By Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot

"Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot's ebook explores the paradoxes of Egypt's heritage in a brand new variation of her a quick background of recent Egypt. Charting the years from the Arab conquest, during the age of the mamluks, Egypt's incorporation into the Ottoman Empire, the liberal scan in constitutional executive within the early 20th century, via the Nasser and Sadat years, the hot variation takes the tale up to Read more...


An up-to-date variation of the profitable a quick heritage of contemporary Egypt. Read more...

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These extra funds came from overburdening trade and commerce with taxes, until the final desperate gesture of imposing a monopoly on trade in spices. The previous dynasts in Egypt had usually added new territory to the country, or regained some lost territory. The mamluks, whose sole talent was warfare, added the island of Cyprus to Egypt under the rule of the Bahri mamluks. The mamluk sultan Barsbay, who ruled from 1422 to 1438, devoted his attention to the Indian trade and managed to squeeze more profits from it than any of his predecessors.

Specie, always in short supply, reached critical levels. Europe, which had been drained of its bullion towards the Muslim world to pay for its spices, now saw the flow reversed, with bullion drained from Egypt to pay for furs from the Baltic region, mamluks from the Caucasus to replace those who had been killed by the plague, and weapons. The great profits that had formerly been accumulated through the spice trade evaporated through the purchase of luxury items. Such was the reputation of al-Nasir and the house of Qalawun that, for forty-one years after his death, twelve of his descendants were placed on the throne as puppet rulers to be manipulated by mamluk amirs who fought each other for supremacy.

Timur despoiled and sacked Damascus, devastated northern Syria, where he was rumoured to have left pyramids of skulls behind him, and put the fear of God into the mamluks. The mamluks sued for terms, so Timur never entered nor even controlled Egypt. One of the men involved in the negotiations with Timur was an eminent scholar, a refugee from Andalusia and the Spanish Inquisition, the father of Arab sociology, ibn Khaldun. Further wars with amirs in Syria and Anatolia put a heavy burden on the population in terms of taxation and forced loans (avanias).

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