Arabian peninsula

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20 09, 2017

Mercenaries and military history

By |2018-04-20T08:25:06-07:00September 20th, 2017|War|0 Comments

Nubian archers in the Middle Kingdom (from the Nubian museum in Aswan, Egypt). About 2000 BC. Mercenaries (MURR-sinn-air-eez) are paid volunteer soldiers: they are soldiers who are fighting as a job, not in order to save their country or for the glory of God. They only fight if they are paid, or for the [...]

8 09, 2017

History of Time – sundials and clocks

By |2018-10-28T14:57:08-07:00September 8th, 2017|Egypt|0 Comments

Egyptian sundial (Valley of the Kings, Egypt, ca. 1300 BC). It's on a small chip of limestone so you could carry it around. Using the sun to tell time During most of human history, people told time by the sun. They arranged to meet at dawn, when the sun came up. Or they met [...]

23 08, 2017

King David and Israel – Bible stories

By |2019-10-08T05:51:35-07:00August 23rd, 2017|Religion, West Asia|0 Comments

The future King David uses his sling to throw a stone at Goliath, helped by angels. From the Bristol Psalter, written in the 1000s AD in Constantinople. When did King David live? After they got free from the Philistines, the Jews were independent again for a while. This is the time of the story [...]

27 07, 2017

Geography of the Arabian Peninsula

By |2019-01-30T06:20:13-07:00July 27th, 2017|Environment, West Asia|0 Comments

Map of the Arabian peninsula Where is the Arabian Peninsula? The Arabian Peninsula is part of West Asia that sticks out to the south. It's only separated from Africa by the narrow Red Sea. And it is not far from India, either. All our West Asia articles All our Africa articles What's the climate like there? The peninsula [...]

25 07, 2017

Arabic language and literature

By |2019-01-30T07:53:33-07:00July 25th, 2017|Islam, Literature|0 Comments

Arabic language: Sabataean writing Where did Arabic come from? Arabic is in the Semitic language group. Semitic languages seem to have gotten started before the beginning of writing. That would be before about 3000 BC. Probably Semitic languages developed from an earlier language somewhere near modern Syria. A different branch of that earlier language became [...]

25 07, 2017

Mohammed the Prophet – Early Islamic history

By |2018-04-23T15:29:55-07:00July 25th, 2017|History|3 Comments

Mohammed praying at the Ka'aba(in an Ottoman book from 1388 AD) Mohammed was born in the Arab trading and pilgrimage city of Mecca, in the Arabian peninsula, between 570 and 580 AD. His parents were part of a family of traders. They were not among the ruling families of Mecca, but they were certainly not poor either. Mohammed himself however grew up poor, [...]

25 07, 2017

The Mamluks – Medieval Islamic history

By |2019-09-19T18:40:12-07:00July 25th, 2017|Islam|16 Comments

Mamluks: A Mamluk inn for merchants in Cairo Mamluks were enslaved soldiers The Mamluks were originally enslaved bodyguards of the Abbasid caliphs of the Islamic Empire (the word "mamluk" just means "slave" in Arabic). Starting around 850 AD, the Abbasid caliphs captured or bought young boys who were not Muslims as slaves. Who were the Abbasids? Sunni and Shiite History of [...]

23 07, 2017

Who were the Fatimids? – Medieval Islam

By |2019-06-06T21:25:43-07:00July 23rd, 2017|Africa, Egypt, History, Islam|0 Comments

Fatimids built Bab Zuweila (Cairo, 1092 AD) Overthrowing the Abbasids in Egypt In 908 AD, a new family rose up in Egypt. They took control of Egypt from the Abbasids. This family was called the Fatimids, after Mohammed's daughter Fatima. They called themselves the Fatimids because they said they were descended from Fatima. Who were the [...]

23 07, 2017

Early Arabia – Arabian peninsula

By |2018-04-23T15:27:01-07:00July 23rd, 2017|History, Islam|0 Comments

Ibex hunt from Yemen, 0-300 AD People probably first arrived in the Arabian peninsula about 60,000 BC,, crossing over the Sinai from Egypt or going all around the coast in their small boats. Some went on to Iran and India, but others settled down in the Arabian peninsula. Mostly they gathered seaweed and seafood, and fished from their boats. By about 2500 BC, Arabian traders were selling [...]

22 06, 2017

History of coffee – Where does coffee come from?

By |2019-02-11T15:42:44-07:00June 22nd, 2017|Africa, Food|0 Comments

Where does coffee come from? Coffee history starts in Africa. Coffee plants grew wild in East Africa. Sometime before 1000 AD, the people who lived in Ethiopia, in East Africa, began to pick the red coffee berries and mash them up. They mixed the berries with fatty meat (like bacon) to make an energy bar like [...]