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The assault on Samarra, which was built in the period of the Abbasid caliphate in the ninth century CE, therefore came to represent for many a symbol of the destructive civil conflict which engulfed Iraq following the 2003 US-led invasion. The Shi'a of Samarra explores and analyses the cultural, architectural and political heritage of the Shi'a in both Samarra and the Middle East, thus highlighting how this city functions as a microcosm for the contentious issues and debates which remain at the forefront of efforts to rebuild the modern Iraqi state. Its examination of the socio-political context of the Shi'a/Sunni divide provides important insights for students and researchers working on the history and politics of Iraq and the Middle East, as well as those interested in the art and architecture of the Islamic world.
About the Author
Imranali Panjwani is a Tutor and PhD candidate in the Theology and Religious Studies faculty at King's College London. Educated at the University of Sheffield, The College of Law and Al-Mahdi Institute in Birmingham, he has worked for the Centre for Islamic Shi'a Studies in London as its Research Co-ordinator.