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September, 2012

Jerusalem, 1916, WWI.  Enver Pasha (center) and Jamal Pasha (right) in a visit to the holy city.  Enver Pasha, Jamal Pasha and Mehmed Talaat Pasha (not pictured) all members of the Committee of Union and Progress party basically ran the Ottoman State’s affairs after the 1909 Young Turks coup that removed Sultan Abdul Hamid II from power; Sultan Mehmed Rashad V was installed with little to no powers.  Their control was interrupted for a short period of time when the Freedom and Accord Party ruled 1912 – 1913.  In the picture we can notice Enver Pasha looking very tensed and overwhelmed as the country was facing external challenges reflected in the military advancement of the allies and internal challenges with the uprising of various towns enticed by the allies who promised the Arabs an independent state from the Ottoman Sublime Porte.  To the far left of the picture we notice the Dome of the Rock and to the right hand-side Al-Aqsa Mosque are clearly visible.  Jerusalem remained under Ottoman control for almost 5 centuries from the time of Sultan Selim I in 1517 when he took it over from the Mamluks; the city was lost towards the end of WWI to Great Britain, after fierce battles with an estimate of 25,000 Ottoman and German soldiers killed.

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7 Sep 2012

Ziryab

Ever wondered about who came up with the under-arm deodorant?  The invention is believed to have been pioneered by the Muslim-Arab musician, designer and geologist Abu Hassan Ali Ibn Nafie known to the west as Ziryab who moved to Al-Andalus (modern day Spain) under Umayyad rule in the 9th century C.E.  Ziryab is also accredited for inventing the first toothpaste and contributing to the development of Arabic music.

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My late grandfather Yusuf Abdul Aziz Hamza, giving a speech at Al-Nasoor Sports Club in Bahrain, the club later merged with modern day Al-Ahli Club in 1977.  The picture was probably taken some time in the 60’s or early 70’s.  Love Al-Nasoor’s logo in the background, the 3 headed eagle looks mean!  Notice also the beautifully painted little dhow on the right hand side.

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