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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Firqat-ul-Ghuraba vs. Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham

June 2, 2023 at 2:38 pm

The insurgent-held areas of Idlib and its environs in northwest Syria continue to be dominated by Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham, whose core of Jabhat al-Nusra originated as an affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq before declaring itself an al-Qa'ida affiliate and then breaking ties with al-Qa'ida in forming Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham in January 2017. In turn, this hegemonic approach leads to conflict between Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham and more independent-minded groups and individuals, especially those that feel Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham has deviated from an ideologically purist Islamic line in favour of 'nationalist' sentiment. For its part, Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham treats such groups and individuals as 'threats' to 'public security/public order.'

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Islamic State Editorial: "Why Do We Wage Jihad?"

June 2, 2023 at 2:37 pm

The publication of the weekly al-Naba' newsletter of the Islamic State continues unabated, though is noticeable that the number of pages in some of the recent issues has only amounted to eight as opposed to the more usual twelve, compared with the earliest issues of al-Naba' that spanned sixteen pages. While most of the pages of al-Naba' feature military reports of the group's activities around the world, the newsletter nonetheless feels obliged to produce a weekly editorial too. Essentially, these editorials are of two types: (i) an editorial seizing on some recent news development pertaining or not pertaining directly to the Islamic State (e.g. the Islamic State's expansion in Africa, or the World Cup in Qatar respectively), or (ii) a generic editorial reaffirming (yet again) some aspect of the Islamic State's general worldview- a general worldview that is so simple it can probably be taught in an hour or so to an outsider unfamiliar with the subject. A couple of these latter editorials could definitely be used in an undergraduate course on the Islamic State and jihadism, for example.

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El Cid Campeador's Grant to the Church of Valencia (1098)

June 1, 2023

Although in my overview and translation of the Historia Roderici (the anonymous Latin biography of the Spanish knight and ruler of Valencia El Cid Campeador) I questioned the conception of El Cid as a 'Christian hero' or 'defender of the West,' it is nonetheless true that the later sections of the Historia Roderici- in relation to his conquest of Valencia- portray El Cid as driven with zeal for Christianity. It is also the case that the image of a Christian warrior is the one El Cid sought to convey in his own propaganda while he was ruling Valencia, as attested in this official document- dated to July-December 1098 CE- that is the main surviving contemporary evidence of his brief period of rule there.

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Quwat Shaykh al-Karama: Interview

May 28, 2023

In the primarily Druze province of al-Suwayda' in south Syria, Shaykh Abu Fahad Wahid al-Bal'ous established Harakat Rijal al-Karama ("Men of Dignity Movement") in 2014 as a 'third-way' movement: neither opposition nor loyalist, but focused on defending the province from external attack and seeking internal reform without calling for armed rebellion against the Syrian government or 'regime change'.

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Syria and Captagon: An Assessment

May 25, 2023  •  Middle East Forum

In recent years, widespread concerns have emerged about the transformation of Syria into a "narco-state," specifically in relation to reports about the allegedly growing production of the stimulant drug captagon inside Syria, and the smuggling of the drug both within the country and outside its borders.

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