north east africa

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THIS IS THE MIDDLE EAST.. BEAUTIFUL, FUN, NORMAL PLACE & BEAUTIFUL, FUN, NORMAL PEOPLE. NOT SOME RANDOM NONSENSE YOU SAW ON GOOGLE IMAGES OR FOX NEWS OR BREITBART OR WHEREVER TF YOU GET YOUR INFORMATION. 

PS. YES WE HAVE MODERN BEAUTIFUL CITIES, WE ALSO HAVE BEAUTIFUL AMAZING BEACHES, AND WE ALSO HAVE INCREDIBLE MOUNTAINS AND SNOW.

theguardian.com
Women warriors: story of Khatoon Khider and her Daughters of the Sun
Khatoon Khider used to be a popular Yazidi singer. Now she’s the head of an all-women battle unit with Isis in its sights. By Emma Graham-Harrison
By Emma Graham-Harrison

After what happened to Yazidi women and girls, I decided to stop singing until I take revenge for them,” she says. “Maybe I will go back to music, but I think this job as a soldier will be a long one.”

(As a side note: There’s dozens and dozens of these sorts of stories that are constantly mailed to me. I am usually uncomfortable posting them, as there’s a legitimate case to be made that they are wartime propaganda. Most I’ve seen have been poorly written, poorly sourced, and slanted to encourage cheerleading over critical thinking. What sets this one apart for me is its in-depth interviewing, and focus on who she is as a person over the ‘ISIS/ISIL/Daesh fears women’ narrative.)

(thanks to Becca for sending this in!)

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Chainmail myths and the foibles of “historical testing”,

Chainmail armor is perhaps the most misunderstood type of armor in history, often viewed by people who don’t know much about ancient or medieval weapons as a low quality lesser form of armor. Unfortunately nothing could be further from the truth, and the reputation of chainmail has suffered as a result. Typically when one thinks of chainmail one thinks of Europe and the Middle Ages. In fact, chainmail has been used all over the world by many cultures and dates to ancient times, including civilizations such as the Ancient Celts (who possibly invented mail), Ancient Rome,Medieval Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, India, Southeast Asia, China, and Japan.  Chainmail was even used by warriors in remote areas well into the 19th and early 20th century. Today chainmail is still in use, used by butchers and meatpackers to protect from accidental cuts, used in stab resistant vests employed by law enforcement, and even used by divers to protect against shark bites.

There are many reasons why chainmail is looked down upon by modern peoples uneducated on the effectiveness of ancient or medieval armor.  Contributors include movies and video games.  One common source which I feel contributes the most to the chainmail myth is modern “historical testing” of chainmail armor, often on TV shows such as on the History Channel, Discovery Channel, or the many Youtube videos on the subject.  Typically what occurs in this testing is that a so called historian or expert will test a piece of replica chainmail against replica weapons.  To the amazement of the viewer, the mail is sliced to smithereens with a sword, skewered like a kabob with spears, and pierced to death with arrows.  To the uneducated viewer, it would seem that chainmail was a completely useless type of armor, and even the most reputable of sources makes similar claims, that chainmail was deficient and was not effective for protection.  I can think of no better example than this clip from a History Channel show, the testing of which begins around 2:50.


There is a problem with the idea that chainmail was ineffective, and even basic reasoning and logic should expose that problem.  After all, if chainmail was so ineffective, why did anyone bother to wear it into combat? Why did knights, nobles, and soldiers spend fortunes on chainmail when it was almost useless?  Why would cultures across the world spanning thousands of years bother using it if it didn’t do its job of offering bodily protection?

The truth of the matter is that in reality, chainmail was exceedingly effective for its purpose, and in the cultures that it was used, in the time periods it was used, it was often among the best if not the very best option available. A warrior who went into battle wearing mail had a much greater advantage over opponents with lesser armor or no armor at all. So why do these “historical tests” often show it as being ineffective? First, it must be known that there are two basic types of historical chainmail, butted and riveted. There is a third type, welded mail, but this is mostly a modern creation that wasn’t used in history. Butted chainmail is a constructed out of wire bent into rings with the ends touching. The wire ends are abutting hence the name “butted” mail. There’s nothing fastening the two ends together, thus butted mail tends to be very weak and easy to damage.

The other common type is riveted chainmail. Riveted mail consists of metal rings that are fastened together with a metal pin or rivet.  As a result, riveted mail is much stronger than butted mail, in fact it’s typically 10 to 15 times stronger. Generally speaking riveted mail also tends to have a denser weave using better quality materials.

Butted chainmail really only has one purpose; as costume armor.  It is not meant to be used as real protective armor, and there are only a few examples throughout history of butted mail being used in combat.  Soldiers, knights, and warriors throughout history almost always used riveted mail due to its strength.  I cannot stress this point enough, butted mail is not real armor.  It is cheap costume armor produced for collecting, LARPing, cosplay, trick or treating, or perhaps ceremonial purposes.  It is not made to protect someone in combat. I should also note that in combat a suit of mail was typically not worn alone, but often worn with a padded jacket such as a gambeson. This not only added extra protection, but prevented chaffing and discomfort.

So in historical tests performed on TV or Youtube, what type of armor is most typically used? Well, whether its ignorance or because the producer bought a cheap piece of armor in order to save a few bucks, more likely than not butted mail will be used.  Thus why such experiments often have terrible results.

Unfortunately there are few tests using actual chainmail armor with riveted links.  However those few that do exist have a totally different story to tell and show just how effective chainmail really is.

In this video a person actually wears a suit of riveted mail while his friend stabs him with a knife.

I would suggest checking out some youtube channels such as skallagrim, the metatron, scholagladiatora, ThegnThrand, knyghterrynt, and shadiversity.  They do a good job dispelling the many myths about ancient and medieval weapons and armor, as well as giving loads of quality historical information.

flickr

The colorful lanterns of Khan El-Khalili by Zeinab Mohamed
Via Flickr:
The colorful lanterns of Khan El-Khalili as they sold in Bab El-Ghuri

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Three Dimensional C.T. scan image of the Ancient Egyptian Mummy of Yuya; the grandfather of Akhenaten & Great Grandfather of Tutankhamun.

Mummy found in Tomb KV46, Valley of the Kings, Luxor, alongside his wife Thuya.
Age of death: 50-60 years, no explanation for death itself however.
Stature: 166cm

“C.T. Images of Yuya show that the embalmers stuffed the throat (hypopharynx) of the mummy with a heterogeneous, low-density material. Filling the throat helped to give the neck a full, life like appearence, as demonstrated in this oblique frontal 3D CT image.”

Father of Queen Tiye
Grandfather of #Akhenaten
Great Grandfather of #Tutankhamun

The Arabs
— 

Who were the early Arabs?

Gates of the Harem. Lecomte du Nouy. (1878)

Early portrayal of Arabs in European paintings look like these men. Today these men will not be considered Arabs but were once portrayed as such. So who is an Arab and who are the real Arabs? These people inhabited much of North Africa from Tangiers to Cairo.

Arab in Turban. Constantine Makovsky (1882)

Today the word Arab will not bring this man to mind yet were once portrayed as such. So why has the meaning of the word changed over the centuries? Once inhabitants of north Africa and the middle east. 

Today we are being taught people of African decent in the middle East were nothing but descendants of slaves. We populated every land on this planet so why are people being taught they are descendants of slaves?

Portrait of an Oriental Man. Jules .V. Biesbroeck.(Unknown date)

An oriental man. This man will certainly not be considered Oriental in today’s world. Why do they keep changing the meanings of these words?

Today, everything is highlighted in schools around the world, descendants of slaves. Descendants of slavesDescendants of slaves. We populated every land on the planet.

Cairo to Sinai. Carl Haag (date unknown)

They want us to believe north Africa like the middle east have always been what they are.

They keep making slave movies. They keep making slave movies. They keep making slave movies. They keep making slave movies to remind us of our place in history. They wish we were their slaves.  North Africa like the middle east all have African origins.

anonymous asked:

hi just wanna ask u, as a lebanese muslim, what defense do u have if any, for israel's invasion of palestine. i agree completely that Jewish ppl deserve a homeland just as any one else does but to invade an already existing and developed nation is cruel. i know ur not 100% pro-israel but i just want to hear ur side bc u don't seem to extremely support either israel/palestine. also, im antizionist but i fail to see how this makes me antisemitic? i have nothing against jewish ppl, just israel. ty

OK. I’m going to break this down a bit because there’s are many components to your ask and some of them are contradictory.

1. Agreeing that the Jewish people deserve a homeland is a form of Zionism. I’m frustrated by the term “anti-zionist” for a number of reasons, especially considering very few people who use the term seem to actually know what Zionism even is, or what it sounds like to most Jews. 

2. Many far right Jew haters use the term “Zionist” interchangeably with Jew and many anti-zionists who are predominantly concerned with the plight of the Palestinians end up buying into all sorts of antisemitic ideas because they’re sold as “anti-zionist.” This is incredibly dangerous to us as it allows antisemitism to be transmitted under a different label and far too few anti-zionists bother to challenge these ideas, allowing them to spread. This is dangerous for Jews and it makes it harder for us to take anti-zionists seriously when they say they aren’t antisemitic.

3. As far as Israel is concerned the circumstances are complicated and too many people try to simplify it by acting like either the Palestinians don’t exist as a people, which is wrong, or that the Jews were pure colonialist invaders which is equally wrong. This drives me nuts. So I’m going to have to break this down a bit. 

Most of the challenges I see to Zionism as practiced by Herzl and Ben Gurion are cherry picked and largely irrelevant to the cause’s necessity. Had there not been multiple waves of refugees, I probably wouldn’t support what they were doing. I also wouldn’t exist. Let me break this down a bit.

British Mandate Palestine’s Jewish Population DOUBLED between 1933 and 1939. The reason for this is twofold.

1. Nazi Germany came into existence, took over neighboring countries and began their steady process of destroying Jewish rights and safety. We all know where that led.

2. Britain, who was controlling Palestine at the time, kept immigration there open when most other countries, including the British mainland and the USA were closed. History has proven that they did, indeed, save their lives by fleeing there.

In 1939, the White Paper, in response to Palestinian protests and revolts, severely restricted Jewish immigration to British Mandate Palestine, left Jews with almost nowhere to run, right when WWII was beginning and the worst effects of Nazism were about to be felt. 

Now here’s my question. Would you bar Jews fleeing Nazism from entering the country? Knowing what we know now? Knowing that nowhere else was taking them in? 

Jewish immigration to Palestine slowed to a trickle during the Holocaust and Jews were literally trapped in Nazi occupied Europe and North Africa. 6 million died. This is historical fact.

After the Holocaust, the survivors who tried to go home faced pogroms, yet were barred from immigrating. They were forced to live in refugee camps. Again, no country made a significant effort to let them in. The USA wouldn’t until 1949 until AFTER Israel’s founding. My grandparents came to the USA because of the Refugee act of 1949. For survivors before 1949, it was Israel, pogroms or homelessness.

The next major wave of immigration to Israel were Jews in the Middle East and North Africa who were driven out of their own countries for being “Zionists” regardless of whether or not they actually were Zionists. These Jews actually form a majority of Israel’s current population. They were driven out and Israel took them in. What alternative did they have?

Finally Jews from the USSR and Ethiopia were facing brutal, systemic oppression and they came to Israel to live safely and freely among their own people, options they didn’t have elsewhere.

Now, here is my problem. Much of the rhetoric and tactics employed by anti-zionists don’t just demonize the Israeli government or state, but Israeli people, the majority of whom are Israeli because they were fleeing for their lives and safety. This is thrown in the garbage bin in favor of throwing out false equivalencies to the Boers or the British Empire. There is a level of hatred thrown at average Israeli Jewish citizens I don’t see thrown at the residents of any other country that is guilty of comparable crimes. I don’t recall seeing people damning Russian actors for being Russian the way I see Gal Gadot being damned for being Israeli. I personally live in the United States, a country built on slavery and genocide, and I don’t see instant hate the way Israeli Jews do. And, had circumstances been even slightly different, my grandparents would’ve moved to Israel instead of the USA after the Holocaust and they would’ve suddenly been treated as evil.

I don’t particularly care at this point about a one or two state solution, though I oppose the idea of annexation as being suggested by the Settler movement because it would result in genuine apartheid. What I do care about is fostering a reality where Jews and Palestinians can live side-by-side as neighbors either in neighboring countries or in the same countries and that will be impossible so long as demonization of Israeli Jews remains a major part of the pro-Palestine movement. How do you expect Jews and Palestinians to live as neighbors when they are taught to hate each other and are egged on by foreigners? 

Peace of any sort can’t happen until people actually want peace and the current environment is so grotesquely driven by hatred and demonization that I don’t see any solution as viable until we see major changes in how it’s discussed. But when Israeli voices, even moderate and liberal ones, are shut up, that is impossible. You can’t make peace with people you refuse to even talk to. This has to stop. 

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Women cry during the funeral for those killed in a Palm Sunday church terrorist attack in Alexandria Egypt, at the Mar Amina church, Monday, April 10, 2017. Egyptian Christians were burying their dead on Monday, a day after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in coordinated attacks targeting Palm Sunday services in two cities. Women wailed as caskets marked with the word “martyr” were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels.
(AP Photo/Samer Abdallah)

~*~

Lamenting Mourning Women
Tomb (TT55) of Ramose
c. 1411-1375 BCE, Thebes.