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Asia (West & South)

The Reordering of Iraq and Syria

Written for teleSUR English, which will launch on July 24.

How far back do we look to understand the breakup of Iraq and the declaration by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in June 29, 2014 of a caliphate?

Do we start 11 years ago, in 2003, when the US invaded Iraq (in the operation called Operation Iraqi Freedom), occupied it, put Nouri al-Maliki’s government in power, and has supported it since?

Egypt's Gulag

On Saturday June 21, an Egyptian judge confirmed 183 death sentences for what are called, in the BBC story, supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood. Many of them are, no doubt, Brotherhood supporters - until last year's military coup, the Brotherhood was a legal political party and, indeed, the governing party. Since the coup, the Brotherhood has become illegal, its leaders imprisoned.

Ali Mustafa

I met Ali Mustafa a long time ago, when he was one of the younger activists in Students Against Israeli Apartheid (SAIA). I was not so old as I am now but Ali's energy and anger made me feel my age then.

Ali was no single-issue activist. He spent a summer working (as an intern I think) with the Movimento Sem Terra (MST) in Brazil, a movement of landless peasants. That was how he did things. He wanted to go, be in it.

He was no hotel journalist. When he went to Palestine and Egypt and to Syria, he lived with the people, shared their risks, faced whatever they faced.

The Ossington Circle: Episode 5, Eva Bartlett on Gaza in Crisis

The Ossington Circle is an internet talk show hosted by Justin Podur in Toronto. In this episode, I talk to Eva Bartlett, who has spent a good portion of the past few years in Gaza. She talks about the tunnels, agriculture, fishery, all of the impacts of Israel's comprehensive siege against the Palestinian population of 1.7 million people. See her on speaking tour in February and March of 2014.

Egypt's dictatorship for the digital age

Egypt was ruled by the Mubarak dictatorship for 30 years before the people managed to overthrow him in 2011.

Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities Oct 28, 2013 at Toronto Public Library

On October 28, 2013, Justin Podur gave a lecture for the Toronto Public Library's "Thought Exchange" series titled "Afghanistan: Perils and Possibilities". The lecture was based on his trip to Kabul in March 2013 and his chapter in the 2013 University of Toronto Press book, "Empire's Ally: Canada and the War in Afghanistan". Before the lecture, Podur screened his short documentary, "Waiting for 2014 in Afghanistan", which he refers to at the beginning of the lecture.

Public action and a lifeline for rural workers: an interview with Jean Dreze

Jean Dreze is an economist and activist who teaches at Allahabad University's Department of Economics. He has written on famines with Amartya Sen, who won the Nobel Prize for Economics for work on the issue. I met him in India earlier this year and interviewed him over email.

Justin Podur (JP): I think perhaps you are best known for your work with Amartya Sen on famines and hunger. Can you talk a bit about that, how that work came about, and your findings?

The Ossington Circle: Episode 3, Suzy Harris-Brandts on Architecture, Occupation, and Resistance

The Ossington Circle is an internet talk show hosted by Justin Podur in Toronto. This week we have architectural researcher Suzy Harris-Brandts, who studied and worked with the Decolonizing Architecture group in the West Bank. We discuss the limitations of negotiations, design tactics under occupation, and the responsibility of architects. For an article by Suzy Harris-Brandts, see: http://arenaofspeculation.org/2013/01/21/political-agency-of-residual-landscapes/

The future of India's conflict zones: Q/A July 25, 2013 at Hart House

For those in Toronto, I will be doing a little Q/A session at the University of Toronto's Hart House South Dining Room from 6-8pm on Thursday, July 25, 2013. Here's the description:

The Future of India's Conflict Zones - Q/A with Justin Podur
July 25, 2013, 6-8pm
Hart House South Dining Room
University of Toronto

The Ossington Circle: Episode 2, Jon Elmer on a Generation-long Civil War

The Ossington Circle is an internet talk show hosted by Justin Podur in Toronto. This week we have Middle East journalist Jon Elmer, and we discuss the Egyptian Revolution, the Syrian Civil War, and the great powers and their designs in the middle east.

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