There is limited information on Daesh poetess Ahlam Al-Nasr, but what is known for certain is her unconditional passion and loyalty to the Islamic Caliphate’s extremist, expansionist mission to hold the world under strict Shariah law.
Al-Nasr, whose real name cannot be verified, is thought to have been originally named Shaima Haddad, a young girl from Damascus who fled after the Syrian civil war erupted in 2011. A report by The New Yorker claims that her firsthand experience of the Syrian regime’s air raids triggered her radicalization.
“Their bullets shattered our brains like an earthquake / even strong bones cracked then broke. They drilled our throats and scattered / our limbs — it was like an anatomy lesson! / They hosed the streets as blood still / ran / like streams crashing down from the / clouds,” reads one of her earlier poems on the bloody conflict.
Her family fled to Kuwait shortly after, but Al-Nasr did not plan on staying in the small Gulf state for long.
She returned to Syria in June 2014, and four months later, wed Vienna-born extremist Abu-Usama Al-Gharib in the terrorist group’s de-facto capital Raqqa, which capitalized her recruitment into Daesh’s ranks.
Al-Nasr quickly rose to prominence among the extremists. Her poems covering death and destruction, of loyalty to the caliphate and the beheading of apostates, spread like wildfire among militants and commanders — spurring them even further through romanticized versions of their plight.
She was a court poet in Raqqa, and was used as an official propagandist for the terror group — an ironic move given the strict restrictions the group places on women.
Her book “The Blaze of Truth” contains a collection of 107 poems praising Daesh’s goal and supporting the militants “journey” — wrapped up in poetic, elegant prose meant to recruit even more extremists.
In one of her poems, she incites Muslims across the world to kill and burn the enemies of Islam, saying:
“Our innocent children have been killed and our free women were horrified / their only crime was being Muslim / they have no savior / where are the heroes of Islam? / Kill them and burn them and do not worry about the consequences / follow your almighty sword, and you will make the best news.”
Other poems include praises of Daesh’s self-proclaimed caliph and Preacher of Hate Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi — who committed suicide during a US raid in October, as well as a poem titled “Osama, You Have Left” in which she mourns Al-Qaeda founder Osama Bin Laden and calls him a “reformer.”
Al-Nasr does not only stick to poems, she has also written a thirty-page essay detailing support and defending Daesh’s decision to burn captured Jordanian pilot Muath Al-Kasasbeh.
Much is yet to be discovered about Al-Nasr and her place within Daesh as the organization crumbles at the hands of International Coalition raids — but one thing is certain: “She was born with a dictionary in her mouth,” as her law professor mother stated.