My name is Benedict Robin, a PhD student at the University of Edinburgh Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) department. My research is on social mobilisations and the public sphere in post-occupation Iraq. Currently I am focusing on political dimensions of al-hashd al-shaabi and relationships and tensions between this phenomenon and the ‘reform protest movement’ that has been ongoing in Iraq since 2015. This site is intended primarily as a repository for this research.
I previously studied an MSc in Advanced Arabic at the University of Edinburgh. This site has developed from my MSc thesis research which focused on political identity in the Iraqi-Shi’a religious field – particularly during the period of al-hashd al-shaabi . In the process of this research I translated fatwas, bayanat, interviews and other relevant sources in order to build a picture of the discourse around political identity being constructed by key religious figures in the Iraqi-Shi’a field.