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The Political Theology of ISIS: Prophets, Messiahs, & "the Extinction of the Grayzone"
By Ahmad Dallal
More than any other actor on the contemporary Arab political landscape, ISIS represents the most expansive and potent threat to the territoriality of the modern Arab nation states, and it has exceeded the expectations of all observers in its expansiveness and resilience. While it is true that the rise of ISIS was enabled by a confluence of interests, it is now abundantly clear that ISIS has a dynamic project of its own and is not a mere proxy for such interests. ISIS entirely rejects the current order and its beneficiaries, and as such, it claims to carry the revolutionary project to its conclusion. The ISIS alternative to the failed Arab states is not just a normative Islamic cultural identity that guides the actions of the state, but an Islamic State that is itself the embodiment of the imagined new order. By examining the political theology of ISIS, this essay aims to understand the challenge posed by ISIS to the struggle for justice in the contemporary Arab and Muslim World.
A Life in Middle East Studies
Memoir by Roger Owen
Roger Owen’s first encounter with the Middle East was as a young soldier during his national military service in Cyprus from 1955-6. During this time, he visited Cairo, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Beirut before deciding to spend the rest of his academic and professional life at Oxford and Harvard Universities, where he taught, studied, made friends and tried to understand the region via its politics, economic life, history and popular culture. Providentially, he also decided to keep an almost daily journal recording his thoughts and feelings, as well as being fortunate to be asked to write a regular op-ed column for the London- and then Beirut-based Arabic newspaper Al-Hayat beginning in 1986. Hence this memoir, an attempt to record and to make sense of a life spent studying a culture very different from his own.
NGOs in the Arab World Post-Arab Uprisings: Domestic and International Politics of Funding and Regulation
Edited by Noura Erakat & Nizar Saghieh
NGOs in the Arab World Post-Arab Uprising is a collection of field-based research that contributes to the literature on the impact of the Arab Uprisings on civil society throughout the Middle East. It does so by examining the development of non governmental organizations in Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen, and Palestine.
Comprised of twenty-seven interviews with leading researchers, intellectuals, artists, and activists, Critical Voices explores the ways in which power and popular mobilizations manifest in the contemporary region, as well as the representation of key dynamics, experiences, and figures. Through their own unique perspectives and possibilities, the interviewees and interviewers challenge the ways in which the region is studied, discussed, and represented.
Contributors: Awad Abdel Fattah, Sarah Al Abdali, Talal Asad, George Azar, Asli Bali, Nar Photos Collective, Angela Davis, Wael Gamal, Justin Gengler, Nigel Gibson, Nile Green, Ahmad Habib, Bassam Haddad, David Harvey, Jim House, Sonallah Ibrahim, Matan Kaminer, Leila Khaled, Nancy Kricorian, Driss Ksikes, Haytham Manna', Nabeel Rajab, Eastern Province Revolution, Ella Shohat, Zaid Shuaibi, Tariq Tell
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Forum on Muslim and Arab Affairs
FAMA is the research arm of the Arab Studies Institute.