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

Latest Blog Posts

The Islamic State's Account of the Life of Omar al-Shishani

January 28, 2023

While the Islamic State continues to release its Arabic-language al-Naba' newsletter on a weekly basis (with now more than 350 issues released online since 2015), it is in my view worth revisiting some of the older issues and translating some old 'classics' from the newsletter, particularly as so much of its content remains unanalysed and untranslated (in contrast with the excessive attention bestowed on the magazines Dabiq and Rumiyah by analysts and academics lacking research competency in Arabic).

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US Visitor Visas and Suing for Mandamus: Advice from a Success Story

January 20, 2023

Today, I got my passport back via courier with a US visitor visa (B1/B2) stamped in it, valid for ten years. This now marks the end of a saga that has spanned more than 7 years in a bid to get a US visitor visa.

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Islamic State Report on Operations in Southern Syria: Translation and Overview

January 20, 2023

The Islamic State has hardly claimed any operations in the southern Syria region (Deraa, Quneitra and Suwayda' provinces) over the past two years or so, but this lack of claims should not necessarily be taken to reflect a decline in the group's activities in southern Syria. In fact, as in the Badiya regions of central Syria, I suspected that the group was likely underreporting its activities in southern Syria for reasons of operational security. Given what we currently know about the killing of the last Islamic State caliph Abu al-Hasan al-Hashimi al-Qurashi in Deraa in October, underreporting for reasons of operational security should hardly be surprising.

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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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