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Majid Daneshgar

This essay will explore how the intellects of both scholars and their audiences are censored. In addition to various Western thinkers, particular attention will be paid to Ali Shari'ati, one of the most influential thinkers of modern Iran, and how he represented an important Islamic tradition. Not only did his ideas inspire revolutionary acts by generations of Iranians, but Turkish, Arab, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian philosophers, sociologists, theologians, and politicians have all employed his definitions of concepts such as justice, injustice, revolution, corruption, and bliss. This article sheds light both on how intellectuals influence their audience, and their long-term impact on broader communities. In order to do so, it will analyze the material and political conditions that censor both what scholars are able to say, and what their audiences are allowed to hear.

Reem Doukmak

Reem Doukmak was born in Syria and studied English literature at al-Baath University. In 2007 she completed her Master’s degree at the University of Warwick. With the help of cara she continued her studies at Warwick where she is now starting her academic career. Her work investigates how the right pedagogic interventions can help children in refugee camps. The use of drama plays a key role in her research and feeds into broader questions surrounding self-representation and agency. These are among the vital issues The Journal of Interrupted Studies has also sought to explore. We were lucky to engage Reem on her research and its implications for addressing the problematic discourses that surround refugees and yet neglect to include their voice.

Nasser Karami

Due to its widespread political and social consequences, the relationship between drought and climate change in the Middle East has been widely reported on by the media. Climate change is mainly understood within the paradigm: “prolonged drought is created and intensified by global warming.” The purpose of the study is to review this paradigm and examine aspects of it. Thus, climate trends in the Middle East are studied across three periods: 1900–1970, 1970–2000, and 2000–2017. Due to the importance of studying sequences of drought occurrence based on timescales of climatic patterns, the climatic trends of the Khuzestan Plain, were examined too. The results show that to have a clear understanding of both the modality of climate change in the Middle East and the current dominant paradigm, predominant assumptions of the paradigm should be reconsidered. For example, prolonged droughts are part of the natural pattern of climate in the Middle East, although the current drought has not been recorded for at least 100 years. This claim is based on the fact that prolonged droughts in this region can have natural causes, which can be studied as long-term climate trends, although the impact of global warming on the escalation of the Middle Eastern drought is undeniable. However, the exacerbating effect of non-anthropogenic factors on the impact of drought in the region should be studied, too. Additionally, as an epistemological assumption, the term “drying up” (as a new normal and permanent climatic pattern) should be used instead of “drought” (as a normal and reversible pattern) to determine the current climate change situation in the Middle East. The author concludes that the findings emphasize the need for further research in order to identify the modality of climate change in the Middle East.

Abdul Awal Khan

It is estimated that between 2008 and 2014, 4.7 million people were displaced due to natural disasters in Bangladesh and that by 2050, one in every seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by climate change. The subject matter of this paper is based on a theoretical analysis of various existing social and legal barriers relating to climate displacement in Bangladesh. This article critically analyses the social and legal barriers to helping Climate Change Displaced People (cdp) by drawing on existing legal literature such as the Bangladeshi constitution and qualitative data from Bangladesh’s experience with cdp. Ultimately, this article corroborates the lack of a coherent human rights framework for cdp in Bangladesh and suggests international cooperation as a first step towards a functioning regime.

Joystu Dutta, Kakoli Banerjee, Sangita Agarwal and Abhijit Mitra

The carbon budget of planet earth is regulated by the soil compartment in all types of ecosystems. We conducted a first order analysis of soc in November 2017 both in the mangrove dominated Indian Sundarbans and the highly urbanized city of Kolkata with the aim of identifying the natural and anthropogenic contributions of organic carbon in soil. We also attempted to analyze the spatial variation of soc between these two significantly different ecosystems. We observed a comparatively higher mean value of soc in Kolkata (2.06%) than in the Sundarbans (1.25%). The significant spatial variation in soc between Kolkata and the Sundarbans (p < 0.05) may be attributed to anthropogenic stress, which is of greater magnitude in the city of Kolkata. The significant spatial variation in soc between north and south Kolkata (p < 0.05) is due to the efficiency of the drainage system in the north and the magnitude of city limit expansion in the south. In the Sundarban deltaic complex, a natural phenomenon like erosion seems to be a determining factor in the domain of soil carbon dynamics. soc analyses of all major metropolises around the world, of which Kolkata is one, are essential to understand the carbon sequestration potential of urban soils.

Marcos Barclay and Paul Ostwald

Ayfer Karabıyık

The ‘Legend of the Babel Tower’ is mentioned in local narratives in many regions of the world and in mainstream religions, and is a subject much worked on in the field of art. This study will focus on the theme of the Babel Tower myth as discussed in contemporary art. The intention here is to discuss the reasons for the different assessments of the Babel myth in each period.

Aslı Vatansever

The ongoing witch-hunt in Turkish universities adds a political dimension to the economic precarization of the academic labour force, and should be seen as part of a wider, distinctly neo-liberal attempt on the part of the state to eradicate rational agency. By eliminating qualified oppositional cadres en masse on false accusations, the government implements a policy of systematic deinstitutionalization in the sphere of intellectual production. The erosion of critical subjectivity via deregulation and precarization has certainly been under way for a while now, albeit in different degrees and with diverse intensity. Yet in Turkey, it found an exceptionally fertile breeding ground due to some historical peculiarities of Turkish society, such as the state-oriented institutionalization process of academic structures and the pervasive anti-intellectualism.

The current war against universities in Turkey is being fought (and apparently won) with the help of academia itself. The universal values of knowledge production are being trampled down by the very institutions that are supposed to be dedicated to the safeguarding of these values. University administrations team up with the state in suppressing opposition by exploiting the economic vulnerability of the academic labour force to silence, intimidate or directly punish critical voices within the universities. The actual significance of the Academics for Peace Petition, originally intended as an attempt to bring peace back to the agenda, lies perhaps rather in the fact that it has surprisingly unveiled this unholy correlation between local circumstances and the dynamics of neo-liberalism.

Ghaith Mqawass

An important recent trend in education has been the integration of different technologies such as digital games, online courses, and educational robots. The development of educational robots such as lego Mindstorms nxt allows students to learn to build their own robots. This paper describes the human-robot interaction (hri) focusing especially on the model lego Mindstorms nxt. A questionnaire among 250 Syrian school and university students was conducted to investigate the different perceptions about lego robots in 2016. The informants were grouped based on their age; participants in the first group were aged between 11 and 18 years while participants in the second between 19 and 24. The current study also focuses on the factors leading to the acceptance of lego robots. Another questionnaire was conducted to highlight what factors determine the degree of acceptance of lego robots by the studied groups. Significant age and gender effects were found. The results show a noticeable difference between the two age groups, with the younger group tending to accept lego robots more. Furthermore, it was found that male respondents show more positive reactions towards lego robots than females.

‘We Too Have a Word to Say’

Enactment of the 1963 Collective Bargaining, Strike and Lockout Law in Turkey

Muzaffer Kaya

This article seeks to explain how in the beginning of the 1960s in Turkey the right to strike was adopted as a social right. The existing literature is divided regarding the factors that led to the shift in governmental policy. While some argue that the state granted this right without any struggle on the side of the workers, others propose that the main determinant in the process was the struggle of workers. By scrutinizing the interaction between political developments at the state and party levels, and the actions of the workers in that period, I argue that the recognition of the right to strike was the combined result of several interrelated political developments at the local and global level.