Using Middle Eastern Christians for Imperial Aims

I'm very excited to bring you our first attwiw guest post! Georgetown University's Joshua Mugler looks at the Trump administration's "defense"of Middle Eastern Christians and places them in the context of similar--and generally cynical--past claims. If you would like to pitch something for attwiw, please email me. And if you enjoy this content, please consider … Continue reading Using Middle Eastern Christians for Imperial Aims

Politicizing Ethnic Cleansing

Last week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu released a video on YouTube. A video that may shock, anger, and possibly horrify you. Here it is, and please don't say I didn't warn you: Oh wait, no, that was a campaign ad from last February. Still, horrifying. This was last week's video: Netanyahu's attempt … Continue reading Politicizing Ethnic Cleansing

Today in Middle Eastern/European history: the Ottomans get started (1299, or 1302)

The Foreign Exchanges Companion

If you’ve read The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and, you know, who hasn’t, then you may know that Edward Gibbon marks July 27, 1299, as the date of the founding of the Ottoman Empire. It was on this date, according to Gibbon, that Osman I (d. 1326), the Ottomans’ founder and namesake, led his fighters (it would be exaggerating to call it an “army” at this point) on an invasion (“raid” might be the better term) of Nicomedia, which was under Byzantine control at the time (and would remain so until 1337). This may have been the first Ottoman raid into Byzantine territory.

“Osman I,” a portrait by British engraver John Young (d. 1825), via Wikimedia

The date is worth marking as much as a curiosity as anything else, because while Gibbon’s work is a landmark of Enlightenment scholarship, it’s really not much…

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The History of Turkey’s Diyanet

Kristin Fabbe and Kimberly Guiler, at The Washington Post's "Monkey Cage" blog, looked at the proliferation of conspiracy theories surrounding last week's attempted coup in Turkey. In their piece, they made a point about a Turkish institution that probably deserves more explanation than they were able to give it, the Diyanet: Turkey’s self-avowed secularists also … Continue reading The History of Turkey’s Diyanet

Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Fariskur (1250)

Here is the eagerly (?) awaited conclusion to February’s story of the Seventh Crusade’s Battle of Mansurah. When last we left our plucky yet doomed Crusaders, under the command of the very willing but not really able Louis IX of France (d. 1270), they’d suffered a decisive defeat at Mansurah and were sent scrambling back across … Continue reading Today in Middle Eastern history: the Battle of Fariskur (1250)