The Boy Named Jihad: From the Ashes of the Arab Spring to the Battlefields of Syria

MAN, Jordan—Umm Jihad’s desktop background is a photo of her son Jihad smiling over his shoulder in a forest, superimposed on a sparkly pastel backdrop. “This was in Syria right before he died,” the 44-year-old mother said (she asked to be referred to as Umm Jihad, or “Mother of Jihad,” rather than by her formal name). Umm Jihad clicked on a folder labeled “Jojo” to show more pictures: Jihad leading a protest for government reform at Amman’s al-Dakhiliya circle; Jihad giving a speech at the University of Jordan; Jihad dressed in white for a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia; Jihad taking a selfie with his younger brother; Jihad with a full beard, holding a gun, wading through a stream, and waving a black flag inscribed with Jabhat al-Nusra’s white letters: “There is no God but God. Muhammad is the prophet of God.”

  • Hard Little Machine

    Someone should grab a few dozen of those freshly scrubbed smartphone wielding facebook revolutionaries from 2011-2012 and ask them how their peaceful overturning of all those nasty Arab governments has worked. I especially would like to know how Jon Stewart al Amriki al Jihad feels about all those funny yet hopeful things he assured us that simply blaming everything on Israel would evolve into.

    Rolled up, we’re at about a half million killed, 10 million made homeless refugees, 2 possibly 3 entire countries no longer exist. But hey, Obama’s your man, Hope and Change Motherfuckers, Hope and Change.