My mind wandered away and I imagined what I read in history books and references turning into a reality that is almost identical to what happened long times ago… as Baghdad, Basra, Kufa and all Iraq fell down… also, Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Homs and all Levant countries… before them, I saw Palestine falling down as well… this falling down extended to the west Arab countries where Cyrenaica or Barqah, Fezzan, Tripoli and all Libya fell down too… then all Arab-talking nations became threatened with the same plague…
There was no difference in destruction, devastation, killing and forced displacement between old-time invasion by Tatars and Mongols and current-time one by the USA, its allies, Zionists… and also by terrorism groups like Daesh, an-Nusra, al-Qaeda, muslim brotherhood and salafists!
Go back to that era’s sources and references when that bloody invasion stormed Iraq and Levant countries until it stood at the gates of Egypt… read what the papers write now… remember what you have been watching and still watching on TV… and you will not be surprised if you discovered it’s an identical copy of what happened long time ago.
Until this point, there is nothing new I said... it’s a continuation of the same reiterated everyday speech calling for thanking God for saving Egypt from facing the same destiny… and that it was Egypt’s army and its leader Sisi who stood against such malicious plans… and that if it wasn’t for them, we would have been doomed by now… and indeed, I have nothing else to add but to remind ourselves of what happened to take moral… not only us, but also those who stood against such evil; meaning our armed forces and its leadership.
Here I excerpt a text from one of the accredited references that is based on authentic sources; it’s a book titled “In Islamic Egypt”… this book was republished in 2015 by the General Egyptian Book Organization… written on its elegant cover “edited by Dr. Zaki Muhammed Hassan, First Lieutenant Abdel-Rahman Zaki, co-authored by Gaston Feet, Mahmoud Ahmed, Younis Mahran, Ismail Abul-Aienain”
What is really good about that book written more than a century ago is that it was an initiative by “Al-Moqtataf” newspaper owned by Mr. Fouad Sarrouf… meaning it was a civic effort away from the government at that time… and that those who contributed to writing the book are a group of experts in the Islamic history and the history of middle ages… and they all volunteered to write… it’s really sad that our current-day newspapers with the billions they waste away do not do the same thing.
In the chapter titled “Egypt’s Islamic capitals”, First Lieutenant Abdel-Rahman Zaki wrote about al-Fustat, al-Askar, al-Qatae’a and Cairo… when he wrote about Cairo which was defined by the most famous historian al-Maqrizi (766 – 845 H C), author of al-Khitat, he said “Cairo has become at the heart of the nation, centre of its commerce, culture and lighthouse of religion”…
Then he asserts the historic reality that everyone interested in history knows; such reality is that Egypt has witness disasters before but it never fell… actually, it always comes back stronger… Al-Maqrizi witnessed two important phases in the history of Cairo; the first was when Cairo came back stronger after the plague it had during the time of al-Nasser King as it was one of the worst times Egypt witnessed… the second was at the beginning of the nineteenth century when Cairo was afflicted with three disasters; plague, high prices and decrease in Nile level… but again, it came back stronger as in Sultan Qaitbay’s era, Cairo was full of a wonderful collection of elite structures he established and which represent best the Mamluk architecture like Temraz mosque, Azbak mosque, Yashbak palace, Qaitbay’s school, mausoleum, complex and Sabil, his complex in Bab el-Nasr, another one in as-Sorogiya, Elqobbah Elfedaweyah and al-Roda school.
Here I invite you all to read the following relatively-long text which Lieutenant First Abdel-Rahman Zaki excerpted from Abdel-Rahman al-Rafei’s book to compare it to our present time events… I will excerpt the whole test too for I believe that saving Egypt from our present time Tatars and Mongols – meaning the malicious American and Zionist plans which are savagely executed by terrorism groups falsely alleging to have Islamic religious reference – can be achieved by respecting and valuing culture including literature and arts… and by appreciating true democracy and society cohesion around a comprehensive national goal… otherwise, Egypt’s renaissance wouldn’t be achievable…
Abdel-Rahman al-Rafei says: “… it’s due to Bahari, Burji and Circassian Sultans that our Arabic literature was saved from Mongols’ invasion which were about to exterminate all Arab literature and sciences in the whole east… and so Egypt was the safe haven for all Arabic talking people who fled Iraq, Persia, Syria and Khorasan…
The Arabic literature, arts and sciences enjoyed the protection of kings and Sultans in Egypt when a bunch of elite poets, artists and scientists thrived during that era like al-Busayri, author of Al-Burda and Al-Serag Al-Warraq… Ibn Nabata al-Masry… al-Qalqashandi, author of Sobh Al-Aa’sha… al-Abshihi, author of Al-Mustatref… Ibn Manzoor, author of Lesan El-Arab… Ibn Hesham, the great philologian… Ibn Abdel-Zaher… al-Qastallani, the famous one specialized in Hadith and theology… Shams ed-Din as-Sakhawi, author of Al-Daw’a Al-Lame’a… Ibn Khalkan, the famous historian and author of Waffeyat Al-A’yaan… al-Safadi, author of Al-Wafi… Ibn Hagar, the historian and the best in the field of Hadith at his time… al-Aini, the historian and Hadith specialized… Ibn Waseef Shah… Ibn Daqmaq… al-Maqrizi, author of Al-Khitat… al-Makeen Ibn al-Ameed Abulfeda, author of Taqweem Al-Buldan… al-Zahabi… al-Nowairi, author of Nahayet Al-Arb… Ibn Fadlallah al-Omari, author of Masalek Al-Absar fi Mamalek Al-Amsar… Ibn Aqeel… Ibn Taghri Bardi, author of Al-Nogoom Al-Zahera… Gala ed-Din as-Siyouti… ad-Demiri, author of Hayat Al-Hayawan… Ibn Eias, the historian who witnessed the Ottoman invasion… also, Egypt has welcomed at that time a bunch of elite scientists and philosophers in the east like Ibn Taymmiya, Ibn al-Qayem al-Gawziya and Ibn Khaldoun”…
Then came the decline and deterioration when Egypt was invaded by the Ottomans… “Cairo has lost two of its most important factors of its life; its status and people… as it had to abdicate its stature for Istanbul, giving up its spiritual status and also lost its commercial importance… and so Cairo, in the time of Ottomans, was nothing more than an old city with monuments and memories… and stayed in the secondary position until Muhammed Ali was appointed ruler of Egypt… and so he regained back its old legacy”… Excerpt ends here.
For all I mentioned above, I call upon Egypt’s leadership and government to open our country for all literature writers, artists, scientists and intellectuals of Iraq, Levant, Palestine, Libya and all places destroyed by our present time Tatars and Mongols… Egypt’s renaissance won’t be achieved if its culture doesn’t thrive… literature, arts, innovations… only at this time, Abdel-Fattah as-Sisi along with Egypt’s army will be honored in history… not only for saving the state and fighting terrorism, but also for contributing to Egypt’s renaissance by opening its gates for everyone.
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
Translated into English by: Dalia Elnaggar
This article was published in Al Ahram newspaper on September 1, 2016.
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