Land Day began 37 years ago when members of the Israeli Arab community rose up to protest the Israeli government’s intent to expropriate 60,000 dunams of Arab-owned land in Galilee. To mark the anniversary of Land Day this March, pro-Palestinian activists around the world show their support as they commemorate the historical and continuing Palestinian fight for land. This week on the program, UC Berkeley professor Samera Esmir interviews Suad Bishara, Director of the Land and Planning Rights Unit of Adalah – the Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel – to further discuss Israel’s contemporary land policies. Later in the show, Lina Attalah, Chief Editor of Egypt Independent and English Language Weekly newspaper in Egypt speaks with VOMENA about the future of Egypt Independent. Recently, Egypt independent’s parent organization Al Masry Al-Youm announced it would no longer fund the Egypt Independent due to financial losses incurred by the organization last year. Egypt Independent was established in 2009 as a website and began weekly print publications in 2011. It exists as one of the few media outlets in Egypt today even as it pushes to stay afloat.
In light of the second anniversary of the Syrian uprising, last week’s episode of Voices of the Middle East & North Africa dealt with the myths and realities of the Syrian uprising, as well as its roots and trajectories. Professor Beshara Doumani of Brown University spoke about these issues with Syrian-born activist and sociologist Yasser Munif. Additionally, VOMENA received an update on the current Boycott Divestment Sanctions (BDS) efforts at Stanford University from Omar Shakir, a member of Students for Palestinian Equal Rights.
Image courtesy of International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran
This week’s segment of VOMENA will include a continuation of our conversation with American University in Cairo’s Habib Ayeb regarding the current state of Tunisia, two years after the heroic uprising which toppled the country’s longtime dictator. We will also speak to journalist and researcher Ali Reza Eshraghi about the recent arrests of 16 journalists in Iran and the state of journalism in the country today.
This week, we’ll hear the first half of a two-part in-depth analysis of the socio-economic situation in Tunisia from Habib Ayeb, researcher and geographer at the American University in Cairo’s Social Research Center. Also, we talk with artist Taraneh Hemamiabout “Resistance,” her newest exhibition at the Luggage Store Gallery in San Francisco, currently featured through February 23, 2013. For more information and images regarding “Resistance”, visit luggagestoregallery.org.
Tensions are growing as some debate the legitimacy of Jordan’s parliamentary elections. Photo by Muhammad Hamed
This week, Amman-based activist and writer Hisham Bustani updates VOMENA on the first Jordanian parliamentary elections since the Arab uprisings, and what they mean for the country. Also, more than 30 journalists were killed in Syria in 2012 alone. Istanbul-based freelance journalist Justin Vela talks about the challenges and pitfalls of reporting from a Syrian warzone.
The launching of Al Jazeera America will double the network’s US-based staff from 150 to 300.
Last week, Qatar-based media giant Al Jazeera purchased Al Gore’s failing Current TV for $500 million. After years of being snubbled by American cable networks, is Al Jazeera’s expansion purely a business endeavor? This week, VOMENA explores what gains are to be made and the motives behind the buy-out and with Adel Iskandar, adjunct professor of communications at Georgetown University and co-author of Al-Jazeera: The Story of the Network that is Rattling Governments and Redefining Modern Journalism.
Pro-democracy rallies are common in Bahrain, where 25 people were arrested Monday during a protest coinciding with the anniversary of two activists killed in 1994
The prolonged civil war in Syria has devastated that country’s infrastructure and resulted in tens of thousands of people dead and millions more displaced. This week, VOMENA talks about the role of regional and international actors in the Syrian civil war with Bassam Haddad, Director of the Middle East Studies Program at George Mason University. Also, VOMENA gets an update on Bahrain’s pro-democracy movement from Toby Jones, Professor of history and Director of the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Rutgers University.
El-Housseini abu-Deif died at a hospital in Cairo after a week-long coma from being shot in the head during clashes.
Protesters numbering in the hundreds of thousands took to the streets in Egypt after President Morsi granted himself near-absolute power last month. This week, VOMENA talks with Egyptian journalist Ahmad Shokrabout the quickly-evolving political landscape in Egypt, and who the key players are. Also, journalists and activists mourned the death of photojournalist El-Husseini abu-Deif, who died yesterday after being shot in the head during clashes last week. Adel Iskandar, adjunct professor of communications at Georgetown University and author of the forthcoming book, “Egypt in Flux: Essays on an Unfinished Revolution,” weighs in on the current state of independent media in Egypt and Al Jazeera’s new role in the country’s politics.
Human rights laywer Nasrin Sotoudeh is now in her second month of a hunger strike.
Egyptians are revolting after democratically-elected leader Mohammad Morsi awarded himself near-dictatorial powers. Almost two years after the ousting of Hosni Mubarak, Egypt remains mired in political struggles between remnants of Hosni Mubarak’s regime, the Muslim Brotherhood and the rest of Egyptian political opinion. VOMENA talks with Barnard College’s assistant professor of political science Mona El Ghobashy and Jadaliyya co-editorHesham Sallam about Morsi’s latest move and the balance of power between competing political movements in Egypt. Also, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran director Hadi Ghaemi, weighs in about the case of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been on a hunger strike since Oct. 17.
A conversation with Widener University economist, Professor Hamid Zanganeh and Mohammad Moeini, who teaches economics at Bard College at Simon’s Rock about the current economic crisis in Iran and the impact of tightening noose of international sanctions on the country.
The anniversary of Maspero massacre
A conversation with Paul Sedra, Associate Professor at Simon Fraser University, and Middle East Editor of the Wiley-Blackwell journal, History Compass. He explains the plight of the minority Christian Copts in a country now officially governed by an Islamist government.
Ali Abunimah, co-founder and director of the publication The Electronic Intifada, talks about his new book, "The Battle for Justice in Palestine" and Rachel Rosen talks about Middle Eastern films at the International Film Festival.
The Nation's sports editor Dave Zirin speaks about varying levels of aggression facing Palestinian soccer players at home and abroad, and Medea Benjamin from Code Pink discusses her rough treatment in Cairo on her way to Gaza.