New E-Magazine Jadaliyya Features Culture, Politics, and Some ‘Tough Niece’

Jadaliyya—a new e-magazine from the Arab Studies Institute—seems to be slowly emerging. Postings began in July, twitterings and Facebookings the following month, and now the magazine seems to be softly launching.

Regular contributors to this interesting new project include author Sinan Antoon, novelist/journalist Ibtisam Azem, Arab Studies Journal founder (and satirist, apparently) Bassam Haddad, film director Maya Mikdashi, As-Safir editor Hanady Salman, and others. Jadaliyya also encourages submissions from its readers.

The magazine has some solid political analysis (a decent although not-groundbreaking look at succession in Egypt), a bit of cultural coverage (socio-cultural commentary, obits, and a short homage to Mahmoud Darwish) economics (including this sad piece about the new mud-brick schools of Iraq), and the amusingly titled “Tough Niece.”

Tough Niece is subtitled: “this is a satirical page, when all else fails…”

Jadaliyya has an enjoyable sense of irony, and features headlines you may not find in the scholarly Arab Studies Journal, like “Laugh! There’s a Bomb in Your Car,” (about the bizarre Iraqi candid-camera show where unsuspecting viewers were accused of being terrorists and told they’d be arrested) and Octavia Nasr Crucifies Herself, Switches to T-Mobile (from the “Tough Niece” section).

If you dig around in the archives, you can find a poem by the powerful Sargon Boulous, translated by Antoon, that also appeared in Banipal 38: “A Portrait of an Iraqi Person at the End of Time.” And probably you’ll find some other gems, too.

The site contains both English and Arabic commentary, as Haddad explains here. شاطر.

I certainly recommend making a regular stop of the “Tough Niece” section, which at the moment only features postings from Bassam Haddad and Sinan Antoon. These include “Whither content?” And “When Fareed Zakaria Made Me Cry.” The latter contains this enjoyably silly bit of prose, “…Fareed, may all the birds and baby angels in heaven fly around him in a most elliptical manner.”

Yes, and may the birds and baby angels of the world grace Jadaliyya as well.

Also: This is the second interesting, Arab-focused socio-cultural e-magazine to be launched this summer. The other, if you haven’t yet been there, is Qadita. Or maybe it’s the third, or fourth. Please do tell me what I’m missing.