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Saladin (An-Nasir Salah ad-Din Yusuf ibn Ayyub) was born (1138) to a Kurdish family in Tikrit (now part of northern Iraq and the birthplace of Saddam Hussein). Saladin grew up in Mosul and later Damascus. He was educated in maths, law, sciences and in particular studied the Qu’ran the Holy Book of Islam. As a youngster, he had a sincere interest in religious matters but was increasingly involved in military affairs — he was tutored in warfare and politics by the emir of Damascus, Nur ad-Din. Saladin was married aged 14, and from an early age lived austerely and sought to follow the injunctions of the Qu’ran. Throughout his life, he was generous with material objects, preferring to give away wealth to the poor. When his wife complained at a lack of money to buy clothes, he responded. Once upon a time there was a girl loved foxes poster.

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Once upon a time there was a girl loved foxes poster

In 1171, Saladin helped to gain control over Egypt on behalf of Nur ad-Din. He proved his skill on the battlefield as an inspiring leader of men — even when the numerical odds were against his armies. Three years later ad-Din died leaving Saladin as the ruler of both Egypt and Syria. Based in Damascus, Saladin brought together the disparate Muslim regions into a unified force. He was strict and ruthless in maintaining power. He used tremendous military and political skill to consolidate his position as the unquestioned leader of the Arabs. On becoming leader, he made a public statement of commitment to the Islamic faith. According to Arabic sources he “repented of wine-drinking and turned from frivolity to assume the dress of religion.” After dealing with internal threats, he turned to the threat posed by western-backed Christians forces who often harried his people and armies. Christian forces were based in the Principality of Antioch, Jerusalem and the County of Tripoli. By 1177, Saladin had built up an army capable of taking on the crusaders.

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The Crusaders had controlled Jerusalem since 1099 and the First Crusade. Its sack and murder of all inhabitants remained a painful memory for Muslims. To make matters worse, the current Christian occupiers of Jerusalem (under Raynald of Chatillon) would frequently harass Muslim pilgrims on the way to Mecca and Medina. Saladin’s first major battle with Christian crusaders was in 1177 at the Battle of Montgisard, however, despite Saladin having a larger army of 26,000, he was taken by surprise by a smaller crusader force and he had to retreat. This defeat proved to be a turning point as after this set-back Saladin rebuilt his army into a more effective fighting force. Once upon a time there was a girl loved foxes poster.

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OFFICIAL Once upon a time there was a girl loved foxes poster

By 1187, Saladin success and leadership had attracted more followers and soldiers. He was able to lead a massive army against the crusaders, and at the Battle of Hattin, his army encircled and then destroyed the Christian army. This overwhelming victory enabled Saladin to claim the Kingdom of Jerusalem, Acre, Beirut, Nazareth and Ascalon. On 2 October 1187, Saladin completed his victory by forcing the surrender of Christian forces at the City of Jerusalem under Raynald of Chatillon. Their surrender ended 88 years of crusader occupation of the city. Saladin had little respect for Raynald for his role in harassing Muslim pilgrims and disregard for Islamic holy sites. After his defeat, Saladin personally beheaded him on the battlefield. Despite previous memories of Crusaders killing Muslim civilians, Saladin did not respond in kind but allowed the survivors of the city to buy their freedom and they were allowed safe passage to ships taking them out of the Holy Land.

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