CONFLICTED

CONFLICTED

An ex-Al Qaeda jihadi turned MI6 spy and a former monk turned filmmaker, have been embedded at the heart of conflicts in the Middle East. Together Aimen Dean and Thomas Small unpack the realities of war, fundamentalism and their global implications through first-hand experience.

Episodes

July 17, 2024 61 mins
Season 5 of Conflicted is here! In this season, we’re delving deep into a continent whose Islamic heritage is often overlooked, but which is one of the most consequential and politically significant places in the world of geopolitics today. That’s right – in Season 5, Conflicted does Africa! In our opening episode, Thomas and Aimen are giving you an introductory overview of the continent, and we really are covering a lot. From th...
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All Conflicted fans know Aimen’s life story – but what about that of his co-host, Thomas Small? Avid listeners will have heard Thomas talk about his Orthodox Christian faith and his time as a novice monk at a monastery on the Greek island of Mount Athos, but the story of how he got there, and why he decided to leave the brotherhood, is a fascinating tale… This week, Thomas and Aimen switch roles to find out more about Thomas’ spiri...
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The 1860 ‘Damascus Events’ saw Syrian Christians murdered by their Sunni Muslim neighbours in a brutal genocidal moment that reshaped the late Ottoman Empire. It’s an example of how previously harmonious communities can descend into brutal violence in a very short time span. But in the Ottoman Empire’s response to the violence, it’s also an example of how hostile communities can be brought back from the brink. To learn more about t...
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Iran is rarely out of the news at the moment: from the death of President Raisi (which we covered in our last Conflicted Community episode), to the rumours of Supreme Leader Khamenei’s illness, and with unrest inside the country ever present, it feels like a country at the precipice. So this week, we again look to Persia to make sense of what Iran’s global strategy actually is. And this week, in a Conflicted Community first, we we...
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Enjoy another clip from a new episode for our Conflicted Community!  This week, Thomas and Aimen discuss the life and times of Iran’s President Raisi – ‘ The Butcher of Tehran’ – as well as doing a deep dive on the fascinating relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan, before Aimen gives us some intel on how Raisi might have died… To keep listening, you’ll need to subscribe to the Conflicted Community. And don’t forget, subscribers ...
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Enjoy a clip from the first exclusive Q&A episode for our Conflicted Community! Thanks so much to our supporters for sending in all these brilliant questions on our Discord chatroom. This week, Thomas and Aimen answer your burning questions, from Eurovision to Qatar, visiting corners of the world they’ve not touched on before…  To keep listening, you’ll need to subscribe. And don’t forget, subscribers can also join our Conflicted ...
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Thomas introduces a whole hour of extra content, as Aimen gives evidence to the Foreign Affair Committee in the UK Parliament. To hear more about this trip to the palace of Westminster, as well as other bonus content, sign up to the Conflicted Community! Members also get access to our chatroom on Discord, where you can engage in riveting post-episode debates, and ask questions for upcoming exclusive Q&A episodes. All the informatio...
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The second episode for our Conflicted Community is here!  This bonus episode is the final one going out to all of our dear listeners on this feed, so to keep listening, you’ll need to subscribe. Subscribers can also join our Conflicted Community chatroom on Discord, which is already brimming with conversation and analysis. All the information you need to sign up is on this link: https://conflicted.supportingcast.fm/  For our sec...
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Welcome to the first episode for our Conflicted Community!  We’ll be coming to you every two weeks with interactive episodes for our subscribers. We’re giving the first couple of episodes out for all of our dear listeners, but to keep listening, you’ll need to subscribe. And don’t forget, subscribers can also join our Conflicted Community chatroom on Discord, to discuss everything you hear, and so much more. All the information you...
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April 10, 2024 4 mins
The Conflicted Community is now live!  Want to hear bonus episodes of Conflicted and chat with fellow Dear Listeners? Now you can! We’re going to be putting out new interactive episodes every two weeks for subscribers, as well as giving access to our Conflicted Community chatroom on Discord, where you can engage in riveting post-episode debates. All the information you need to sign up is on this link: https://conflicted.supportingc...
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On Friday, January 12th, the Houthis added their muscle to the spreading conflict in the Middle East. By attacking commercial shipping lanes in the Red Sea, they have brought reprisal strikes from a US and UK led coalition which could bring the west into the war and even reignite the Yemeni civil war which has engulfed the country since 2014. We covered Yemen extensively over 5 episodes at the end of Conflicted season 4, so it was...
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November 29, 2023 66 mins
The state of Yemen in 2023 is precarious. After the Arab Spring revolution descended into civil war, the Houthis have cemented their power over large swathes of Northern Yemen, while the traditional ruling parties have fractured and, in many cases, disintegrated. In this final episode of our mammoth exploration of the history of Yemen - and indeed season 4 of Conflicted - we bring things up to the modern day, stepping back from his...
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November 22, 2023 76 mins
The Arab Spring of 2011 may have brought with it hope for a new dawn in Yemen, one of democracy and liberal reforms outside the rule of strongman Ali Abdullah Saleh. But the years that followed saw this quickly undone. The GCC Initiative brokered by Gulf States quickly broke down due to an intense culture of mistrust between all the parties within it. And with the insurgent Houthis growing ever more confident in the north, their ma...
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November 15, 2023 72 mins
2011 was a pivotal year for Yemen, and indeed the entire Middle East. After years of wars against the insurgent Houthis in the North, and with years of protests against President Ali Abdullah Selah’s attempts at radical constitutional changes, the Arab Spring which engulfed so many Muslim countries came to Yemen, too. It saw a bottom up revolution take hold in Sanaa, quickly filtering out across the country. It was a cry for democr...
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November 8, 2023 66 mins
Ali Abdullah Saleh, the president of Yemen from 1990 - 2012, described the process of governing Yemen as akin to “Dancing on the heads of snakes”. Such were the profound splits in Yemeni society, and with other strongmen, tribes and insurgent groups vying for their own power, Saleh knew that to keep his newly unified country together from the 1990s onwards would take a dance of real precision. In this second episode of our five pa...
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November 1, 2023 71 mins
Ask anyone from the Middle East about Yemen, that country on the southern tip of the Arabian peninsula, and they’ll tell you tales about the Queen of Sheba, Frankincense and Myrrh. It’s a place steeped in ancient history and paints a vivid picture in the imagination. But it’s also a place currently riven by conflict, engulfed in a civil war which has now been raging since 2014. But how did it get there? And what can the country’s h...
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In the last episode of Conflicted, we saw Hezbollah, the Lebanese Shia terror group, grow in power in the midst of the brutal Lebanese civil war of the 1980s. But after a precarious peace came to the country, an Israeli occupation of the south remained throughout the 1990s. This allowed Hezbollah to remain an active and armed militia, a fact which would come to haunt the country over the following decades until today. In this seco...
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October 18, 2023 56 mins
Some four decades ago, out of the chaos of the Lebanese civil war, a Shia militant group was born who would grow into one of the most dominant and malign forces in Lebanese politics. A proxy for Iran, staunchly opposed to Israel and aggressive in their aims, they have now effectively established themselves as a state within a state within Lebanon. Who are they? Hezbollah. Over the next couple of episodes, Conflicted takes on this ...
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October 11, 2023 65 mins
Emergency Episode: On Saturday October 7th 2023, Hamas terrorists broke through the border of the Gaza Strip and carried out a brutal assault on Southern Israel. As of publication, the death toll stands at some 1,200 Israelis, 900 citizens in Gaza, and some 1,500 Hamas fighters have been found dead inside Israel. It is the most deadly attack on Jewish civilians since the holocaust. As the world reels from these horrific events, we...
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October 4, 2023 58 mins
It’s always difficult to know exactly what is going on in Iran - that isolated, Shia theocracy that dominates so much of the Middle Eastern land mass. It's a diverse and divisive state, ruled with an iron fist by Ayatollah Khamenei, whose supreme power means he can dictate what the country does and how it is run, at home and abroad. But in recent years, protests against the regime have been growing, leading to many people hoping th...
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