“I Am Very Happy Here”

Female Jihad in Syria as Self-Accomplishment

In: Hawwa
Thomas Pierret Department of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES), University of Edinburgh 19 George square, eh8 9ld Edinburgh United Kingdom

Search for other papers by Thomas Pierret in
Current site
Google Scholar
Mériam Cheikh Groupe d’Etude sur les Relations ethniques, les Migrations et l’Egalité (GERME), Université Libre de Bruxelles cp124, avenue F.D. Roosevelt 50, 1050 Bruxelles Belgium

Search for other papers by Mériam Cheikh in
Current site
Google Scholar
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


In October 2014, a 19-year female Syrian tweeter known as Ahlam al-Nasr announced her departure from her home in Saudi Arabia and settlement in the territories held by the Islamic State Organisation (iso). As a piece of propaganda, Ahlam’s account of this jihadi migration tells as much about the author’s personality as about the kind of subjectivities iso is trying to appeal to. Ahlam appears as a strongly individualist figure as she forcefully asserts ownership of her life plan despite the fact that it was decided with her family’s consent. The reasons she give to account for her migration, and to encourage her readers to follow suit, also testify to an individualist break with previous rationales for transnational jihad: jihad in Syria is not about helping coreligionist in distress, but rather about participating in the edification of an ideal Islamic State that offers attractive opportunities of self-accomplishment.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 1286 130 16
Full Text Views 336 27 2
PDF Views & Downloads 208 56 5