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The Crusades Through Arab Eyes The Crusades Through Arab Eyes by Amin Maalouf
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“It seems clear that the Arab East still sees the West as a natural enemy. Against that enemy, any hostile action-be it political, military, or based on oil-is considered no more than legitimate vengeance. And there can be no doubt that the schism between these two worlds dates from the Crusades, deeply felt by the Arabs, even today, as an act of rape”
Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
“Mosul, the native city of the historian Ibn al-Athir, was the capital of Jazira, or Mesopotamia, the fertile plain watered by the two great rivers Tigris and Euphrates. It was a political, cultural, and economic centre of prime importance. The Arabs boasted of its succulent fruit: its apples, pears, grapes, and pomegranates. The fine cloth it exported - called 'muslin', a word derived from the city's name - was known throughout the world. At the time of the arrival of the Franj, the people of the emir Karbuqa's realm were already exploiting another natural resource, which the traveller Ibn Jubayr was to describe with amazement a few dozen years later: deposits of naphtha. This precious dark liquid, which would one day make the fortune of this part of the world, already offered travellers an unforgettable spectacle.”
Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
“In the space of eighteen months three of the most renowned cities of the Arab world - Tripoli, Beirut, and Saida - had been taken and sacked, their inhabitants massacred or deported, their emirs, qadis[judges], and experts on religious law killed or forced into exile, their mosques profaned.”
Amin Maalouf, The Crusades Through Arab Eyes