It’s 1429!

In case some of you didn’t know, it is NOT 2008 in Saudi Arabia, it is 1429. In government circles, schools and most universities, they follow the Islamic calendar (Hijri) which started when the prophet Mohammed PBUH made the pilgrimage from Makkah to Madinah. If you think I’m exaggerating check the English newspapers in Saudi Arabia, they all have both the  Gregorian and Hijri calendar.  You can also convert dates from one calendar to the other at this website.

So where was the “civilized”, “industrialized” and “developed” world in their 15th century? America hadn’t been discovered yet. Europe was ruled by fascist monarchies and the church. Poverty, slavery and abuse of the most basic human rights abounded. Doesn’t sound that different from the eastern 15th century.

So if we were to follow through with this comparison, then the Ottoman Empire would be the Easterners’ version of the Westerners’ Roman Empire. And currently we are in our late Middle Ages. But in this technological age, I believe it will take us a much shorter time to move from here to where the western world is now.


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3 responses to “It’s 1429!

  1. jane wilson

    Hallo. I am an english woman..I am very interested in Muslim culture and in the politcal issues of the middle east. I foound your weblog today while I was looking for information about Saudi women. I think that it is so interesting, and I am impressed that your english is so very good.
    i am very opposed to my own governments actions in the middle east, and I hope that the people of saudi arabia are aware that so many peole like myself are ashamed of our government and all that it does.
    I believe that things such as your weblog can do so much to bring a better understanding between people of different cultures. When I read your weblog i can feel that you are just a woman, a mother , a human being , as I am and that the things that we have in common are greater than those which are different. I think that your society has difficulties, and so does my own society, women in my country are in some ways more “free” but we have many many problems too, and I think that we have much that we could learn from your own society.
    I will read your weblog regularly now that I have found it. Thankyou and with sisterly affection from Jane

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  3. You cannot imagine how many times I felt the same… how similar looks ur 15th century to ours. Btw at that time my country, Spain, was starting its imperial era, holding the banner if the ultra-catholicism, in the same way KSA holds the banner of “pure islam” … history tells us that we lost amazing opportunities and lots of resources and countless lifes and moral authority pursuing the will of dogmatic preachers who used religion as a political tool (same as protestants from England, Netherlands and Germany, our enemies, did on the other side) and our most glorious times are those of military achievement and territorial dominion, such as the conquest of America, the defeat of the Ottomans in Lepanto and Vienna, and many others, always touched by the religious spirit. I guess it’s a lesson to learn for hardline islamists and also for saudis. After many fights, we spent all our efforts and the biggest resources that the world had ever seen in the hands of a country. Spain faced 18th century as a poor illiterate superstitious nation. Not for being catholic, but for being dogmatic and irrational. For banning science and development. For fighting dissent in the same way as USA seems to kill flies with missiles…. in XVth Century, Spain was born as a nation after Castille and Aragon united under a single crown. In 1492 the last muslim kingdom in our country, Gharnata (Granada) was conquered, jews were expulsed and prosecuted since that same year, and muslims gradually pushed down in society until they were expulsed completely in 1607, making Spain a pure monolithic catholic nation. Looking at our history from late 1600’s until 1978… geez…. we shitted it quite nicely. History is not only to make us show how much we know… it’s there to learn from it. Will muslims do so?. This catholic must’arib can only say…. Inshallah. 😉

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