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Reform, Resistance and Conflicts in the Middle East


8-9 January 2007

Conference on Reforms in theMiddle East.

In 8-9 January 2007, The Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies and Diplomacy at Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheva will hold its third annual conference on reforms in the Middle East. The theme will be Reform, Resistance, and Conflicts in the Middle East.  As in the two previous venues, distinguished scholars, journalists, and critical thinkers from Canada, Egypt, Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Turkey and the United States will participate in the conference.

The overall aim of the conference is to explore reforms, democratization, and political struggle in the context of novel sites of resistance in various Middle East societies. Three sessions are planned: (1) What is Resistance and How Should Itt be Studied?; (2) Struggle for Democratization and Domestic Crises -- Case Studies; (3) "My Blog – Your Reality": Traditional and New Spaces of Resistance.

To better describe and understand new forms of the public sphere such as blogs, conference participants will seek to link culture and politics, on the one hand, economics and society, on the other, as they address the multiple meanings of modernity and democratization in and outside Middle East. Organizers intend to publish the proceedings of the conference.




An International Conference



Reform, Resistance, and Conflicts in the Middle East



Monday – Tuesday, 8 – 9 January, 2007






The Conference will be held at the

W.A. Minkoff Senate Hall,

Bgu Marcus Family Campus,

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev,




Monday, January 8, 2007



16:15                    Greetings


                  Chair:  Fred Lazin, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Jimmy Weinblatt, Rector, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Yoram Meital, Chair, The Chaim Herzog Center for Middle East Studies & Diplomacy



                   Guests Speakers


                        Azmi Bishara, MK, and an Arab Intellectual 

Resistance as a Political Alternative?


Amnon Lord, Editor, Makor Rishon

Palestinian Warfare as a Strategic Threat for Israeli Society



17:45                  Coffee Break



18:15                    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:  Complexity of Resistance


Chair:  Fatma Kasem, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Sufian Abu Zaida, Palestinian Authority, Former Minister of Prisoners Affairs

The Meaning of Palestinian Resistance (al-Muqawama)


Neve Gordon, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Resistance as a Structural Effect: Israel's Occupation as a Case Study


Zvi Bar’el, Ha'aretz, and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

The Israeli Counter-Resistance


Tuesday, January 9, 2007



10:00                Reception


10:15                How Should We Study Resistance?


Chair: Pnina Motzafi-Haller, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


Danny Filc, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Resistance as Counter-Hegemony


Amílcar Antonio Barreto, Northeastern University

The Logic of Irrational Resistance


Rafal Rohozinski , Cambridge University

Controlling the Internet: Policing, Public Policy or Creeping Censorship?



11:45                  Coffee Break


12:15                Struggle for Democracy


Chair:  Tamar Golan, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


        Denis Sullivan, Northeastern University

American Efforts to Democratize the Middle East: Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Palestine


Sharif Hafez, Egyptian future Center, Cairo

The Struggle for Democracy in Egypt


Ashraf Rady, Journalist, Egypt

Peace and Democracy: The Political Discourse of Political Opposition in Egypt


Muhammad Al-Atawneh, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Can Islam and Democracy Coexist?



14:00                   Lunch



16:00                        State and Resistance in Non-Arab Societies


Chair:  Iris Agmon, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


                Avi Rubin, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

                I'll See You in Court: Ottoman Judicial Reform, State and                                 Resistance in the Late 19th Century


          Haggai Ram, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev

Iran: The Multifarious Dimensions of Hegemony and Resistance


            Yilmaz Akinci, Journalist, Turkey

          Insight into Kurdish Resistance in Turkey


        Yusuf Kanli, Journalist, Turkey

Walking on a Knife's Edge: Opposition in Turkish Media



17:45                Coffee Break



18:15                Weblogging as a Space of Resistance


Chair:  Yoram Meital, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev


                        Michael Dahan, Sapir College, Israel

                The Blogosphere in the Middle East as a Potential Space of Resistance


          Laila El Haddad, Palestinian Blogger

Blogging as Alternative Resistance in Gaza


Mohamed Mosaad Abdel Aziz, Emory University

Political Weblogging in Egypt


Hossein Derakhshan, Iranian Blogger

Internet in Iran: Are Weblogs and other forms of new media helping democracy in Iran?




The vision of this two-day conference is to explore democratization, reforms and political struggle in various contexts of resistance in Middle Eastern societies. An ensemble of scholars, intellectuals, and journalists, will provide answers to crucial questions concerning the following: how should we study resistance; the complexity of struggle for democracy and domestic crises in different communities; and Weblogging as a space of resistance.





For further information: 08-6472538

hercen@bgu.ac.il, www.bgu.ac.il/chcenter





English-Hebrew simultaneous translation will be provided





טלפון: 08-6472538 פקס: 08-6472922 דוא"ל: hercen@bgu.ac.il
אוניברסיטת בן-גוריון בנגב, באר-שבע, 84105

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