The Sea Speaks Arabic

Umej Bhatia discusses Muslim memories of the Crusades and their resonances in Middle Eastern politics today.

Artistic representation of Saladin.
Artistic representation of Saladin.

On December 11th, 1917, eight centuries after the Kurdish warrior-general Saladin expelled the Crusaders from the holy city of Jerusalem, a British-led Egypt expeditionary force overcame its beleaguered Turkish defenders. The holy city had changed hands after nearly a millennium of Muslim rule, which had been interrupted only by the short-lived Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291) and assorted Crusader states which had introduced an alien, Western Christian, feudal order to the Levant.

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