By Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot
"Afaf Lutfi Al-Sayyid Marsot's ebook explores the paradoxes of Egypt's historical past in a brand new variation of her a brief heritage of contemporary Egypt. Charting the years from the Arab conquest, throughout the age of the mamluks, Egypt's incorporation into the Ottoman Empire, the liberal scan in constitutional executive within the early 20th century, through the Nasser and Sadat years, the recent version takes the tale up to the current day."--Jacket. Read more...
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Extra info for A history of Egypt : from the Arab conquest to the present
The rule of the mamluks had been a mixed blessing for the Egyptians. While the early period of Bahri mamluks had largely been a prosperous and felicitous period for the people, the later period had been frequently oppressive and chaotic, although periods of prosperity did follow periods of disaster and epidemics. The native Egyptians, in spite of being viewed as chattel by the later mamluks, nonetheless retained an identity as pertaining to a land, Egypt, which was an independent kingdom, and at times was the centre of a mamluk empire with all that that implies in terms of prosperity, prestige, and patronage of artisans and of intellectuals.
They chose one of al-Ghuri’s former slaves, a man named Tuman Bey. Selim sent Tuman a letter suggesting he rule as viceroy under Ottoman suzerainty, and Tuman was tempted to accept the offer, since it merely involved reciting the name of the Ottoman sultan during the Friday prayers, minting coins with the sultan’s name, and paying some form of tribute, to be arranged later between the two parties. The rest of the mamluks refused these terms in high dudgeon and, adding insult to imprudence, they killed Selim’s messenger.
Most of the oppressive taxes which had been imposed on the people by his predecessors were repealed. While this occasioned a loss of income to the state, it was made up for by taxing the amirs, who had become excessively wealthy through their previous rapacity. The sultan compelled his amirs to sell their grain in public sales and forbade them to corner the grain market, which they had frequently done in times of famine. Millers and bakers were flogged for overcharging the public, and in times of famine grain was imported from Syria and sold to the public at a fixed price so that no one profited from common misery.