Syria the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Armenians, Kurds, Circassians and Turks. Religious groups include Sunnis, Alawites, Isma'ilis, Shiites, Salafis and Jews. Sunni make up the largest religious group in Syria. Syria is a unitary republic consisting of 14 governorates and is the only country that politically espouses Ba'athism, it is a member of one international organization other than the United Nations, the Non-Aligned Movement. In English, the name "Syria" was synonymous with the Levant, while the modern state encompasses the sites of several ancient kingdoms and empires, including the Eblan civilization of the 3rd millennium BC. Aleppo and the capital city Damascus are among the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world.
In the Islamic era, Damascus was the seat of the Umayyad Caliphate and a provincial capital of the Mamluk Sultanate in Egypt. The modern Syrian state was established in mid-20th century after centuries of Ottoman and a brief period French mandate, represented the largest Arab state to emerge from the Ottoman-ruled Syrian provinces, it gained de-jure independence as a parliamentary republic on 24 October 1945, when Republic of Syria became a founding member of the United Nations, an act which ended the former French Mandate – although French troops did not leave the country until April 1946. The post-independence period was tumultuous, a large number of military coups and coup attempts shook the country in the period 1949–71. In 1958, Syria entered a brief union with Egypt called the United Arab Republic, terminated by the 1961 Syrian coup d'état; the republic was renamed into the Arab Republic of Syria in late 1961 after December 1 constitutional referendum, was unstable until the 1963 Ba'athist coup d'état, since which the Ba'ath Party has maintained its power.
Syria was under Emergency Law from 1963 to 2011 suspending most constitutional protections for citizens. Bashar al-Assad has been president since 2000 and was preceded by his father Hafez al-Assad, in office from 1971 to 2000. Since March 2011, Syria has been embroiled in an armed conflict, with a number of countries in the region and beyond involved militarily or otherwise; as a result, a number of self-proclaimed political entities have emerged on Syrian territory, including the Syrian opposition, Tahrir al-Sham and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Syria is ranked last on the Global Peace Index, making it the most violent country in the world due to the war, although life continues for most of its citizens as of December 2017; the war caused more than 470,000 deaths, 7.6 million internally displaced people and over 5 million refugees, making population assessment difficult in recent years. Several sources indicate that the name Syria is derived from the 8th century BC Luwian term "Sura/i", the derivative ancient Greek name: Σύριοι, Sýrioi, or Σύροι, Sýroi, both of which derived from Aššūrāyu in northern Mesopotamia.
However, from the Seleucid Empire, this term was applied to The Levant, from this point the Greeks applied the term without distinction between the Assyrians of Mesopotamia and Arameans of the Levant. Mainstream modern academic opinion favours the argument that the Greek word is related to the cognate Ἀσσυρία, Assyria derived from the Akkadian Aššur; the Greek name appears to correspond to Phoenician ʾšr "Assur", ʾšrym "Assyrians", recorded in the 8th century BC Çineköy inscription. The area designated by the word has changed over time. Classically, Syria lies at the eastern end of the Mediterranean, between Arabia to the south and Asia Minor to the north, stretching inland to include parts of Iraq, having an uncertain border to the northeast that Pliny the Elder describes as including, from west to east, Commagene and Adiabene. By Pliny's time, this larger Syria had been divided into a number of provinces under the Roman Empire: Judaea renamed Palaestina in AD 135 in the extreme southwest.
Since 10,000 BC, Syria was one of the centers of Neolithic culture where agriculture and cattle breeding appeared for the first time in the world. The following Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of Mureybet culture. At the time of the pre-pottery Neolithic, people used vessels made of stone and burnt lime. Finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidences of early trade relations. Cities of Hamoukar and Emar played an important role during Bronze Age. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth preceded by only those of Mesopotamia; the earliest recorded in
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The système universitaire de documentation or SUDOC is a system used by the libraries of French universities and higher education establishments to identify and manage the documents in their possession. The catalog, which contains more than 10 million references, allows students and researcher to search for bibliographical and location information in over 3,400 documentation centers, it is maintained by the Bibliographic Agency for Higher Education. Official website
Lahore is a city in the Pakistani province of Punjab. Lahore is the country's second-most populous city after Karachi, is one of Pakistan's wealthiest cities with an estimated GDP of $58.14 billion as of 2015. Lahore is the largest city, historic cultural centre of the Punjab region, one of Pakistan's most liberal and cosmopolitan cities. Lahore's origins reach into antiquity; the city has been controlled by numerous empires throughout the course of its history, including the Hindu Shahis, Ghaznavids and Delhi Sultanate by the medieval era. Lahore reached the height of its splendour under the Mughal Empire between the late 16th and early 18th century, served as its capital city for a number of years; the city was captured by the forces of the Afsharid ruler Nader Shah in 1739, fell into a period of decay while being contested between the Afghans and the Sikhs. Lahore became capital of the Sikh Empire in the early 19th century, regained much of its lost grandeur. Lahore was annexed to the British Empire, made capital of British Punjab.
Lahore was central to the independence movements of both India and Pakistan, with the city being the site of both the declaration of Indian Independence, the resolution calling for the establishment of Pakistan. Lahore experienced some of the worst rioting during the Partition period preceding Pakistan's independence. Following independence in 1947, Lahore was declared capital of Pakistan's Punjab province. Lahore exerts a strong cultural influence over Pakistan. Lahore is a major centre for Pakistan's publishing industry, remains the foremost centre of Pakistan's literary scene; the city is a major centre of education in Pakistan, with some of Pakistan's leading universities based in the city. Lahore is home to Pakistan's film industry, is a major centre of Qawwali music; the city hosts much of Pakistan's tourist industry, with major attractions including the Walled City, the famous Badshahi and Wazir Khan mosques and Sikh shrines. Lahore is home to the Lahore Fort and Shalimar Gardens, both of which are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The origins of Lahore's name are unclear. Lahore's name had been recorded by early Muslim historians as Lōhar, Lōhār, Rahwar. Al-Biruni referred to the city as Lohāwar in his 11th century work, while the poet Amir Khusrow, who lived during the Delhi Sultanate, recorded the city's name as Lāhanūr. Medieval Rajput sources recorded the city's name as Lavkot. One theory suggests that Lahore's name is a corruption of the word Ravāwar, as R to L shifts are common in languages derived from Sanskrit. Ravāwar is the simplified pronunciation of the name Iravatyāwar - a name derived from the Ravi River, known as the Iravati River in the Vedas. Another theory suggests the city's name may derive from the word Lohar, meaning "blacksmith."According to Hindu legend, Lahore's name derives from Lavpur or Lavapuri, is said to have been founded by Prince Lava, the son of Sita and Rama. The same account attributes the founding of nearby Kasur by his twin brother Prince Kusha, Historic record shows, that Kasur was founded by Pashtun migrants in 1525.
No definitive records exist to elucidate Lahore's earliest history, Lahore's ambiguous early history have given rise to various theories about its establishment and history. Hindu mythology states that Keneksen, the founder of the mythological Suryavansha dynasty, is believed to have migrated out from the city. Early records of Lahore are scant, but Alexander the Great's historians make no mention of any city near Lahore's location during his invasion in 326 BCE, suggesting the city had not been founded by that point, or was unimportant. Ptolemy mentions in his Geographia a city called Labokla situated near the Chenab and Ravi River which may have been in reference to ancient Lahore, or an abandoned predecessor of the city. Chinese pilgrim Xuanzang gave a vivid description of a large and prosperous unnamed city when he visited the region in 630 CE, identified as Lahore; the first document that mentions Lahore by name is the Hudud al-'Alam, written in 982 C. E. in which Lahore is mentioned as a town which had "impressive temples, large markets and huge orchards."Few other references to Lahore remain from before its capture by the Ghaznavid Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni in the 11th century.
Lahore appears to have served as the capital of Punjab during this time under Anandapala of the Kabul Shahi empire, who had moved the capital there from Waihind. The capital would be moved to Sialkot following Ghaznavid incursions. Sultan Mahmud of Ghazni captured Lahore on an uncertain date, but under Ghaznavid rule, Lahore emerged as the empire's second capital. In 1021, Sultan Mahmud appointed Malik Ayaz to the Throne of Lahore—a governorship of the Ghaznavid Empire; the city was captured by Nialtigin, the rebellious Governor of Multan, in 1034, although his forces were expelled by Malik Ayaz in 1036. With the support of Sultan Ibrahim Ghaznavi, Malik Ayaz rebuilt and repopulated the city, devastated after the Ghaznavid invasion. Ayaz erected city walls and a masonry fort built in 1037–1040 on the ruins of the previous one, demolished during the Ghaznavid invasion. A confederation of Hindu princes unsuccessfully laid siege to Lahore in 1043-44 during Ayaz' rule; the city became a academic centre, renowned for poetry under Malik Ayaz' reign.
Lahore was formally made the eastern capital of the Ghaznavid empire in 1152, under the reign of Khusrau Shah. The city became the sole capital of the Ghaznavid empire in 1163 after the fall of Ghazni; the entire city of Lahore during the medieval Ghaznavid era was probably
Agra Fort is a historical fort in the city of Agra in India. It was the main residence of the emperors of the Mughal Dynasty until 1638, when the capital was shifted from Agra to Delhi. Before capture by the British, the last Indian rulers to have occupied. In 1983, the Agra fort has been inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage site, it is about 2.5 km northwest of the Taj Mahal. The fort can be more described as a walled city. Agra Fort is the only fort in India; the Fort was traditionally known as Badalgarh. It was captured by Ghaznavi for some time but in 15th century A. D. the Chahman Rajputs occupied it. Soon after Agra assumed the status of capital when Sikandar Lodi shifted his capital from Delhi and constructed few buildings in the pre-existing Fort at Agra. After the first battle of Panipat Mughals ruled from here. In A. D. 1530, Humayun was coronated here. The Fort got its present look during the reign of Akbar. After the First Battle of Panipat in 1526, Babur stayed in the palace of Ibrahim Lodi.
He built a baoli in it. His successor, was crowned in the fort in 1530, he was defeated at Bilgram in 1540 by Sher Shah Suri. The fort remained with the Suris till 1555. Adil Shah Suri's general, recaptured Agra in 1556 and pursued its fleeing governor to Delhi where he met the Mughals in the Battle of Tughlaqabad. Realising the importance of its central situation, Akbar made it his capital and arrived in Agra in 1558, his historian, Abul Fazl, recorded that this was a brick fort known as'Badalgarh'. It was in a ruined condition and Akbar had it rebuilt with red sandstone from Barauli area Dhaulpur district, in Rajasthan. Architects laid the foundation and it was built with bricks in the inner core with sandstone on external surfaces; some 4,000 builders worked on it daily for eight years, completing it in 1573. It was only during the reign of Akbar's grandson, Shah Jahan, that the site took on its current state. Shah Jahan built the beautiful Taj Mahal in the memory of Mumtaz Mahal. Unlike his grandfather, Shah Jahan tended to have buildings made from white marble.
He destroyed some of the earlier buildings inside the fort to make his own. At the end of his life, Shah Jahan was restrained by his son, Aurangzeb, in the fort, it is rumoured that Shah Jahan died in Muasamman Burj, a tower with a marble balcony with a view of the Taj Mahal. The fort was under the Jat rulers of Bharatpur for 13 Years. In the fort they built the Ratan Singh ki haweli; the fort was captured by the Maratha Empire in the early 18th century. Thereafter, it changed hands between their foes many times. After their catastrophic defeat at Third Battle of Panipat by Ahmad Shah Abdali in 1761, Marathas remained out of the region for the next decade. Mahadji Shinde took the fort in 1785, it was lost by the Marathas to the British during the Second Anglo-Maratha War, in 1803. The fort was the site of a battle during the Indian rebellion of 1857, which caused the end of the British East India Company's rule in India, led to a century of direct rule of India by Britain; the 380,000 m2 fort has a semicircular plan, its chord lies parallel to the river Yamuna and its walls are seventy feet high.
Double ramparts have massive circular bastions at intervals, with battlements, embrasures and string courses. Four gates were provided on one Khizri gate opening on to the river. Two of the fort's gates are notable: the "Delhi Gate" and the "Lahore Gate." The Lahore Gate is popularly known as the "Amar Singh Gate," for Amar Singh Rathore. The monumental Delhi Gate, which faces the city on the western side of the fort, is considered the grandest of the four gates and a masterpiece of Akbar's time, it was built circa 1568 both to enhance security and as the king's formal gate, includes features related to both. It is embellished with intricate inlay work in white marble. A wooden drawbridge was used to reach the gate from the mainland; the drawbridge, slight ascent, 90-degree turn between the outer and inner gates make the entrance impregnable. During a siege, attackers would employ elephants to crush a fort's gates. Without a level, straight run-up to gather speed, something prevented by this layout, elephants are ineffective.
Because the Indian military is still using the northern portion of the Agra Fort, the Delhi Gate cannot be used by the public. Tourists enter via the Amar Singh Gate; the site is important in terms of architectural history. Abul Fazal recorded that five hundred buildings in the beautiful designs of Bengal and Gujarat were built in the fort; some of them were demolished by Shah Jahan to make way for his white marble palaces. Most of the others were destroyed by the Jahangir between 1862 for raising barracks. Hardly thirty Mughal buildings have survived on the south-eastern side, facing the river, such as the Delhi Gate and Akbar Gate and one palace – "Bengali Mahal". Akbar Darwazza was renamed Amar Singh Gate by Shah Jahan; the gate is similar in design to the Delhi Gate. Both are built of red sandstone; the Bengali Mahal is now split into Akbari Mahal and Jahangiri mahal. Jahangir's Hauz A. D. 1610: This monolithic tank was used for bathing. It is 8 feet in diameter and 25 feet in circumference. On the external side of the rim th
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The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
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The Taj Mahal is an ivory-white marble mausoleum on the south bank of the Yamuna river in the Indian city of Agra. It was commissioned in 1632 by the Mughal emperor, Shah Jahan, to house the tomb of his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal, it houses the tomb of Shah Jahan, the builder. The tomb is the centerpiece of a 17-hectare complex, which includes a mosque and a guest house, is set in formal gardens bounded on three sides by a crenellated wall. Construction of the mausoleum was completed in 1643 but work continued on other phases of the project for another 10 years; the Taj Mahal complex is believed to have been completed in its entirety in 1653 at a cost estimated at the time to be around 32 million rupees, which in 2015 would be 52.8 billion rupees. The construction project employed some 20,000 artisans under the guidance of a board of architects led by the court architect to the emperor, Ustad Ahmad Lahauri; the Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being "the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".
It is regarded by many as the best example of Mughal architecture and a symbol of India's rich history. The Taj Mahal attracts 7–8 million visitors a year and in 2007, it was declared a winner of the New7Wonders of the World initiative; the Taj Mahal was commissioned by Shah Jahan in 1631, to be built in the memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal, a Persian princess who died giving birth to their 14th child, Gauhara Begum. Construction started in 1632, the mausoleum was completed in 1643, while the surrounding buildings and garden were finished five years later; the imperial court documenting Shah Jahan's grief after the death of Mumtaz Mahal illustrates the love story held as the inspiration for the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal incorporates and expands on design traditions of Persian and earlier Mughal architecture. Specific inspiration came from successful Timurid and Mughal buildings including the Gur-e Amir, Humayun's Tomb, Itmad-Ud-Daulah's Tomb, Shah Jahan's own Jama Masjid in Delhi. While earlier Mughal buildings were constructed of red sandstone, Shah Jahan promoted the use of white marble inlaid with semi-precious stones.
Buildings under his patronage reached new levels of refinement. The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal, it is a large, white marble structure standing on a square plinth and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin; the base structure is a large multi-chambered cube with chamfered corners forming an unequal eight-sided structure, 55 metres on each of the four long sides. Each side of the iwan is framed with a huge pishtaq or vaulted archway with two shaped arched balconies stacked on either side; this motif of stacked pishtaqs is replicated on the chamfered corner areas, making the design symmetrical on all sides of the building. Four minarets frame one at each corner of the plinth facing the chamfered corners; the main chamber houses the false sarcophagi of Shah Jahan. The most spectacular feature is the marble dome; the dome is nearly 35 metres high, close in measurement to the length of the base, accentuated by the cylindrical "drum" it sits on, 7 metres high.
Because of its shape, the dome is called an onion dome or amrud. The top is decorated with a lotus design which serves to accentuate its height; the shape of the dome is emphasised by four smaller domed chattris placed at its corners, which replicate the onion shape of the main dome. The dome is asymmetrical, their columned bases provide light to the interior. Tall decorative spires extend from edges of base walls, provide visual emphasis to the height of the dome; the lotus motif is repeated on guldastas. The dome and chattris are topped by a gilded finial which mixes traditional Persian and Hindustani decorative elements; the main finial was made of gold but was replaced by a copy made of gilded bronze in the early 19th century. This feature provides a clear example of integration of traditional Persian and Hindu decorative elements; the finial is topped by a typical Islamic motif whose horns point heavenward. The minarets, which are each more than 40 metres tall, display the designer's penchant for symmetry.
They were designed as working minarets— a traditional element of mosques, used by the muezzin to call the Islamic faithful to prayer. Each minaret is divided into three equal parts by two working balconies that ring the tower. At the top of the tower is a final balcony surmounted by a chattri that mirrors the design of those on the tomb; the chattris all share the same decorative elements of a lotus design topped by a gilded finial. The minarets were constructed outside of the plinth so that in the event of collapse, a typical occurrence with many tall constructions of the period, the material from the towers would tend to fall away from the tomb; the exterior decorations of the Taj Mahal are among the finest in Mughal architecture. As the surface area changes, the decorations are refined proportionally; the decorative elements were created by applying paint, stone inlays or carvings. In line with the Islamic proh
Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram, better known by his regnal name Shah Jahan, was the fifth Mughal emperor, who reigned from 1628 to 1658. Shah Jahan was considered to be the most competent of Emperor Jahangir's four sons and after Jahangir's death in late 1627, when a war of succession ensued, Shah Jahan emerged victorious, he put to death all of his rivals for the throne and crowned himself emperor in January 1628 in Agra under the regnal title "Shah Jahan". Although an able military commander, Shah Jahan is best remembered for his architectural achievements; the period of his reign is considered to be the golden age of Mughal architecture. Shah Jahan commissioned many monuments, the best known of, the Taj Mahal in Agra, which entombs his wife Mumtaz Mahal. In September 1657, Shah Jahan fell ill, which set off a war of succession among his four sons, in which his third son Aurangzeb, emerged victorious. Shah Jahan recovered from his illness, but Aurangzeb put his father under house arrest in Agra Fort from July 1658 until his death in January 1666.
On 31 July 1658, Aurangzeb crowned himself emperor under the title "Alamgir". The Mughal Empire reached the pinnacle of its glory during Shah Jahan's reign and he is considered to be one of the greatest Mughal emperors. Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram was born on 5 January 1592 in Lahore, in modern-day Pakistan, was the third son of Prince Salim, his mother was a Rajput princess from Marwar called Princess Jagat Gosaini. The name "Khurram" was chosen for the young prince by his grandfather, Emperor Akbar, with whom the young prince shared a close relationship. Just prior to Khurram's birth, a soothsayer had predicted to the childless Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum, Akbar's first wife and chief consort, that the still unborn child was destined for imperial greatness. So, when Khurram was born in 1592 and was only six days old, Akbar ordered that the prince be taken away from his mother and handed him over to Ruqaiya so that he could grow up under her care, Akbar could fulfill his wife's wish to raise a Mughal emperor.
Ruqaiya assumed the primary responsibility for Khurram's upbringing and he grew up under her care. The two shared a close relationship with each other as Jahangir noted in his memoirs that Ruqaiya had loved his son, Khurram, "a thousand times more than if he had been her own."Khurram remained with her until he had turned 14. After Akbar's death in 1605, the young prince was allowed to return to his father's household, thus, be closer to his biological mother; as a child, Khurram received a broad education befitting his status as a Mughal prince, which included martial training and exposure to a wide variety of cultural arts, such as poetry and music, most of, inculcated, according to court chroniclers, by Akbar and Ruqaiya. In 1605, as Akbar lay on his deathbed, who at this point was 13, remained by his bedside and refused to move after his mother tried to retrieve him. Given the politically uncertain times preceding Akbar's death, Khurram was in a fair amount of physical danger of harm by political opponents of his father, his conduct at this time can be understood as a precursor to the bravery that he would be known for.
In 1605, his father succeeded to the throne, after crushing a rebellion by Prince Khusrau – Khurram remained distant from the court politics and intrigues in the immediate aftermath of that event, a conscious decision on Jahangir's part. As the third son, Khurram did not challenge the two major power blocs of the time, his father's and his step-brother's; this quiet and stable period of his life allowed Khurram to build his own support base in the Mughal court, which would be useful on in his life. Due to the long period of tensions between his father and step-brother, Khurram began to drift closer to his father and over time started to be considered the de facto heir-apparent by court chroniclers; this status was given official sanction when Jahangir granted the sarkar of Hissar-Feroza, which had traditionally been the fief of the heir-apparent, to Khurram in 1608. Nur Jahan was an beautiful lady with an excellent educational background, she was an active participant in the decisions made by Jahangir.
And she became the actual power behind the throne, as Jahangir became more indulgent in wine and opium. Coins began to be struck containing her name along with Jahangir's name, her near and dear relatives acquired important positions in the Mughal court, termed as the Nur Jahan junta by historians. After the death of Jahangir in 1627, Nur Jahan was led a quiet life. In 1607, Khurram became engaged to Arjumand Banu Begum, known as Mumtaz Mahal, they met in their youth. They were about 14 and 15 when they were engaged, five years they got married; the young girl belonged to an illustrious Persian noble family, serving Mughal Emperors since the reign of Akbar. The family's patriarch was Mirza Ghiyas Beg, known by his title I'timād-ud-Daulah or "Pillar of the State", he had been Jahangir's finance minister and his son, Asaf Khan – Arjumand Banu's father – played an important role in the Mughal court serving as Chief Minister. Her aunt was the Empress Nur Jahan and is thought to have played matchmak