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

Latest Articles and Blog Posts

Iraq's Political Crisis: Escalation and De-Escalation Without Resolution

September 21, 2022  •  Castlereagh Associates

Iraq has recently seen the most severe infighting in years between political factions of the country's Shi'a majority, as dozens of people were killed and hundreds were wounded overnight on 29-30 August in armed confrontations between followers of the Shi'i cleric Muqtada al-Sadr ('Sadrists') and other Shi'a factions on the streets of Baghdad and southern cities like Basra.

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Life on the Frontlines: Account of a Hay'at Tahrir al-Sham Fighter

September 20, 2022 at 8:43 am

The war in Syria has now lasted for more than 11 years, but the majority of its days have not consisted of active battles. As time passes, this observation will be even more valid if there is maintenance of the status quo since the spring of 2020, when a ceasefire arrangement for northwest Syria was established between Turkey and Russia, ending the most recent major military campaign. The reality of most of the war has been and still is 'ribat': that is, maintenance of the frontlines and keeping on the lookout for enemy movements. This ribat in the present time is sometimes punctuated by skirmishes and exchanges of fire, but not active battles.

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Islamic State Editorial on New Speech by Spokesman Abu Omar al-Muhajir: Translation and Analysis

September 16, 2022 at 2:08 pm

Analysts of Islamic State and jihadism in general are sometimes accused of unnecessarily amplifying the messages of jihadist groups. The criticism in my view is not entirely invalid. For example, I see no reason why analysts should be promoting on Twitter the early announcement of a forthcoming release by the Islamic State's al-Furqan Foundation (which these days normally takes the form of a speech by the official spokesman of the group).

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A Sermon by Adémar de Chabannes on Famine in 11th-Century France: Translation and Overview

September 13, 2022

My esteemed friend and colleague Richard Landes, who last year had me translate a letter by Saint Agobard and other bishops on the "Jewish superstitions" in ninth-century CE Carolingian France, has drawn my attention to another interesting medieval text with a suggestion for translation- this time a sermon by the French monk Adémar de Chabannes, who lived in the late tenth and early eleventh centuries CE and is best known for championing the cause of Saint Martial (the first bishop of Limoges) and falsely portraying him as one of the original apostles when in fact he was a third century bishop. To support this false claim regarding Martial, Adémar engaged in literary forgery, and it is probable that his tendencies to fabrication were only exacerbated by the humiliation he endured at the hands of an Italian prior- Benedict of Chiusa- in 1029 CE as the supposed apostolic mass of Martial (which Adémar had invented) was about to be celebrated in front of a public audience. The audience ended up siding with Benedict.

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Iraq's Political Crisis: Interview with Aws al-Khafaji

September 11, 2022

Iraq currently finds itself in the grip of a political crisis principally rooted in a deadlock between the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr (the 'Sadrists') and the other Shi'a political factions in a coalition called 'The Coordination Framework.' The latter is backed by Iran though this does not mean that all factions of the framework are united by a pro-Iranian affinity or stance. What unites them principally is a negative: opposition to the prospect of Sadr dominating the Iraqi state.

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