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Bengal Sultanate

The Sultanate of Bengal, was an empire based on Bengal for much of the 14th, 15th and 16th centuries. Its imperial capital was one of the world's largest cities, which had a circle of vassal states, including Odisha in the southwest, Arakan in the southeast, Tripura in the east. In 1494, the Bengal Sultanate reached the peak of its territorial growth with control over Kamrup and Kamata; the empire was known as one of the major trading nations of the medieval world. During the 16th-century, Bengal suffered two major defeats by the Mughal Empire; the Bengal Sultanate was a Sunni Muslim monarchy with Indo-Turkish, Arab and Bengali Muslim elites. The pre-Islamic Bengali Hindu community continued to play an important role in government, the military, land ownership and the arts. While Bengali was the most spoken language, Persian was used as an official and commercial language; the cities of the Bengal Sultanate are termed as Mint Towns. These cities were adorned with stately medieval buildings. In 1500, the royal capital of Gaur was the fifth-most populous city in the world.

Other notable cities included the initial royal capital of Pandua, the river port of Sonargaon, the Mosque City of Bagerhat, the seaports of Chittagong and Satgaon. The Bengal Sultanate was connected to states in Asia, the Indian Ocean, Europe through maritime links and overland trade routes; the Bengal Sultanate was a major trading center on the coast of the Bay of Bengal. It attracted traders from different parts of the world. Bengali ships and merchants traded across the region, including in Malacca and the Maldives; the Bengal Sultanate was described by contemporary European and Chinese visitors as a prosperous kingdom. Due to the abundance of goods in Bengal, the region was described as the "richest country to trade with"; the Bengal Sultanate left a strong architectural legacy. Buildings from the period show; the Bengal Sultanate was the largest and most prestigious authority among the independent medieval Muslim-ruled states in the history of Bengal. Bengal was absorbed into the Delhi Sultanate during the 1200s.

It began with Bakhtiar Khilji's conquest of Gauda between 1202 and 1204 during the reign of Muhammad of Ghor. The Delhi Sultan Iltumish declared Bengal as a province of Delhi in 1225; the Delhi Sultans attempted to govern Bengal through appointed governors, however Delhi could not succeed given the considerable overland distance with Bengal. Ambitious governors rebelled and ruled as independent rulers until being suppressed militarily by the Delhi Sultanate. However, there were capable rulers among the rebels, including Yuzbak Shah, Tughral Khan, Shamsuddin Firoz Shah; the latter achieved the Conquest of Sylhet and established a strong administration in eastern and south-western Bengal. In 1325, the Delhi Sultan Ghiyath al-Din Tughluq reorganized the province into three administrative regions, with Sonargaon ruling eastern Bengal; this arrangement broke down. By 1338, the three administrative regions had separatist Sultans, including Fakhruddin Mubarak Shah in Sonargaon. Fakhruddin conquered Chittagong in 1340 and was succeeded by his son Ikhtiyaruddin Ghazi Shah in 1349.

Shamsuddin Ilyas Shah defeated secured control of Gauda. He defeated Ikhtiyaruddin of Sonargaon. By 1352, Ilyas Shah emerged victorious among the Bengali triad. Ilyas Shah established his capital in Pandua, he unified the delta of Ganges and Meghna Rivers into the Sultanate of Bengal. Ilyas Shah waged wars and raids against several city-states and kingdoms in the eastern subcontinent, he conquered northern Bihar. He led the first Muslim army into Nepal, raided the Kathmandu Valley, returned to Bengal with treasures, he controlled an area stretching from Assam in the east to Varanasi in the west. In 1353, Ilyas Shah was defeated by Delhi Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq in the Siege of Ekdala Fort during the Bengal Sultanate-Delhi Sultanate War. Bengal agreed to pay a tribute to the Delhi Sultan. Despite losing control of many conquered areas, Ilyas Shah remained in firm control of Bengal. Ilyas Shah founded the Indo-Turkic Ilyas Shahi dynasty, his son and successor Sikandar Shah defeated Delhi Sultan Firuz Shah Tughluq during the second Siege of Ekdala Fort in 1359.

A peace treaty was signed between Delhi and Bengal, with the former recognizing the independence of the latter. Firuz Shah Tughluq gave; the peace treaty ensured Bengal's independence for two centuries. Sikandar Shah's reign lasted for three decades; the Adina Mosque was built during his reign. The mosque's design was based on the Great Mosque of Damascus- a style used during the introduction of Islam in new areas. During this time, much of the agricultural land was controlled by Hindu zamindars, which caused tensions with Muslim taluqdars. Bengal became the eastern frontier kingdom among medieval Islamic states. In the 14th-century, Islamic kingdoms stretched from Muslim Spain in the west to the Indian subcontinent in the east; the Islamic kingdoms had multiethnic elites. Persian and Arabic were used alongside local languages. Persian was used as a commercial language. Arabic was the liturgical language of the clergy. In Bengal, th

Walking football

Walking football is a variant of association football, aimed at keeping people aged over 50 involved with football if, due to a lack of mobility or for other reason, they are not able to play the traditional game. The sport can be played both indoors and outdoors. Walking football was devised, during 2011, by John Croot of the Chesterfield F. C. Community Trust. Coverage of a session on Sky Sports News and a documentary aired on Sky Sports Football in October 2017, led to several other clubs taking up this version of the game, it has since become a current craze. Though based on association football, the key difference in the rules, from standard football, is that if a player runs they concede a free kick to the other side; this restriction, together with a ban on slide tackles, is aimed both at avoiding injuries and facilitating the playing of the sport by those who are physically disadvantaged. The manner in which the sport is played promotes cardiovascular fitness whilst producing the least stress on the body.

It helps participants maintain an active lifestyle. In walking football the game was played without goalkeepers and, the ball must never be kicked above hip height. Different footballs are used in the outdoor variations of the sport; when played indoors, a size 4 futsal ball is used. Outdoor games involve a traditional football; the size of the pitch can vary to suit different locations. The length should be from the width between 15 and 30 yards; the sport came to wider public attention in July 2014, when Barclays Bank aired a television advertisement featuring walking football to promote their services. Official website

Lee Jamieson

Lee Jamieson is an English author and lecturer. Jamieson graduated with a first-class BA honours degree from DeMontfort University and an MA with distinction from University of Warwick. Jamieson wrote his MA thesis on his favorite theatre practitioner. After a period of developing and implementing community arts workshops, he took a lecturing post at Stratford-upon-Avon College and qualified as a lecturer from University of Warwick; as a theatre writer, he has written books about the playwrights Antonin Artaud and Harold Pinter and is the journalist responsible for the Shakespeare pages of About.com. Prior to his writing Lee was the singer in late 90s Bedford Art Rock band Absolon; as a journalist, his subjects include travel. Jamieson married Vicki Jamieson in Stratford-upon-Avon in 2004. Following a year living and working in Larnaca, Cyprus and Vicki returned to Stratford for the birth of their first child, Elliott, in 2009. Books by Lee Jamieson Jamieson, Lee Antonin Artaud: From Theory to Practice ISBN 978-1-871551-98-3 Jamieson, Lee Focus on Harold Pinter ISBN 978-1-906075-16-3Selected Articles by Lee Jamieson Jamieson, Lee 48 Hours in Nicosia in The Independent Jamieson, Lee The Lost Prophet of Cinema: The Film Theory of Antonin Artaud in Senses of Cinema Jamieson, Lee The States Awaits in Arabian Travel News Jamieson, Lee The Other Europe in Arabian Travel News Lee Jamieson's bio on About.com