Exposed: How Ahlam Al-Nasr is Daesh’s ‘poet laureate’

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Updated 18 December 2019

Exposed: How Ahlam Al-Nasr is Daesh’s ‘poet laureate’

  • Despite Daesh's collapse, Ahlam Al-Nasr's poetry and essays remain a key inspiration tempting youth to the militant cause
  • Exposing propagandists such as Al-Nasr as the hate preachers they are is important to understand the poison of jihadi thinking, says analyst

No one knows where she is — or, in truth, exactly who she is.

But even as Daesh disintegrates, the poetry and essays of the woman who calls herself “Ahlam Al-Nasr” remain a key inspiration tempting youth to the militant cause.

Al-Nasr is exposed today as a Preacher of Hate, the latest in the Arab News series on extremists and their malign influence on those who follow them.

Thought to be the granddaughter of a Syrian cleric, Al-Nasr exploited Arabs’ traditional love of poetry by using it to spread Daesh propaganda, and incite Muslims across the world to kill and burn the “enemies of Islam.”

Her book, “The Blaze of Truth,” contains a collection of 107 poems praising Daesh’s goal and supporting the militants’ “journey.”

“Al-Nasr’s most powerful and enduring poems are her simple clipped compositions that are ideal for conversion into nashids (anthems),” Dr. Elisabeth Kendall, senior research fellow in Arabic and Islamic Studies at Pembroke College Oxford, told Arab News.

“Set to noninstrumental music and sometimes with violent video footage, their catchy sing-along rhythms can appeal to aspiring Daesh fighters in the West even if their Arabic is weak.”

Analyst Peter Welby writes in Arab News today: “Exposing propagandists such as Al-Nasr as the hate preachers they are is important to understand the poison of jihadi thinking, which pollutes our world and threatens our future.”

 

ALSO READ:

Ahlam Al-Nasr: Daesh poet of poison

Preacher of Hate Ahlam Al-Nasr's bio

OPINION: Exposing the jihadi mouthpieces who pollute our world
 

 


Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

Updated 25 min 37 sec ago

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz takes third Dakar Rally title after winning Saudi edition

  • Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this”
  • He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018

QIDDIYA: Veteran Spanish driver Carlos Sainz won the Dakar Rally for the third time on Friday, finishing with a comfortable winning margin in the first running of the event in Saudi Arabia.
The 57-year-old crossed the line in the 12th and final stage 6min 21sec ahead of nearest challenger and reigning champion Nasser Al-Attiyah of Qatar, who had managed to cut Sainz’s lead to just 24 seconds on Tuesday but fell back after navigation blunders.
“I feel very happy. There’s a lot of effort behind this. A lot of training, practice,” Sainz told the race’s website.
“It has been a flat out rally since the beginning. It was fantastic, a first time in Saudi Arabia, of course you can always improve but it was a fantastic effort,” he added.
Asked about defending his title next year Sainz said: “It’s too early to think about it, let me enjoy this.”
Sainz, the father of F1 driver Carlos Sainz Jr., seized control of the race from the third stage in his X-raid Mini.
He has now won the Dakar with three different manufacturers, having previously triumphed with Volkswagen in 2010 and Peugeot in 2018.
Stephane Peterhansel was third at 9min 58sec behind in his Mini. Both the Frenchman and Sainz won four stages in the marathon 12-day, 7,800-kilometer (4,800-mile) race.
Ricky Brabec triumphed in the motorbike section for Honda, becoming the first US rider to win the gruelling race.
Two-time Formula One champion Fernando Alonso finished 13th on his Dakar debut, nearly five hours behind the winner.
Alonso came second in one stage but his first participation in the Dakar was a bruising affair as the 38-year-old Spaniard suffered a double rollover in the 10th stage after hitting a dune at an awkward angle.