Fallujah and the Public Sphere: English / Arabic Comparison, Part I

This is the first of a series of posts in which I will present analysis on data collected on the networked-public sphere surrounding the ongoing battle for Fallujah. I’ve been messing about with some data mining, analysis, and visualisation techniques and thought a comparison of how the English vs Arabic language twitter spheres have responded to

Translation and analysis: ‘Ministries without quotas’ Iraqi Writer’s Union letter to Iraq’s leaders and the origins of Iraq’s technocracy discourse

While the Fallujah operation, al-hashd al-shaabi, and the fight against ISIS have been grabbing the international headlines, Iraq’s political process and structures are also under considerable pressure from a long-running protest movement demanding fundamental political reform. One Iraqi analyst has described this movement as: ‘the first large-scale popular challenge to the consensus on the Iraqi

Hadi al-Amiri in apparent volte-face on role of hashd in storming Fallujah

The front page story of Rudaw Arabic is reporting on a statement made by Hadi al-Amiri, Commander of Badr Organisation and senior leader in al-hashd al-shaabi, which appears to represent a complete reversal of his previous commitment that the hashd militias would only secure the perimeter of Fallujah and would not enter the city, leaving that task to

Another ‘interesting’ Qassem Soleimani photo surfaces

Another interesting photo of Qassem Soleimani has been circulating, I picked it up from Rudaw’s facebook feed where the news agency was asking its followers to provide their ‘explanation’ of the scene which depicts Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis (near) sitting beside Qassem Soleimani (far). Al-Muhandis is the operational commander of the Popular Mobilisation Committee and is thought

Who is leading / participating in Iraq’s Fallujah Operation?: A closer look at the ‘Iranian-backed Shi’i militias’ narrative

  France 24 hosted an interesting debate yesterday (30/05/2016) on the current military operations against ISIS in Fallujah and Raqqa. The guests included: journalist Wassim Nasr; former head of the French UN Military Mission to Iraq, Dominique Trinquand; Adjunct Fellow at the Hudson Institute, Michael Pregent; and Senior Fellow at SAIS-John Hopkins University, Dr Abbas

Translation: Ali Al-Sistani’s guidance to fighters engaged in Fallujah

Mustafa Al-Khaqani ‏@Khaqani_M shared the an interesting picture (below) showing the guidance on battlefield rules issued a few days ago by Shi’i marja’ Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani spreading amongst fighters engaged in the Fallujah operation. What follows is a rough translation of this guidance with the original Arabic text below: “So it comes to the fight with those

Mapping Iraqi political, legal, military, and intelligence structures and key figures

I have updated my map of key figures in the Iraqi state, legal, military, and intelligence structures to account for recent changes at the Ministry of Interior, Intelligence, and the head of Baghdad Operations. Key sackings and resignations, as a result of ISIS attacks on Baghdad that have resulted in mass civilian casualties, include: Zuhair Gharbaoui

‘Iran prepares to occupy Fallujah, the Kurds prepare to occupy Raqqa, and the Arabs prepare to watch part eight of Bab al-Hara…’ Faisal al-Qassem and Arabist discourse on Fallujah and Iraq.

‘Iran prepares to occupy Fallujah, the Kurds prepare to occupy Raqqa, and the Arabs prepare to watch part eight of Bab al-Hara…’, so tweeted Faisal al-Qassem this morning (27/05/2016) in response to the two operations currently underway against IS in Iraq and Syria. Qassem’s message encapsulates some of the long-established tropes of Arabist discourse, namely

Qassem Soleimani photo causing a stir…

Some interesting images have been circulating on social media regarding the Fallujah operation currently under way in Iraq. This photo was reportedly shared yesterday by Harakat Hezbollah al-Nujaba (which emerged from Asa’b Ahl al-Haq), bearing the group’s logo and stating that it was taken ‘near Fallujah’. It shows Iranian Quds Force commander (the ‘Iranian Karla’ in