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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin

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M.Besant E.Walter
Jerusalem, the city of Herod and Saladin
page 445



Area, and opened the two windows in the Aksa which are on the right and left of the Mihrâh, and coated the interior of the mosque with marble in 1330. The wellknown author, Mejir-ed-din, resided for some time in-Jerusalem, and has given us the best history of the Holy City extant in Arabic. The following is a brief extract of his own very graphic account of the events which happened there during the reign of the Sultan El Ashraf Catibâi, in whose service the writer was. As a picture of the state of things in Jerusalem in the fifteenth century it may not prove uninteresting to our readers. In the year 1468 a severe famine occurred in Jerusalem and it3 neighbourhood in consequence of the unusual drought of the preceding winter. The people began to exhibit signs of dissatisfaction, and matters were not improved by a quarrel which took place between the Nazir el Haramaih, or Superintendent of the Two Sanctuaries (Hebron and Jerusalem), and the Nàïb, or Viceroy. These two officials came to an open rupture, and as the Nâzir and his men were engaged in laying in water from the Birket es Sultan to some buildings upon which they were employed, the Naih with a company of attendants came suddenly upon them, and a fierce fight took place. The city was immediately divided into two factions, some taking the part of the Nazir and others of the Nàïb, and even the presence of a special commissioner from Cairo failed to quell the disturbance. The plague, with which Syria had been for some time visited, next attacked Jerusalem, and raged from the 17th of July, 1469, until the middle of September. The next year (1470) was more propitious, but the great people of the city still seemed unable to agree. On the 12 th of February, Cadhi Sherf-ed-din came to Jerusalem, and was visited, immediately on his arrival, by Ghars-ed-din, chief Cadhi of the Shafiite sect. Now Sheikh Shehab-ed-din el 'Amfri, principal of one of the


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