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What roles for dabke in Palestine?
Xavier Guignard

From the refugee camps that stud Palestine to the new districts of Ramallah, the default capital of the Palestinian authority, clubs exist to teach dabke dancing to young people and spread it among them. At shows, the term used is ‘dance troupe’, but few of these have the means to project their fame and style beyond the local space. And even the best-known clubs are, in very large part, run by volunteers as charitable associations. It is these ‘troupes’ and their young dancers of both sexes that we shall examine here, mainly in the West Bank and Jerusalem. Given that, in other parts of the world, the younger generations are said to be indifferent to ‘tradition’, how are we to explain the success of dabke among young Palestinians? What does this dance represent for young adults of the 2010s and what meanings do they ascribe to it? To discuss this question, we have chosen to concern ourselves here with the dabke that is taught, choreographed and performed in shows, not with the more spontaneous form mainly danced at weddings.

in Arab youths
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The new urban scene in Casablanca
Dominique Caubet
and
Catherine Miller

The Tunisian and Egyptian revolutions in the spring of 2011 brought to the foreground some social actors who had hardly been known until then by either the general public or the Western media: young musicians of the alternative scene (hip-hop, rock or fusion). These young artists were not born with the movements of 2011. Most of them emerged in the mid-2000s, more or less from the underground, depending on the country and the context. This new craze raises the difficult and ambiguous question of where this alternative music fits in the societies concerned. The fashions of the moment, the different media and above all the Internet make these artists seem like social phenomena, probably over-hyped by the media compared with their real impact. But no one can deny that these young musicians, along with many other artists or ordinary citizens, are also voices of social change. The profiles of Moroccan rockers, particularly those in the urban region stretching from Casablanca to Rabat, and their relationship with other alternative musical trends (hip-hop, fusion) are good examples to help us understand the capacities for mobilisation and self-expression of these new musical movements. They also show how difficult it is for them to put down lasting roots given their fragility, even their weakness, in the face of powerful networks of social and political control. To outline the complexity and ambivalence of this underground movement, it will help if we briefly trace the history of rock in Casablanca.

in Arab youths
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Saudi youth take the floor … on YouTube!
Yves Gonzalez-Quijano

Ninety million videos were being viewed every day on YouTube in Saudi Arabia in the early 2010s: the absence of cinemas (up until 2018) partly explained the record figure which placed this country of just under thirty million inhabitants in third place worldwide in terms of audience on this online video platform – behind the United States and Brazil with about 300 and 200 million inhabitants respectively. This figure is a good indicator of the importance of the transformations brought about by the meteoric development of the Arab Internet. A little more than a decade after the authorities opened it to the public, just around the turn of the millennium, nearly one in two Saudis watched videos on YouTube on a daily basis, and four out of five logged into the site at least once a week. For almost all Saudis, online video viewing had thus become a daily ritual for the youngest age groups that make up the overwhelming majority of social media users (70 per cent of their users in the Arab world are aged between fifteen and thirty). Such a growing demand naturally generated an expanding supply for the local public.

in Arab youths
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The Egyptian Church stripped bare by its children?
Laure Guirguis

The contemporary renewal of taranim (singular: tarnima) and the production of videos inspired by these songs are a product of the development of a Coptic ‘mass culture’ in contemporary Egypt. Regarded by most Copts as the current expression of a centuries-old culture, taranim give concrete expression to the sense of belonging of the community. But these songs – and the videos that have been associated with them for around a decade – intersect with, or are stimulating, a diversity of social, religious and cultural practices that deviate at times from the code of behaviour prescribed by the Church. Combined with the attraction that charismatic currents and the ‘born again’ Christians have exerted over Christian youth in Egypt over the last twenty years or so, taranim in renewed form show Coptic dissatisfaction with clerical dogmatism. They also bring into play a vision of the individual and faith opposing that of the Mother Church.

in Arab youths
Palestinian rap, political contents and artistic explorations
Nicolas Puig

In Gaza, Ramallah and Nablus, and in Lebanon, Jordan, Israeli towns and East Jerusalem, for the past decade, rap bands and singers have grown out of the fertile soil of the new Palestinian generations. By combining entertainment with the ethics of protest, rap songs have become a powerful means to broadcast political and social messages that translate in artistic terms the contemporary experience of a segment of the Palestinian youth, and of young Arabs in general.

in Arab youths
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Family and hospitality in Al-Karak ( Jordan)
Christine Jungen

‘There’s nothing to do in al-Karak!’ You hear this litany time and again from young people who dream enviously of the bright lights of the capital, with its high-tech cafés and chic restaurants. Here, far from Amman, in the villages and housing developments worn away by the dust of the bordering desert, entertainment consists primarily of watching TV – it is switched off only when guests are received – and in interminable visiting, from house to house, between neighbours, relatives and friends. It is on these occasions that the learning of a subtle knowledge takes place. It is a knowledge that is both knowing a skill (savoir-faire) and knowing how to be (savoir-être); it means listening, to the point where one knows them by heart, to the sawalif, the anecdotes about particular persons that mark out the network of associates and relatives as allies, Christian and Muslim, among the Karaki tribes; conforming properly to obligations to provide hospitality; and learning, along the way, how to ‘hold yourself’ and speak well.

in Arab youths
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Revolutionary street art in Yemen
Anahi Alviso-Marino

In early 2011, in Sana’a, as in other large cities of Yemen, contentious mobilisations calling for the departure of President Ali Abdallah Saleh quickly took the form of permanent occupations of public space. Sit-ins and revolutionary camps/squares were established, some of which lasted until April 2013, well beyond Saleh’s formal resignation in February 2012. Street art, which its protagonists define as the use of various artistic techniques on and in public space without prior authorisation, fed on the Yemeni revolutionary context and contributed to visually translating political demands much like photography or painting. Each of these artistic practices was nevertheless more or less subject to experimentation. Gradually, contentious street art transformed the walls of Sana’a into a centre of interest that mixed playful, artistic and political practices. A turning point for this transformation took place in March 2012 at the crossroads of Zubayri and Da’iri streets in Sana’a, when following the initiative of a young artist named Murad Subay, painters, amateurs and ordinary citizens joined the project of painting the walls of their streets. In this chapter I will explore how walls came to speak, telling stories that intersect leisure, artistic professionalisation and political commitment.

in Arab youths
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This chapter examines the engagement between government and the public over deterrence between the deployment of Trident in 1995 and the 2021 Integrated Review. It suggests that several technical factors influence system choices and decisions, and form most of the public discourse. Engagement on ethical elements; the issue of why Britain needs a nuclear deterrent; and the moral implications of nuclear deterrence and nuclear war (the two are not synonymous) has been avoided by successive governments. Ethical elements are always considered, agonised over, privately and in camera, but not in public nor on the record. To consider the nature of current British and NATO nuclear deterrence theory and strategy clarifies the difference between 1980 – when NATO nuclear deterrence entailed being prepared to fight and win a nuclear war – and 2021 – when NATO nuclear deterrence entails being prepared to use nuclear weapons to deter war – and what that means strategically and ethically. This chapter addresses how nuclear deterrence really works, despite anodyne technical language. No-one considers nuclear war a moral good, but debate should be about deterrence, not war. At present, much public discourse equates nuclear deterrence to nuclear war, and debate often starts from this misunderstanding.

in Supreme emergency
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Dirty hands and the supreme emergency
,

This book addresses why successive British governments have struggled to sustain public discourse on nuclear weapons policy and strategy. This reflects aversion to debate the conditional willingness to threaten non-combatants, dating back to debates during the First and Second World Wars. Whilst every government since 1915 has been prepared to exploit such strategies, they have been averse to acknowledging them. This is as true of 21st-century nuclear deterrence as it was of strategic bombing in the Second World War. This book explores modern and historical deterrence strategy, the ethics of nuclear deterrence, the public debate about strategic bombing and nuclear deterrence, the effects on public discourse of modern media and the relationship between these elements. In war, government faces a paradox demanding consequentialist judgement, which is difficult for it to portray in public, especially through modern media. Governments therefore avoid the issue and have occasionally lied to the public. This inability to articulate the strategic case for the nuclear deterrent undermines its coherence and increases the risk that decisions on its future may be taken without understanding the strategic imperatives, based on discussions of cost and capability within debate parameters dictated by a vocal minority.

in Supreme emergency
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This chapter considers the challenging relationship between contemporary ‘rights-based’ ethical concepts and the more consequentialist ‘just war’ ethics that dominate government policy. The just war tradition evolves constantly. Only analysis of the Second World War has enabled ethicists to explain concepts such as ‘double effect’, ‘supreme emergency’ and ‘dirty hands’ in the terms which are understood today and fundamental to modern conflict. However, many contemporary philosophers consider ethics not in terms of balancing national security with the use of force, but regard individual rights as unassailable, transcending the consequentialism of realist politics, and aspire to normatise international relations. To provide context, two short case studies into ways governments have handled other complex technological and ethically challenging areas are considered: human embryology and fertilisation (the 1982 Warnock Inquiry), and genetic modification of crops (the 2003 public consultation). Whilst experts routinely consider the relationship between likelihood and consequence, such balanced views are not simple for the media to present, and ‘risk’ and ‘expert advice’ can prompt distorted scrutiny of complex ethical issues. While anti-nuclear opposition can afford selective, absolutist positions, governments must adopt consequentialist morality to provide for national defence, which is difficult to portray in public, particularly through modern media.

in Supreme emergency