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Islamic State v. al-Qaida

Owen Bennett-Jones, 3 November 2016

Isis: A History 
by Fawaz A. Gerges.
Princeton, 368 pp., £19.95, March 2016, 978 0 691 17000 8
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Isis: Inside the Army of Terror 
by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan.
Regan Arts, 411 pp., £12.99, April 2016, 978 1 68245 029 1
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Irregular War: Isis and the New Threat from the Margins 
by Paul Rogers.
I.B. Tauris, 224 pp., £18.99, June 2016, 978 1 78453 488 2
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... wouldn’t be enough. People fear IS but some fear its opponents even more. As Michael Weiss and HassanHassan argue, the strategy of Abu Musab al Zarqawi’s al-Qaida in Iraq, the forerunner of Islamic State, has been posthumously vindicated. Zarqawi ...


Stephen Sackur: In Aswan, 24 June 1993

... access to those still detained. ‘The people here feel trapped by the current situation,’ says Hassan Mohammed Hassan, one of the few lawyers prepared to represent the men incarcerated since 9 March. ‘Historically there has been very little support ...

The Hijackers

Hugh Roberts: What will happen to Syria?, 16 July 2015

From Deep State to Islamic State: The Arab Counter-Revolution and Its Jihadi Legacy 
by Jean-Pierre Filiu.
Hurst, 328 pp., £15.99, July 2015, 978 1 84904 546 9
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Syrian Notebooks: Inside the Homs Uprising 
by Jonathan Littell.
Verso, 246 pp., £12.99, April 2015, 978 1 78168 824 3
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The Rise of Islamic State: Isis and the New Sunni Revolution 
by Patrick Cockburn.
Verso, 192 pp., £9.99, January 2015, 978 1 78478 040 1
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Isis: Inside the Army of Terror 
by Michael Weiss and Hassan Hassan.
Regan Arts, 288 pp., £12.99, February 2015, 978 1 941393 57 4
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... and Syria and an unsparing analysis of Shia politics in Baghdad. In their book Michael Weiss and HassanHassan lean much further towards Filiu’s thesis, that the rise of IS can be blamed in large part on the Assad regime, and they devote a chapter to ...

You’re with your king

Jeremy Harding: Morocco’s Secret Prisons, 10 February 2022

Tazmamart: Eighteen Years in Morocco’s Secret Prison 
by Aziz BineBine, translated by Lulu Norman.
Haus, £9.99, March 2021, 978 1 913368 13 5
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... When​ King Hassan II of Morocco was crowned in 1961, he had already made influential friends. In 1943, as the son of Sultan Mohammed ben Yusef, he had been introduced to Roosevelt and Churchill at the Anfa Conference in Casablanca; in 1945, aged fifteen, he was decorated by de Gaulle ...

Looking after men

Nicholas Spice, 9 July 1987

The Present Moment 
by Marjorie Oludhe Macgoye.
Heinemann, 155 pp., £9.95, July 1987, 0 434 44027 2
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Memory of Departure 
by Abdulrazak Gurnah.
Cape, 159 pp., £9.95, April 1987, 0 224 02432 9
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You can’t get lost in Cape Town 
by Zöe Wicomb.
Virago, 184 pp., £3.95, May 1987, 0 86068 820 8
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... Memory of Departure is less reticent about the fruits of Uhuru. Like Macgoye’s old ladies, Hassan Omar remembers the Independence struggle as a time of communal fervour and hope: ‘We had then revelled in our oneness, speaking words of tolerance for past wrongs, forgiving ourselves for the horrors of our history and ...

Behind the Sandwall

Jeremy Harding: Morocco’s Shame, 23 February 2006

Endgame in the Western Sahara: What Future for Africa’s Last Colony? 
by Toby Shelley.
Zed, 215 pp., £16.95, November 2004, 1 84277 341 0
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... ally with ample weapons stocks, which nursed a long-standing animosity, reciprocated by King Hassan II and his government, towards the largely pro-Western monarchy on its western border. East Timor and Western Sahara are post-colonial narratives in the proper sense; and how badly they read. General Franco’s death ...

I wouldn’t say I love Finland

Alexander Dziadosz: Love, Home, Country?, 24 March 2022

Voices of the Lost 
by Hoda Barakat, translated by Marilyn Booth.
Oneworld, 197 pp., £12.99, February 2021, 978 1 78607 722 6
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God 99 
by Hassan Blasim, translated by Jonathan Wright.
Comma, 278 pp., £9.99, November 2020, 978 1 905583 77 5
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... the piles of dead leaves spilling over the kerbs at the corners of deserted streets’. Hassan Blasim’s God 99 is a less disciplined undertaking. Like Barakat, who left Beirut for Paris in 1989, towards the end of the Lebanese civil war, Blasim isn’t a recent arrival to Europe. He was born in Baghdad and moved ...

A Diagram of Power in the Arab World

Michael Gilsenan, 2 October 1997

Master and Disciple: The Cultural Foundations of Moroccan Authoritarianism 
by Abdellah Hammoudi.
Chicago, 195 pp., £30.50, September 1997, 0 226 31527 4
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... invest emotionally in claims by their rulers to powers of blessing, or baraka (Morocco’s King Hassan); to the prestige of holy or sharifian descent from the Prophet Muhammad’s family (Jordan’s King Hussein and King Hassan); to the guardianship ...

Chasing Ghosts

Alex de Waal: The Failure of Jihad in Africa, 18 August 2005

... in the attempted bombings in London on 21 July were born in the Horn of Africa. One, Yasin Hassan Omar, was born in Somalia; a second, Osman Hussein, in Ethiopia; and a third, Muktar Said Ibrahim, in Eritrea. Ten years ago, when Osama bin Laden lived in Khartoum, the Horn of Africa could plausibly have been described ...

Jeremy Harding goes to Beirut to meet the novelist Elias Khoury

Jeremy Harding: ‘Before everything else, a writer of stories’, 16 November 2006

... cause, with drips, catheters, swabs and bedsore remedies. Khaleel has been advised by Umm Hassan, an elderly Palestinian midwife who grasps a death as she would the legs of a breech-birth baby, that he should talk to his unconscious patient even if it seems pointless. Khaleel obliges and in the course of the one-way ...
The Age of Terrorism 
by Walter Laqueur.
Weidenfeld, 385 pp., £17.95, March 1987, 9780297791157
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The Baader-Meinhof Group: The Inside Story of a Phenomenon 
by Stefan Aust, translated by Anthea Bell.
Bodley Head, 552 pp., £12.95, June 1987, 0 370 31031 4
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... the process). The group then set off for training in Jordan, dispensed by the Al Fatah leader, Abu Hassan. The period in the Al Fatah camp was pure black comedy. Baader’s request that his group be trained for bank robberies was easily met, but real trouble arose over their insistence that men and women should be allowed to ...

Short Cuts

Rory Scothorne: Class before Nation, 14 December 2017

... consideration. Contributing to Mark Perryman’s The Corbyn Effect, a collection of essays, Gerry Hassan wrote that ‘the politics associated with Momentum have not translated north of the border, with the group not even organising in Scotland. Corbynista politics have coalesced around the much smaller Campaign for ...


Stefan Tarnowski: In Lebanon, 21 October 2021

... is also its prime minister. Saad Hariri resigned the premiership in October 2019. His successor, Hassan Diab, resigned after the Port of Beirut explosion. Throughout this period, the central bank was, in the words of the World Bank report, ‘almost an exclusive policymaker’ in Lebanon. BdL publishes regular ...


Jonathan Steele: Neo-Taliban, 9 September 2010

... us,’ he answered, as though the Taliban were doing foreigners a great favour. Mullah Muhammad Hassan Rahmani, the governor of Kandahar and a close associate of Mullah Omar, the Taliban leader, was happy to receive us for two hours as soon as our translator contacted his office. An unhurried and genial figure, he planted ...

Tales from the Bunker

Christopher Hitchens, 10 October 1991

... competitive and hire themselves out on a basis of keen but friendly rivalry. My own selection of Hassan, a lad of no more than twelve summers, proved especially fortunate. After judicious study of my game, he proffered advice on my swing which helped correct a lifelong tendency to slice. He also demonstrated resource and ...

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