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Phoenicians - Chapter 9

Phoenicians - Chapter 9

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Published by James Bradley
Lebanon - rise and fall of Fakhr-al-din II
Lebanon - rise and fall of Fakhr-al-din II

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Categories:Types, Research, History
Published by: James Bradley on Oct 30, 2009
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07/07/2010

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Phoenicians
Chapter 9 Throughout all of this previous history Beirut survived as a small city, with apopulation being reported less than 10,000 citizens – and it is also written that nomatter who controlled the region that it was locally ruled by the “
Druze
” emirs. The “Druze” is a distinct religious community and is an “offshoot” of Islam, alsobeing influenced by other religions and philosophies (including Greek Philosophy). They consider themselves “theologically” as an
Islamic Unist, reformatory sect 
,although they are “not” considered Muslims by “most” Muslims in the region. Theycall themselves “Ahl al-Tawhid” (People of Monotheism) or “al-Muwahhidun”(Monotheists) – the origin of the name
Druze
is traced to “Nashtakin ad-Darazi
1
”,one of the first preachers of the religion. The Druze religion, founded by “Hamza ibn Ali ibn Ahmad” (a Persian),developed out of the Ismaili sect, a sub-group of “
Shi’a Islam
”. In its founding it didnot attempt to change mainstream Islam but to create a whole new religious bodyinfluenced by Greek philosophy and Gnosticism
2
. Even today they keep their actualtheology secretive, we do know that they believe in one God, and seven of hisprophets, Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus, Muhammad & Muhammad binNashtakin ad-Darazi – and that they also “revere” Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses,where some make an annual pilgrimage to his tomb at the “
Horns of Hittin
3
.Under order of conquest Beirut came under the rule of the Mamluks. TheMamluks were a combination of “Turkoman” and “Circassian” slaves, respectivelyfrom the area east of the Caspian Sea and from the Caucasus Mountains betweenthe Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. They were originally trained as bodyguards bythe Muslim “Ayyubid” sultans of Egypt – one of them; “Muez-Aibak” assassinatedthe Ayyubid sultan, “Al Ashraf Musa” in 1252 and founded the Mamluk sultanatewhich ruled Egypt and Syria for more than two centuries.From 11
th
century to the 13
th
century, the Shi’a Muslims migrated from Syria,Iraq, and the Arabian Peninsula, to the northern part of the “Beqaa” and to the
1
It is said his name, al-Darazi, associates him as being a tailor 
2
 
Gnosticism
(from Greek 
 gnosis
, knowledge) is a term created by modern scholars to describe a diverse religious movement often associatedwith Christianity, although textual evidence for the movement contains distinctly non- and anti-Christian elements, as well as anti-
Judaicelements
3
 
“Kasrawanregion in the mountains northeast of Beirut. They and the Druzerebelled in 1291 while the Mamluks were busy fighting the later European Crusadesand Mongols. After repelling the invaders, the Mamluks crushed this rebellion in1308, and to escape repression and massacres the Shi’as tucked their tail betweentheir legs and ran to southern Lebanon. The Mamluks indirectly fostered relations between Europe and the Middle East,even after the collapse of the Byzantine Empire. Beirut, favored by its geographicallocation, despite religious conflicts, became the center of intense trading activity,with the economy and its intellectual spirit expanding until the Mamluk rule wasended by the Ottoman Turks. The “Ottoman Turks” were a Central Asian people, who had served as slaves andwarriors under the “Abbasids” ---Note: It seems as a strong reference that down through history it usually theoppressed that rise above their masters and in some manner or form take over therealm and rule the palace – you’d think that ruling party or force would learn thatoppressing people is not really a wise move, look at present day Iraq and the Shi’a /Sunni relationship.Because of the discipline, courage and last but not least their cunning theybecame masters of the palace in Baghdad during the rule of the caliphate, “AlMustasim
4
” – 833-842 CE. Rising to power the Ottoman sultan, “Salim I (1516-1520CE) after defeating the Persians (1514 at the Battle of Chaldiran [midway betweenErzinjan & Tabriz] – defeating Shah Ismail), conquered the Mamluks at Marj Dabaq,north of Aleppo in 1516.During the conflict between the Mamluks and the Ottomans, the “emirsof Lebanon linked their fate to that of “Ghazali”, the pasha of Damascus, who duringthe conflict won the confidence of the Ottomans by fighting on their side during theMarj Dabaq campaign. He introduced them to “Salim I” (son of the Ottoman SultanBayazid II – 1448-1512)” who was impressed with the eloquence of the Lebaneseruler “
 Amir Fakhr ad Din I al-Maani
”, made a decision to grant the Lebanese emirs a“semiautonomous” status – the Ottomans, through this arrangement and two Druzefamilies (Maans and Shibabs) ruled Lebanon until the middle of the 19
th
century. Itwas during Ottoman rule that the terminology “Greater Syria” was designated asthe approximate region which includes today, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Israel.
4
 
It was the “Maan” family, immigrants from Northern Arabia that threw itsallegiance to the sultan, in doing so was promoted to the supreme emirate around1517.One of their members born in Baaklin (1572), after the death of his father(
Prince Qurqumaz 
assassinated by the Ottomans), the 12-year-old “
Fakhr-al-dinII
” was rushed to “Kisrwen - Ballouneh” by his mother where he was raised by a“Maronite” family, the (Al-Kazins – Sheikh Nader El Khazen). It is then in his earlychildhood that he grew with the belief in the diversity and pluralism of Lebanon. Ashe matured he eventually was entrusted with his domain in the Shouf 
5
- he felt hecould finally realize his childhood dream of uniting the Lebanese people and gainingfull independence for the country. For fifty-years, 1585-1635, using the means of marriage, bribery, intrigue, treaties and war he begins the consolidation of hiskingdom. On the local level he had three strong motives; security, prosperity, andunity. For a local militia he had over 40,000 professionally trained and disciplinedmen led by a Maronite General Khazim, with another Maronite his chief counselor.In 1611 he sent a Maronite bishop on a confidential mission to the Pope and thegrand duke of Tuscany a secret treaty was endorsed between Lebanon andFlorence.In 1613 the sultan of the Ottoman Empire moved against him with over 50,000troops and a naval fleet of over sixty ships --- prudence and I imagine the fear of inflicting more misery and damage on his country, he escaped on a French vessel toa warm welcome at the court of the Medici's
6
, leaving his younger brother “Younes”and his son “Ali” in charge. He was received in grand style by Cosmo II
7
of Tuscany.In the meantime, his departure did not prevent the Lebanese army from refusing tosurrender to “Hafez’s army”, thus maintaining its positions while the military
5
Located in the south-east of Beirut, the historical region comprises a narrow coastal strip with notably the Christian town of Damour and the valleys and mountains of the western slopes of Jabal Barouk, the name of the local Mount Lebanon massif.Chouf is the heartland of Lebanese Druze community, and Druze leader Walid Jumblatt has its residence in the Jumblatt palace inthe town of Moukhtara.
6
The
Medici
family was a powerful and influential Florentine family from the 13th to 17th century. The family produced three popes (Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI), numerous rulers of Florence (notably Lorenzo il Magnifico, patron of some of the mostfamous works of renaissance art), and later members of the French and English royalty. The family also helped to spur the beginning of the Italian Renaissance.
7
 
Cosimo II de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany
(12 May 1590 – 28 February 1621) ruled as Grand Duke of Tuscany from1609 to 1621. He was the oldest son of Ferdinando I de' Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany and Christine of Lorraine.

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