Catégorie : Texts in english

So long, Bel

In memoriam, Palmyra (6 April 32 – 28 August 2015) Translation from the French version : «Bel est bien mort» http://ifpo.hypotheses.org/7020 «But that temple, so magnificent and so large, not to mention the wonderful structure of the roof, and the many brass statues, now hid in darkness out of the light of the sun, is quite perished. » Libanius, Oration 30: For the temples (Pro templis)...

A demonstration in Mahalla, Egypt on 7 April 2008, the day after a strike was shut down by government forces sparking a series of uprisings. - James Buck / PBS. Licence : CC By-SA 3.0

Arab uprisings, Politics and Economy

Translation from the French version : «Les soulèvements arabes, l’économie et le politique» http://ifpo.hypotheses.org/6268 From the first public outcries in Tunisia in 2011 to Egypt’s mass protest in 2013, the issue of the social and economic crisis was closely connected to the demands of political freedom during the “Arab revolutions”. Even though the region is not among the world’s poorest, these mobilisations demonstrated not only a legitimacy...

الصورة ١: الصفحة الأولى من «تاريخ المائة عام الأولى بعد تجسّد المسيح» لأفغانيوس فولغاريس (باللغة اليونانية ، ١٨٠٥)، ترجمة عربية تمّت في دمياط في ١٨١٧. الصورة: المكتبة الشرقية، جامعة القدّيس يوسف، بيروت، المخطوطة رقم ٤٣.

Revisiting the Intellectual Space of the Nahḍa (Eighteenth-Twentieth Centuries)

Une version française de ce billet est disponible ici. An also an Arabic version The nahḍa or Arab ‘Renaissance’ took place between the eighteenth and the early twentieth centuries, in a context of Western economic and political penetration and of reforms in the Ottoman Empire (the ‘Tanzimat’), as well as intellectual and cultural influences mediated by a variety of groups. Nonetheless, our impressions of the exchanges...

Couverture du rapport Fafo Ambivalent Hospitality. Coping Strategies and Local Responses to Syrian Refugees in Lebanon

Lebanese Perceptions of Syrian refugees in Lebanon

Une version française de ce billet est disponible ici How can the observer of Lebanese politics not be sensitive to the repercussions of the Syrian civil war in Lebanon, which has been ongoing now for nearly three years ? Not only do these issues generate constant media and political debates, they are a central influence in the formation of the Lebanese government itself. More than one million...

Duck heads ornament with physical features finely drawn by incision, from Qatna (15th-14th century). (© Damascus Museum - after, Beyond Babylon 2008, no. 129)

Bronze Age Syrian Gold Jewellery – Technological Innovation

Goldwork appeared at the beginning of the 3rd millennium B. C. in Syria. The production of personal gold jewellery, like beads, pendants and earrings, started to increase around the second half of the 3rd millennium B. C. in different cities of Syria, and in particular along the Euphrates river in Mari and Tell Banat. In the later site, which is located at the north of the...

Entrée du Conseil constitutionnel libanais

Religious Freedom Beyond (or Below) the Purview of the State : The Case of Lebanon

In Lebanon, protecting and defending religious freedom is not the sole business of civic associations and NGOs; it is also the lifeblood of the State. Composed of eighteen State-recognized religious communities, the country prides itself on being a reference of religious coexistence and political management of difference, despite decades of war and tensions. The Lebanese state commitment to religious freedom is enshrined in its constitution (1926),...

Photos 1 & 2 : Murs fermant l’accès à la place Tahrîr. Clichés R. Stadnicki, 2012

Post-Revolutionary Cairo: Blocking the City, Un-Blocking the Urban Planning?

Original text in French : http://ifpo.hypotheses.org/4419. Translation: Teo Firpo. Almost two years after the January 25th revolution, Cairo lives a paradoxical moment. Cairo is the main stage of the protests, whereby the political and social changes underway in Egypt find their repercussions on the urban scale. Between 2011 and 2012, the city experienced a material and institutional blockage that opposed its urban management to its daily...

Un bâtiment ancien accueillant typiquement des appartements sous le régime des anciens loyers (© B. Marot, 2012).

The “Old Rent” Law in Beirut: an Incentive or Disincentive for Gentrification?

Original text in French : http://ifpo.hypotheses.org/4266 (translation by the author) There is a recurrent debate in Beirut regarding the consequences of the “old rent” law and the way of transforming it. It has gained strength since an apartment building collapsed in Fassouh neighbourhood (Ashrafieh) on January 15 2012 because of insufficient maintenance. Twenty-seven residents were killed. Beyond the controversy opposing landlords to tenants, the issue of...

One of Kabul’s “life-style” gated-townships amid its overall context of poverty and informality. © Mona Khechen, 2011.

Architecture and War: From Baghdad to Kabul

During “City Debates 2012” at the American University of Beirut, Caecilia Pieri spoke of Baghdad’s recent transformations. Her images showed a city of multiple realities. Although seriously affected by the prolonged violence that has torn Iraq apart, central Baghdad, according to Pieri, was until 2010 characterized by vernacular monochrome brick construction. Now unchecked new construction is changing its architectural landscape. Also, behind concrete barriers and closed-off...

Beyrout, Achrafiyeh. Photo C. Pieri

The Lebanese State as Initiator of Gentrification in Achrafieh

In the past few decades, gentrification has evolved into a global urban phenomenon, as an increasing number of cities around the world are witnessing the gradual gentrification of their historical centres and adjacent quarters. Beirut presents no exception to this urban transformation; several of its neighbourhoods, such as Achrafieh, are experiencing numerous upscale real-estate developments coupled with a change in the resident population. This article aims...

Beyouth, Gemmayzeh, mai 2011

The Urban Observatory of Beirut: for a polysemic reading of both city and territory

The urban observatory has just celebrated its twentieth anniversary English version by W. Parramore (Original:  L’Observatoire urbain à Beyrouth : pour une lecture polysémique de la ville et du territoire). After four years in Damascus, the Ifpo urban observatory has returned to Beirut since October 2011, where it was created exactly twenty years ago, in 1991. Beyond the purely factual description heading its institutional page, the...

An Ethnography of Syrian Television Drama

Since the rise of pan-Arab satellite stations in the 1990s, Syria has become the Arab world’s leading producer of the wildly popular dramatic miniseries, or musalsal. Private production and the rise of satellite technology converged in the early 1990s, producing what has become known as the Syrian “drama outpouring” (al-fawra al-dramiyya). An average of 30 Syrian musalsal-s air on consecutive evenings during the Ramadan prime season,...