Beginings for All Seasons of Change
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Bidayat is an Arabic language intellectual and cultural quarterly publication that aims to make a significant contribution in the on-going struggles of Arab societies towards self-determination, citizenship, democracy, secularism, social and economic justice, guided by the values of equality, freedom and humanism and recognizing ethnic, gender and cultural diversity.
The publication was launched in early 2012 inspired from and in response to the historic transformations brought forth by the revolutions that have been taking place in the Arab world since 2011. It is our firm belief that these revolutions are imparting change at the level of state, regimes of power and society, but also challenging prevailing paradigms on rule, governance and citizenship in the Arab world. Bidayat is conceived as an open cultural and intellectual forum for mediation and debate.
The various Opinion, Op-Ed and Culture sections of major and minor Arab newspapers (in hard and electronic media) fail to provide space for profound analysis, synthesis, thoroughly researched arguments, as well as visual expression. Bidayat is a multi-disciplinary, diverse and plural forum aimed at a general readership, fluent in Arabic, with a keen address to the emerging, younger generations of activists, writers, artists and thinkers. It is dedicated to provide a platform for a new production of knowledge, original in the themes explored, provocative in approach, and novel in the array of contributors solicited.
The publication’s sections include: a review of current events; an in-depth exploration of the central theme for each issue; emerging voices (youth), review of events in the global south (beyond the Arab world); issues in political economy; book reviews; visual memory; ideas; creative writing; popular (folk) culture; music.
Schematically, Bidayat is a 180-200 page quarterly that aims to provide a forum for the:
• various aspects of the Arab revolutions and challenges they engender, in theory and practice;
• the intellectual production of young activists, researchers and creative writers, discovering and endorsing new voices and new talents as well as enabling a forum of inter-regional exchange;
• translation of contributions from the vast and rich intellectual production on the region produced by the new generation of Arab and non-Arab academics outside the region;
• critical and novel reflection on the impact of globalization on the Arab region, in plural and diverse realms, with a special focus to political economy.
• critical and novel reflection on the question of memory and historiography, featuring articles and private papers, memoirs, testimonies, oral history recordings, diaries, as well as official and government archives.
• the production of art and culture, with a keen attention to visual culture as well as folk/popular culture and music.
• Bidayat does not have a special section for women studies as it encourages women to write on all topics, including on gender issues, in the same sense that it encourages men to likewise write on gender issues.
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