New article on the use of sewage sludge in sustainable Tunisian agriculture

How Can Sewage Sludge Use in Sustainable Tunisian Agriculture Be Increased?

Authors: Ronny Berndtsson (Lund University CMES), Nidhal Marzougui, Nadia Ounalli, Sonia Sabbahi, Tarek Fezzani, Farah Abidi, Walid Oueslati, Sourour Melki, Sihem Jebari

October, 2022

MDPI Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


In recent years, farmers in Beja, an agricultural governorate in northwestern Tunisia, have expressed their willingness to use urban sewage sludge as agricultural fertilizer, especially with the unavailability of chemical fertilizers and the soil type of the region that is poor in organic matter. However, there is an imbalance between the important farmers’ demand versus the limited quantity of sludge produced by the Beja wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). In the face of this, this study aims to identify the problems related to the agricultural reuse of sludge in Beja and propose solutions to solve them. The quality of the sludge produced by the five Beja WWTPs was assessed based on physicochemical and microbiological parameters. The data were collected using the Delphi method, with 15 experts representing different positions on the issue treated. The SWOT-AHP methodology was used to define the strategies promoting the sustainable use and management of urban sewage sludge for sustainable agricultural development in Beja. Results showed that there were no problems with compliance with the Tunisian standards NT 106.20 for the sludge produced. A set of twelve practical conclusions was identified, constituting the strategies of Strengths–Opportunities, Strengths–Threats, Weaknesses–Opportunities, and Weaknesses–Threats deduced from the SWOT-AHP.

New article on Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Good Tidings for Saudi Women? Techno-Orientalism, Gender, and Saudi Politics in Global Media Discourse

Author: Joel W. Abdelmoez (Lund University)

September, 2022

CyberOrient Journal of the Virtual Middle East and Islamic World


Gender equality in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is still a contentious and hotly debated issue, both within the country and in global news media as well as social media. Not least has the government app “Absher” drawn attention and criticism, due to features that allow male guardians to track their female dependants, issue or withdraw travel permits, and file for divorce at the click of a button. This study aims to explore the campaigns and debates around the app, and how it has been represented in global media. Focusing mainly on social media campaigning by journalists, activists, as well as the Saudi government, I hope to shed light on the different sides of the debate, and what the representation of Saudi Vision 2030, the reforms and the app, particularly in European and American media discourse, tell us about popular imaginations of Islam, technology, and gender.

UI Brief on Environmental colonialism in the Maghreb

Environmental colonialism in the Maghreb? Harnessing green energy on indigenous peoples’ land

Author: Leonora Haag (UI)

June, 2022

The Swedish Institute of International Affairs

The EU has been investing increasing amounts in North Africa’s renewable energy sector over the past decade in order to strengthen the union’s energy security and comply with climate agreement targets. To a large extent, this energy infrastructure has been developed in peripheral regions primarily inhabited by indigenous people. This policy brief looks at if, and how, the local population was consulted, compensated, and allowed to participate in the decision-making process surrounding the development of the solar energy complex Noor Ouarzazate.

New book on Middle Eastern Diasporas

Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas

Edited by Dalia Abdelhady and Ramy Aly (CMES Lund University, and American University in Cairo)

August, 2022

Routledge Taylor & Francis Group


Bringing together different strands of research on Middle Eastern diasporas, the Routledge Handbook on Middle Eastern Diasporas sheds light on diverse approaches to investigating diaspora groups in different national contexts.

Asking how diasporans forge connections and means of belonging, the analyses provided turn the reader’s gaze to the multiple forms of belonging to both peoples and places. Rather than seeing diasporans as marginalized groups of people longing to return to a homeland, analyses in this volume demonstrate that Middle East diasporans, like other diasporas and citizens alike, are people who respond to major social change and transformations. Those we count as Middle Eastern diasporans, both in the region and beyond, contribute to transnational social spaces, and new forms of cultural expressions. Chapters included cover how diasporas have been formed, the ways that diasporans make and remake homes, the expressive terrains where diasporas are contested, how class, livelihoods, and mobility inflect diasporic practices, the emergence of diasporic sensibilities, and, finally, scholarship that draws our attention to the plurilocality of Middle Eastern diasporas.

Offering a rich compilation of case studies, this book will appeal to students of Middle Eastern Studies, International Relations, and Sociology, as well as being of interest to policymakers, government departments, and NGOs.