Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
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Pundicity: Informed Opinion and Review

Latest Blog Posts

The Counterterrorism Force in al-Suwayda': Interview

January 18, 2023

As I have mentioned in my previous interview with the opposition faction Hizb al-Liwa' al-Souri that is based in the primarily Druze province of al-Suwayda' in southern Syria, the Counterterrorism Force (Arabic: Quwat Mukafahat al-Irhab) functions as Hizb al-Liwa' al-Souri's armed wing. Officially, the Counterterrorism Force dedicates itself to combating 'terrorism' whether in the form of criminal gangs that terrorise civilians or the Islamic State, as well as combating drug smuggling. The Force has become known in al-Suwayda' province for handing over an alleged drugs smuggler to U.S.-backed Syrian rebels in the Tanf area, and for its skirmishes with more loyalist forces in al-Suwayda' province such as the National Defence Forces.

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"Dissertation On the Religion of the Galileans": An Account of an Alleged Sect in Lebanon

January 16, 2023

I have previously documented some of the dissertations written in Latin by the Swedish orientalist Matthias Norberg pertaining to the Druze and the character of the Prophet Muhammad, in addition to a dissertation he oversaw consisting of an Arabic account of the Yezidis, rendered into Latin. The subject of this dissertation (published in 1808 CE) and translated in this post is a Latin rendering of an Arabic account of a supposed religious sect that originated in the Galilee and migrated into Lebanon. The supposed sect, which seems reminiscent of the Mandaean sect of Iraq, claims John the Baptist as its founder, performs rituals with honey and locusts, and has feast days to coincide with key moments in John the Baptist's life and career.

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Extended Interview with Abd al-Nasir Qardash: Senior Leader in the Islamic State

January 14, 2023 at 5:54 pm

Abd al-Nasir Qardash was a top-ranking figure in the Islamic State who has been detained by the Iraqi security forces for some years. Although Husham al-Hashimi published in June 2020 for the Newlines Institute an account of a conversation he had with Qardash, the fact is that the scoop on getting access to Qardash and then publishing an interview with him properly belongs to al-Arabiya and its sister outlet al-Hadath in May 2020. I translate this account of the interview in full.

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The Curious Case of An Ex-Gitmo Detainee in Syria

January 12, 2023

Many years ago in tracking the jihadist insurgent scene in Syria, the issue of former Guantánamo Bay detainees turning up in Syria came to some prominence on account of the group called Harakat Sham al-Islam ("Sham al-Islam Movement"). The group, which is presently integrated into Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, was founded by Moroccan foreign fighters. Its leader was Ibrahim bin Shakaran, who was killed in the Kassab offensive in Latakia in north Syria in 2014. Other former Guantánamo detainees in the group's ranks included Muhammad al-'Alami (killed in 2013) and Muhammad Mizouz (who was identified in December 2013 and whose current status remains unknown). Following these revelations, interest in the subject died down as no further information became available.

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شهيتو تي بخعة

January 4, 2023

Note for the readers: The following is a short post I have written in Western Neo-Aramaic. If you are a speaker of Arabic or another Semitic language I will be curious to see if you can work out the subject matter and perhaps even translate certain sentences. I have made the post fairly simple.

الى القارئ: هذا هو منشور صغير كتبتُه باللغة الآرامية الغربية المعاصرة. وان تكلمتَ اللغة العربية أو غيرها من اللغات السامية، فأود أن أرى ما اذا قدرتَ على معرفة موضوع المنشور وترجمة بعض الجمل. علماً أنّ المنشور بسيط بعض الشيء:

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