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from April 2004
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Reviewed by Maximilian Terhalle This monograph sets out its aim in a straightforward manner: "How Ahmadinejad emerged to champion the Right faction and what his electoral success has meant for the conservatives and the traditionalists, and the reformists alike, forms the core of this study" (p. viii). Therefore, one expects a thorough analysis of the intricate dynamics of socioeconomics, cultural policies, and international relations viewed through the lens of Iranian factionalism and how Ah...
Given the avalanche of books and policy papers that appeared after 9/11 focusing on terrorism, the Taliban, and international Islamic political movements, the print media's earlier silence about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan and the incubation of a powerful al-Qa'ida network there is all the more striking. While he may overstate the degree to which Mullah Omar's growing enthusiasm for bin Ladin's ideas was reflected within the Taliban (surprisingly few members of al-Qa'ida were ...
[...] Golestan shopping center assumes a new range of functions, including: a manifestation of global modernity, a sexualized space, a carnivalesque environment, and, above all, a subcultural capital of "disorder, anarchy, [and] the inversion of social norms and codes" (p. 114).
The translation of Shapira's book results in a nuanced and subtle presentation of Yishuv development, particularly with regard to the early history of agricultural settlement, the intertwining of settlement and security over time, the fears accompanying World War II in the region, splits within the Labor movement ultimately giving rise to a new party, Mapam, and the immediate decision- making in the course of war.
Noting troubles in Kurdistan, marked by the March 2006 riots in Halabja and by economic discrepancies, Gunter points out underlying Kurdish frustrations that have been further complicated by pressures from Iran and Turkey to target their respective opposition groups in northern Iraq.
Lawrence also points to the tension between the desire for democratic politics in Kurdistan and the stranglehold the traditional Kurdish political parties, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) of Masoud Barzani and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Jalal Talabani, have over the economy and the polity.
The government's social engineering objective was the massive destruction of relatively small and isolated rural villages and the enforced mass migration of their previous inhabitants to urban areas where they could be controlled better and no longer provide support for the rural PKK guerrillas.
Published as part of the CERI series in comparative politics and international studies, a series consisting of translations of noteworthy French-language manuscripts and publications in the social sciences, The Libyan Paradox is a most welcome addition to the field of contemporary Libyan studies.
There is a background chapter on the southern Yemeni region, Yafi', the primary site of the author's multi-year fieldwork, and the socio-political place of poets in that region (Chapter Two); a detailed linguistic and poetic analysis of the main poetic genre, the qasida (Chapter Three); a unique history of the Adeni-based recording industry (including cassette tapes of sung poetry) dating from the late 1930s until the present (who would have thought that, according to Miller, it was at one ti...
Polygamy, according to Gülen, is a "special dispensation" (p. 113) that is permissible under certain circumstances, such as wars that leave many widows: "Nobody can therefore think that marrying four women is fulfilling a religious obligation The Prophet began having more than one wife after the age of fifty-five [Hence] the rule is marriage with one woman" (p. 112).
The two main texts (Texts A and B) specify tribal responsibilities toward fellow tribesmen and non-tribal client populations, and they affirm ties of brotherhood between the signatories and their respective tribes and tribal sections. Most are kept hidden by shaykhs and mediators because of government opposition to tribal law, dating back to Imam Yahya's rule and continuing in recent republican governments.2 In his commentary, Dresch's long-term ethnographic research in Yemen allows him to f...
Reviewed by Laura Rice Arab Folklore follows the same format as other recent Greenwood Handbooks, giving a brief introduction to the culture covered in the study, a discussion of the definitions and classifications that apply, a series of examples and texts as illustrations, a historical explanation of the scholarship on and approaches to the topic, and a brief overview of various contexts in which the folklore occurs.
The first convert from Maronite Catholicism to evangelical Protestantism in Mount Lebanon, As'ad Shidyaq died in isolation, imprisoned and tortured by Maronite ecclesiastical authorities who feared that his rejection of church tradition (and by implication, of local power hierarchies) threatened the social order.
Al-Jazeera has now progressed from infancy well past its adolescence; one could thus start to chafe for supplanting the early days' nursery awe at its very existence - or apologia for the circumstances of its conception - by desire to understand it in rather pedestrian a fashion as one might the internal workings within Broadcasting House, or Eighth Avenue where instead of Times Square the American newspaper of record is newly housed. (By contrast, Miles's revulsion at American correspondent...
The last three chapters deal with the general decline of balance-of-power policy, a net assessment of the episodes he analyzes and the conclusions he draws from them, and a final chapter on theory, strategy, and realism, which is basically a summation of what as a whole is a very creative and innovative methodological tour de force.
Cook, whose extensive reading of the literature is augmented by interviews with Egyptian officers, says the "military's crucial and intimate association with the presidency ensures the continuity of the political system" (p. 73). Faced with the Muslim Brotherhood's incessant drive for political influence, Egypt's authoritarian regime has used all methods, ranging from including them in the panoply of state and civil society institutions, to periodic crackdowns on the movement when it compete...
Monsutti's thick ethnographic descriptions of Muharram rituals among the Hazara are driven by extensive field research (in Quetta and in Afghanistan) and an eclectic understanding of regional history and ethnology. The uneven quality and variety of topics covered in this volume are in part a reflection of the paucity of our knowledge about Shi'a minorities in Sunni dominated states.
Massad heuristically labels an array of gay activist groups (at times undermining the significant differences among them) the Gay International to show how their links with the human rights agenda, based on Western social/cultural norms and embedded in a new order of morality and law, emphasizes the construction of a modern individual associated with notions of rights, rationality, responsibility, and sexuality. Given this tension between universalizing discourses and particular experiences,...
Prime Minister and Republican Party candidate Serzh Sarkisian was declared the winner of Armenia's presidential elections with 53% of the vote. Berdymukhammedov's policy to grant amnesty to prisoners on the eve of National Flag Day did not extend to political prisoners, due to stringent legislation in the country on acts which it considered treason.
[BBC, 1/28] Feb. 20: A United Nations-sponsored meeting in Geneva, which included 19 Asian and European countries, pledged to commit $43 billion to develop infrastructure projects to join the two continents in a re-imagination of the ancient Silk Road.
Thousands of Palestinian protesters formed a human chain on Saleheddin road, the main thoroughfare running through the Gaza Strip, to protest the Israeli blockade of the coastal enclave. The announcement came in light of the continuing Israeli blockade of Gaza and the inability of the water authority to import water treatment chemicals such as chlorine, which had not been allowed into the Strip since January 21.
Part of the Greenwood Histories of the Modern Nations series, this book is a sweeping account of the history of Afghanistan, covering ancient times, to the introduction of Islam, the Mongolian invasion, the Anglo-Afghan Wars, the Soviet invasion, the Taliban, and the contemporary period. The book is centered on the personal accounts offered by four men and two women living in the Gaza Strip during this tumultuous time. Featuring analysis of Islam as depicted in literature, art, music, and p...
The Iraqi government named 35 foreign energy firms as entitled to apply for contracts in developing the country's massive oil and natural gas deposits.
[DS, 1/24] Prime Minister Ehud Olmert categorically denied approval for all new construction tenders in all West Bank settlements, including in the so-called "consensus settlement blocs" that Israel had stated it would keep in any future peace accord with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, both Palestinian militant groups, claimed responsibility for the attack, which was the first suicide bombing in over a year i...
Textbooks and Religion in the Middle East, a collection of essays on religion textbooks used in the public schools of nine countries, Mazawi correctly notes that The absence of a chapter on Islamic instruction, and instruction about Islam, in Israeli schools that enroll Palestinian Arab students is particularly striking ... The KGB's successor agency, for example, has confirmed that entire categories of documents, including some relating to preparations in early 1967 for a Middle East war, w...
Fifty-five years ago a coup d'état ended Prime Minister Muhammad Mosaddeq's government in Iran on August 19, 1953. Numerous books and articles have analyzed the event but often have overlooked Iran's domestic dynamics. What is presented is nearly always a conspiracy theory that suggests American and British masters of intrigue subverted Iran entirely through their shady operators. The picture portrays Iranians as little more than inanimate objects - a nation of potted plants. Even now over ha...
Bouzegza was the leader of the Al-Faruq gang, which was a member of al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb, and was the apparent architect of the December double bombing of a court building and the United Nations offices in Algiers which killed 41 people. [NYT, 2/7] The Algerian Ministry for Family Affairs and the Status of Women announced a rehabilitation plan for women suffering from domestic abuse. [BBC, 3/19] Mar. 21: A Yemeni Interior Ministry official stated that five suspects were arrested...
This article examines the contemporary Shi'a understanding of jihad, martyrdom, and resistance through an analysis of the writings of two leading Lebanese Shi'a scholars: Muhammad Husayn Fadlallah and Muhammad Mahdi Shams al-Din. This article shows the impact of their writings on resistance movements in the region. It maintains that their discourse is central to the ideological foundation of Hizbullah, and also has affected the development of Hamas and its adoption of tactics developed in Leb...
Many have linked the US-led invasion of Iraq to its oil resources, leading some observers to question Caspian energy prospects. This article analyzes how the Iraqi occupation and Caspian oil prospects have been inter-linked, via the evolution of American and Turkish assessments of Iraq and the Caspian region. It shows that, contrary to initial expectations, the occupation of Iraq bolstered the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan project as well as a number of other increasingly significant natural gas export...
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