Charlie P.W. Gammell

Historian of Afghanistan and Iran

Charlie Gammell is an historian of Afghanistan and Iran who specialises in Iran-Afghan history and relations between those two countries. Educated at Oxford and Cambridge, his MPhil thesis looked at the development of Shia political ideology through studying religious sects in Iran's Constitutional Revolution.

He has worked in Afghanistan and Iran since 2009, interpreting Farsi and Pashto for the ICRC, advising UNESCO on cultural and historical projects, and carrying out research for a book on the history of the city of Herat. The book, to be published by Hurst & Co. in 2016, is entitled The Pearl of Khorasan: Herat from Chingiz Khan to Ismail Khan. It traces the city's history from the arrival of the Mongols in 1221 to the present day. It seeks to place Herat in its historical context as a disputed city with Iranian and Afghan influences, but one that is very now much firmly situated in the Afghan state.

He has been published in Asian Affairs on Herat's place in a modern Afghanistan, and has contributed to the Afghan Analysts Network on Herat's recent history.



The Other Apocalypse

Apocalyptic imagery permeates the current conflicts of the Middle East. Charlie Gammell explores how Shia millenarian beliefs are a major motivator of both militia violence and regional geopolitics.

Charlie P.W. Gammell

12 Oct 2015

Situation Report


A regime of contradictions and paradoxes, Iran's deeply ideological and religious revolutionary framework sits alongside pragmatic political self-interest, with tensions between popular and theocratic sovereignty permeating the country's recent history, writes Charlie Gammell.

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