The Al-Ashraf Mosque is a historical complex of mosque and madrasa located in Cairo, Egypt. The mosque was built during the Mamluk period by the Burji Sultan Al-Ashraf Al-Barsbay; the complex consists of a mosque-madrasa and Sufi lodgings. The mosque is characterized by its design, which incorporates stained-glass windows; the mosque complex was built by Barsbay, the Circassian sultan who ruled the Mamluk Empire from 825/1422 to 841/1438. Barsbay's monopolistic trade policies, which included restrictions on luxury goods and fixed prices for spices like pepper, crippled his subjects and disrupted trade between Egypt and Europe. However, control of trade routes and taxes on religious minorities enabled the Mamluks to fund the construction of many small to medium sized buildings in Cairo, including the construction of small mosques containing madrasas and khanqahs. Barsbay, as a result, built various structures in Cairo and encouraged the use of madrasas and illuminated Qur'ans, he began construction on the Al-Ashraf Mosque in 826 AH/1424 AD.
While Barsbay is best known for his economic failures and expansionism, including his conquest of Cyprus, medieval sources present him as a pious man who invested in the building and restoration of religious buildings. This was typical of Mamluk rulers, who viewed themselves as guardians of the Islamic faith after reestablishing orthodox Sunnism as the dominant religious tradition in Egypt; the Al-Ashraf Mosque is within the larger complex of Sultan Al-Ashraf Barsbay, consisting of two sabils, a mosque-madrasa, a mausoleum, Sufi lodgings. The Sufi lodgings have been since destroyed, but were characterized by an elaborate dome; the dome in the courtyard of the complex was an early example of a dome featuring a geometric carved surface. The mosque is twenty by fifteen meters long; the interior of the mosque consists of pavements made of marble mosaic, a center aisle with raised iwans on both sides, arcades with classical capitals, two rows of windows. The southeast wall of the mosque is where the minbar are located.
The minbar is decorated while the mihrab is less ornamented in comparison to the other features of the mosque. The simpler mihrab during this period may have served as a reflection of the modesty of the Sufi brotherhoods; the tomb chamber is lit by unoriginal colored glass windows and is located on the north side of the mosque. Barsbay's cenotaph is made of marble; the Al-Ashraf Mosque maintains a pronounced regional identity due to nature of the building craft and relative immobility of builders in comparison with other craftsmen – the visual exterior is tied to traditions and technique. The main inscription around the vaulted iwans is a rare example of a deed carved in stone, meant to serve as a perpetual reminder to the building's overseers how currency reserved for maintenance and personnel was to be spent; this feature points to a sense of transparency and communication between the Sultan and the people of Cairo. The Al-Ashraf Mosque complex combines public space for prayer, areas for religious instruction, a tomb dedicated to its patron.
The religious complexes built by Mamluk Sultans doubled as expressions of power and magnificence, as a means of giving back to the public. Mamluk patronage of the arts focused on building monuments of piety that would be accessible to many people, rather than exclusive to the royal court. Despite the social barrier between the ruling establishment and the local population, Sultans were visible in their city and sought to encourage religion and Sufi worship. Mamluk rulers gave dual meaning to these monuments by turning them into funerary memorials for themselves. Mamluk Sultans
Bab Zuweila is one of three remaining gates in the walls of the Old City of Cairo, the capital of Egypt. It was known as Bawabbat al-Mitwali during the Ottoman period, is sometimes spelled Bab Zuwayla, it is considered one of the major landmarks of the city and is the last remaining southern gate from the walls of Fatimid Cairo in the 11th and 12th century. Its name comes from Bab, meaning "Door", Zuwayla, the name of a tribe of Berber warriors from the Western Desert, members of which were charged with guarding the gate; the city of Cairo was founded in 969 as the royal city of the Fatimid dynasty. In 1092, the vizier Badr al-Jamali had a second wall built around Cairo. Bab Zuweila was the southern gate in this wall, it has twin towers. In earlier times they were used to scout for enemy troops in the surrounding countryside, in modern times, they are hailed for providing one of the best views of Old Cairo; the structure has a famous platform. Executions would sometimes take place there, it was from this location that the Sultan would stand to watch the beginning of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Sometimes the severed heads of criminals would be displayed along the tops of the walls. This was done as as 1811, when the severed heads of Mamluks from the Citadel massacre were mounted on spikes here; the corresponding gate on the northern side of the city was the Bab al-Futuh, which still stands on the northern side of the Muizz street. Bab Zuweila is featured in a major story from the 13th century. In 1260, the Mongol leader Hulagu was attempting to attack Egypt, after he had forced the surrender of Damascus. Hulagu sent six messengers to Qutuz in Cairo; the message, brought was: Qutuz responded by killing the six envoys, "halving them at the waist," and displaying their heads on Bab Zuweila. He allied with a fellow Mamluk, Baibars, to defend Islam against the Mongol threat, their combined forces 20,000 strong, marched north to confront the Mongolian army, led by Kitbuqa. This clash of the Mamluk and Mongolian armies was known as the Battle of Ain Jalut, resulted in a resounding Mamluk victory.
The battle was pivotal for the region, as it marked the first time that the unstoppable Mongols suffered defeat. The battle was a turning point in the expansion of their empire, set their western border, while confirming the Mamluks as the dominant force in the Middle East, the beginning of the end of the Mongol presence in the area. To the west of the Bab Zuwayla had been a dungeon, which once imprisoned Shaykh al-Mahmudi. While still a prisoner, he had vowed that if he were released, he would someday destroy the dungeon and build a mosque in its place, he was indeed released, rose to become Sultan of all Egypt with the regnal name al-Muayyad. True to his word, he razed the old dungeon and built a new mosque on the location in 1415, the Mosque of Sultan al-Muayyad. Bab Zuwaila has survived from 1092 to the present by humbly accepting layers added to it or letting go of layers subtracted from its original entity. Layers added during periods are distinguished from earlier ones, while layers removed tend to leave traces.
To "read a wall" is to visually detect these differences. Abrupt changes in a wall such as the unexpected use of different materials, different sizes or types or stone, different mortars or different surface renderings are the visual elements among many that constitute the language of "reading walls"; the area between Bab Zuweila and Al-Muayyad Mosque has varied and distinct building layers and is an ideal place for the visual detection of additional periods. Excavations undertaken during the course of conversation have added to the understanding of the gate and its surroundings; the following is a list of discoveries made: the original floor and ramp system containing re-used inscribed pharaonic blocks from 1092 the street pavement added by Al-Kamil, whose horse slipped on the original ramp the original pivot-shoe-ball bearing system and the granite threshold of the wood door leaves remains of shops from the last two centuries and a drinking trough for animals that dates from between 1092 and 1415.
Gates of Cairo Bab al-Nasr Irene Beeson. "Cairo, a Millennial". Saudi Aramco World. Pp. 24, 26–30. Retrieved 2007-08-09
The Qalawun complex is a massive complex in Cairo, Egypt that includes a madrasa, a hospital and a mausoleum. It was built by the Sultan Al-Nasir Muhammad Ibn Qalawun in the 1280s; the Qalawun Complex was built over the ruins of the Fatimid Palace of Cairo, with several halls in the Palace. It was sold to several people until it was bought by the Sultan Qalawun in 1283 AD; the structure resides in the heart of Cairo, in the Bayn al-Qasrayn, has been a center for important religious ceremonies and rituals of the Islamic faith for years, stretching from the Mamluk dynasty through the Ottoman Empire. The funerary complex of Sultan al-Mansur Sayf al-Din Qalawun, including both madrasa and mausoleum took 13 months to build, from 1284-1285; this fact is remarkable considering the sheer scope of the total complex. The short amount of time it took to construct the complex is in large part due to the slave like labor the Sultan commanded; the hospital took less than six months to complete, the mausoleum and madrasa each taking about four months.
The building project was supervised by emir ‘Alam al-Din Sinjar al-Shaja‘i, who forcefully employed hundreds of Mongol prisoners of war, calling upon workers throughout Fustat and Cairo to aid in the project. Al-Shaja’i used whatever means necessary to procure the large labor force needed to complete the project calling on people walking through the streets; the Complex was considered one of the most beautiful buildings at that time, where it included a school, a hospital and a mausoleum, with a Beautiful Dome. Historians claim that the columns holding the mausoleum structure were made of granite and other materials that were taken from another palace in Roda Island; the complex was built in three stages, where the Hospital was finished first, the Mausoleum and finally the school. The structure was restored several times in the reign of al-Nasir Muhammad, the son and successor of Sultan Qalawun, he restored the minarets after a strong earthquake occurred in 1327 AD. Another restoration came when Abdul-Rahman Katkhuda, created a beautifully built Ottoman Sabil on the other side of the street in 1776.
The Mausoleum of Sultan Qalawun in Cairo is considered by many to be the second most beautiful mausoleum, succeeded only by the Taj Mahal in India. Al-Nuwayri, has said in his book Nihayet al Irab, that the Mausoleum was not intended to become a burial site, but a Mosque and a school, that it was first used as a tomb when he died, hosted his body, his body was kept in the Cairo Citadel for two months until the tomb was ready to replace the Citadel's Burial location when Qalawun's son died, he too was buried in the Mausoleum. The mihrab of the mausoleum is considered as the most lavish of its kind; this is in contrast to the mihrab of the madrasa, less grand in size and general esthetics. With a horse-shoe profile the mihrab is flanked by three columns made of marble; the Mausoleum on, under the mamluks included a Museum for Royal Clothes of those buried in it. The Mausoleum of Qalawun is significant in that its dome served as a ceremonial center for the investing of new emirs. Indeed, the dome was a symbol of new power, a changing of the guard, signifying a new center of Mamluk power, which enjoyed great prosperity at the time.
The Mausoleum's Dome was demolished by the Ottoman Governor over Egypt Abdul-Rahman Katkhuda and was rebuilt in Ottoman architecture, However the Comite for reservation of Arab monuments built another dome to replace that in 1908. Within the madrasa the four legal schools, or the four madhhabs of Islamic law were taught. Other teachings housed in the madrasa included the teaching of medicine; the madrasa had two recesses as evidenced by the accompanying waqf document. The large courtyard of the madrasa was paved with polychrome marble; the sanctuary of the madrasa "faces the courtyard with a tripartite two-storeyed façade consisting of a central arch flanked by two smaller ones, surmounted by similar arched openings. These were surmounted by three oculi, one above two, not only one, as is the case today." The mihrab of the madrasa has a horse-shoe arch similar to the mausoleum but is smaller and less elaborate than that of the mausoleum and its conch is marked with glass mosaics and mother-of-pearl, rather than marble mosaics.
The deep red color used in the mosaics stands out. Though not visible from the street the hospital once stood as the most lavish and impressive hospital of its time; the hospital functioned through the late Ottoman period before being demolished in 1910. The hospital offered many amenities to the sick and poor in addition to medical treatment, including drugs, shelter and clothing. Production of drugs for medical treatment, as well as research and teaching occurred within the hospital. Most of this information has been gleaned from a waqf document from the time; the Medieval Islamic historian al-Maqrizi has his own observations regarding the history of the hospital. According to Maqrizi, the hospital was built from the Fatimid palace of Sayyidat al-Mulk, could be reached from a corridor leading from the madrasa and mausoleum. Large fountains residing within its walls marked the beauty of the interior of the hospital. Within the hospital stood a large central courtyard measuring 21x33m. A horseshoe arched portal leads into a passage separating the mausoleum from the madrasah.
The tomb is on the right, the Madrasah, on a cruciform plan, is to the left of the entrance. Inside the four Iwans once contained the four different law schools, on
The United Nations is an intergovernmental organization, tasked to maintain international peace and security, develop friendly relations among nations, achieve international co-operation and be a centre for harmonizing the actions of nations. The headquarters of the UN is in Manhattan, New York City, is subject to extraterritoriality. Further main offices are situated in Geneva, Nairobi and The Hague; the organization is financed by voluntary contributions from its member states. Its objectives include maintaining international peace and security, protecting human rights, delivering humanitarian aid, promoting sustainable development and upholding international law; the UN is the largest, most familiar, most internationally represented and most powerful intergovernmental organization in the world. In 24 October 1945, at the end of World War II, the organization was established with the aim of preventing future wars. At its founding, the UN had 51 member states; the UN is the successor of the ineffective League of Nations.
On 25 April 1945, 50 governments met in San Francisco for a conference and started drafting the UN Charter, adopted on 25 June 1945 in the San Francisco Opera House, signed on 26 June 1945 in the Herbst Theatre auditorium in the Veterans War Memorial Building. This charter took effect on 24 October 1945; the UN's mission to preserve world peace was complicated in its early decades during the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union and their respective allies. Its missions have consisted of unarmed military observers and armed troops with monitoring and confidence-building roles; the organization's membership grew following widespread decolonization which started in the 1960s. Since 80 former colonies had gained independence, including 11 trust territories, which were monitored by the Trusteeship Council. By the 1970s its budget for economic and social development programmes far outstripped its spending on peacekeeping. After the end of the Cold War, the UN shifted and expanded its field operations, undertaking a wide variety of complex tasks.
The UN has six principal organs: the General Assembly. The UN System agencies include the World Bank Group, the World Health Organization, the World Food Programme, UNESCO, UNICEF; the UN's most prominent officer is the Secretary-General, an office held by Portuguese politician and diplomat António Guterres since 1 January 2017. Non-governmental organizations may be granted consultative status with ECOSOC and other agencies to participate in the UN's work; the organization, its officers and its agencies have won many Nobel Peace Prizes. Other evaluations of the UN's effectiveness have been mixed; some commentators believe the organization to be an important force for peace and human development, while others have called the organization ineffective, biased, or corrupt. In the century prior to the UN's creation, several international treaty organizations such as the International Committee of the Red Cross was formed to ensure protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and strife.
In 1914, a political assassination in Sarajevo set off a chain of events that led to the outbreak of World War I. As more and more young men were sent down into the trenches, influential voices in the United States and Britain began calling for the establishment of a permanent international body to maintain peace in the postwar world. President Woodrow Wilson became a vocal advocate of this concept, in 1918 he included a sketch of the international body in his 14-point proposal to end the war. In November 1918, the Central Powers agreed to an armistice to halt the killing in World War I. Two months the Allies met with Germany and Austria-Hungary at Versailles to hammer out formal peace terms. President Wilson wanted peace, but the United Kingdom and France disagreed, forcing harsh war reparations on their former enemies; the League of Nations was approved, in the summer of 1919 Wilson presented the Treaty of Versailles and the Covenant of the League of Nations to the US Senate for ratification.
On January 10, 1920, the League of Nations formally comes into being when the Covenant of the League of Nations, ratified by 42 nations in 1919, takes effect. However, at some point the League became ineffective when it failed to act against the Japanese invasion of Manchuria as in February 1933, 40 nations voted for Japan to withdraw from Manchuria but Japan voted against it and walked out of the League instead of withdrawing from Manchuria, it failed against the Second Italo-Ethiopian War despite trying to talk to Benito Mussolini as he used the time to send an army to Africa, so the League had a plan for Mussolini to just take a part of Ethiopia, but he ignored the League and invaded Ethiopia, the League tried putting sanctions on Italy, but Italy had conquered Ethiopia and the League had failed. After Italy conquered Ethiopia and other nations left the league, but all of them realised that they began to re-arm as fast as possible. During 1938, Britain and France tried negotiating directly with Hitler but this failed in 1939 when Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia.
When war broke out in 1939, the League closed down and its headquarters in Geneva remained empty throughout the war. The earliest concrete plan for a new world organization began under the aegis of the U. S. State Department in 1939; the text of the "Declaration by United Nations" was drafted at the White House on December 29, 1941, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, Prime Minister Winston Churchill, Roosevelt aide Harry Hopkins
Bayn al-Qasrayn is the district and plaza between two palaces constructed by the Fatimid dynasty in mediaeval Islamic Cairo, within present day Cairo, Egypt. It is an element in the Fatimid Caliphate founding of the new city of Cairo; the Fatimid dynasty established itself in Egypt in 969 C. E. Upon their arrival the Fatimid caliphs began to build a new state north of the old capital city of Fustat. Gawhar al-Siqilli, a Fatimid general, founded the new city Cairo, he was in charge of planning and constructing the new city of Cairo. He organized the town in such a way. Fifty years after the construction of the first palace, another smaller palace was erected to the west of the first; the area and plaza between these two palaces received the name of “Bayn al-Qasrayn”. As the centuries progressed, Cairo developed into a full-scale urban center. Beginning with the Ayyubids and continuing thought the Bahri Mamluk rule, the higher powers of the city wanted to rid the area of its past Fatimid history, starting with the center palace structures.
The palaces and the area surrounding them were reconstructed. Thus, the area became the central location in the immense city. Ibn Batutah, who visited in 1326, reinforced this concept and commented that the space of Bayn al-Qasrayn was, “beyond one’s ability to describe.” The additional buildings include hospitals, educational centers and commercial shops, making the area of Bayn al-Qasrayn a busy street. The Egyptian historian Al-Maqrizi counted 12,000 shops on Qasabah Street alone. Bayn al-Qasrayn was where one could buy "foamy beer in jars and fried pigeon". Qasabah Street became the main commercial street stemming from the Bayn al-Qasrayn in Fatimid Cairo, where book dealers and nut suppliers, saddle makers, cloth merchants sold their goods to the people of Cairo; the Bayn al-Qasrayn became integrated as Qasabah Street during the Bahri Mamluk era. From the original Bayn al-Qasrayn layout the Qasabah expanded into a mile-long street which extended from the northern to the southern gates of the city
Mamluk is an Arabic designation for slaves. The term is most used to refer to non-muslimslave soldiers and Muslim rulers of slave origin. More it refers to: Ghaznavids of Greater Khorasan Khwarazmian dynasty in Transoxiana Mamluk dynasty Mamluk Sultanate Bahri dynasty Burji dynasty Mamluk dynasty The most enduring Mamluk realm was the knightly military caste in Egypt in the Middle Ages, which developed from the ranks of slave soldiers; these were enslaved Turkic peoples, Egyptian Copts, Circassians and Georgians. Many Mamluks were of Balkan origin; the "mamluk phenomenon", as David Ayalon dubbed the creation of the specific warrior class, was of great political importance. Over time, Mamluks became a powerful military knightly caste in various societies that were controlled by Muslim rulers. In Egypt, but in the Levant and India, mamluks held political and military power. In some cases, they attained the rank of sultan, while in others they held regional power as emirs or beys. Most notably, mamluk factions seized the sultanate centered on Egypt and Syria, controlled it as the Mamluk Sultanate.
The Mamluk Sultanate famously defeated the Ilkhanate at the Battle of Ain Jalut. They had earlier fought the western European Christian Crusaders in 1154–1169 and 1213–1221 driving them out of Egypt and the Levant. In 1302 the mamluks formally expelled the last Crusaders from the Levant, ending the era of the Crusades. While mamluks were purchased as property, their status was above ordinary slaves but they were not allowed to carry weapons or perform certain tasks. In places such as Egypt, from the Ayyubid dynasty to the time of Muhammad Ali of Egypt, mamluks were considered to be "true lords" and "true warriors", with social status above the general population in Egypt and the Levant. In a sense they were like enslaved mercenaries; the origins of the mamluk system are disputed. Historians agree that an entrenched military caste such as the mamluks appeared to develop in Islamic societies beginning with the ninth-century Abbasid Caliphate of Baghdad; when in the ninth century has not been determined.
Up until the 1990s, it was believed that the earliest mamluks were known as Ghilman and were bought by the Abbasid caliphs al-Mu'tasim. By the end of the 9th century, such warrior slaves had become the dominant element in the military. Conflict between these ghilman and the population of Baghdad prompted the caliph al-Mu'tasim to move his capital to the city of Samarra, but this did not succeed in calming tensions; the caliph al-Mutawakkil was assassinated by some of these slave-soldiers in 861. Since the early 21st century, historians suggest that there was a distinction between the mamluk system and the ghilman system, in Samarra, which did not have specialized training and was based on pre-existing Central Asian hierarchies. Adult slaves and freemen both served as warriors in the ghilman system; the mamluk system developed after the return of the caliphate to Baghdad in the 870's. It included the systematic training of young slaves in military and martial skills; the Mamluk system is considered to have been a small-scale experiment of al-Muwaffaq, to combine the slaves' efficiency as warriors with improved reliability.
This recent interpretation seems to have been accepted. After the fragmentation of the Abbasid Empire, military slaves, known as either mamluks or ghilman, were used throughout the Islamic world as the basis of military power; the Fatimid Caliphate of Egypt had forcibly taken adolescent male Armenians, Turks and Copts from their families in order to be trained as slave soldiers. They formed the bulk of their military, the rulers selected prized slaves to serve in their administration; the powerful vizier Badr al-Jamali, for example, was a mamluk from Armenia. In Iran and Iraq, the Buyid dynasty used Turkic slaves throughout their empire; the rebel al-Basasiri was a mamluk who ushered in Seljuq dynastic rule in Baghdad after attempting a failed rebellion. When the Abbasids regained military control over Iraq, they relied on the ghilman as their warriors. Under Saladin and the Ayyubids of Egypt, the power of the mamluks increased and they claimed the sultanate in 1250, ruling as the Mamluk Sultanate.
Throughout the Islamic world, rulers continued to use enslaved warriors until the 19th century. The Ottoman Empire's devşirme, or "gathering" of young slaves for the Janissaries, lasted until the 17th century. Regimes based on mamluk power thrived in such Ottoman provinces as the Levant and Egypt until the 19th century. Under the Mamluk Sultanate of Cairo, Mamluks were purchased while still young males, they were raised in the barracks of the Citadel of Cairo. Because of their isolated social status and their austere military training, they were trusted to be loyal to their rulers; when their training was completed, they were discharged, but remained attached to the patron who had purchased them. Mamluks relied on the help of their patron for career advancement, the patron's reputation and power depended on his recruits. A Mamluk was "bound by a strong esprit de corps to his peers in the same household."Mamluks lived within their garrisons and spent their time with each
Al-Salih Tala'i Mosque
The Mosque of Al Salih Tala'i is a late Fatimid-era mosque commissioned by the vizier Tala'i ibn Ruzzik in 1160. It is located south of Bab Zuweila, just outside the southern entrance to the old walled city of Cairo, it was built to be the resting place of the head of Husayn, the grandson of'Ali revered as a martyr by Shi'as, but this ended up in a shrine at the al-Hussein Mosque instead, further north. The mosque was constructed on a raised platform whose base, at street level, had built-in recesses on three sides designed to host shops which contributed to the revenue of the mosque. Today, these shops are nearly two metres below the current street level, illustrating how much the ground level has risen in the city since the 12th century; the decoration of the mosque includes blind keel-shaped arches on the outside facade, while the interior displays carved wooden tie-beams, Qur'anic inscriptions in Kufic style on the outlines of arches in the prayer hall, window grilles carved in stucco. Some of these decorative elements continued to appear in post-Fatimid architecture in Cairo.
The mosque was restored in the Mamluk era after an earthquake in 1303 which destroyed the minaret that stood over the front porch of the mosque. At this time bronze facings in the Mamluk style were added to the original main doors, carved in wood. Today the doors are replaced by replicas while the originals, featuring both the Mamluk bronze-faced and Fatimid wood-carved facades, are on display at the Museum of Islamic Art; the minbar inside the mosque dates from the Mamluk era and was a gift of the Mamluk amir Baktimur al-Jugandar