Amidst a Violent Conflict, Syria’s Students Struggle for an Education

Posted on May 10, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

In a rare public appearance, Bashar Assad visited Damascus University on May 4 to dedicate a statue to the martyrs from Syrian universities who have been killed in the country’s two-year ongoing violence. While Assad’s appearance is undoubtedly a calculated political move, there is no question that the state of education in Syria has been devastated by the conflict that has consumed the country.

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New Texts Out Now: Wendy Pearlman, "Emigration and the Resilience of Politics in Lebanon"

Posted on May 07, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Wendy Pearlman (WP): Five years ago I began to read widely about Lebanon in preparation for a trip there. While there are so many fascinating things about the country, I was most intrigued by its one-hundred-and-fifty-year history with international emigration. There is hardly a corner of the globe in which Lebanese have not settled, and the worldwide diaspora of Lebanese origin outnumbers those living within Lebanon’s borders. Today, an estimated ten to twenty-five percent of Lebanese nationals reside outside their homeland. Lebanon leads the developing world in receipt of remittances per capita.  

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Book Review: Samera Esmeir, Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History

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

Today human rights provides a dominant framework for thinking about humanity—one in which humanity often appears as both a universal and an ahistorical category. In this view, the history of humanity is one of the discovery of otherwise hidden or ignored truths about its nature. One can easily understand the apparent political and moral utility in this position, which seeks to put the claims of fundamental equality beyond the realm of debate. But scholars in a number of fields have shown the political and ethical problems that can accompany this claim to ahistorical universality. One such problem is that a limited historical inquiry about humanity risks misapprehending the stakes and politics of struggles over this category. Another is the smuggling in of the particular (particular values, life-worlds, subject positions) in the guise of the universal. Scholarship that has focused on debunking the actual universalism of such supposedly universal categories has illuminated forms of exclusion and domination that can be built into self-defined emancipatory projects. But debunking is not an adequate stop- ping point for investigations into the life of this category. Samera Esmeir’s book, Juridical Humanity: A Colonial History, is an exemplary instance of scholarship that pushes our understanding of the complicated history of humanity in new directions. 

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New Texts Out Now: Simon Jackson, "Diaspora Politics and Developmental Empire: The Syro-Lebanese at the League of Nations"

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

Simon Jackson (SJ): The article draws on my current book project, provisionally titled Mandatory Development: The Global Politics of Economic Development in the Colonial Middle East. The book is about the socioeconomic development regime in French Mandate Syria-Lebanon between the world wars, considered at a variety of scales, from the local to the imperial, international, and global. This particular article concentrates on the role of the Syro-Lebanese diaspora in the political economy of the Mandate, from the end of World War I into the 1930s. I show how members of the diaspora, notably in the Americas, organized, petitioned, campaigned, and volunteered to change the emerging political economy of Lebanon and Syria. I explain how diverse the diaspora was politically, but also how important to shaping events in and perceptions of the French Mandate. Whether from Rio de Janeiro, Detroit, or elsewhere, distance was no barrier to diaspora participation in Syrian and Lebanese socioeconomic development, a conclusion with implications for methodological nationalists, but also for scholars for whom colonial empire has become the privileged unit of analysis.

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The Arab Studies Journal Celebrates Twenty Years: An Interview with Bassam Haddad, Sherene Seikaly, and Nadya Sibati

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

On 19 April 2013, the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies (CCAS) at Georgetown University hosted a reception celebrating the twentieth anniversary of the Arab Studies Journal (ASJ). As the journal’s managing editor since September 2011, I used this milestone as an occasion to interview the founding editor Bassam Haddad and co-editors Sherene Seikaly and Nadya Sbaiti about the history of the journal, how it has developed, and where the editors see it going. 

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EBooks vs. Print: Is One Better than the Other?

Posted on April 22, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Scientific American published an article recently that asks whether or not reading on screens is better than good ole’ paper. Stepping away from the arguments centered around nostalgia for printed words on paper, the article posits whether or not digital reading is actually good for the reader. EBooks and eReaders may not be outselling printed books just yet, but their increasing popularity is certainly driving sales, with an over 20% increase in eBook sales over a single decade.

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New Texts Out Now: Adel Iskandar and Bassam Haddad, Mediating the Arab Uprisings

Posted on April 17, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book?

Adel Iskandar and Bassam Haddad (AI & BH): The idea for this book grew out of the splendid contributions to Jadaliyya from a number of authors who offered interventions on the role of media in the uprisings. With a dearth of critical examinations about the media and the representation of these movements, it became increasingly urgent to challenge some of the prevalent assertions circulating widely. 

Unlike our authors, our work as editors was considerably straightforward. We identified essays that demystified the media and raised more questions than they answered. In the end, the impetus was the hope of introducing nuance into an often oversimplified discussion of a cataclysmic period in regional history.

With the media being a central component into the way in which the uprisings are conceptualized, represented, and historicized, it is vital that journalistic standards and free media principles are problematized to evaluate the performance of the press. Additionally, our intention was to challenge the narrow definitions of uprising and media by exploring the fault-lines.

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Technology in the Classroom: The Big Brother E-Book

Posted on April 11, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Students are often faced with pages upon pages of reading as part of the curriculum handed to them by there professors. Traditionally, in order to gauge whether or not students are reading books and articles, professors either turn to asking questions in the classroom or assigning papers and essays on the allocated material. With the use of new classroom technology from CourseSmart, however, it has become a lot easier to tell whether or not students are skipping out on their reading. 

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Islam and Academia in the Shadow of the Arab Uprisings

Posted on April 08, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Amidst the struggles for freedom of expression and the right to free speech following the onset of the Arab uprisings, freedom in the academic world has become another struggle. A couple very intriguing articles recently appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education, in a special called “After the Arab Uprisings,” that examine academia and education in the Arab world. 

Unfortunately, the Chronicle of Higher Education is under a paywall. For those who do not have access to the website, Tadween Publishing has provided some highlights to the articles below.   

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Beyond the PDF 2 Conference: Revolutionizing Academic Publishing

Posted on April 05, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

New technology has created a multitude of avenues through which academics, scholars, publishers, librarians, and other related fields can communicate. The challenge, however, is using such technology to communicate effectively and change old habits that no longer seem to be working. This is a challenge that the participants of the Beyond the PDF 2 conference have sought to tackle. 

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Invisible Library Books

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

If you’re browsing the stacks at the library and find a particular book difficult to find, you might be looking in the wrong place. With eBook sales soaring and the popularity of eReader devices at a steady high, some libraries are turning towards electronic book lending, or “e-lending,” as a way forward. Yet, while e-lending may seem a practical move for libraries in the digital age, making the service possible has been difficult. 

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The Perils for Academic Freedom in the Arab World

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

Calls for change have swept across the Arab world since the uprisings erupted over two years ago. While the process and struggle for political and social freedoms continue, freedom in the world of academia has become a recent, although not new, target in the region.

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The Author’s New Writing Instructor: The Internet

Posted on March 11, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

Writers and prospective book authors are influenced by a variety of actors and subject matters. Their writing is shaped by other authors that they admire and by their teachers, from their English instructors from grade school to their professors as an undergraduate. Styles and prose are formed and shaped by a number of different means, but the Internet is taking a prominent role in how authors manage word choice, their approach to writing, and how they promote their new books.

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Books and Historical Amnesia

Posted on March 01, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 0 comments

A new documentary has reignited the conversation about confiscated Palestinian property. The Great Book Robbery by Israeli filmmaker Benny Brunner chronicles the story of the nearly 30,000 books that were stolen and either burned or stored away in Israel’s National Library. The National Library, in cooperation with the Haganah (a Zionist militia that would later become the Israeli military) and Hebrew University systematically pillaged books from Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Haifa, Jaffa, Nazareth, and beyond. All of the extracted books were subsequently labeled AP for “abandoned property.”

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Where to Find Publishing News on the Web

Posted on February 26, 2013 by Tadween Editors | 1 comment

Tadween Publishing has compiled a list of top blogs and websites that feature news and analysis from the publishing world. Whether you are looking for news from the publishing industry or advice on how to publish your own eBook, the following list consists of the go-to places for what you are looking for.

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