How Arabic Literature is Perceived in the Western World

Posted on July 29, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Last week, the English edition of the newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat ran a four-part interview series by Raba’i Madhoun highlighting how Arabic literature is perceived in the West. In the series, Madhoun interviews Lebanese novelist Hanan Al-Shaykh, Moroccan writer Mohammed El-Mezdioui, Georgetown professor Elliott Colla, and British-Palestinian writer Selma Dabbagh. Focusing largely on the United States and Europe, the series examines how Arabic literature holds up against literature published in English, French, and other Western languages, and how non-Arabic readers perceive Arabic literature.

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Academia and the Twitterverse

Posted on July 15, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Technology continues to transform education all over the world. We have previously covered the issue of MOOCs, the use of technology in the classroom, and other issues of education and technology. But now we can see technology and education interact in quite an unlikely place: Twitter. The 140 character limit to tweets seems to conflict with the unending process of education. However, there are some signs that the Twitterverse is beginning to have an influence on pedagogy.

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Revolution Bookshelf: Revolution is My Name

Posted on July 05, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 1 comment

By Elliott Colla

Mona Prince, Revolution is My Name. Cairo: n.p., 2012.

Reading, ’Riting, Revolution

Reading Egyptian literature this week might seem odd. What does literature—even literature about revolution—have to tell us about this particular moment? After all, revolutions are not stories. They are not poems. Revolutions are not texts nor are they primarily textual in nature. Revolutions are events. They are projects and processes, made and sustained by people insisting on living lives of dignity.

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A Potential Renaissance for Arabic Translation

Posted on June 27, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


By Ursula Lindsey

CAIRO–In an oft-cited reference, the UN-sponsored Arab Human Development Report painted a bleak picture in 2003 of the Arab cultural and academic landscape here. It described translation in Arab countries as “chaotic and static” and noted that  “the aggregate total of translated books [into Arabic] from the Al-Ma’moon era to the present day amounts to 10,000 books – equivalent to what Spain translates in a single year.”

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Where to Find Education News on the Web

Posted on June 20, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 4 comments


Tadween Publishing has compiled a list of blogs and websites that feature news and analysis on education. Whether you are looking for news on how technology is being integrated into the educational system, new innovative styles of teaching, or updates on the battle for academic freedom, the following list should be your guide. 

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Don't Tell Them You're Studying Islam

Posted on June 18, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


By Steven Gertz

I now know what it is like to be profiled. 

As an American white male of German descent, this is not something to which I am accustomed. For years, I have flown internationally with very little problem going through passport control (though Israel has been wary of my travels in the West Bank of Palestine). I have stood in numerous lines, smiled at customs officers, answered a few perfunctory questions (that I would wager tell customs officers very little about the passenger actually traveling) and been waived through with the desired stamp. 

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MOOCs Stir Controversy over Shifting Course of Higher Education

Posted on June 14, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


While online education has existed for a while, teaching classes online is taking the world of higher education by storm due in part to the rise of MOOCs. MOOCs (massive open online course) are courses based on lecture videos and online interaction that can, seemingly, be taken by anyone with an internet connection. They represent a new form of “open” education that meets virtually, in a non-physical space. The restrictive size and space of a college classroom does not apply in MOOCs, opening the doors for thousands to enroll in the course. Courses include quizzes, homework, exercises, and exams.

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هكذا أُفسِدت الجامعة في تونس

Posted on June 06, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

بكّار غَريب

لا تستقيم نظرية أنّ الجامعة في تونس شكّلت قوة ضاربة واعية للثورة، من خلال التعبئة المزعومة لطلابها، بفضل تأهيلهم للتحليل النقدي لمجتمعهم. على العكس من ذلك تماماً، لم تعد الجامعة التونسية، ومنذ أعوام التسعينيات، مساحة للنقاش ولتعريف الطلاب بالسياسة والمواطنية. فقد نجح النظام السابق، إلى حدّ بعيد، في إبعاد الكتلة الطلابية عن السياسة. ثم أدى قرار إغراق الجامعة بأكبر عدد ممكن من الطلاب منذ منتصف أعوام التسعينيات، الى إيجاد بطالة مكثفة بين حمَلَة الشهادات العليا.

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Re-imagining Education in Egypt

Posted on May 31, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


When the system is not working, sometimes it is better to take things into your own hands. In Egypt, some entrepreneurs are doing just that by experimenting with new frameworks in education in order to combat the deficiencies of Egyptian classrooms.

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How University Admissions Distorts Some Arab Societies

Posted on May 28, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


AMMAN–Duaa graduated from high school with an 84.3 on the tawjihi, the Jordanian exit exam. She hoped to major in accounting – a subject she excelled at in high school. 

Like all Jordanians, Duaa applied to university through a centralized system known as the Unified Admissions Commission, which allows students to provide up to 30 different preferences of combinations of universities and majors. Duaa listed accounting at the University of Jordan as her top choice. She knew her tawjihi score was not technically high enough, but she held out hope nonetheless.

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The Fight Against Sexual Harassment on Arab Campuses

Posted on May 23, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

by Sarah Lynch

CAIRO – Images of burns shaped like handprints on bare women’s bodies didn’t last long at an art exhibit about sexual harassment last semester at the American University in Cairo. Outraged over the provocative prints, students demanded they be torn down. 

The controversy was part of the point: To shock viewers into thinking about sexual harassment in this part of the world where the offense is often endemic.

“Sexual harassment is in the public sphere. It’s everywhere,” said Heba Hesham, co-founder of Heya, a student-founded women’s rights initiative that helped organize the exhibit.

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Book Review: Pierre Bourdieu, Picturing Algeria

Posted on May 20, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


In a poignant interview included in Picturing Algeria, Pierre Bourdieu notes that “Yvette Delsaut wrote a text about me in which she very rightly says that Algeria is what allowed me to accept myself.” Indeed, in recent years, Bourdieu’s early fieldwork in Algeria has been regarded as central to his conceptual apparatus. This edited volume features Bourdieu’s photographs from 1957 to 1960, a period that witnessed some of the most violent episodes of the Algerian war of independence. These images are contextualized by excerpts from Bourdieu’s own writings, a foreword by Craig Calhoun, and an interview with Bourdieu himself. The textual excerpts are mostly taken from Le déracinement and Travail et travailleurs en Algérie, two works that have never been translated into English. The volume also includes two essays by the editors that reflect on the relationship between Bourdieu’s later writings, his use of photography, and his experiences in Algeria.

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New Texts Out Now: Louise Cainkar, "Global Arab World Migrations and Diasporas"

Posted on May 20, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments


Louise Cainkar (LC): This article was developed from a keynote speech I delivered at the Conference on Arab World Migrations and Diasporas, organized by Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies. When contemplating the keynote, I considered deeply what my particular contribution would be to a room full of multi-disciplinary scholars of Arab migrations and diasporas. I decided to focus on constructing a global context within which all of us—historians, sociologists, anthropologists, scholars of comparative literature, cultural studies, diasporas, and others—could situate our work. Such a context would allow us to converse across disciplines and theoretical frameworks, as well as begin speaking in comparative ways, which I consider useful and important. We know that there are variations and commonalities in the experiences of Arab world migrants and among Arab world diasporas; we should begin to talk about what matters and why it matters.

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Academic Freedom and the Middle East: A Handbook for Teaching and Research

Posted on May 14, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

By Yasmin Moll, Emily McKee, Tessa Farmer, and Jessica Barnes

The Middle East is a region that is continuously in the news and frequently the focus of controversial, polarizing and sometimes virulent debate within both policy and media circles. Scholars working on the Middle East face a unique set of challenges in their teaching and research. What they have to say, and how they say it, is often subjected to intense scrutiny by those with vested political or ideological interests. Such extra-scholarly pressures can pose serious threats to academic freedom and exercising professional responsibility. In light of these circumstances, the Taskforce on Middle East Anthropology created a resource guide in 2006 titled Academic Freedom and Professional Responsibility after 9/11: A Handbook for Scholars and Teachers. The first edition of the handbook was based on ethnographic interviews with and research on academics working on the Middle East who have encountered obstacles in their teaching and scholarship.

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Book Review: Eyal Weizman, The Least of All Possible Evils: Humanitarian Violence from Arendt to Gaza

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

In that historical moment after the September 11 terrorist attacks, American politicians and pundits launched a debate about whether torture should be employed to combat terror. Those who endorsed the use of torture, and even some conflicted torture opponents, affirmed the consensus view that torture is unequivocally bad. But, they opined, if torture was necessary to elicit vital information to keep Americans safe, it would be a justifiable lesser evil in the service of national security. Nowadays, drone strikes have supplanted torture as the popular lesser evil. 

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New Texts Out Now: Joel Beinin, "Mixing, Separation, and Violence in Urban Spaces and the Rural Frontier in Palestine"

Posted on May 13, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

The main thrust is to reexamine the idea of "the frontier" as primarily a rural space. The argument is that Zionism, despite the ideological orientation of Labor Zionism and the central role of kibbutzim and agriculture in the Zionist self-imagination, became over time an increasingly urban settlement project. Consequently, the violence associated with frontiers also became increasingly concentrated in urban areas—exemplified by Jerusalem and Hebron today. 

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