The Ayyubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origin founded by Saladin and centred in Egypt. The dynasty ruled large parts of the Middle East during the 13th centuries. Saladin had risen to vizier of Fatimid Egypt in 1169, before abolishing the Fatimids in 1171. Three years he was proclaimed sultan following the death of his former master, the Zengid ruler Nur al-Din. For the next decade, the Ayyubids launched conquests throughout the region and by 1183, their domains encompassed Egypt, Upper Mesopotamia, the Hejaz and the North African coast up to the borders of modern-day Tunisia. Most of the Crusader states including the Kingdom of Jerusalem fell to Saladin after his victory at the Battle of Hattin in 1187. However, the Crusaders regained control of Palestine's coastline in the 1190s. After Saladin's death in 1193, his sons contested control of the sultanate, but Saladin's brother al-Adil became the paramount sultan in 1200. All of the Ayyubid sultans of Egypt were his descendants. In the 1230s, the emirs of Syria attempted to assert their independence from Egypt and the Ayyubid realm remained divided until Sultan as-Salih Ayyub restored its unity by conquering most of Syria, except Aleppo, by 1247.
By local Muslim dynasties had driven out the Ayyubids from Yemen, the Hejaz and parts of Mesopotamia. After his death in 1249, as-Salih Ayyub was succeeded in Egypt by al-Mu'azzam Turanshah. However, the latter was soon overthrown by his Mamluk generals who had repelled a Crusader invasion of the Nile Delta; this ended Ayyubid power in Egypt. In 1260, the Mongols conquered the Ayyubids' remaining territories soon after; the Mamluks, who expelled the Mongols, maintained the Ayyubid principality of Hama until deposing its last ruler in 1341. During their short tenure, the Ayyubids ushered in an era of economic prosperity in the lands they ruled, the facilities and patronage provided by the Ayyubids led to a resurgence in intellectual activity in the Islamic world; this period was marked by an Ayyubid process of vigorously strengthening Sunni Muslim dominance in the region by constructing numerous madrasas in their major cities. The progenitor of the Ayyubid dynasty, Najm ad-Din Ayyub ibn Shadhi, belonged to the Kurdish Rawadiya tribe, itself a branch of the Hadhabani confederation.
Ayyub's ancestors settled in northern Armenia. The Rawadiya were the dominant Kurdish group in the Dvin district, forming part of the political-military elite of the town. Circumstances became unfavorable in Dvin when Turkish generals seized the town from its Kurdish prince. Shadhi left with Asad ad-Din Shirkuh, his friend Mujahid ad-Din Bihruz—the military governor of northern Mesopotamia under the Seljuks—welcomed him and appointed him governor of Tikrit. After Shadhi's death, Ayyub succeeded him in governance of the city with the assistance of his brother Shirkuh. Together they managed the affairs of the city well, gaining them popularity from the local inhabitants. In the meantime, Imad ad-Din Zangi, the ruler of Mosul, was defeated by the Abbasids under Caliph al-Mustarshid and Bihruz. In his bid to escape the battlefield to Mosul via Tikrit, Zangi took shelter with Ayyub and sought his assistance in this task. Ayyub complied and provided Zangi and his companions boats to cross the Tigris River and safely reach Mosul.
As a consequence for assisting Zangi, the Abbasid authorities sought punitive measures against Ayyub. In a separate incident, Shirkuh killed a close confidant of Bihruz on charges that he had sexually assaulted a woman in Tikrit; the Abbasid court issued arrest warrants for both Ayyub and Shirkuh, but before the brothers could be arrested, they departed Tikrit for Mosul in 1138. When they arrived in Mosul, Zangi provided them with all the facilities they needed and he recruited the two brothers into his service. Ayyub was made commander of Shirkuh entered the service of Zangi's son, Nur ad-Din. According to historian Abdul Ali, it was under the care and patronage of Zangi that the Ayyubid family rose to prominence. In 1164, Nur al-Din dispatched Shirkuh to lead an expeditionary force to prevent the Crusaders from establishing a strong presence in an anarchic Egypt. Shirkuh enlisted Saladin, as an officer under his command, they drove out Dirgham, the vizier of Egypt, reinstated his predecessor Shawar.
After being reinstated, Shawar ordered Shirkuh to withdraw his forces from Egypt, but Shirkuh refused, claiming it was Nur al-Din's will that he remain. Over the course of several years and Saladin defeated the combined forces of the Crusaders and Shawar's troops, first at Bilbais at a site near Giza, in Alexandria, where Saladin would stay to protect while Shirkuh pursued Crusader forces in Lower Egypt. Shawar died in 1169 and Shirkuh became vizier, but he too died that year. After Shirkuh's death, Saladin was appointed vizier by the Fatimid caliph al-Adid because there was "no one weaker or younger" than Saladin, "not one of the emirs obeyed him or served him", according to medieval Muslim chronicler Ibn al-Athir. Saladin soon found himself more independent than before in his career, much to the dismay of Nur al-Din who attempted to influence events in Egypt, he permitted Saladin's elder brother, Turan-Shah, to supervise Saladin in a bid to cause dissension within the Ayyubid family and thus undermining its position in Egypt.
Nur al-Din satisfied Saladin's request. However, Ayyub was sent to ensure th
Ramesses II known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom, his successors and Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor". He is known as Ozymandias in Greek sources, from the first part of Ramesses' regnal name, Usermaatre Setepenre, "The Maat of Ra is powerful, Chosen of Ra". Ramesses II led several military expeditions into the Levant, reasserting Egyptian control over Canaan, he led expeditions to the south, into Nubia, commemorated in inscriptions at Beit el-Wali and Gerf Hussein. The early part of his reign was focused on building cities and monuments, he established the city of Pi-Ramesses in the Nile Delta as his new capital and used it as the main base for his campaigns in Syria. At fourteen, he was appointed prince regent by his father, Seti I, he is believed to have taken the throne in his late teens and is known to have ruled Egypt from 1279 to 1213 BC. Manetho attributes Ramesses II a reign of 2 months.
Estimates of his age at death vary. Ramesses II celebrated an unprecedented fourteen Sed festivals during his reign—more than any other pharaoh. On his death, he was buried in a tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Early in his life, Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to restore possession of held territories lost to the Nubians and Hittites and to secure Egypt's borders, he was responsible for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in Libya. Although the Battle of Kadesh dominates the scholarly view of the military prowess and power of Ramesses II, he enjoyed more than a few outright victories over the enemies of Egypt. During Ramesses II's reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have totaled about 100,000 men. In his second year, Ramesses II decisively defeated the Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt's Mediterranean coast by attacking cargo-laden vessels travelling the sea routes to Egypt; the Sherden people came from the coast of Ionia, from southwest Anatolia or also from the island of Sardinia.
Ramesses posted troops and ships at strategic points along the coast and patiently allowed the pirates to attack their perceived prey before skillfully catching them by surprise in a sea battle and capturing them all in a single action. A stele from Tanis speaks of their having come "in their war-ships from the midst of the sea, none were able to stand before them". There was a naval battle somewhere near the mouth of the Nile, as shortly afterward, many Sherden are seen among the pharaoh's body-guard where they are conspicuous by their horned helmets having a ball projecting from the middle, their round shields, the great Naue II swords with which they are depicted in inscriptions of the Battle of Kadesh. In that sea battle, together with the Sherden, the pharaoh defeated the Lukka, the Šqrsšw peoples; the immediate antecedents to the Battle of Kadesh were the early campaigns of Ramesses II into Canaan. His first campaign seems to have taken place in the fourth year of his reign and was commemorated by the erection of what became the first of the Commemorative stelae of Nahr el-Kalb near what is now Beirut.
The inscription is totally illegible due to weathering. Additional records tell us that he was forced to fight a Canaanite prince, mortally wounded by an Egyptian archer, whose army subsequently, was routed. Ramesses carried off the princes of Canaan as live prisoners to Egypt. Ramesses plundered the chiefs of the Asiatics in their own lands, returning every year to his headquarters at Riblah to exact tribute. In the fourth year of his reign, he captured the Hittite vassal state of the Amurru during his campaign in Syria; the Battle of Kadesh in his fifth regnal year was the climactic engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis. The pharaoh wanted a victory at Kadesh both to expand Egypt's frontiers into Syria, to emulate his father Seti I's triumphal entry into the city just a decade or so earlier, he constructed his new capital, Pi-Ramesses. There he built factories to manufacture weapons and shields producing some 1,000 weapons in a week, about 250 chariots in two weeks, 1,000 shields in a week and a half.
After these preparations, Ramesses moved to attack territory in the Levant, which belonged to a more substantial enemy than any he had faced in war: the Hittite Empire. Ramesses's forces were caught in a Hittite ambush and outnumbered at Kadesh when they counterattacked and routed the Hittites, whose survivors abandoned their chariots and swam the Orontes river to reach the safe city walls. Ramesses, logistically unable to sustain a long siege, returned to Egypt. Egypt's sphere of influence was now restricted to Canaan. Canaanite princes encouraged by the Egyptian incapacity to impose their will and goaded on by the Hittites, began revolts against Egypt. In the seventh year o
Al Jazeera English
Al Jazeera English is a Qatari pay television news channel owned and operated by Al Jazeera Media Network, headquartered in Doha, Qatar. It is the first English-language news channel. Instead of being run centrally, news management rotates between broadcasting centres in Doha and London; the channel was launched on 15 November 2006 at 12:00 GMT. It had aimed to begin broadcasting in June 2006 but had to postpone its launch because its HDTV technology was not ready; the channel was due to be called Al Jazeera International, but the name was changed nine months before the launch because "one of the Qatar-based channel's backers decided that the broadcaster had an international scope with its original Arabic outlet". The channel had expected to reach around 40 million households, but it far exceeded that launch target, reaching 80 million homes; as of 2009, Al Jazeera's English-language service can be viewed in every major European market and is available to 130 million homes in over 100 countries via cable and satellite, according to Molly Conroy, a spokeswoman for the network in Washington.
The channel is noted for its poor penetration in the American market, where it was carried by only one satellite service and a small number of cable networks. Al Jazeera English began a campaign to enter the North American market, including a dedicated website, it became available to some cable subscribers in New York in August 2011, having been available as an option for some viewers in Washington, D. C. Ohio and Los Angeles; the channel reaches the United States via its live online streaming. It is available on most major Canadian television providers including Rogers and Bell TV after the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved the channel for distribution in Canada on 26 November 2009. Al Jazeera English and Iran's state-run Press TV were the only international English-language television broadcasters with journalists reporting from inside both Gaza and Israel during the 2008–2009 Israel-Gaza conflict. Foreign press access to Gaza has been limited via either Israel.
However, Al Jazeera's reporters Ayman Mohyeldin and Sherine Tadros were inside Gaza when the conflict began and the network's coverage was compared to CNN's initial coverage from inside Baghdad in the early days of the 1991 Gulf War. The channel may be viewed online, it recommends online viewing at its channel on YouTube. Al Jazeera English HD launched in the United Kingdom on Freeview on 26 November 2013, began streaming in HD on YouTube in 2015. On 3 January 2013, Al Jazeera Media Network announced that it had purchased Current TV in the United States and would be launching an American news channel. 60% of the channel's programming would be produced in America while 40% would be from Al Jazeera English. That was changed at the request of pay-television providers to 100% American programing. Regardless Al Jazeera America maintained a close working relationship with Al Jazeera English; the channel aired Newshour in the morning and midday hours and cut to live Al Jazeera English coverage of large breaking international news stories outside of that.
Al Jazeera English programmes Witness, Listening Post, Talk To Al Jazeera Al Jazeera Correspondent and 101 East along with Al Jazeera Investigates aired on Al Jazeera America. On January 13, 2016, Al Jazeera America announced that the network would be terminated on April 12, 2016, citing the "economic landscape". In 2014, Al Jazeera moved its UK London operations including its newsroom and shows from Knightsbridge to its new space on floor 16 of The Shard; the last day of broadcasting from the Knightsbridge studios was September, 12th 2014. The space was opened on November 3, 2014, with the first Newshour broadcast on October 10, 2014; the new facility is capable of running an entire channel, independently of the Doha hub. In 2013 Al Jazeera Media Network began planning a new channel called Al Jazeera UK. If launched, the British channel would broadcast for five hours during prime time as cut-in UK content aired on Al Jazeera English, it would in effect function much like RT UK and RT America does in the United States.
In addition to those listed below, Al Jazeera English runs various programmes that are either non-recurrent or consist of just a limited number of parts. All programmes, including former shows are shown in their entirety on Al Jazeera's website and YouTube. Current programmes on the channel are: 101 East — the weekly documentary series for issues of particular importance in Asia. Presenters or hosts have included Teymoor Nabili and Fauziah Ibrahim Al Jazeera Investigates — documentaries arising from the work of the Al Jazeera Investigative Unit. Counting the Cost |Counting the Cost — the weekly look at business and finance. Hosted by Kamahl Santamaria. Empire — a monthly programme exploring global powers and their policies. A discussion with host Marwan Bishara and his guests Fault Lines — the documentary series focused on the forgotten and the unreported aspects of life in the United States. Presented by: Josh Rushing, Sebastian Walker, Wab Kinew and by Zeina Awad. Head To Head – A debate programme hosted by Mehdi Hasan.
Inside Story — the daily investigation and analysis of a topical issue, with the aid of three guests from within and outside of the country in question. Jane Dutton and Shiulie Ghosh are regular hosts, but most of the Doha-based news-presenters have taken the chair, including: Dareen Abughaida, Stephen Cole, Adrian Finighan, David Foster, Divya Gopalan, Veronica Pedrosa, Kamahl Santamaria, Folly Bah Thibault. Listening Post — analysis of how the other news organiz
The Homs Gap is a flat passage in the Orontes River Valley of southern Syria. Nicknamed the "gateway to Syria," the gap separates the An-Nusayriyah Mountains and Jabal Zawiya from the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountains; the small Nahr al-Kabir river runs down the Gap to the Syrian coast to the Mediterranean Sea. For hundreds of years and invaders have found the Homs Gap an important route from the coast to the country's interior and to other parts of Asia because it "provides the easiest access between the Mediterranean coast and the Syrian interior." The gap is the only large crossing open year-round across the mountain ranges. Today, the railroad in Homs to the Lebanese port of Tripoli run through the gap. A pipeline carrying oil runs through the gap. In addition, the Krak des Chevaliers castle is in the Homs Gap; the castle was built in 1031 AD to guard the strategic passageway during the First Crusade, changed hands several times during the rest of the Crusades
Masyaf is a city in northwestern Syria. It is the center of the Masyaf District in the Hama Governorate; as of 2004, Masyaf had a religiously diverse population of 22,000 Ismailis and Christians. The city is well known for its large medieval castle its role as the headquarters of the Nizari Ismailis and their elite Assassins unit. Throughout the Islamic era and until the modern day, the Arabic name of the city was pronounced in a number of different ways by the inhabitants of the region as Maṣyaf, Maṣyat or Maṣyad; the Arabic name is a local pronunciation. The "nṣw" in Manṣuate correlates with the Arabic "nṣṣ", which means "to set up", according to orientalist scholar Edward Lipinsky. Moreover, Lipinsky suggests that the Assyrian name was a configuration of the Assyrian word manṣuwatu which correlates with the Arabic word minaṣṣatu, both of which translate as "raised platform"; this translation is indicative of the promontory that the Masyaf fortress occupies which overlooks the rest of the city and the surrounding area.
Masyaf is the most probable site of the ancient Aramean city of Mansuate that existed in the 8th century BC. It served as the administrative center of an Assyrian province by the same name in modern-day central Syria. Masyaf is likely the site of Marsyas. Roman and Byzantine historians mentioned a city named "Marsyas" that governed the al-Ghab and Beqaa plains to the north and south of the site, respectively. Masyaf and its fortress were first mentioned by Crusader chroniclers in 1099. However, because a fortification at Masyaf existed prior to the 11th century, it is probable that the Aleppo-based Hamdanid dynasty built a fort at Masyaf, due to its position as an outpost overlooking the mountain roads. At that time, the fortress was a part of Jund Qinnasrin of the Fatimid Caliphate. In the autumn of 999, Basil II, the Byzantine emperor, destroyed the fortifications at Masyaf as part of his campaign to gain control of Antioch and its environs from the Muslims; the area would come under Seljuk rule, but in 1099, the Crusaders attempted to wrest control of Masyaf following their capture of Tripoli.
The Seljuk emir of Damascus, Zahir ad-Din Tughtakin, launched a military campaign to prevent the loss of the area and reached a short-lived accommodation with the Crusaders whereby Masyaf and Hisn al-Akrad would remain in Muslim hands, but have to pay tribute to the Crusaders. Sometime Masyaf was controlled by the Mirdasid dynasty. In 1127, the Mirdasids sold it to the Shaizar-based Banu Munqidh family. In 1140, Masyaf was captured by the Nizari Ismailis, a sect of Ismaili Shia Muslims, exiled from their previous stronghold in Alamut in modern-day Iran; the fortress was being defended by a Banu Munqidh mamluk named Sunqur, who the Ismaili force managed to ambush and kill. The Ismailis had chosen Syria as their new home and successively settled in the cities of Aleppo and Damascus and the fortress of Banias, each time being persecuted and massacred by the authorities or mobs of local residents incited by clerics who accused the Ismailis of being heretics or causing problems; the surviving Ismaili leadership decided that establishing bases in Syria's cities and thus relying on the goodwill of various umara was untenable.
Instead, they chose to settle in Jabal Ansariyah, a coastal mountain range dotted with fortresses, including Masyaf. Following its capture, Masyaf served as the principal fortress for the Ismailis' chief da'i. Together with other fortresses acquired at around the same time, including Kahf, Khawabi and Rusafa, the Ismailis were able to carve an autonomous territory for themselves amid hostile Crusader states and local Muslim dynasties nominally affiliated with the Abbasid Caliphate. Masyaf served as the headquarters of the Ismaili da'i Rashid ad-Din Sinan and his elite unit of fida'is who became known as the Hashashin. In the mid-1170s, the Ayyubid sultan Saladin set about conquering Syria, ousting the Crusaders and uniting the Muslim world under Sunni Islam; the Ismailis considered Saladin a more dangerous threat than the Crusaders and allied with Saladin's rival in Aleppo to defeat the Ayyubids. Sinan's men launched two unsuccessful attempts to assassinate Saladin and in 1176, Saladin launched a punitive expedition against the Assassins in the strongly-defended fortress of Masyaf.
Within a few days of the siege, Saladin withdrew due to an urgent need to redeploy against the Crusaders who were attacking Ayyubid territory in the Beqaa. He arranged a truce with Sinan mediated by the Ayyubid emir of Hama, Shihab al-Din Mahmud al-Harimi, Saladin's uncle. A wall around the town of Masyaf was built in 1249 by the Persian leader of the Ismailis, Taj al-Din Abu'l Futuh. In 1260, the Mongols under Hulagu conquered most of northern Syria and occupied Masyaf. However, following the Mongols' rout at the Battle of Ain Jalut at the hand of the Bahri Mamluks that year, they withdrew from Masyaf. In 1262, Masyaf's rulers were ordered to pay tribute to the Mamluk sultan Baibars and some time after, the sultan had Masyaf's emir Najm al-Din Ismail replaced by Sarim al-Din Mubarak. Mubarak was imprisoned in Cairo by Baibars and Najm ad-Din was restored as emir before Masyaf was incorporated into the sultanate in 1270. Ismailis continued inhabiting it throughout Mamluk rule. Towards the end of the century, Masyaf became a major stopping point on the Mamluk postal route and was controlled by a commander who answered directly to the sultan due to its strategic role as a frontier fortress.
In 1320, the historian and Ayyubid emir of Hama, Abu'l Fida, noted that Masyaf was a "center
Arabic is a Central Semitic language that first emerged in Iron Age northwestern Arabia and is now the lingua franca of the Arab world. It is named after the Arabs, a term used to describe peoples living in the area bounded by Mesopotamia in the east and the Anti-Lebanon mountains in the west, in northwestern Arabia, in the Sinai Peninsula. Arabic is classified as a macrolanguage comprising 30 modern varieties, including its standard form, Modern Standard Arabic, derived from Classical Arabic; as the modern written language, Modern Standard Arabic is taught in schools and universities, is used to varying degrees in workplaces and the media. The two formal varieties are grouped together as Literary Arabic, the official language of 26 states, the liturgical language of the religion of Islam, since the Quran and Hadith were written in Arabic. Modern Standard Arabic follows the grammatical standards of Classical Arabic, uses much of the same vocabulary. However, it has discarded some grammatical constructions and vocabulary that no longer have any counterpart in the spoken varieties, has adopted certain new constructions and vocabulary from the spoken varieties.
Much of the new vocabulary is used to denote concepts that have arisen in the post-classical era in modern times. Due to its grounding in Classical Arabic, Modern Standard Arabic is removed over a millennium from everyday speech, construed as a multitude of dialects of this language; these dialects and Modern Standard Arabic are described by some scholars as not mutually comprehensible. The former are acquired in families, while the latter is taught in formal education settings. However, there have been studies reporting some degree of comprehension of stories told in the standard variety among preschool-aged children; the relation between Modern Standard Arabic and these dialects is sometimes compared to that of Latin and vernaculars in medieval and early modern Europe. This view though does not take into account the widespread use of Modern Standard Arabic as a medium of audiovisual communication in today's mass media—a function Latin has never performed. During the Middle Ages, Literary Arabic was a major vehicle of culture in Europe in science and philosophy.
As a result, many European languages have borrowed many words from it. Arabic influence in vocabulary, is seen in European languages Spanish and to a lesser extent Portuguese, Catalan, owing to both the proximity of Christian European and Muslim Arab civilizations and 800 years of Arabic culture and language in the Iberian Peninsula, referred to in Arabic as al-Andalus. Sicilian has about 500 Arabic words as result of Sicily being progressively conquered by Arabs from North Africa, from the mid-9th to mid-10th centuries. Many of these words relate to related activities; the Balkan languages, including Greek and Bulgarian, have acquired a significant number of Arabic words through contact with Ottoman Turkish. Arabic has influenced many languages around the globe throughout its history; some of the most influenced languages are Persian, Spanish, Kashmiri, Bosnian, Bengali, Malay, Indonesian, Punjabi, Assamese, Sindhi and Hausa, some languages in parts of Africa. Conversely, Arabic has borrowed words from other languages, including Greek and Persian in medieval times, contemporary European languages such as English and French in modern times.
Classical Arabic is the liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, Modern Standard Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. All varieties of Arabic combined are spoken by as many as 422 million speakers in the Arab world, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world. Arabic is written with the Arabic alphabet, an abjad script and is written from right to left, although the spoken varieties are sometimes written in ASCII Latin from left to right with no standardized orthography. Arabic is a Central Semitic language related to the Northwest Semitic languages, the Ancient South Arabian languages, various other Semitic languages of Arabia such as Dadanitic; the Semitic languages changed a great deal between Proto-Semitic and the establishment of the Central Semitic languages in grammar. Innovations of the Central Semitic languages—all maintained in Arabic—include: The conversion of the suffix-conjugated stative formation into a past tense; the conversion of the prefix-conjugated preterite-tense formation into a present tense.
The elimination of other prefix-conjugated mood/aspect forms in favor of new moods formed by endings attached to the prefix-conjugation forms. The development of an internal passive. There are several features which Classical Arabic, the modern Arabic varieties, as well as the Safaitic and Hismaic inscriptions share which are unattested in any other Central Semitic language variety, including the Dadanitic and Taymanitic languages of the northern Hejaz; these features are evidence of common descent from Proto-Arabic. The following features can be reconstructed with confidence for Proto-Arabic: negative particles m *mā.