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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Interview with Barhum al-Labad of Katibat Maghawir al-Haq

May 25, 2017 at 6:19 am

Readers will recall my long study of the case of the 'reconciliation' in the north Deraa town of al-Sanamayn. In brief, the reconciliation- agreed at the end of 2016- officially brings back the entire town under regime control, but has broadly allowed the armed factions inside the town to continue to exist and resolve criminal matters and disputes among themselves without regime interference. This autonomy model is considered by the regime as a model for the broader south of Syria, and similar deals have already been struck in other north Deraa localities like Ghabaghib and more recently Mahajja.

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The Islamic State: Baqiya?

May 16, 2017  •  Bicom

The Arabic word baqiya ("remaining") is one of the most common adjectives associated with the Islamic State, dating back to its earliest incarnation that claimed to be a state: namely, the Islamic State of Iraq (ISI). Once ISI officially expanded into Syria under the name of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) and began seriously controlling and administering territory, the additional claim of "expanding" was soon tagged on to the organisation's unofficial slogan, thus baqiya wa tatamaddad. Indeed, with the capture of Mosul and other major towns and cities in Iraq and Syria, the claim to be remaining and expanding was not without merit, especially following the declaration of the Caliphate and spread of the Islamic State franchise into multiple other countries throughout the region.

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Could you open a pharmacy in Islamic State territory?

May 7, 2017 at 3:11 pm

As should be familiar by now, the Islamic State has a health department as part of its bureaucracy (Diwan al-Siha). From the documentary evidence, multiple instances emerge of the Islamic State trying to regulate pharmaceutical practices in the territories under its control. These regulations include insistence on competence, such as proof of study of pharmacology in the form of some kind of certificate, as well as price controls. The Islamic State also encouraged the study of pharmacology among students, keeping the pharmacology college at Mosul University open.

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"Heed the call"- New Nasheed from Islamic State's Ajnad Media

May 4, 2017 at 2:16 pm

"Heed the call" (Arabic: labbu al-nida') is the latest production from the Islamic State's Ajnad Media, which puts out Arabic nasheeds and recitations of parts of the Qur'an. The nasheed is interesting because it touches in a general sense on the fact that the Islamic State increasingly feels under pressure with the military campaigns against it, thus the emphasis on the need for jihad and fighting until death: 'Only death has remained in the time of the epic battles and conflict.' Also alluding to this theme is the question posed of where are 'the men of manliness' and 'the lions of the struggle.' Finally note the reference to the supposed arrogance of the non-Muslims as they wage their war on the Islamic State (equated in the nasheed with 'Tawheed'- monotheism).

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Administrative Decisions on Local Defence Forces Personnel: Translation & Analysis

May 3, 2017 at 8:41 am

That the regime has faced manpower problems in trying to deal with the rebellion is by now a familiar point. While problems partly derive from lack of trust in many Sunni conscripts since the early days of the civil war, there are also more general issues surrounding the poor pay and terms of army service. In the civil war atmosphere, there may also be reluctance to fight in areas far removed from one's home and local area. As a result, there has been widespread evasion of compulsory and reserve service, along with desertion from the army ranks. Fear of arrest for these offences would also prevent many people from venturing too far beyond their hometown or area, on account of the risk of encountering a security checkpoint that might have their names on a wanted list.

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