The Crusades Through Arab Eyes
Former director a Beirut newspaper, An-Nahur and world renowned Prince of Asturias Award laureate for Letters winner, Amin Maalouf has received many accolades for his historical non fiction works as well as award winning operas. His book, The Crusades through Arab Eyes has served as his most noteworthy work yet. The author states clearly in the prologue that the book provides the reader with a view of the Crusades from the other side of the battles. The author uses translated text from actual Arab soldiers, Arab historians and qadirs or chroniclers of that time to account the events that occurred during the Crusades. The book is written in a more narrative fashion versus a historical, dated order providing the reader with insight into the hearts and minds of the Arabs involved in the Crusades. Maalouf seeks to challenge the traditional account of the Crusades being a Christian mission into Muslim country in Palestine on the basis of Pope Urban’s declaration that the Christian world must unite in a holy war against nonbelievers in Christianity. Maalouf utilizes various accounts from Arab chroniclers and historians to unearth a contrasting side of this epic battle. He summarizes and colorfully narrates the sequences of events, grasping the reader’s attention with the turn of every page. Maalouf covers the Crusades from the initial invasion by the Franj Christian forces in 1096 to the 1291 Arab victory at Acre. The book initiates with the account of the Christian invasion and ransacking of Nicaea. This act of aggression sparks a jihad or holy war. Meatloaf builds the case as to why the Arabs became a viable target for Christian invasion. He reveals that internal clashes within the Arab community to umrah lead the Christian leaders to believe that that present time was an opportunity to divide and conquer the Arab kingdom. Unfortunately for the Christian forces the Arab factions set aside their disputes and united in the cause of...
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