Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

Excerpt from “The Factors that Determine What Makes a Revolution Violent or Nonviolent”

What is a Revolution?

A revolution is described as a distinct form of change, whether it be social or political and takes place within a brief time span. Many elements are involved in defining a revolution and are debated by many theorists. For the purpose of this paper, a revolution is defined as a fundamental change in the social and political structure of a current government and/or society that takes immediate effect within political, societal and economic structures. A mere exchanging of politicians or political parties is not sufficient to be considered a revolution, but rather a complete overhaul of politicians, laws, regulations, economic rationalization and societal stipulations must take place. A revolution must affect all parts of society inclusively, including the youth, children, adults, elderly, men and women. It must not exclude race, sexuality, religion or any other minority part of society.

There are many methodologies that explore how revolutions begin, are executed and structured.  There are micro and macro revolutions, as well as political, societal and socioeconomic revolutions, as well. Also taken into consideration is whether a revolution is sparked by internal or external sources.

Social Movements
“A social movement can be defined as a persistent and organized effort on the part of a relatively large number of people either to bring about or resist to social change.”  Although few social movements fit into the categories of being either a “change-resistant conservative revolution” or a “change-oriented liberal revolution,” benefits arise in understanding the goals and motives of such movements. Furthermore, reducing a category to being either revolutionary based or reform based. A reform movement is oriented around changing existing policies, whereas revolutionaries seek the complete upheaval and replacement of the system at hand. Within the scope of revolutionaries, there are further categories of Rightest revolutionaries and Leftist revolutionaries. Rightist revolutionaries seek a return to “traditional” values and institutions, preferring to put aside social equality in favour for social order “through institutional change,” whereas, the Leftist revolutionaries’ goal is to:

…change major social and political institutions in order to alter the dominant economic, social, or political relationships within a society. Usually involved is a redistribution of valuable resources between the rich and the poor, with more equal access to educational opportunities, medical services, higher wage levels, or in the case of a predominantly agricultural society, land, a stated goal.

Although sociologists attempt to categorize social movements, social movements have the ability to be rooted in a combination of conservative and liberal change, just as revolutions can be not completely liberal or completely conservative, but have a mixture of characteristics.

What Causes Revolutions?

Revolutionary movements develop for a number of reasons, differing from country-to-country and society-to-society. Below is a list of elements in no specific order of essential factors in the development of revolutions:

  1. Mass frustration resulting in popular uprisings among urban or rural populations: A large proportion of a society’s population becomes extremely discontented, which leads to mass-participation protests and rebellions against state authority. In technologically limited agricultural societies, the occurrence of rural (peasant) rebellion or at least rural support for revolution has often been essential (Foran 2005, 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  2. Dissident elite political movements: Divisions among elites (groups that have access to wealth or power of various types or are highly educated and possess important technical or managerial skills) pit some elite members against the existing government (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  3. Unifying motivations: The existence of powerful motivations for revolution that cut across major classes and unify the majority of a society’s population behind the goal of a revolution (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldstone 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  4. A severe political crisis paralyzing the administrative and coercive capabilities of the state: A state crisis occurs in the nation experiencing or about to experience development of a revolutionary movement. The crisis, which may be caused by a catastrophic defeat in war, a natural disaster, an economic depression or the withdrawal of critical economic or military support from other nations, or by any combination of these factors, may deplete the state of loyal personnel, legitimacy in the eyes of the public, and other resources. The state then becomes incapable of carrying out its normal functions and cannot cope effectively with an opposition revolutionary movement (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 1991; 1994; 2001a; Greene 1990).
  5. A permissive or tolerant world context: The governments of other nations do not intervene effectively to prevent a revolutionary movement from developing and succeeding in a given nation (Foran 2005; 2006; Goldfrank 1994; Goldstone 2001a).

                  Milestones of a Revolution

Once these factors are in place, a revolution has the ability to blossom and take place. Although in the event, a revolution lacks any of these factors, a revolution is more prone to failure.  A revolution’s success is not only measured in the overthrowing of a power, but also in the construction of a new social/political/economic order.

Once a revolution begins to take place evident progress occurs in a series:

  1. A society’s intellectuals, most of whom in the past normally supported the existing regime, turn against it;
  2. The old regime tries to save itself from revolution by attempting reforms that ultimately fail to protect the old order;
  3. The revolutionary alliance that eventually takes power from the old government is soon characterized by internal conflicts;
  4. At first, the post-revolutionary government is moderate;
  5. Disappointment with the failure of moderate revolutionaries to fulfil expectations leads to more radical revolutionaries gaining control;
  6. The radicals take more extreme actions to fulfil revolutionary aims, including the use of coercive methods against those whom they perceive resist or threaten the fulfilment of revolutionary goals;
  7. Eventually, more pragmatic moderate revolutionaries replace the radicals.

Revolutions have the ability to divide a group of people in two- the first being those who oppose the old order and those who prefer to side with the old order; something being experienced in Libya today and to a much less degree in Egypt. “Needless to say, if the structural change is a slow one, an evolution, then there will be sufficient time to adjust and absorb so that the changes will become less threatening.”

Revolutions can be sub-categorized into internal revolutions and external revolutions:

The external revolution may be successful or not, accompanied by a regular war or not, but the goal is usually clear: autonomy in decision-making. Precisely because that goal is so clear, such a national revolution is often not accompanied by any social revolution. Instead, it becomes an achievement in its own right.

The internal revolution is a social revolution and a much more complex phenomenon involving a change not only in the structure relating the country to the outside but also in the internal structure. It is difficult to see how this can be brought about without some positively formulated goal, some relatively clear-cut idea of the alternative to domination is freedom from domination; for the internal revolution the matter is more open-ended and more complex. Since it is more complex it is often simplified, and one mechanism of simplification is to see an automatic link between the two types: if only the external revolution can be achieved the internal revolution will come almost by itself.

Armed Conflict

“Between 1900 and 1999, the world produced about 250 new wars, internal or civil, in which battle deaths averaged at least two-thousand per year… Those wars caused about a million deaths per year.”  Here, Tilly indicates the great influence of armed conflict on battle deaths, but what is an armed conflict or an internal war?

“Conflict” can be defined as the state of relations experienced when two or more parties have mutually exclusive goals… Internal wars involve violent conflict, but they may fall short of the levels of violence that we typically associate with wars. Included in this category are the following: coups d’etat, whereby one elite seeks to replace another elite element in the government; revolutions, which are mass movements aimed at removing the government;  and insurrections.”

Although there is no clear and universal definition of the criteria of what constitutes a war, Keith Krause, an expert in Human Security in World Politics describes the main characteristic differentiating a war from an armed conflict is that wars occur between nations and armed conflicts occur within nations.

In similar fashion, the definition of nonviolence is also debated, but in contrast, Kurt Schock describes eighteen misconceptions of nonviolence in attempt to define what violence is.

  1. Nonviolent action is not inaction (although it may involve the refusal to carry out an action that is expected, that is, an act of omission), it is not submissiveness, it is not the avoidance of conflict, and it is not passive resistance… The term passive resistance is a misnomer when used to describe a non-violent action. There is nothing passive or evasive about nonviolent resistance, as it is an active and overt means for prosecuting conflicts with opponents…
  2. Not everything that is not violent is considered nonviolent action. Nonviolent action refers to specific actions that involve risk and invoke non-violent pressure or nonviolent coercion in contentious interactions between opposing groups.
  3. Nonviolent action is not limited to state-sanctioned political activities. Nonviolent action may be legal or illegal. Civil disobedience, that is, the open and deliberate violation of the law for a collective social or political purpose, is a fundamental type of nonviolent action.
  4. Nonviolent action is not composed of regular or institutionalized techniques of political action such as litigation, letter writing, lobbying, voting, or the passage of laws… nonviolent action is context specific. Displaying anti-regime posters in democracies would be considered a low-risk and regular form of political action, whereas the same activity in nondemocracies would be considered irregular, would involve a substantial amount of risk, and would, therefore, be considered a method of nonviolent action…
  5. Nonviolent action is not a form of negotiation or compromise… and should be distinguished from means of conflict resolution.
  6. Nonviolent action does not depend on moral authority, the “mobilization of shame,” or the coercion of the views of the opponent in order to promote political change…
  7. Those who implement nonviolent action do not assume that the state will not react with violence…
  8. The view that suffering is central to nonviolent resistance is based on the misguided assumption that nonviolent action is passive resistance and that nonviolent action is intended to produce change through the conversion of the oppressor’s views (Martin 1997)…
  9. Nonviolent action is not a method of contention that is used only as a last resort when the means of violence are unavailable…
  10. Nonviolent action is not a method of the “middle class” or a “bourgeois” approach to political contention. Nonviolent action can be and has been implemented by groups from any and all classes and castes, from slaves to members of the upper class (McCarthy and Kruefler 1993)…
  11. The use of nonviolent action is not limited to the pursuit of “moderate” or “reformist” goals. It may also be implemented in the pursuit of “radical” goals.
  12. While nonviolent action by its very nature requires patience, it is not inherently slow in producing political change compared to violent action (Shepard 2002)…
  13. The occurrence of nonviolent action is not structurally determined. While there are empirical relationships in geographically and temporally bound places and time periods between the political context and the use of a given strategy for responding to grievances.
  14. The effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the ideology of the oppressors…
  15. Similarly, the effectiveness of nonviolent action is not a function of the repressiveness of the oppressors…
  16. The mass mobilization of people into campaigns of nonviolent action in nondemocracies does not depend on coercion.
  17. Participation in campaigns of nonviolent action does not require that activists hold any sort of ideological, religious, or metaphorical beliefs…
  18. Similarly, those who implement nonviolent action do not have to be aware that they are implementing a particular class of methods…

                    Demographics

The Middle East and North Africa region has been the site of early civilizations and empire expansionism for centuries. This, involved migrations of people and as empires fell or new civilizations started, minority populations—those left behind by previous empires remained and became engulfed in their new surrounding societies. We would now categorize these areas as Arab nations. There are many ethnic minority groups in the MENA, some of which had been living in the region before the emergence of Islam.  According to the Islamic Human Rights Council, as of 1990, there were approximately thirty million minorities living in Arab nations out of the 220 million overall populations. As of recent statistics, there are more than 340 million Arabs in the MENA region, this number, however, includes the many ethnic minorities that do exist in the area, including the Kurds, Armenians, Aramaeans, Chaldeans, Turkmens, Cherkess, Turks, Zangians, Nubians, Berbers, Banyans, Haratins, Gnawas, Tauregs, Chechens, Romanis, Ajamis, Moors and Assyrians.

Bahrain being one of the more prominent nations in the news concerning the Arab Spring is home to the Ajamis and Banyans. The Kurdish population is very much concentrated in the regions of Iraq and Syria, whereas the Armenian population extends out into Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan. It is estimated that      15-20% of the Iraqi population is Kurdish and 5% are Turkmen, with sizeable populations of Cherkess, Armenians and Chechens. Lebanon and Jordan’s non-Arab population is estimated to be around 5%, respectively. Kuwait’s expatriate community makes up slightly less than half of the total Kuwaiti population, which played a major role in the protests that erupted in Kuwait. Aramaeans and Chaldeans are estimated to account for more than 100,000 citizens of the Arab population. Many Moroccans, Algerians and Libyans are of Berber descent and genetic testing in Morocco further supports the theory made by Berberists that despite the conquest of North Africa by Arab nations and the predominance of the Arabic language, the population remains ethnically Berber.

Sources:

Johan Galtung,  A Structural Theory of Revolutions. (Rotterdam UP, 1974), Introduction.

Galtung, Op. Cit. 19.

James DeFronzo, Revolutions and Revolutionary Movements. (Boulder, CO: Westview, 2007), 9.

Charles Tilly, The Politics of Collective Violence. (Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2003), 55.

Rye Schwartz-Barcott and Carolyn W. Pumphrey, Armed Conflict in Africa. (Lanham, MD: Scarecrow, 2003), 4.

Keithe Krause, “Human Security in World Politics. ”Human Security in World Politics Lecture Notes”, (The Graduate Institute, Geneva, Switzerland 2011) accessed 20 June 2011.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, “IHRC – Minorities in the Arab World”, Islamic Human Rights Commission [web document] (27 January 2004) <http://www.ihrc.org.uk/show.php?id=989>, accessed 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, “Bahrain”, CIA World Factbook [web page] (2007) <Cia.gov>, Accessed 17 July 2011.

Human Rights Watch, “Syria”, Human Rights Watch [web page] (1996) <http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/1996/Syria.htm&gt;,  Accessed 17 July 2011.

Armenian Diaspora, “Armenian Population in the World”, [web page] News from Armenia, Events in Armenia, Travel and Entertainment. <http://www.armeniadiaspora.com/population.html>, 17 July 2011.

CIA World Factbook, Op. Cit. Iraq.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Jordan.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Lebanon.

CIA The World Fact book, Op. Cit. Kuwait.

The Islamic Human Rights Commission, Loc. Cit.

BBC News, “Africa | Q&A: The Berbers.” BBC News, 12 Mar. 2004, 23, <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3509799.stm&gt;, accessed 17 July 2011.

N. Harich, et al., Classical Polymorphisms in Berbers from Moyen Atlas (Morocco): Genetics, Geography, and Historical Evidence in the Mediterranean Peoples. (Annals of Human Biology 29.5, 2002) 473-87.

It’s in my DNA

Hello Folks!

As a Palestinian, I always imagined that my ancestral history was coloured with the many territorial conquests of what is often defined as the Middle East. I’ve always wanted to do one of those DNA tests that tell you where you’re “really from.” But those things can be quite pricey and anyone who knows me knows that I’m living on a pinch these days. Now, somehow, don’t ask me how because I don’t remember, I found out about this free study called Genes for Good that is being done through the University of Michigan. I filled out a couple of surveys and questionnaires about myself and they sent me a spit kit. It was kind of icky, but I got through the spit kit experience and mailed my sample in. Being a free test and all, they did warn me that it would take months to get my results back. There are tons of participants, so it only makes sense. You can’t argue with free, am I right? This week, I finally got my results. The results are a tad general and I’d be interested to get some more specific results, but I’m satisfied and intrigued to learn more about my history.

Here I am. This is me:

12345

I did have the option to request the raw data, which I did. I received it, and while they did give me some instructions on how to read it, I can’t seem to make sense of it. Maybe I can learn more about myself through this raw data, but I could use some help trying to break it down. Any suggestion? Drop me a line at heba@dartmouth.edu if you have any grand ideas or some user-friendly data software suggestions.

Or just get in touch because now that you know a little about me, it’d be cool to learn a little about you too.

Peace and Pistachios,

Heba

 

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    PhD Proposal Summary #cliffnotes #overview #nothappeninganytimesoon

    Below is a summary of one of the many PhD proposals I submitted to various universities internationally. While I was able to get into more than 15 very competitive unis, I couldn’t secure even the slightest amount of funding from any of them. It’s been three years now and I don’t seem to be any closer to getting that funding. I have contemplated switching my topic and applying again, but I may have to hold off on it since my topic being accepted hasn’t been of issue, rather funding has been my main issue. However, enough time has passed that parts of my research are irrelevant and other parts are no longer original since it has been encompassed in other researcher’s findings. The more time that goes by, the less my specific lens in regards to the topic is original or new. And therein lies the dilemma.

    Anyways, here is a snapshot of one of my proposals. My other proposals are variations of the same topic. As you may know, every university has different proposal requirements. Some want a 15 page proposal, some want a 5 page proposal. Others want a full literature review, while others look down on what they deem “name dropping.” Here is just one of the many variations of proposals I have saved.

    Enjoy…

    Project Overview

    Research Title: Transnational Contemporary Palestinian Music: Transnational Palestinian Identity Formation, Palestinian Experience and its Role in Israeli Affairs

    Palestinian contemporary music, particularly Palestinian hip-hop, which is very popular amongst Palestinian youth, acts as a medium for the Palestinian experience. Palestinian musicians voice their experiences and identity through their lyrics and this music acts as a medium to explore transnational Palestinian identity formation in the US and UK, seeing as this music is consumed globally by the Palestinian diaspora. [1] This research intends to study the role of Palestinian contemporary music in formulating a transnational Palestinian identity, how this transnational identity creates a new vision of Palestinian citizenship or activism and how this transnational identity and Palestinian citizenship influences Israel’s international relations.

    Project Scope

    The case study for this research is contemporary Palestinian music and its role in identity expression and formation, drawing a parallel between Benedict Anderson’s Imagined Communities concept that print capitalism brought the rise of the nationalism,[2] in turn globalisation’s role in transnational music distribution brought the rise of a transnational Palestinian identity. This research will assess in detail how this identity formed and what role this identity plays in their political activism concerning Israeli domestic and foreign relations. This will be achieved by researching the Palestinian community’s interactions with music and political opportunity structures in their home country’s, as well as Israel.

    The members of DAM, a prominent Arab hip-hop group, come from Al-Lid, Israel, although they very strongly identify themselves as Palestinian in their lyrics. DAMs closing lyrics to their song, Stranger in My Country, illustrate their multi-layered identity. And our Arabian roots are still strong. But still our Arabian brothers are calling us renegades. No. We never sold our country. The occupation has written our destiny. Which is, that the whole world till today is treating us as Israelis. And Israel till tomorrow will treat us as Palestinians. I’m a stranger in my own country.” [3]

    The lyrics of DAMs, Stranger in my Country, express feelings felt by Palestinian citizens of Israel. DAMs lyrics act as a form of communication to Palestinians living in other regions, serving as a form of news to these regions that otherwise may be unaware of what Palestinians in Israel experience. This leaves the Palestinian listeners with their own experiences that form their identity, in addition to the connection they have formed with other Palestinian experiences that influence their experience hereon in, and take part in shaping their identity. This hybrid identity then influences the state of Palestinian citizenship, affecting actions taken by Palestinians, political affiliations and civic duties, creating a transnational Palestinian citizenship.

    Project Empirical and Methodological Overview

    This project will assess why and how the Palestinian diaspora interacts with contemporary Palestinian music, embracing Palestinian identity or eschewing the community they live in as a form of political participation by using a postmodernist theory of methodology,[4] linking the use of music with political activism amongst Palestinians in the diaspora.[5] It will focus on organisational development of politically active groups on the macro, meso and micro levels, as well as diaspora Palestinian political inspirations found in Palestinian contemporary music. This project will garner empirical data through interviews with Palestinian music listeners and political activists, in order to build a comprehensive overview of how Palestinian lyrics and music can influence its listeners to form a transnational community that acts in benefit of a nation it does not live in. I also plan to translate and analyze Palestinian song lyrics and compare these lyrics to news reports that report socio-political circumstances of Palestinians. Attending conferences or concerts in which Palestinian musicians perform will give me better access to interview Palestinian contemporary music listeners. These interviews plan to get a better understanding of how Palestinians define their experiences, what constitutes a Palestinian identity, how connected they are to Palestinians in different regions, how they view Palestinian hip-hop and contemporary Palestinian music, as well as get a better idea of their political influences.

    From the data collected, I will then seek to build a wider theoretical framework to analyse the Palestinian diaspora’s formulation of identity, how this identity is measured and the influence this identity has on Israeli foreign and domestic decision making. This research will build on the work of Usama Kahf, who researched Palestinian hip-hop and identity in Israel and its relation to the Palestinian political struggle;[6] Andy Bennett’s research that explored youth consumption of music and how this music is used to define the self;[7] Amal Jamal, who researched media’s use in cultural resistance, as well as Israeli media policies towards Palestinians;[8] and Bakari Kitwana’s research on rap music’s role in cultural movement and political power.[9]

    A challenge arises as Palestinian hip-hop and other forms of contemporary Palestinian music is male dominatedHow does this dynamic play into identity formation amongst Palestinian women and does it have any impact on the political activism of Palestinian men or women?

    Timeline

    This research is expected to take up to three years as follows:

    • September 2015 January 2016Preliminary research, survey of literature and interpretive models.
    • February 2016 December 2016 Fieldwork, interviews and data collection.
    • January 2017 March 2017 Collate data and assess an interpretive model.
    • April 2017 September 2017 Development and presentation of preliminary findings and analysis.
    • October 2017 January 2018 First draft.
    • February 2018 October 2018 Final write up.

    Project Aims and Objectives

    This study will act as a vehicle case study for critiquing current research approaches to identity formation through music and its influence on international relations. It will be designed to challenge the paradigm that views transnational musical identity formation as insignificant in the face of international relations. This research is important because it fills existing empirical and theoretical gaps. Empirically, there is very little research on contemporary music’s role on the formulation of a transnational identity that leads to a politically active community that is capable of enacting change on an international level. There is also limited understanding of the Palestinian diaspora’s political aspirations and even less understanding of Israel’s interaction with Palestinian musical messages. This research looks to conduct thorough empirical research, particularly through interviews, observational data collection, quantitative monitoring of Palestinian music consumption amongst the diaspora. It will also involve an in depth analysis of contemporary Palestinian music’s lyrics, the messages intended in the music, as well as researching the connection between Israeli political relations and music.

    Theoretically, this research will explore the limitations set forth by not incorporating an interdisciplinary approach to the subject of transnational musical identity’s influence on international relations and political activism. This research will utilise data to create an extended postmodernist framework to assess motivations for political activism in the diaspora and how much of that political activism is due to their Palestinian identity that was formed in part by Palestinian contemporary music.

    Reasons for the Research

    Recent social-political movements, such as the divestment campaigns led by Palestinian activists in the diaspora, and these movements links to transnational Palestinian identity, demonstrates the needs to understand the influence of transnational Palestinian music on this community. This research serves the purpose of better defining the Palestinian identity and what is means to be Palestinian,[10] as well as how contemporary Palestinian music has influenced this process. Once a better understanding of Palestinian identity is established, a better understanding of their experiences, their needs, desires, hopes and political aspirations as a collective can be recognised. As Palestinian youth become more influential in their societies, their shared transnational experiences and identity will shed insight onto the socio-political future of Palestinians and Israelis.    

    Works Cited

    1. P. Katzenstein, The Culture of National Security: Norms and Identity in World Politics, (Columbia University Press, 1996 ).

    2. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

    3. DAM. Stranger in My Own Country. 2007. MP3.

    4. Keri E. Iyall Smith and Patricia Leavy (eds.), Hybrid Identities,  (Haymarket Books 2009), 267.

    5. Jamal, Amaney and Nadine Naber, Race and Arab Americans Before and After 9/11: From Invisible Citizens to Visible Subjects , (Syracuse University Press, 2008).

    6. Kahf, Usama. “Arabic Hip-Hop: Claims of Authenticity and Identity of a New Genre.”That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. By Murray Forman and Mark Anthony. Neal. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

    7. Bennett, Andy. Popular Music and Youth Culture: Music, Identity, and Place. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave, 2000. Print.

    8. Jamal, Amal. The Arab Public Sphere in Israel: Media Space and Cultural Resistance. P. 23-24, Bloomington: Indiana UP, 2009. Print.

    9. Kitwana, Bakari. That’s the Joint!: The Hip-hop Studies Reader. Ed. Mark Anthony. Neal and Murray Forman. New York: Routledge, 2012. N. pag. Print.

    10. Darcy Zabel, Arabs in the Americas: Interdisciplinary Essays on the Arab Diaspora, (Peter Lang Publishing, 2006), 35-39.

    Dabke 101 – Learn How To Dance Dabke #InternationalDanceDay

    Click Here!

    Samir-BW-Dabke“To all people who want to learn Dabke, Have you ever wondered what may be holding you back from learning and being great at Dabke?  From being confident and joining in the fun at weddings and parties?  Are you ready to let loose and really enjoy yourself? Are you ready to learn Dabke that connects you with your culture, your friends and your family?  Are you ready to learn Dabke that will get you attention from a potential husband or wife? Maybe the attention of a group of guys or girls? If so, then you have come to the right place… My name is Samir Hasan, and with the help of my student Youssef,  I am here to help you!  Here is the thing…Training dozens of people to do Dabke and personally performing in hundreds of shows has given me a rare insight into how to perform and teach Dabke moves from many countries including Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan and the Gulf.  I’m about to share with you some common errors along with my collection of Dabke moves I’ve called “Dabke101″ which I think are necessary for people to know if you are attending any Arab Wedding or Party.  LET ME TEACH YOU HOW TO DABKE!  On this very page you are reading at this very moment, I’m going to reveal to you the most efficient teaching methods for quickly learning Dabke while training in your own home at your own pace! WARNING: There are no pills or potions and this will take some hard work, so if you’re looking for a magic-fix then you’ve landed on the wrong site.  But if you are looking to have great fun, learn all sorts of Dabke steps, moves and routines from someone who has spent 15+ years in the industry then you’ve come to the right place. 

    The Problem: Limited Time + Lack of Teachers

    Let’s face it, like most other people you’ve looked around on the Internet, you’ve looked for clubs to join, you’ve looked for books and you might have even tried to YouTube it…There is nothing worth while out there.  If you’re lucky enough to find a teacher you have to make time to travel to their studio or pay lots of money for each session.  If you tried to form a group you deal with people not taking it seriously and missing classes.  If you’re really lucky and you find a group, they’re usually too advanced and you stand there with a puzzled look on your face trying to keep up!  Waste of time and STRESS! Let me ask you this… If you did find some videos on the Internet, who would you rather learn from?  An average guy who knows a few moves or a teacher who has done Dabke in front of International leaders and has taught countless numbers of people?! If you said “the teacher”, you’ve nailed it! Let’s say you got really lucky and you found a skilled Dabke dancer by chance.  If they don’t know how to teach you properly then you’ll both just waste your own time.  They also wont have any type of planned step by step structure that slowly teaches you and improves your Dabke skills even if you’ve never danced Dabke before…ever!

    The Truth: There is Nowhere to Learn Dabke

    The truth is that most of the great routines you find online and see at weddings take time and are taught personally from one person to another.  People don’t have tie time to learn or even teach these days especially if you’ve got a job, school or family to manage like the rest of us. Reality is your only chance to learn Dabke is a few hours every once in a while when you go to a wedding.  Here is what normally happens at weddings:  You get intimidated and go to the end of the line where people are doing the same old two step move.  You stay there and watch in awe as the guys at the front of the line jump around in laughter and fun.  You wish you were able to join in.  You should be at the front of the line! Imagine how proud your family and friends would be of you!  Imagine all the attention you will get from your friends and even the opposite sex!  Imagine the confidence! Imagine the fun…imagine!  Join me and turn your dream, your imagination into reality.

     

    The Solution: Learning Directly From a Teacher on Your Own Time

    Let me ask you another couple of questions…

    • Are you the go-to coach for Dabke in your City?
    • Have you trained dozens of dancers for shows all the way to dancing for the President of France?
    • Have you spent all of your spare time over the last 10+ years researching, attending workshops, dancing in shows and teaching people Dabke?

    I have

    And when you put that kind of dedication – that kind of passion – into developing and testing your moves, routines and teaching methods, you truly gain an incredible understanding of what is needed for people to learn Dabke and maybe more importantly, what must be left out, saving your time, energy and money.”

    40 Reasons You Should Hire Me

    Hello, I’m Heba. I have sent you this link because I REALLY want to work at your organization because I think your company is pretty awesome– I wouldn’t have sent this link to you otherwise. Below, you will find a list of the reasons I would make a great employee and creative partner. I hope by the end of this post you will learn more about me and give me a chance.

    Here it goes:

    1. I have a BA in Journalism from Penn State, an MA from Dartmouth College in Liberal Studies and an MA in Middle East and Islamic Studies from the University of Exeter.

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    2. I’m a fast learner.

    635920369314243634-1808424565_harvard elleI’m very much a hands on learner and I hit the ground running. As well as learning quickly, I’m always looking and finding ways to make work tasks more time efficient.

    3. I’m dedicated and focused.

    1n6sc.gifOnce I set my mind on a goal, I put my all into achieving it. In 2006, after a mere month of fundraising, I was able to raise almost $1 million in medical supplies for war torn regions. How many other people can say that?

    4. I have strong writing and editing skills.

    Cp8gJw8I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. In addition to my BA in Journalism, in which I had a 3.67 GPA in my major, I had a focus in Creative Writing during my first MA at Dartmouth College.

    5. I’m willing to move.

    giphy (2)I have lived in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., California, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Ohio, Switzerland, the U.K., Jordan, Palestine and Israel. I’m a professional at packing and moving. I’m more than willing to move for the right opportunity.

    6. I can roll with the punches.

    post-23206-be-water-my-friend-bruce-lee-g-nhkfI consider myself a perfectionist, but I understand that things can’t be perfect all the time. Sometimes, you have to do the best you can with what you have. I can handle all sorts of circumstances that come my way. Kind of like when I can’t find Collection or Gabrini eyeliner anywhere and I have to make due with Almay.

    7. I’m organized.

    Label Makers Can Definitely Help You Get Your Documents OrganizedReally, I am. I even won an MVP award from my time working at the GAP because I was the most organized employee.

    8. I can stay calm in a crisis.

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    Accidents happen and sometimes they’re unavoidable. Someone misses a deadline, a package wasn’t delivered on time, products break, people get hurt– Life happens. Working with kids between the ages of 5-17 has taught me to stay calm in all sorts of crazy scenarios. And if you’ve ever worked with kids, you know how crazy things can get.

    9. I love to laugh.

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    Laughing and making others laugh is a great talent of mine. I’m not signing up for any open mic nights or doing any stand-up comedy acts, but I can find the funny in the ordinary.

    10. I like to read.

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    In elementary school, I set the record for the most books read during National Reading Month. You can always find me with a book in hand or an article on screen.

    11. I live online and stay on top of all the new trends.

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    Most of my day is spent online digging through the mountains of information, videos, photos and such. I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing and am always the first one of my friends to identify viral material and trends.

    12. The world inspires me.

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    Everywhere I look, everyone I see, inspires me in some sort of way. Everyone I meet and encounter leaves a mark on me and inspires me to make the world a better place.

    13. I’m well-versed in social media.

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    Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Snapchat, Periscope, Instagram, Pinterest– I love it all.

    14. I’m a realistic optimist.

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    I try to see the best in everyone and in every situation, but my expectations are always realistic. After all, Rome wasn’t built in a day.

    15. I can work with a team, as well as on my own.

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    Being a journalist, I’ve learned to work as part of a team. Especially when working as an editor, much of the position is dependent on working with others. Working in groups is great because everyone brings a different perspective to the project at hand. But, I have also been a teacher and have had to take responsibility for creating curriculums all on my own. Working on my own is also great because I get to see how far I can push myself.

    16. I have experience managing volunteers.

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    Remember that huge fundraiser I talked about earlier? Well, I had recruited and managed the efforts of more than 50 volunteers in under a week’s time. I was responsible for training the volunteers, managing their schedules, communicating their needs and supervising their delegated responsibilities.

    17. I’m an email wizard.

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    Any of my former students can tell you that I respond to emails as soon as I possibly can, sometimes within minutes.

    18. I’m creative.

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    I dabble in the arts and always have new and innovative ideas running through my head.

    19. I have lots of interests.

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    I like fashion, desserts, poems, coffee, bright colors, food, photography, art, literature, movies, music, naps, decorating, calligraphy, libraries and spending time with my friends.

    20. I’m great at conflict resolution.

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    I’m an American-Palestinian-Arab-Muslim-woman with Israeli citizenship. If that doesn’t make me an expert problem solver, I don’t know what does.

    21. I’m good at stuff.

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    I’m a good listener and a good friend. Some other things I’m good at include, but are not limited to: eyeliner application, fashion styling, tea brewing and reality check administrating. I’m also a pretty great actress in life more so than in art.

    22. I have experience writing blogs, fiction, nonfiction, research papers, listicles, essays, executive reports, newsletters and more.

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    I can do it all because I have done it all. Writing, of all sorts, is what I do and it is what makes me happy.

    23. I’m confident in my abilities to speak and relate to different types of communicators.

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    Not everyone communicates in the same way. I have learned to adjust my tone, vocabulary and methods to fit the person I am speaking to.

    24. I’m proficient in Word and other software.

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    Word, Adobe, ProTools, PCs, Macs, FinalCut and so much more.

    25. I’m pretty good at evaluating situations.

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    I’ve always been good at reading a situation. I’m pretty observant and I can usually tell when someone is sad, happy, irritated, excited or any other range of emotion.

    26. My creative writing pieces have been published in several magazines.

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    You can check out my published writing by clicking on the Portfolio link at the top of the page.

    27. I’m always looking to improve.

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    Whether it’s getting a new haircut or trying to learn a new language, I’m always trying to improve myself, both inside and out.

    28. I can dish it and I can take it… In a respectful manner, of course. Tumblr_lp0rbgfnEg1qfal67o1_r1_250.gif

    As a writer, criticism can be tough. I put my heart and soul into my work and I know how disheartening harsh criticism can be. I’ve grown a thick skin over the years and can take criticism pretty well. I believe that criticism should always be constructive and when I give constructive criticism to an employee, I am always respectful and appreciative for their hard work. Constructive criticism should always help the other person improve their work and boost their self-confidence.

    29. I take pride in my work.

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    But just the right amount of pride. I’m not cocky, I promise.

    30. I want to plant some roots.

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    I’ve moved around a lot and I’ve had a lot of different type of jobs. Now, I’m ready to settle down and really grow within a company.

    31. I’m a coordination queen.

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    That goes for both my outfits and my workload. I’m all about the time management skills.

    32. I’m passionate about human rights, education, social justice, prison reform, women’s health, politics and life.

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    33. I’m always prepared.

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    I watch a lot of scary movies. As a result, I’m now prepared for any and all scenarios, at all times. If the zombie apocalypse ever happens, come with me because I have a plan.

    34. I like to bake.

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    I love baking and all things sweet. I also believe that sharing is caring, so, if you hire me you will be sure to have a taste of the sweet life.

    35. I smell nice.

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    I wear perfume even when I don’t leave the house, because I deserve to smell nice. I’m also super hygienic and carry around hand-sanitizer that doubles as lotion. It’s kind of my thing.

    36. I love animals.

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    Well, most animals. I have a fear of geese and swans, but other than that, I love animals. One of my dreams is to open up an animal sanctuary so I can love and hang out with my animal friends all day.

    37. I’m a feminist.

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    I believe everyone should be a feminist and we should all be working towards equality and justice for women.

    38. I make 11:11 wishes for good measure.

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    It can’t hurt, right? I’ll make a wish for you too.

    39. My life is a meme.

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    Anyone who knows me, knows that if there is a one in a million chance of something strange happening to someone, it’s going to be me.  And most days people get a kick out of it. Me included.

    40. I want to work and have fun doing it.

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    I want my work to be meaningful and I want to enjoy doing it. I’m not looking to clock in and clock out. I want to make a difference and improve people’s lives. I may not be able to change the world, but I certainly can change a tiny corner of it– even if it is one person.

    It’s like they [Confucius] say: Choose a job you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life.

    Middle East Defined

    As noted by Rashid Khalidi, the term “Middle East” has become a source of contention and is seen as an unsatisfactory term to describe the region we now know as the Middle East and North Africa. Khalidi is correct in being sceptical of the term “Middle East,” as its definition is unclear. The World Bank uses the term “Middle East and North Africa” which encompasses the nations of Algeria, Bahrain, Djibouti, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Syria, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, West Bank and Gaza, as well as Yemen. The United Nations Statistics Division, however, refers to the countries of North Africa separately from the countries of “West Asia,” which includes the Gulf countries, the Levant, as well as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey. While the United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Middle East Media Research Institute, the Central Intelligence Agency, the UN Refugee Agency, as well as Human Rights Watch all have slightly different definitions of what countries encompass the Middle East or the Middle East and North Africa, the larger questions are: Why do these organizations feel the need to define this region and what is the need to define this region?   

    Hasan Salaam, an Egyptian-American lyricist made a simple and important observation in some of his lyrics stating, “No such thing as the Middle East… No matter where you stand there’s always something to the east of you.” The definition of the “Middle East” and the terms that are used to describe North Africa, the Gulf, and West Asia have changed throughout history depending on which nations are the current superpowers. It seems that the European and American bodies that set th term “Middle East” into place, wanted to create Europe and North America as the centre of the world, in which everything must be in relation to these regions, and that the terms “Middle East” and “the West” are all relative.

    The “West” has consistently defined the “East” in their own terms, in order to better define themselves and in order to mark “their” territory. When the “West” occupied the “Middle East,” it occupied the languages and the minds of the people in that region because, now, in Arabic the region is referred to as al-Sharq al-Awsat, or the Middle East. The “West” defined the borders of the “Middle East,” the same borders that the “Middle Eastern” countries fight to defend despite the end of colonialism. They have let the “West” define who is seen as friend and who is seen as foe. By doing this, the “Middle East” continues to be the pawns of the “West” and still unknowingly caters to the “West’s” notions of how the “Middle East” should be defined.   

    What do you label yourself as?

    What do you label yourself as?

    This question is always so difficult because on one hand labels are silly, but the other hand- labels can be quite important. In some cases they are only as important as you let them be. And they only mean as much as you want them to.

    But we can label ourselves a million labels, as most, if not all of us, belong to more communities than we realize. Or as Benedict Anderson would call it, imagined communities.

    I’m a human, woman, Palestinian, Muslim, feminist, writer, activist, baker, student, teacher, driver, lover, hater, child, ally, adult, brunette, cook, eater, consumer, worker, liberal, omnivore, blogger, talker, listener, actress, walker, reader, editor, Arab and so much more.

    A whole lot more. Labels can never fully define a person.