Topic: Egypt

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Jewish Exodus from Arab and Muslim Countries

International relations Iran Syria Sociology Iraq Arab world Jewish history Egypt Israel Israel Palestine Collaboration Palestine

The Jewish exodus from Arab and Muslim countries, or Jewish exodus from Arab countries, was the departure, flight, expulsion, evacuation and migration of 850,000 Jews, primarily of Sephardi and Mizrahi background, from Arab countries and the Muslim world, mainly from 1948 to the early 1970s. The last major migration wave took place from Iran in 1979–80, as a consequence of the Iranian Revolution.

A number of small-scale Jewish exoduses began in many Middle Eastern countries early in the 20th century with the only substantial aliyah (immigration to the area today known as Israel) coming from Yemen and Syria. Very few Jews from Muslim countries immigrated during the period of Mandatory Palestine. Prior to the creation of Israel in 1948, approximately 800,000 Jews were living in lands that now make up the Arab world. Of these, just under two-thirds lived in the French and Italian-controlled North Africa, 15–20% in the Kingdom of Iraq, approximately 10% in the Kingdom of Egypt and approximately 7% in the Kingdom of Yemen. A further 200,000 lived in Pahlavi Iran and the Republic of Turkey.

The first large-scale exoduses took place in the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from Iraq, Yemen and Libya. In these cases over 90% of the Jewish population left, despite the necessity of leaving their property behind. Two hundred and sixty thousand Jews from Arab countries immigrated to Israel between 1948 and 1951, accounting for 56% of the total immigration to the newly founded state; this was the product of a policy change in favour of mass immigration focused on Jews from Arab and Muslim countries. The Israeli government's policy to accommodate 600,000 immigrants over four years, doubling the existing Jewish population, encountered mixed reactions in the Knesset; there were those within the Jewish Agency and government who opposed promoting a large-scale emigration movement among Jews whose lives were not in danger.

Later waves peaked at different times in different regions over the subsequent decades. The peak of the exodus from Egypt occurred in 1956 following the Suez Crisis. The exodus from the other North African Arab countries peaked in the 1960s. Lebanon was the only Arab country to see a temporary increase in its Jewish population during this period, due to an influx of Jews from other Arab countries, although by the mid-1970s the Jewish community of Lebanon had also dwindled. Six hundred thousand Jews from Arab and Muslim countries had reached Israel by 1972. In total, of the 900,000 Jews who left Arab and other Muslim countries, 600,000 settled in the new state of Israel, and 300,000 migrated to France and the United States. The descendants of the Jewish immigrants from the region, known as Mizrahi Jews ("Eastern Jews") and Sephardic Jews ("Spanish Jews"), currently constitute more than half of the total population of Israel, partially as a result of their higher fertility rate. In 2009, only 26,000 Jews remained in Arab countries and Iran. and 26,000 in Turkey.

The reasons for the exoduses are manifold, including push factors, such as persecution, antisemitism, political instability, poverty and expulsion, together with pull factors, such as the desire to fulfill Zionist yearnings or find a better economic status and a secure home in Europe or the Americas. The history of the exodus has been politicized, given its proposed relevance to the historical narrative of the Arab–Israeli conflict. When presenting the history, those who view the Jewish exodus as analogous to the 1948 Palestinian exodus generally emphasize the push factors and consider those who left as refugees, while those who do not, emphasize the pull factors and consider them willing immigrants.

Siwa Oasis


The Siwa Oasis (Arabic: واحة سيوة‎, Wāḥat Sīwah, IPA: [ˈwæːħet ˈsiːwæ]; Coptic: ⲥⲓⲟⲩⲁϩ Siwah; Berber languages: Isiwan, ⵉⵙⵉⵡⴰⵏ ) is an urban oasis in Egypt between the Qattara Depression and the Great Sand Sea in the Western Desert, 50 km (30 mi) east of the Libyan border, and 560 km (348 mi) from Cairo. About 80 km (50 mi) in length and 20 km (12 mi) wide, Siwa Oasis is one of Egypt's most isolated settlements with about 33,000 people, mostly Berbers, who developed a unique and isolated desert culture and a distinct dialect and language different than all other dialects called Siwi, they are also fluent in the Egyptian dialect of Arabic which is called "Masry" meaning Egyptian.

Its fame lies primarily in its ancient role as the home to an oracle of Ammon, the ruins of which are a popular tourist attraction which gave the oasis its ancient name Oasis of Amun Ra. Historically, it was part of Ancient Egypt.

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Taqi ad-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf

Biography Biography/science and academia Egypt

Taqi al-Din Muhammad ibn Ma'ruf ash-Shami al-Asadi (Arabic: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي‎, Ottoman Turkish: تقي الدين محمد بن معروف الشامي السعدي‎, Turkish: Takiyüddin) (1526-1585) was an Ottoman polymath active in Cairo and Istanbul. He was the author of more than ninety books on a wide variety of subjects, including astronomy, clocks, engineering, mathematics, mechanics, optics and natural philosophy.

In 1574 the Ottoman Sultan Murad III invited Taqī ad-Dīn to build the Constantinople observatory. Using his exceptional knowledge in the mechanical arts, Taqī ad-Dīn constructed instruments like huge armillary and mechanical clocks that he used in his observations of the Great Comet of 1577. He also used European celestial and terrestrial globes that were delivered to Istanbul in gift-exchange.

The major work that resulted from his work in the observatory is titled "The tree of ultimate knowledge [in the end of time or the world] in the Kingdom of the Revolving Spheres: The astronomical tables of the King of Kings [Murād III]" (Sidrat al-muntah al-afkar fi malkūt al-falak al-dawār– al-zij al-Shāhinshāhi). The work was prepared according to the results of the observations carried out in Egypt and Istanbul in order to correct and complete Ulugh Beg's Zij as-Sultani. The first 40 pages of the work deal with calculations, followed by discussions of astronomical clocks, heavenly circles, and information about three eclipses which he observed at Cairo and Istanbul. For corroborating data of other observations of eclipses in other locales like Daud ar-Riyyadi (David the Mathematician), David Ben-Shushan of Salonika.

As a polymath, Taqī al-Dīn wrote numerous books on astronomy, mathematics, mechanics, and theology. His method of finding coordinates of stars were reportedly so precise that he got better measurements than his contemporaries, Tycho Brahe and Nicolas Copernicus. Brahe is also thought to have been aware of al-Dīn's work.

Taqī Ad-Dīn also described a steam turbine with the practical application of rotating a spit in 1551. He worked on and created astronomical clocks for his observatory. Taqī Ad-Dīn also wrote a book on optics, in which he determined the light emitted from objects, proved the Law of Reflection observationally, and worked on refraction.

Stuck in the Suez Canal for 8 Years – The Yellow Fleet

Ships Egypt

The Yellow Fleet was the name given to a group of fifteen ships trapped in the Suez Canal (in the Great Bitter Lake section) from 1967 to 1975 as a result of the Israel-Egypt Six-Day War. Both ends of the canal had been blocked by the Egyptians with scuttled ships and other obstacles. The name Yellow Fleet derived from their yellow appearance as they were increasingly covered in a desert sand swept on board. After eight years, the only ships that were able to return to their home port under their own power were the West German ships Münsterland and Nordwind.

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