Episode 2.11 Digest – May 2022

This month, LWA producer Mohammad Abou-Ghazala filled in for MK Smith as co-host with Bassam Haddad, and they discussed a new issue of Status/الوضع Audiovisual Journal, a curated virtual reality exhibit titled “Geographies of the Future,” a panel on sectarianism in Syria since the 2011 uprisings, the importance of the recent French elections, new episodes of Connections Podcast and Search Files Podcast, a panel on the political ethics of sanctions, and marked the second anniversary of Jadaliyya’s Environment Page.

This episode featured captivating interviews with Paola Messina, Basileus Zeno, Alain Gresh, Mouin Rabbani and Naveed Mansoori.



Status / الوضع Issue 9.1 is live! This issue of the audiovisual magazine features over 35 entertaining and thought-provoking interviews with more than 50 guests, including activists, students, researchers, musicians, poets, authors and journalists, contributed by Status team members and partners such as the Arab Studies Institute/ Jadaliyya, Voices of the Middle East and North Africa, the Stanford Program on Arab Reform and Democracy, and the Asfari Institute for Civil Society and Citizenship at AUB.

Highlights of this issue include a panel discussion on MESA’s voice to support BDS and several Arabic-language interviews focusing on topics related to poetry, music and literature.



Status producer Paola Messina joins the show to give a taste of the latest edition of the audiovisual magazine.


Artist Talk! Geographies of the future


At our last show, we discussed the curated exhibit titled “Geographies of the Future: Traveling the Arab Majority World in Virtual Reality,” which explores virtual media experimentation to enable virtual media experimentation to enable impossible worlds.

A few weeks ago, GMU’s Middle East and Islamic Studies program held a follow-up panel with the artists participating in this exhibition, where they discussed what it was like to reimagine geographic areas of the Arab-majority world to avoid political violence. to analyze or to re-map known landscapes.



Co-presenter Mohammad Abou-Ghazala interviews Bridget Guarasci, one of the co-curators of ‘Geographies of the Future’.


The Making of Sects: Boundary Making and Sectarization of the Syrian Uprising, 2011-2013


Last month, ASI co-sponsored an event with George Mason University’s Middle East and Islamic Studies Program entitled, “The Making of Sects: Boundary Making and the Sectarianisation of the Syrian Uprising, 2011-2013.”

At this event, Basileus Zeno, Karl Loewenstein Fellow and Visiting Lecturer in Political Science at Amherst College, discussed the key factors that have contributed to the increasing visibility of sectarian frameworks and the sideline of non-sectarian actors in the context of the Syrian Uprising and the subsequent war.

Basileus Zeno summarizes a recent online seminar he organized on the increasing visibility of sectarian cadres in the context of the Syrian uprising.


Partner’s function


This month for our Partner’s Feature, we are delighted to highlight our productive, transnational collaboration with OrientXXI and its Publishing Director Alain Gresh.

OrientXXI brings together journalists, academics and social activists to produce sharp, undistorted analysis and commentary about the Middle East and North Africa.

Co-presenters Bassam and Mohammad highlight the work of OrientXXI and Alain Gresh for this month’s Partner’s Feature, and discuss the domestic and regional significance of the recent French elections.


Connections Podcast


The ever-impressive Mouin Rabbani has released two new episodes of the Connections Podcast, where he spoke with expert guests about the protection of cultural heritage and the fight for human rights in the Middle East.

Mouin spoke with author Heghnar Watenpaugh about the rights and responsibilities in protecting cultural heritage, as well as the challenges of preserving endangered heritage using examples from Armenia, Syria and elsewhere.

Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani describes the three most recent episodes of the Connections Podcast and offers a taste of what’s to come.


The Political Ethics of Sanctions: Lessons from Iran and Iraq


Jadaliyya and ASI gave a panel last month titled “The Political Ethics of Sanctions”. In the wake of sanctions against Russia in retaliation for its invasion of Ukraine, the panelists looked to the cases of Iraq and Iran for lessons about the history and impact of Western sanctions.

Their discussion centered on the common claim that sanctions are a peaceful alternative to warfare, and questions what it even means to say that sanctions ‘work’.

Jadaliyya’s Iran Page Co-Editor Naveed Mansoori discusses the nuances of the sanctions-related discourse offered in the recent panel analyzing the impact of sanctions on Iran and Iraq.


Environmental pages 2nd anniversary

We are pleased to report that Jadaliyya’s Environmental Page is now two years old! Launched on Earth Day in 2020 with a bouquet of stories and a mission statement that emphasized the need for critical perspectives that do not treat the environment as an apolitical issue. The Environmental Page has since worked diligently to provide readers with critically engaged resources on the various dimensions of the environmental issue in the region.

Over the past year, the Page has published seventeen stories – both written work and podcasts – in both English and Arabic, focusing on themes such as race and the environment, climate change and disasters, scarcity, the built environment, and environmental knowledge production. .


Must reads


This article by Roxanne Panchasi is titled “An Atomic ‘Adventure’ in Empire: Algeria, April 1961.” The article describes the history of the last atomic denonation in a series of French bomb experiments in Algeria after World War II. The stories told about the bomb’s testing have highlighted it as a chapter in French technological history. But this article is about how the nuclear imperialist campaign has left a painful legacy for the Algerians.


Finding Files Ep 3: Decolonize Anthropology And Open Palestine Maps


A brand new episode of the Search File Podcast is available! For those who don’t know, Search Files covers trends in knowledge production and pedagogy in the Middle East and North Africa based on a constantly evolving dataset and pedagogical research, bringing together members of ASI’s Knowledge Production Project and the Middle East Studies Pedagogy Initiative. together to talk to experts, educators and lecturers from business and academia.

In episode three, titled “Decolonization of Anthropology and the Opening of Palestine Maps”, myself and editor-in-chief of MESPI Mekarem Eljamal spoke with Ahmad Barclay and Girish Daswani about the role of open source data and maps on Palestine studies, and what it means to anthropology and what that work looks like in the classroom.

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