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Egypt in late antiquity and transplanting Bedouin culture to Egypt where it did not belong and did not work either

Reader comment on item: Islam's Inadvertent Patterns
in response to reader comment: Desertification due to sheep or lack of water ?

Submitted by dhimmi no more (United States), Mar 17, 2014 at 12:53

For the readers: Egypt indeed presents a case where extant literary sources are abundant due to the fact that papyri were used and in the very dry climate of Egypt many of these papyri indeed survived

Egyptians documented just about any and every thing in their lives from contracts to wars and invasions and if the Nile inundation was enough or not and they even documented climate changes as in the case of the Fayum oasis and the villages lost to desertification which we do not hear about following the Arab invasion and we do not hear about it happening in the lush Nile valley

And yes "Argument from silence" does not rule out that let us say there was no climate changes following the Arab invasion but what is more damaging to this argument is that the decline in Egypt went on until the French invaded Egypt in 1798 CE and Egypt's population declined to 2M from 7-8M at the time of the Arab invasion and it did not take too long for Muhammad Ali to reverse this decline by proper land management

We also know what Egyptians ate on the eve of the Arab invasion and for this see Bagnall's Egypt in late antiquity

http://www.amazon.com/Egypt-Late-Antiquity-Roger-Bagnall/dp/069101096X

And also see Haas' Alexandria in late antiquity

http://www.amazon.com/Alexandria-Late-Antiquity-Topography-Conflict/dp/0801885418/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395071455&sr=8-1&keywords=alexandria+in+late+antiquity

And we know from historical records that Egyptians as expected ate lots of greens and beans and honey and honey cakes and consumed beer and wine and they also ate Nile fish and fowl and very little amounts of pigs and lamb

Compare this with the diet of the Arab nomads which was mainly food items that come from their goat and sheep herds as well as their camels and we also read in the literary sources about a soup called al-Tarid which was a staple of the Arabs and their diet and that is it

Now did the Egyptians welcome the Arabs because they hated the Greeks as Arab historians tell us? This seems to be far from the truth as was proven in the past 30 years by historians of Egypt in late antiquity and for this see Fowden's Empire to Commonwealth

http://www.amazon.com/Empire-Commonwealth-Consequences-Monotheism-Antiquity/dp/0691015457/ref=la_B001IXMRTK_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1395072907&sr=1-1

Also see the great work by Glen Bowersock's Hellenism in Late Antiquity

http://www.amazon.com/Hellenism-Antiquity-Thomas-Spencer-Lectures/dp/0472064185

And indeed the claim that Egyptians welcomed the Arab invaders should be put to rest once and for all

So why did the Egyptians dislike the Arabs?

1. The Jizya tax (the poll tax) and The Kharaj (land tax) tax and these taxes were imposed on the native Egyptian/Coptic population leading to many peasants abandoning their lands which must have led to some desertification and this came to a head in the Bashmour uprising (730CE until 740CE) where the Arabs brutally destroyed the homes and lands of the revolting peasants and deported them to Mesopotamia and here is great work on this dark chapter in the history of Egypt and here is Salwa Bakr great book The man from Bashmour

http://www.amazon.com/dp/9774161092/?tag=googhydr-20&hvadid=32092600022&hvpos=1t1&hvexid=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=7488603895512912631&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=b&hvdev=c&ref=pd_sl_6ome487mmq_b

2. The second reason was if Arabs did not fight infidels they were fighting among themselves and the victims were the native people of Egypt and as I indicated before Egyptians documented their history very well and here is another outstanding work by Terry Wilfong about the very well documented history of the town of Jeme in Upper Egypt (it was located at the site of Ramses 3rd temple and not very far from the very ancient city of Ape aka Thebes) where the whole population of the village all of a sudden abandoned the village around 785CE

http://www.amazon.com/Women-Jeme-Antique-Ancient-Cultures/dp/0472066129

In this case it was the civil war in Upper Egypt between the Abbassids and the left over Umayyads and the victims as usual were the Egyptians/Copts

3. Is there any historical evidence to support climate change? If there is any then the literary sources are silent about it and I do believe that the silence here is significant after all the irrigation of land in Egypt depended on the inundation of the Nile and not on local rain and it would have been catastrophic event and the literary sources would have informed us about it as they did in the case of the Fayum oasis

4. Could it be that some how there was poor land management but why would this be the case after all the Arabs were not interested in agriculture they wanted to be nomads and to loot and destory and the Egyptian peasants were running the show and they understood the cycle of the Nile inundation and how it works and this was reflected in the outstanding Egyptian calendar

http://www.copticchurch.net/easter.html

And this calendar was miles ahead of the retarded and useless Muslim calendar

5. Now we get to the sheep and goats of the Arabs and that is indeed the straw that broke the camel's back. The native Egyptian/Copts had no power to stop the Arabs from bringing their sheep and goats after all this was their diet and on top of this the sheep and goats grazed on the cultivated land after all there is hardly any vegetiation outside the narrow strip of land which is the very lush Nile valley

And I do believe that this is the most important factor for the rapid decline in population in Egypt as well as in the old Roman North Africa following the Arab inavsion but not the only reason

Oh pigs? As I stated the consumption of meat be it pigs or sheep or goats by Egyptians was very limited and they indeed lived in harmony with their fragile environment

And for Lars if you are reading this it was not just bringing goats and sheep in large numbers (not unlike European settlers bringing rabbits to Australia where they became a major menace to the fragile lands of Australia) that brought on this disaster of desertification but it is really the most important reason

Submitting....

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