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This week’s front page editor

Claire Provost

Claire Provost is editor of 50.50 covering gender, sexuality and social justice.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The challenges of building a shared Iraqi identity

If we take the fracturing of Iraqi memory to be an indicator of the direction Iraq is headed, then it is clear that reconciliation will also entail reconciling such competing narratives of Iraqi history, and thus identity.

But what was so appealing about ISIS?

What happened before, during and after the Tunisian revolution that made the Islamist morbid utopia seem possible and attractive?

Lebanon’s enduring contradictions

A century later, and after several civil wars and invasions, not much has changed in how different Lebanese communities invent and reinvent their national identities.

Why sectarianism fails at explaining the conflict in Syria

While sectarianism may be a component, its role as the primary cause of the war remains secondary.

Our otherness: imagining Balkan and mid-Eastern identities

The original quote by Orwell is “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. In just two sentences, he has embraced our fate.

Assad's secular sectarianism

A historic overview of the manipulation of sect and religion by a Syrian elite only concerned with survival. 

Political Islam in neoliberal times

Neoliberalism devours other competing world-views through the commodification of cultural difference—turning a tidy profit. Wrest this monopoly on political readings of Islam away from capital and authoritarianism.

Objectifying female fighters

We must acknowledge women's agency without allocating gratuitous attention to physical appearances or banal insinuations regarding their somehow 'illicit' deviation from conventional roles.

The right to neighbourhood: way out of a sectarian quagmire

In Damascus there are no direct routes linking Jaramana to Mhajirin, or the Yarmouk camp to Sayyida Zayneb - each home to different communities stratified along lines of class and religious belonging. Isolation and distance is reinforced; and in so doing serves to reproduce the Other.

Opening the debate on sectarianism in Syria

In a country where sectarian issues were ruthlessly suppressed for many decades, and where “instigating sectarian tensions” was a blanket accusation against all political dissidents, every intellectual suddenly has an opinion. The growing corpus of analysis and debate over the issue is startling. But is it going anywhere?

Ghassan’s memories

Kanafani can make you dream of a free Palestine in a multitude of ways. A Palestine freed through writing, through song, through poetry, through art, or through a rifle. 

The shifting balance of identity politics after the Syrian uprising

An account of the drastic identity and narrative shifts during the Syrian uprising. The author focuses on the discourse of the Syrian regime, as well as those of anti- and pro-Assad Syrians. 

‘The twain shall and do meet’: narrating conversion to Islam in Britain

Being British and being a Muslim have previously been seen as two identities in opposition. Does the conversion of British people to Islam create a perspective that embodies not one or the other, but both?

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