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Ibn Battuta's Journey

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Alden Dichoso

on 2 November 2015

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Transcript of Ibn Battuta's Journey

Baghdad in Historical Context
In the year 762, Caliph Al-Mansur started the construction of the city and was supervised by the Barmakids.

Caliph Al-Mansur choose this specific location because of its vital links in trade routes, milder climates, topography, and its proximity to water.

The city was meant to be the capital of the Islamic empire under the rule of the Abbasids and to replace Harran as the official site of the caliphal government.

Baghdad in Historical Context
All of these factors made the city a breeding ground of culture and knowledge. Baghdad is set right on the Khurasan Road, which was an established meeting place for caravan routes from all cardinal directions.

The link in trade routes provided a flood of goods into the city, which allowed numerous markets to spring up drawing people from all of the Middle East to Baghdad to trade. The markets that developed in Baghdad were some of the most sophisticated as well because of the government’s supervision of their products as well as trade amongst each other.

Baghdad in Historical Context
As more and more people began to settle in the city, numerous schools began to spring up, including the Hanafi and Hanbali schools of law.- law being a critical study for the Muslim people due to the understanding of justice on Earth as applied to God.

Arabic translation of Grecian texts became a substantial market that was quite progressive because its primary impetus from the caliphate was to establish a new ideology with a political and scientific base.

As the public and private sectors of the community became more educated, cultural narrative and secular writing began. In the city, a demand for secular literature, designed for entertainment, developed, which shaped the culture of the city’s population, as well as the Abbasid Empire as a whole, with Baghdad being their crowning achievement and reason for the Golden Age of Islam. At this time, Baghdad was revered as the "center of the world" because of its scholarship. At the height of the golden age in Baghdad, it was estimated that there were over one and half million people living in the city.

Baghdad in Historical Context
• Al-Mansur’s foundation of the city was ultimately based on its potential position as a military arsenal, and its ability to house and support many troops. Large numbers of troops were what originally gave the city such a dense population, but as the army continued to need supplies more and more people flooded to the city for jobs, thus being another reason Baghdad became a center of commerce
Baghdad in Historical Context
Baghdad was designed like a circle with 1 km in diameter, which led it to be called the round city.

The design had rings of residential and commercial buildings along the inside of the city walls, and it had another ring inside the first with a mosque in the middle with headquarters for guards.

The circular design came from appeals of that of a Persian Sasanian urban city design, which also leads to roundness being based on Persian precedents.

Ibn Battuta's Journey
Baghdad's Tourism
The most educational place in Baghdad is the Baghdad museum.

The Baghdad Zoo is a 200-acre zoo originally opened in 1971 and located in Baghdad, Iraq, in the Al Zawra’a Gardens area along with the Al Zawra’a Dream Park
Cairo in Historical Context
Cairo history most notably dates from the Romans. The city was built up by the Arabs and the Ottoman Empire to become the largest and richest capital in the world at its zenith.

Baghdad in Historical Context
The Romans were the first to really establish a proper city here and they built their Babylon Fort around 150 AD, Cairo's first settlement. At the time, the area was of little interest to the Egyptians, whose pharaohs generally ruled from Luxor in the Middle Nile during the latter stages of the dynasties. Egyptian Copts (descendents of ancient Egyptians) took shelter here and built churches, many of which remain in the area known as Coptic Cairo. It is the most interesting part of the capital, still featuring the fort and a museum.

Arabs entered Egypt from Saudi Arabia in the year of 642 AD, conquering the country and setting up Cairo in the main from the Babylon Fort. It would be their headquarters and the city grew around the fortress. The ancient Citadel (Al-Qalaa) was one of the star attractions, being home to a number of mosques, including the city's oldest, Ibn Tulun and Al-Azhar, as well as museums.

Cairo's Tourism
Pyramids of Giza

The Pyramids of Giza are Cairo's number one half-day trip and a must-do attraction on everyone's itinerary. Right on the edge of the city, these fourth dynasty funerary temples have been wowing travelers for centuries and continue to be one of the country's major highlights. Despite the heat, the dust, and the tourist hustle, you can't miss a trip here.

Cairo's Tourism
The Egyptian Museum

The absolutely staggering collection of antiquities displayed in Cairo's Egyptian Museum makes it one of the world's great museums. You would need a lifetime to see everything on show. The museum was founded in 1857 by French Egyptologist August Mariette and moved to its current home - in the distinctive powder-pink mansion in Downtown Cairo - in 1897. Yes, the collection is poorly labeled and not well set out due to limits of space (and only a fraction of its total holdings are actually on display), but you still can't help being impressed by the sheer majesty of the exhibits.
Cairo's Tourism
Al-Azhar Mosque

Al-Azhar Mosque is the finest building of Cairo's Fatimid era, and one of the city's earliest surviving mosques, completed in AD 972. It's also one of the world's oldest universities; Caliph El-Aziz bestowed it with the status of university in AD 988 (the other university vying for "oldest" status is in Fes) and today, Al-Azhar University is still the leading theological center of the Islamic world.

Cairo's Tourism
Old Cairo (Coptic Cairo)

This small church-filled cluster of twisty laneways lies within the walls of Old Babylon where the Roman Emperor Trajan first built a fortress along the Nile. Parts of the Roman towers still preside over the main street.

Constantinople in Historical Context
In 330 A.D., the original Christian ruler of the Roman empire, Constantine the Great, transferred the ancient imperial capital from Rome to the city of Byzantion, which was located on the easternmost territory of the European continent, at a major intersection of east-west trade. The emperor renamed this ancient port city Constantinople ("the city of Constantine") in his own honor; it was also called the "New Rome," due to the city's new status as political capital of the Roman empire. The Christian, ultimately Greek-speaking, state ruled from that city would come to be called Byzantium by modern historians, although the empire's medieval citizens described themselves as "Rhomaioi," or Romans, and considered themselves the inheritors of the ancient Roman empire.
Constantinople in Historical Context
In the 12th century, the city was the largest and wealthiest European city, and it was instrumental in the advancement of Christianity during Roman and Byzantine times.

After the loss of its territory, the Eastern Byzantine Empire was reduced to just its capital city and its environs, eventually falling to the Ottomans in 1453.

Following the Muslim conquest, the former bastion of Christianity in the east, Constantinople, was turned into the Islamic capital of the Ottoman Empire, under which it prospered and flourished again.

Constantinople in Historical Context
For many centuries the city was popularly called "Istanbul", from a Greek phrase. Eventually, after the founding of the Constantinople, it was famed for its massive defenses. Although besieged on numerous occasions by various peoples, the Byzantine city was taken only in 1204 by the Latin army of the Fourth Crusade, recovered in 1261 by the Byzantine Emperor Michael VIII Palaiologos, and in 1453 conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II, the modern Republic of Turkey, the city was formally renamed to "Istanbul" in 1930.
Constantinople in a Historical Context
The city was also famed for its architectural masterpieces, such as the Greek Orthodox cathedral of Hagia Sophia, which served as the seat of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the sacred Imperial Palace where the Emperors lived. Also famous are the Galata Tower, the Hippodrome, and the Golden Gate.

Constantinople contained numerous artistic and literary treasures before it was sacked in 1204 and 1453. The city was virtually depopulated when it fell to the Ottoman Turks, but it recovered rapidly, and was, by the mid-1600s, once again the world's largest city as the new capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Mecca in Historical Context
Mecca, known to the Muslim faithful as Umm al-Qura, the Mother of Cities, is the holiest place in the Islamic world. It was here that Muhammad the Prophet (c. 570–632), the Messenger of God, the founder of the Muslim faith, was born in 570, and it is here within the Great Mosque that the Ka'aba, the most sacred shrine of Islam, awaits the Muslim pilgrim. Throughout the world, wherever they may be, all devout Muslims pray five times per day, each time bowing down to face Mecca. Mecca is located in the Hijaz region of western Saudi Arabia.
Mecca's Tourism
The Grand Mosque
The Grand Mosque, also known as Masjid Al Haram, is the largest mosque in the world. It can accommodate 1.2 million worshipers at a time. The mosque houses the Zamzam well, which contains holy water believed to have been generated from God, and the Kaaba, the black cube-shaped structure which is said to have been built by Ibrahim, or Abraham, and his son, Ishmael, and is a reflection of a house in heaven

Constantinople's ( Instanbul's) Tourism
Aya Sofya
It's said that when the Byzantine Emperor Justinian entered his finished church for the first time in AD 536, he cried out "Glory to God that I have been judged worthy of such a work. Oh Solomon, I have outdone you!" The Aya Sofya (formerly the Hagia Sophia) was the emperor's swaggering statement to the world of the wealth and technical ability of his empire. Tradition maintained that the area surrounding the emperor's throne within the church was the official center of the world. Through its conversion to a mosque after the Ottoman armies conquered Constantinople to its further conversion into a museum in the 20th century, the Aya Sofya has remained one of Istanbul's most cherished landmarks.

Constantinople's (Istanbul's) Tourism
Topkapı Palace (Topkapı Sarayı)
First built by Mehmet the Conqueror in the 15th century, this glorious palace beside the Bosphorus is where sultans of the Ottoman Empire ruled over their dominions up until the 19th century. The vast complex is a dazzling display of Islamic art with opulent courtyards, lined with intricate hand-painted tile-work, linking a warren of sumptuously decorated rooms, all bounded by battlement walls and tower.
Constantinople's (Istanbul's) Tourism
Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Sultan Ahmet I's grand architectural gift to his capital was this beautiful mosque, commonly known as the Blue Mosque today. Built between 1609 and 1616, the mosque caused a furore throughout the Muslim world when it was finished as it had six minarets (the same number as the Great Mosque of Mecca). A seventh minaret was eventually gifted to Mecca to stem the dissent. The mosque gets its nickname from its interior decoration of tens of thousands of znik tiles. The entire spatial and color effect of the interior make the mosque one of the finest achievements of Ottoman architecture.
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