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Eamonn Gearon

Eamonn Gearon >

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Muslim Empires - Land, Language, Religion
Episode 1 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Consider the geographical region we call the Greater Middle East, and explore the range of nations and cultures that define it. Preview some of the remarkable historical turning points you'll witness, encompassing conquests, political alliances, invasions, and the rise of…
Muhammad and the Dawn of Islam - 622
Episode 2 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Historically, the rise of Islam was a turning point among turning points. Trace key phases in the life of Muhammad, from the founding of the faith through his years of opposition and his ultimate establishment of Islam as a religious…
World War I in the Desert - 1914
Episode 35 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Examine the role of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, and uncover why it entered the war on the side of Germany and Austro-Hungary. Consider the scope of the conflict in the Middle East, the Arab Revolt (arguably the…
Arab Invasion of Andalusia - 711
Episode 6 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Study the events surrounding the incursion of Berber-Arab armies into the Iberian peninsula in 711, leading to Muslim domination of the region that would last 800 years. Witness the fateful Battle of Guadalete and the Arabs' advance north, and consider…
Ottoman Empire Rises - 1299
Episode 19 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The dazzling empire of the Ottomans was the longest-lasting empire in Middle Eastern history. Learn about the dream of Osman, the Ottomans' founder, which impelled him to establish what became a transcontinental superpower. Grasp what allowed the Ottomans to thrive…
French Invasion of Algeria - 1830
Episode 31 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Explore the economic and political factors that sparked the brutal French invasion of Ottoman Algeria. Follow the events of the ensuing occupation, and examine the war of resistance led by the religious leader Abd al-Qadir. Observe how the invasion marked…
Arab Invasion of North Africa - 639
Episode 3 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The seventh-century Arab invasion of North Africa brought profound and permanent change to the entire region. Follow the Arab armies of the newly created Islamic empire in their conquest of the territories of Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, and Morocco, and take…
Umayyad Exile in Cordoba - 784 - 1031
Episode 12 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Discover the golden age of Cordoba as a global center of education and culture. Learn how the displaced Umayyad caliphate established a kingdom in exile in Cordoba, whose rulers oversaw remarkable advancements in lifestyle and manners, magnificent architecture and urban…
Discovering Middle East Oil - 1908
Episode 34 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
No other single factor has impacted the economy, politics, and social life of the Middle East as profoundly as oil. Trace the 20th-century discovery of petroleum across the region by foreign oil companies, and observe the ensuing geopolitical conflicts with…
Battle of Karbala - 680
Episode 5 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The Battle of Karbala represents the defining moment in the split between the two main branches of Islam. Learn about how the faith came to violent internal conflict so early in its history, assess the nature of the underlying dispute…
The Founding of Baghdad - 762
Episode 8 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
As the political center of the Muslim world, Baghdad would have a role and importance unlike any other urban center on earth. Chart the building of Baghdad as an imperial capital; explore its monumental, Persian-inspired architectural design; and discover the…
Umayyad Caliphate in Damascus - 661
Episode 4 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The establishment of the Umayyad caliphate's capital in Damascus was the most important political turning point in early Muslim history. Trace the Umayyads' achievements, and investigate their reasons for locating the empire's capital away from the Arabian peninsula, reflecting the…
Islamic Golden Age Begins - 813
Episode 9 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Under the Abbasid Caliph al-Ma'mun, Baghdad thrived as both a center of trade and manufacturing and a world city of scholarship. Consider al-Ma'mun's lavish patronage of learning, his promotion of translation and scholarly missions, and his extraordinary influence in three…
Safavid Dynasty of Persia - 1501
Episode 24 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Examine the birth of the 250-year Safavid Empire, established by the religious leader, warrior, and poet Ismail. Observe how Ismail forcibly converted his entire kingdom to the Shiite Islamic faith, introduced a new military system, and put in place the…
Fall of Granada - 1492
Episode 23 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The fall of Granada marked the end of 800 years of Muslim rule on the Iberian Peninsula. Study the fitful Granada war that unfolded over ten years, leading to a final eight-month siege under the Catholic monarchs Ferdinand and Isabella.…
Crusaders Capture Jerusalem - 1099
Episode 14 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Study the complex motives and competing interests that launched the Christian crusade to take Jerusalem from its Muslim occupiers. Follow the events of the Pope's dramatic call to arms and the bloody assault against the Holy City, and take account…
Al-Ghazali and Orthodoxy - 1090
Episode 13 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The theologian and philosopher Abu Hamid Muhammad al-Ghazali has been called the most influential Muslim after Muhammad. Witness al-Ghazali's rise to become a renowned Islamic legal scholar, and reflect on the profound impact of his diverse writings. Investigate his passionate…
Ottomans Seize Constantinople - 1453
Episode 22 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Grasp why the storied city of Constantinople had great strategic importance to the burgeoning Ottoman Empire. Witness the fiercely contested siege of the city, revealing the Ottoman offensive by both land and sea. Take account of how the city's fall…
Qairouan University - 859
Episode 10 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
The world's first university was founded by a visionary Muslim woman in the city of Fes, Morocco. Learn how this groundbreaking institution made advanced education available to all. Assess its influence in the Middle East, discover its unrivalled impact on…
The Saud-Wahhab Pact - 1744
Episode 28 of Turning Points in Middle Eastern History
Here, learn how a little-known 18th-century alliance in the Middle East came to have profound reverberations in our contemporary world. Study the pact between a desert ruler and a religious reformer that initiated a structure of political and religious power…