Speaking the Unspeakable: Sounds of the Middle East Conflict (Springer, 2016)


This book searches for words where words seem insufficient to express the dynamic truths of an experienced conflict. It explores how a metaphoric understanding of the Middle East as an open space full of resonating sound bodies can be applied to the Middle East Conflict. Through inquiring into the experienced truths of large-scale political violence, Adham Hamed suggests that music carries a potential for speaking ‘unspeakable’ truths. He explores hidden layers and narratives by applying the transrational approach to Peace Studies and proposes a non-territorial understanding of conflict. Hamed proposes that security and justice discourses make up the dominant primary themes in this context. Support for this claim is provided in the second part of this book, where the Israeli-Palestinian group The Jerusalem Youth Chorus and the Egyptian band Eskenderella are examined as case studies. This book uncovers where their truths meet within and beyond the restrictions of formalized language. It shows how singers and audience alike are guided by the energy of the moment as they speak a truth that is an expression of a deep resonance. This resonance can penetrate all layers of a persona, connecting the personal self to everything in one’s social space. Hamed concludes that in such moments there is the largest potential for revolutionary change in the dynamics of a rigid conflict.

Click here to listen to the sounds of the Jerusalem Youth Chorus and Eskenderella:

Audio Track 1

Audio Track 2

Audio Track 3 will be available soon.

Audio Track 4: will be available soon.

Revolution as a Process: The Case of the Egyptian Uprising (Wiener Verlag für Sozialforschung, 2014)

My first edited volume ‘Revolution as a Process: The Case of the Egyptian Uprising’, has been published at the Vienna Publishing House for Social Science Research in June 2014.

Revolution as a Process

Book Abstract

As Egyptian society stands at a point of extreme polarization, this book about the Egyptian Revolution makes an important contribution to current debates about the Arab uprisings by bringing together theoretical and practitioner’s perspectives. The clear aim of this edited volume of the series Contemporary Studies on the MENA Region is not to construct a singular narrative about the revolution but rather to highlight the multiplicity and complexity of perspectives and theoretical lenses. Consequently, this book brings together authors from diverse academic and cultural backgrounds, from the Middle East and the Global North, to raise their voices. This publication addresses scholars of the social sciences, peace and conflict research as well as anyone interested indeveloping a better understanding of the political situation in Egypt.

“It is rather easy to say no to a dictator, a ruler or a political system, but it is exhausting to build a new society. This requires the constant effort of dedicated generations. This book embraces not a master plan for a better future but it reflects from where this splendid young generation has to start anyway, the thorny challenges that are waiting for them on their path, the uncertainty of social or political reward.”

– Wolfgang Dietrich, UNESCO Chair for Peace Studies, University of Innsbruck, Austira

Revolution as a Process in Austrian newspapers Der Standard and Tiroler Tageszeitung.

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