The ACRPS has published the sixth issue of its social sciences and humanities journal Omran. In this issue, Omran aims to enrich academic dialogue encompassing conceptual, historical, and modern perspectives of surveillance systems in the Arab world, with contributions from Arab academics closely examining the transformations Arab world surveillance systems have undergone since the colonial era. This issue also includes a selection of studies and readings of recent publications on society and governing authority.
Palestinian sociologist Elia Zureik, in charge of the issue’s section on surveillance, introduces the issue by noting that surveillance became a basis for ruling the land and peoples in the colonies under the pretext of national security. He argues that this took place during the day-to-day and unofficial context of humans monitoring humans, and acquired an official dimension in colonial policies, in which surveillance was incorporated into bureaucratic, census, and legal procedures in order to control the land and classify the population. Egyptian social scientist Ahmad Zayed considers the surveillance mechanisms used in the modern Egyptian state, while Palestinian researcher Rana Barakat investigates the colonial legacy of the British in Palestine and the criminalization of resistance. Moroccan researcher Hisham Khabbash examines the impact of social networking on the breakdown of surveillance and control systems.
Omran also offers translations of two studies and analyses: Turkish historian Genghis Curley’s “Surveillance and the Construction of Public Space in the Ottoman Empire”; Elia Zureik’s “Constructing Palestine through Surveillance Practices”; Tunisian researcher Suhayl al-Hubayyib’s “The Nature of the Democratic Transformation in Tunisian Ideological Thought”; and Egyptian researcher Ahmad Abed Rabbo’s “Civilian-Military Relations in Egypt”.
In “Debates and Reviews,” Omran offers a paper by Moroccan researcher Yahya Bou Lahya, “The Store in 19th Century Morocco, Beholding and Beheld”; Ali Abd al-Qader Ali’s review of The Quest for Prosperity by Justin Yifu Lin; and Nerouz Satik’s discussion of The Great Syrian Revolt and the Rise of Arab Nationalism by Michael Provence. Lastly, Omran offers a series of brief reviews of selected titles, Egyptian painter Gazibyya Sirri’s work, and a report of the Second ACRPS Conference on Islamic Movements and Democratic Governance.