥa and the supplement, however, provide a means and explanation for the defence of political and human existence during a real or perceived crisis.

Contemporary Arab Affairs (Volume 13, Issue 2)

Egypt’s Quest for Social Justice: From Nasser to Sisi

By: Rasha S. Mansour

Abstract: This paper examines Egypt’s shift from socialism to neo-liberalism in the wake of the economic crisis of the late 1980s and the implications of this shift for its socialist legacy. It argues that the decline of the welfare state in Egypt since 1991 has contributed to the erosion of the social contract forged in the post-independence period, which was marked by state-led development and high social mobility and a prominent role for the middle class. Neoliberal ‘reforms’ dictated by economic crisis and pressures from transnational capital as well international financial institutions led to the alienation of the middle and lower classes and the emergence of a new economic elite, whose dubious links to the ruling class has undermined the regime’s legitimacy and helped fuel the 25 January 2011 uprising.

Intermittent Breaks of Public Order in the Moroccan Political Context: An ARDL Approach to the Dynamics of Protest Mobilizations, 1997–2018

By: Ben Ahmed Hougua

Abstract: For more than twenty years, politics in Morocco has been witnessing a change in the cycles of protests under the influence of the parameters linked to the economic liberalization and evolution of the processes of disenchantment with a conventional political culture. The frequent use of repertories of collective action has not failed to shake the political and social landscape to the point that the demobilization of an area is followed by uprisings in neighboring sites. The response of public authorities varies according to the intensity and objectives of the social uprisings. This research is to study the evolution, over time, of the links between repression, the index of consumer prices of basic foodstuffs, and social uprisings. It covers about twenty years from January 1997 to November 2018. In addition to the descriptive temporal evolution, the work applies autoregressive distributed lag (ARDL) modeling to examine whether there are short- and long-term associations between the variables mentioned above.

Contribution of Jordanian Civil Society Institutions to the Enhancement of Ideological Security among University Students

By: Sultan N. Alquraan; Muddather J. Abu-Karaki; Saddoon N. Al-Majali

Abstract: The study identifies the contribution of Jordanian civil society institutions to the enhancement of political trends that signify the beginnings of democracy. This leads to constructive and innovative thought by ensuring freedom of opinion and expression, while the absence of democracy generates a state of political and ideological despotism. The loss of basic rights and freedom of individuals negatively affects political stability of countries’ religious and moral trends, as well as developmental trends which represent an enhancement of ideological security. Ideological security is a key issue in any society due to its association with the concept of national security. The researchers in this study adopt a quantitative approach in which a questionnaire was used as a tool for data collection. The study sample consisted of 1093 male and female students who were chosen by multistage sampling. The study instrument consisted of two parts: first, the demographic variables; and second, the 24 items that measured the process of enhancing ideological security with its three dimensions. The responses to the items were measured according to the Likert five-point scale. The study had several results. First, there is a low level of contribution from Jordanian civil society institutions to the enhancement of ideological security on the whole, and enhancing each trend in particular. The first part addresses the formation of ideological conceptualization, while the second part focuses on analyzing the dimensions of societal processing with the contribution of religious, educational, familial, security, and media institutions, whereas the third part emphasizes several future recommendations that are suggested by the researcher. Second, there are no differences in the level of the contribution of Jordanian civil society institutions to the enhancement of political, religious and, moral trends, while there is a difference regarding the level of contribution of Jordanian civil society institutions to the enhancement of developmental trends according to the variable of gender in favor of females. Third, there are differences in the level of contribution of the Jordanian civil society institutions to the enhancement of ideological security for each of the three domains: political, developmental, and religious, in particular, as well as all the domains as a whole in terms of the variable of membership of civil society institutions and these differences were in favor of the students who were not members of these institutions.

Why Syria Considers Israel an Existential Threat: Conflicting National Security Interests and Competition Over the Same Sphere of Influence

By: Jamal Wakim

Abstract: This article argues that Syria considers Israel as an existential threat and that peace or coexistence between the two sides is impossible in the long run, due to the fact that Syria’s perception of its own history and identity, as an entity that consists of a majority belonging to one ethnicity, (90 percent Arabs), and various religious groups, is in direct conflict with Israel’s perception of its own history (80 percent Jews from various ethnicities). This renders Syrian national security in direct conflict with Israel’s perception of its national security. In addition, both sides are competing over the same sphere of influence which is Greater Syria. This has rendered any reconciliation impossible between the two sides and has led to a continuous struggle with the failure of all efforts to establish peace and end the conflict between them.

Colonizing Palestine: The Confluence of two Opposing Trends of a Western Question

By: Mahmoud O. Haddad

Abstract: This study compiles historical information to highlight the role played by both East and West European countries in the creation of Israel since before World War I. East European countries, especially Russia, Poland, and Romania, were as effective in this regard as the West Europeans. While racial policies were paramount in East Europe, including Germany, religious and strategic policies were as effective in the West, especially in Britain. Two points can be redrawn in this regard: That the question of Palestine was a Western question on both sides of the continent; it had nothing to do with the Eastern question that engulfed the Ottoman Empire before and during World War I. Additionally while World War II did not start the process of creating Israel, it accelerated it since the United States became an active supporter of the Zionist project. The second conclusion explains why all major powers give so much latitude to Israel, regardless of its constant neglect of international law to this very day.

The “Arab Exceptionalism” Re-examined from the Legal Perspective of Human Rights

By: Antonio-Martín Porras-Gómez

Abstract: The study re-examines the phenomenon of “Arab exceptionalism” from the perspective of human rights’ recognition. The formal changes introduced since 2004 in the new Arab bills of rights (comprising the Arab Charter on Human Rights plus the bills of rights of the new constitutions of Iraq, Morocco, Tunisia, and Egypt) are presented and analyzed with the purpose of answering the following questions: From a descriptive–analytical perspective, are the new Arab bills of rights adopting similar designs? From a formal perspective, do these new designs imply a shift with respect to previous patterns of Arab exceptionalism? Finally, from an explanatory perspective, is there an evolutionary rationale accounting for the specific designs adopted in the new Arab bills of rights?


International Journal of Middle East Studies (Volume 52, Issue 3)

The Many Voyages of Fateh Al-Khayr: Unfurling the Gulf in the Age of Oceanic History

By: Fahad Ahmad Bishara

Abstract: In this article, I make the claim that the time has come to re-situate the Gulf historically as part of the Indian Ocean world rather than the terrestrial Middle East. I explore the historical potential of thinking “transregionally” – of what it means to more fully weave the history of the Gulf into that of the Indian Ocean, and what the ramifications are for orienting it away from the terrestrially-grounded literature in which it has long been situated. The promise of an oceanic history, I argue, is both academic and political: first, it opens up the possibilities of new narratives for the Gulf’s past, suggesting new periodizations, fruitful avenues of historical inquiry, and new readings of old sources. But more than that, an oceanic history of the Gulf allows historians to push against the discourses of nativism that have pervaded the public sphere in the Gulf States.

Telegraphy, Typography, and the Alphabet: The Origins of Alphabet Revolutions in the Russo-Ottoman Space

By: Ulug Kuzuoglu

Abstract: This paper explores the history of the alphabet revolutions in the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, beginning in the 1860s and culminating with the new Turkish alphabet and the Soviet latinization movement in the 1920s. Unlike earlier works that have treated these movements separately, this article traces the origins of the alphabet revolutions to the 19th-century communications revolution, when the telegraph and movable metal type challenged the existing modes of knowledge production and imposed new epistemologies of writing on the Muslims in the Russo-Ottoman space. This article examines the media technologies of the era and the cross-imperial debates surrounding various alphabet proposals that predated latinization and suggests that the history of language reform in the Russo-Ottoman world be reevaluated as a product of a modernizing information age that eventually changed the entire linguistic landscape of Eurasia.

The Conscription of Greek Ottomans into the Sultan’s Army, 1908–1912

By: Uğur Z. Peçe

Abstract: With the reinstatement of the parliament in 1908, the Ottoman state faced new challenges connected to citizenship. As a policy to finally make citizens equal in rights as well as duties, military conscription figured prominently in this new context. For the first time in Ottoman history, the empire’s non-Muslims began to be drafted en masse. This article explores meanings of imperial citizenship and equality through the lens of debates over the conscription of Greek Ottomans, the largest non-Muslim population of the Ottoman Empire. In contrast to the widespread suggestion of the Turkish nationalist historiography on these matters, Greek Ottomans and other non-Muslim populations enthusiastically supported the military service in principle. But amidst this general agreement was a tremendous array of views on what conscription ought to look like in practice. The issue came to center on whether Greek Ottomans should have separate battalions in the army. All units would eventually come to be religiously integrated, but the conscription debates in the Ottoman parliament as well as in the Turkish and Greek language press reveal some of the crucial fissures of an empire as various actors were attempting to navigate between a unified citizenship and a diverse population.

New Arab Maids: Female Domestic Work, “New Arab Women,” and National Memory in British Mandate Palestine

By: Caroline Kahlenberg

Abstract: The “new Arab woman” of the early 20th century has received much recent scholarly attention. According to the middle- and upper-class ideal, this woman was expected to strengthen the nation by efficiently managing her household, educating her children, and contributing to social causes. Yet, we cannot fully understand the “new Arab woman” without studying the domestic workers who allowed this class to exist. Domestic workers carried out much of the physical labor that let their mistresses pursue new standards of domesticity, social engagement, and participation in nationalist organizations. This article examines relationships between Arab housewives and female domestic workers in British Mandate Palestine (1920–1948) through an analysis of domestic reform articles and memoirs. Arab domestic reformers argued that elite housewives, in order to become truly modern women, had to treat maids with greater respect and adjust to the major socioeconomic changes that peasants were experiencing, yet still maintain a clear hierarchy in the home. Palestinian memoirists, meanwhile, often imagine their pre-1948 homes as a site of Palestinian national solidarity. Their memories of intimate relationships that developed between elite families and peasant maids have crucially shaped nationalist narratives that celebrate the Palestinian peasantry.

Turbulent from the Start: Revisiting Military Politics in Pre-Baʿth Syria

By: Hicham Bou Nassif

Abstract: This article reconsiders military politics in Syria prior to the 1963 Baʿthi power grab in light of new sources. I undermine the presumptions that Baʿthi tactics of sectarian favoritism in the armed forces were unprecedented in post-independence Syria. I make the following arguments: first, attempts by the Sunni power elite to tame Syrian minorities were part of a broad sequence of events that spanned several regimes and informed politics in the Syrian officer corps; second, the various military strongmen who ruled Damascus intermittently from 1949 until 1963 distrusted minority officers and relied mainly on fellow Sunnis to exert control in the armed forces; and third, the combination of minority marginalization in Syrian politics and Sunni preferentialism inside the armed forces bred enmity and polarized sectarian relations in the officer corps.


Israel Studies (Volume 25, Issue 2)

Power and Technology in Theodor Herzl’s Zionist Plan

By: Asaf J. Shamis

Abstract: The article traces the role of technical expertise and modern technology in Herzl’s Zionist plan. Writers about Herzl have claimed misleadingly that in keeping with his vision, expertise and technology were to be subject to social and political controls. However, a closer examination of Herzl’s accounts of the Zionist movement and later on, of the Jewish state reveals that the experts and their highly centralized technical systems were themselves the driving force behind Herzl’s envisioned Zionist enterprise. The article seeks to elucidate Herzl’s distinctive notion of technological control as the sociopolitical underpinning of his Zionist plan.

A Jewish Millet to a Jewish National State-Within-A-State

By: Tobe Shanok

Abstract: The Jewish community of Palestine (the Yishuv) began its transformation to a semi-autonomous entity shortly after the arrival of the Second Immigration to Palestine, from 1900-1914. During those years, the building blocks of a secular national governing framework were organized, and as WW I began, Ashkenazi leaders attained hegemony over the millet. During the war, the Jewish Diaspora’s munificent financial transfers underwrote the survival and development of the millet. By 1918, the Yishuv, as a state-within-a-state, was poised to further expand its economy and militarize under British auspices. In 1920, only two years after the end of the war, the Jewish community selected the members of its internal governing body, the Va’ad HaLeumi (National Council) and as it gained in political and economic strength, bolstered by waves of immigration, the Va’ad HaLeumi prepared to establish a Jewish State.

The Disappearance of “Palestine Airways” from the Historical Narrative

By: Dikla Rivlin Katz

Abstract: The article deals with the disappearance of the Jewish aviation company Palestine Airways from the historical narrative of the foundation of Jewish and Zionist aviation in Mandatory Palestine. Less than two years later, another company called Aviron (modern Hebrew for airplane) was established by the Jewish Agency, the Jewish National Council, and the Histadrut labor union as an aviation company and a flight school. Aviron is considered by the media and aviation historians to have been the pioneer of Jewish aviation in Palestine though it was founded in July 1936 while Palestine Airways had registered as a company in December 1934 and began to operate a few months earlier than Aviron. While the story of Aviron has been commemorated and described in various studies, there has been no comprehensive research on Palestine Airways. I offer two complementary explanations for this phenomenon: first, the assumption made by Zionist historians regarding the importance of private non-socialist ventures verses collective socialist enterprises in relation to the nation building process; second, the opposition of Palestine Airways founder Pinchas Rutenberg and one of its managers, Eliyahu Eliachar to the labor movement because of their self-perceived identities and ethnic spatial perception. These two factors precipitated the labeling of Palestine Airways as a non-national company.

Zionist Pantheons? The Design and Development of the Tombs of Herzl, Weizmann and Rothschild During the Early Years of the State of Israel

By: Doron Bar

Abstract: The article discusses the unique burial sites constructed during the early years of the State of Israel, for three exemplary Zionist figures—Herzl, Weizmann and Rothschild and probes the dilemmas surrounding their interment away from “ordinary” mortals, and contrary to Jewish custom. The article focuses on the designs of Mount Herzl, the Weizmann Institute and Ramat Hanadiv, (the memorial for Baron Edmond de Rothschild) and the process of change these underwent as the original architectural plans were replaced by a more modest style and scale.

The End of Kalanterism? Defections and Government Instability in the Knesset

By: Csaba Nikolenyi

Abstract: The article provides a history of the phenomenon of kalanterism and its legislative regulation in the Knesset. Named after Rahamim Kalanter, the term denotes a kind of legislative party-switching intended to bring about or prevent change in the incumbent government in return for political favors. Following the collapse of Yitzhak Shamir’s National Unity government, the Knesset passed comprehensive legislation that sought to prevent the recurrence of kalanterism in the future. The article shows that the introduction of this anti-defection law has fulfilled its original goal, which was to prevent defections from destabilizing Israeli governments. The parliamentary horse-trading that marked legislative politics in the spring and summer of 1990, never occurred again and, thanks to the penalties built into the anti-defection law, is unlikely to recur in the future. At the same time, further evidence suggests that while the anti-defection law may have changed the dynamics, timing and form of defections, it did not eliminate them altogether.

National-Religionization (and not Religious-Religionization) in Policies of Israel’s Ministry of Education

By: Omri Maniv, Yuval Benziman

Abstract: The term religionization has become a significant component in the study of Israeli sociology in recent years. While usually referred to as a homogeneous social trend, this study makes a distinction between three diverse kinds of religionization: naïve religionization, religious-religionization, and national-religionization. Our study of the plans and policies of the Israeli Ministry of Education and the statements of the Minister of Education will demonstrate that the Ministry promotes national-religionization rather than religious-religionization for its own sake, due in part to a specific political agenda.

The Hesder Yeshivot as Agents of Social Change in Religious Zionism

By: Shlomo Abramovich

Abstract: Hesder yeshivot are post-high-school institutions within a unique branch of the IDF where religious Zionist yeshiva students spend part of their army service engaged in higher Torah learning and the remainder doing active military service. The hesder (meaning “arrangement” in Hebrew) yeshivot provide a solution to the long-debated issue of army service for religious youth, but they also play an important role as agents for social change in religious Zionist society. The article traces the history of the first hesder yeshviot during the 1960s and 1970s, based on hitherto unexplored archival sources, and assesses their influence on Religious Zionism and the extensive social and religious changes they introduced.

A Different Reason: How Israeli Scientists Think About Careers and Family Life

By: Gad Yair

Abstract: American and German women in academia must often choose between pursuing a career and caring for their families while Israeli women combine family life with scientific careers. This study explores reasons for the perceived difference through interviews with 125 Israeli scientists who collaborate with German colleagues. It exposes perceptions of contrasting norms with respect to scientific careers, marriage, cohabitation, and motherhood. The results suggest that in weighing alternatives, respondents employ unique modalities of reasoning. They suggest that German academics engage in rational, calculative and practical calculations viewed as masculine in contrast to Israeli academics who mix rational and practical criteria with irrational elements—namely, sentiments and passions. This is why, in contrast with their German colleagues, they see little problem in juggling academic careers while being married and raising children. “A woman who enters the Hall of Science and Art will be the equal of men, for only a woman whose freedom of orientation and talent lead her there can approach the holy sanctuary. Nothing outside of herself, no external considerations will then direct her towards knowledge. She will pursue it not out of a desire to imitate men. Her talent and inner inclination will put such a woman on an equal footing with men without the exceptional efforts it would take her today to achieve this high state.” Sarah Glieklich-Slosach, “To the Woman,” 1919


Journal of Middle East Women’s Studies (Volume 16, Issue 2)

Feminist Historical Writing in Postrevolutionary Iran: Missing Soluch and My Share

By: Alborz Ghandehari

Abstract: This article argues that Mahmoud Dowlatabadi’s Missing Soluch and Parinoush Saniee’s My Share are landmark works of feminist historical writing in Iran that disrupt official narratives in the country regarding the revolutionary project. Despite the different positions Dowlatabadi and Saniee occupy in the Persian literary field, both Missing Soluch and My Share reflect the ethos of the 1979 Revolution in some way, one its euphoric beginning and the other its complicated aftermath. The article argues that both novelists pursue an innovative genre of historical writing by contesting official historical-masculinist narratives of their time. Missing Soluch offers readers a working-class feminist politics on the eve of revolutionary upheaval. My Share constructs a feminist politics critical of the postrevolutionary nation’s betrayal of Iranian women’s liberation despite women’s critical participation in the 1979 Revolution. Dowlatabadi anticipates the tensions between gender politics and the postrevolutionary nation, while Saniee makes that tension explicit as part of a feminist critique of historical erasure.

Simin Daneshvar and Shahrnush Parsipur in Translation: The Risk of Erasure of Domestic Violence in Iranian Women’s Fiction

By: Leila Sadegh Beigi

Abstract: Contemporary Iranian women writers contribute to the Iranian literary tradition by writing about women’s roles during the political upheavals leading up to and after the 1979 Revolution. In Simin Daneshvar’s Savushun and Shahrnush Parsipur’s Women without Men, the authors meticulously employ colloquial sexist diction to expose the connection between sexism and violence against women. The portrayal of such violence relies on language that illustrates the authors’ concerns and their commentary on the status of women. In this situation, literary criticism of the novels demands an approach that discusses feminism, language, and translation as interrelated. This article analyzes issues introduced in the translation of Savushun and Women without Men where translation choices have an impact on important elements of the original novels. By revealing how translation can minimize important culturally bound elements of Daneshvar’s and Parsipur’s feminist awareness and agency, it provides an example with relevance for critical translation studies.

Riding the Korean Wave in Iran: Cyberfeminism and Pop Culture among Young Iranian Women

By: Gi Yeon Koo

Abstract: This study explores the Korean Wave and fandom in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It follows Iranian women’s consumption of Korean popular culture in the context of their general pop-culture consumption patterns and how they create a fan culture through social media and pop culture. This study is based on data collected through anthropological fieldwork in Tehran. User-generated content on social media, such as Telegram and Instagram, was used to examine how young Iranian women are actively leading the fandom culture through their daily fan-related activities and how, in doing so, they forge a sense of solidarity with other women and global fans. The fandom phenomenon of the Iranian Muslim women shows how youth can effect social change in Iran while demonstrating that it is possible to trace the cultural changes taking place in Iran.

Reimagining Royal Domesticity: Intimacy, Power, and Familial Relations in the Late Qajar Harem

By: Leila Pourtavaf

Abstract: This article explores the social composition of the women’s quarter of Nasir al-Din Shah’s court, variously referred to as his harem or andarun, during his reign (1848–96). The article offers a brief sketch of the complex structure of this institution and some of the key figures who made up its residents, at various points estimated to be between seven hundred and two thousand wives and female relatives, as well as different classes of employees. While this institution was at once highly elite and hierarchically organized, the kinds of social, affective, and political power that circulated in it, and the multiplicity of bodies that came into contact inside its physical boundaries, mark it as a historically specific and unique social place—one that stood in a liminal temporal and physical space—at the crux of Iran’s engagements with modernization and in the very city center of Tehran.


Middle East Policy (Volume 27, Issue 2)

The Libyan Crisis: A Case of Failed Collective Security

By: Djallil Lounnas

Abstract: Not available

Electoral and Constitutional Transitions: Tunisia and Egypt

By: Ayfer Erdoğan

Abstract: Not available

Sub‐Saharan Africa: A Theater for Middle East Power Struggles

By: Jens Heibach

Abstract: Not available

Why Russia Has Not (Yet) Won Over Syria And Libya

By: Emil A. Souleimanov, Namig Abbasov

Abstract:Not available

Iran’s Regional Dynamics: A Piecemeal Approach

By: Banafsheh Keynoush

Abstract: Not available

The Geopolitics of U.S. Energy Sanctions Against Iran

By: Omid Shokri Kalehsar

Abstract: Not available

Identity vs. Interests: Turkey Looks East

By: Shirzad Azad

Abstract: Not available

Anatolian Security and Neo‐Ottomanism: Turkey’s Intervention in Syria

By: Mihai Murariu, George Angliţoiu

Abstract: Not available

Permission to Narrate a Pandemic in Palestine

By: Bram Wispelwey, Rania Muhareb, Mads Gilbert

Abstract: Not available


Middle East Report (Issue 295)

The Elusive Quest for a Kurdish State

By: Djene Rhys Bajalan

Abstract: Not available

Tracing the Conceptual Genealogy of Kurdistan as International Colony

By: Deniz Duruiz

Abstract: Not available

Liminal Lineages of the “Kurdish Question”

By: Kamran Matin

Abstract: Not available

The Armenian Genocide in Kurdish Collective Memory

By: Adnan Çelik

Abstract: Not available

The Kurdish Freedom Movement, Rojava and the Left

By: Thomas Jeffrey Miley

Abstract: Not available

Arabs Across Syria Join the Kurdish-Led Syrian Democratic Forces

By: Amy Austin Holmes

Abstract: Not available

The Kurdish Movement’s Relationship with the Palestinian Struggle

By: Elif Genc

Abstract: Not available

Where Will You Find That Many Women?

By: Aysel Tuğluk

Abstract: Not available

The Kurdish Movement’s Disparate Goals and the Collapse of the Peace Process with Turkey

By: Guney Yildiz

Abstract: Not available

The New Wave of Politics in the Struggle for Self-Determination in Rojhelat

By: Sardar Saadi

Abstract: Not available

The Gains and Risks of Kurdish Civic Activism in Iran

By: Allan Hassaniyan

Abstract: Not available

Securitizing Citizenship and Politicizing Security in Iraqi Kurdistan

By: Kerem Can Uşşaklı

Abstract: Not available