Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years to finally come to fruition, Manzikert set in motion the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

We’re in kind of a high season for major historical battles in the Middle East, like Yarmouk, Chaldiran, and Marj Dabiq (there’s another one coming next week). You could argue that Manzikert is the biggest of the bunch, because although it took another 400 years to finally come to fruition, Manzikert set in motion the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Battle of Manzikert (1071)

All’s quiet in the DMZ

Actually, that title is literally true; as part of a deal announced today to deescalate recent tension on the Korean peninsula, South Korea agreed to stop blasting anti-North Korea propaganda via loudspeaker across the DMZ. In return, North Korea expressed “regret” over the fact that two South Korean soldiers were injured in a mine blast… Continue reading All’s quiet in the DMZ

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Dabiq (1516)

After 1514’s Battle of Chaldiran demonstrated clearly that a) the Safavids were no military threat to the Ottomans and b) the Ottomans couldn’t sustain an extended campaign deep inside Safavid territory, the Ottomans turned their focus to the third great Middle Eastern power, the Mamluks of Egypt and Syria. Not coincidentally, the Mamluks were at… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Marj Dabiq (1516)

Lebanon’s garbage crisis turns violent

People in Beirut have finally had enough with their government’s inability to clear the trash from the streets of their city, and so last week and over the weekend thousands of them took to those same streets in protest. The protests, part of a new movement that’s aptly called “You Stink,” prompted a violent response… Continue reading Lebanon’s garbage crisis turns violent

Gluttons for punishment

The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped about a thousand points in the first five minutes of trading today. It’s recovered substantially at this point (about 10:45 east coast time) and is down around 650 points for the day so far. The S&P 500 is down almost 50 points and the NASDAQ is down about 115… Continue reading Gluttons for punishment

Today in Middle East history: a couple of greatest hits

There’s nothing like recycling material when you’re taking a break, am I right? Today is the (likely) anniversary of the appointment of Umar b. al-Khattab as the second Caliph in 634. Umar succeeded the departed Abu Bakr, who died on August 22. Umar’s caliphate saw caliphal armies defeat both of the great empires of the… Continue reading Today in Middle East history: a couple of greatest hits