Voices of the Middle East and North Africa is a weekly program hosted by Malihe Razazan and Mira Nabulsi. It explores the richly diverse and fascinating world of culture and politics of the Middle East and North Africa through a complex web of class, gender, ethnic, religious and regional differences. Voices of the Middle East and North Africa airs on KPFA radio, 94.1 FM, in Berkeley, CA. Online on kpfa.org or subscribe to iTunes.
A Royal Dispute or an Attempted Coup in Jordan, with Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish
On April 3rd, rumors started circulating about the arrest of Jordan’s former crown Prince Hamzah Bin Hussein, and some senior officials. A brief statement by the army denied the arrest but confirmed the prince was asked to stop, what the statement called, activities that were employed to target Jordan's security and stability.
In a leaked video, Prince Hamzah said that he was placed under house arrest anddenied involvement with foreign powers and aligned himself with the Jordanian street which is growingly frustrated by what he called the corruption and incompetence of the system.
How can we understand this turmoil inside the royal family and is there truly a rift at the highest ranks of the jordanian regime? How do these events link to the public discontent around the country's suffering economy? And how will it impact civil liberties and the social and political movements already bearing the brunt of restrictive anti-terrorism and cybersecurity laws.
Vomena’s Mira Nabulsi spoke with Dr. Ziad Abu-Rish, the director of the MA program in Human Rights and the Arts at Bard College. A historian by training, his research focuses on popular mobilizations and state formation in Jordan and Lebanon. Abu-Rish is also co-editor of Jadaliyya e-zine.
Al Jazeera's new platform "Rightly" with Dr. Adel Iskander
Al Jazeera network has launched a new digital platform Rightly, which aims to target US conservative audiences. We speak with Adel Iskander, professor of Global Communication at Simon Fraser University about Aljazeera move into the right-wing media ecosystem in the US.
We also celebrate National Poetry Month by bringing you some of the poetry of the Middle East’s celebrated poet Mahmoud Darwish, translated by Iraqi poet Sinan Antoon
Journalist Nidal Rafa' on the Situation in Sheikh Jarrah
From pacifica radio, this is voices of the middle east and north africa
Since the beginning of Ramadan in mid-April, tensions have been rising in the old city of Jerusalem. Palestinians have been protesting an Israeli court decision to evict four Palestinian families from their homes in the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah to make room for Israeli settlers. Four other families will also be facing eviction in August.
The families in question have lived in their homes since 1956. At the time, East Jerusalem and the West Bank were under Jordanian control. The families which were made refugees as a result of Israel's establishment in 1948, were given the land by the Jordanian authorities and were able to build the homes with assistance from the United Nations Agency for Palestinian refugees. Since the 70's Israeli right-wing settler organizations have been trying to evict these families under the pretext that the land originally belonged to Jews before the establishment of Israel.
According to a 2020 survey by the United Nations, at least 218 Palestinian households in East Jerusalem, including the families in Sheikh Jarrah, have eviction cases filed against them. If implemented 970 people, including 424 children will be displaced. Palestinians say the evictions are a continuation of Israel's policy of ethnic cleansing.
The protests and sit-ins have been faced with settler violence backed by the Israeli police, which used rubber-coated bullets, tear gas canisters and even high pressure skunk water to disperse protestors.
In recent days, Israel has escalated its repression in East Jerusalem, by radining the Al Aqsa mosque compound and even shelling of Palestinian worshippers. Further south, Israel has also launched its latest war on Gaza, hitting civilian buildings and killing over 40 people, including at least 14 children.
To better understand the events that are unfolding in East Jerusalem, vomena’s mira nabulsi spoke with Nidal Rafa', a Palestinian journalist and TV producer based in Jerusalem. Nidal is a board member for several Palestinian civil society organization including ADALAH (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel), Al SIWAR feminist organizaton in Haifa and The Arab Journalist Club and Khalil Sakakini cultural center in Ramallah. With Marwa Jbara Tibi, she is co-director of the documentary ''ABBAS 36'' Nidal Rafa', a Palestinian journalist and TV producer based in Jerusalem. Nidal is
a board member for several Palestinian civil society organizations including ADALAH (The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel), Al SIWAR feminist organization in Haifa and The Arab Journalist Club and Khalil Sakakini cultural center in Ramallah. With Marwa Jbara Tibi, she is co-director of the documentary ''ABBAS 36'' together with
COVID-19 Situation in Gaza & the Palestinian Feminist Collective
This week, we’ll discuss the COVID-19 pandemic in the besieged Gaza Strip in a conversation with Dr. Monda El-Farrah, the Director of Gaza Projects of the Middle East Children's Alliance and a member of the Union of Health Work Committees
Later in the program, we speak with Professor Isis Nusair and Huwaida Arraf two members of The newly formed Palestinian Feminist Collective committed to Palestinian social and political liberation by way of confronting systemic gendered and colonial violence, oppression and dispossession.
Assault on Higher Education And Academic Freedom In Turkey
On January 1, 2021, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his appointment of Melih Bulu, a long-time affiliate of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), as the new rector of Isatnbul’s Boğaziçi University, one of Turkey’s most prestigious universities. The appointment trampled a long-standing tradition of electing rectors from within the university. Three days later, thousands of students gathered in front of the university to protest Erdoğan’s top-down decision aimed at controlling one of the few universities previously able to maintain some degree of institutional autonomy and academic freedom. In spite of governments’ heavy handed response, resistance to the government’s actions has continued.
To understand the government’s actions at Bogazici University, the ruling party’s strategy for institutions of higher education, the ramifications of this strategy as well as the resistance by the students, the faculty and the staff of these institutions, we turn to Ayça Alemdaroğlu and Elif Babül, whose auricle entitled “Resists Authoritarian Control of the Academy in Turkey”was published on MERIP.org in February.
Massoud Hayoun on "When We Were Arabs: A Jewish Family’s Forgotten History- Part 2"
In his acclaimed new book “When we Were Arabs,” Los-Angeles-born journalist and author Massoud Hayoun recounts one north African family’s epic journey, step by step, from Tunisia all the way to California after it was senselessly uprooted from its ancestral lands and catapulted into a cold new world by two successive waves of European colonialism.
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Rich podcast that leaves the listener down to earth, educated, cultured, and humbled. Excellent journalism and conversations.