Ali Issa presents Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq


Ali Issa, author of the new book Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle in Iraq, will make a rare Los Angeles appearance on the evening of Wed., Dec. 2, at The Markaz. Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Odds presents the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground. Dating back to 2003, with an emphasis on the 2011 upsurge in mobilization and hope as well as the subsequent embattled years, these voices belong to Iraqis asserting themselves as agents against multiple local, regional, and global forces of oppression. As Vijay Prashad notes in the foreword: "Other histories had been possible for Iraq, and indeed might yet be possible. The social basis for the Popular Movement to Save Iraq remains, even if in the shadows. It is the only force that could provide an alternative to the history of blood that stands before Iraq, the nest of bones, the sky of death."

Workers’ justice, gender liberation, anti-imperialism, and global solidarity have been on the agendas of many Iraqi organizations, in contrast to almost all media and scholarly representations—even those that are sympathetic to popular Iraqi struggles. Media and scholarship instead focus on geopolitics, mass violence, and sectarianism to the exclusion of attempts at independent political action and imagination in Iraq. With the legacy of wars since 1980, followed by the brutal sanctions of the 1990s and the 2003 US invasion and occupation, not to mention the recent emergence of the threatening forces of the Islamic State, understanding and acting in solidarity with these struggles is more crucial than ever. 

Ali Issa will be in conversation with Deborah Al-Najjar and Dr. Yousef K. Baker to address the state of Iraqi social movements, Iraqis' responses to the current crisis, and the historical roots of U.S. Empire in Iraq.
Deborah Al-Najjar is the co-editor, with Dr. Nadje Al-Ali, of We Are Iraqis, a collection of creative and non-fiction works by Iraqi academics, visual artists, and activists. She is completing her dissertation entitled Around 1991: Racial/Sexual Terror and U.S. Empire.
Yousef K. Baker is Assistant Professor of International Studies at Cal State Long Beach. His current research examines the political economy of the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq. 

Read an interview with Ali Issa in Jadaliyya. 7 pm reception, 8 pm event. $10 donation requested, $5 members/students with ID. Complete dinner available for $15 per person: on the menu either Chicken Tagine or Okra Stew with Beef + Rice Pilaf + Chickpeas with raisins and carrots tagine + zaalouk Moroccan eggplant + salad + fruit for dessert.

  • December 02, 2015 at 7pm – 10pm
  • The Markaz, 5998 W. Pico Blvd LA 90035
  • $5.00 USD
  • 1 person is going
  • Monia Fdäil



Will you come?

$10.00 Requested donation
$5.00 Members/Students With ID

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