Today in Middle Eastern history: Iran becomes “Iran” (1935)

I’m still on the mend, but I hate to miss these history posts and so (with just a couple of minutes to spare) here’s today’s. I’ll be back to full speed as soon as I can manage it. It’s a historical oddity that the nation (kingdom, empire, whatever it was at any particular point in… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: Iran becomes “Iran” (1935)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Badr (624)

The Battle of Badr was a small affair, involving maybe around 1250 combatants in total, but seeing as how it was the the first military victory by a Muslim army (of sorts), I suppose you could say it’s pretty important. It was the first of three named battles between Muhammad’s Medinan followers and the Quraysh… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Badr (624)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Forewarning: this post is mostly outsourced. For background you’ll want to read Michael Collins Dunn’s account of the Second Battle of Kut from late February. April 1916’s First Battle of Kut, as we know, was a complete Ottoman victory and one of the low points for Britain in the whole war. Following that disaster, the British… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Fall of Baghdad (1917)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Shahnameh is completed (1010)

Obviously there are a lot of important works of literature that have been created over the years and across the many cultures of the world, so if I were to describe Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh as simply a great work of literature I would be doing it something of an injustice. It is a great work… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Shahnameh is completed (1010)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Because the Mamluk dynasty wasn’t a “dynasty” in the traditional sense, when the Ottomans toppled it in 1516-1517, there were a lot of important mamluk aristocrats and officials still running around Egypt and Syria who had no particular loyalty to the sultan (Tuman Bey) who had just been overthrown. It was much simpler for the… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Massacre at the Citadel (1811)

Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1966 Syrian coup

Syria’s road from French colony (er, I mean “protectorate” or whatever) to the mess it is today was littered with coups d’état: three in 1949, one each in 1951, 1954, 1961, 1963, and 1966, and finally the 1970 Corrective Movement that brought Hafez al-Assad to power. I’m probably missing a couple somewhere along the way.… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1966 Syrian coup

Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1921 Iranian coup

The fall of imperial Russia in the aftermath of the 1917 Russian Revolution should have been good news for Iran’s Qajar Dynasty, which had fought at least three wars with Russia and lost much of its Caucasian territory in the process. Instead, it upset the delicate balance of power in Iran and eventually led to… Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the 1921 Iranian coup