23rd July

Oman Renaissance Day: (Oman celebrates the coronation of their Sultan).

Humans moved from Africa to here and Arabia in the Pleistocene age, during an ice age when many huge plants and other species of human died out.

From 6th century BC to 7th century AD, Oman was ruled by Persian kings, until Islam arrived and Oman became ruled by an imam and got involved in all kinds of Islamic wars.

In 1497 Portugal owned a bit of it, and the Ottoman (Turkish) Navy took Oman’s port in its efforts to control the Persian Gulf.

From the 17th century Oman had its own empire along Africa, including Zanzibar where the Sultan made his palace because of the slave industry.

The Hajar Mountains split the country; the middle, Oman, was ruled by the imam; the coast and the capital, Muscat, was ruled by the sultan from 1920.

But of course they fought, over oil, naturally, and since the ’70s the sultan officially rules everything again.

The central desert of Oman is an important source of meteorites for science.

Make halwa; read 1001 Nights (Aladdin, Ali Baba, Sinbad the Sailor)

Egypt Revolution Day

Egypt is part of Africa, Europe and Asia, making it the world’s only Eurafrasian country. Apparently that’s a word.

It is made up of farmland along the Nile, and Sahara desert. Those are your options.

Around 8,000 B.C. the Sahara desert started to form and hunter-gatherer tribes were forced to settle along the Nile. By 6,000 B.C. the tribes had reached the Stone Age (British tribes got there about 3,000 years later). The first Egyptian hieroglyphics appeared in 3,200 B.C., on some pottery.

Egypt was unified into one kingdom under King Menes c.3150 B.C., and this ‘Old Kingdom’ began building pyramids in 2,700 B.C., including the famous Giza pyramids and Sphinx.

Ptolemy I, a Macedonian general under Alexander the Great (a Greek emperor), declared himself Pharoah of Egypt in 305 B.C. and Egypt became a centre of Greek trade. The Ptolemaic Kingdom lasted until Cleopatra, who commited suicide by allowing an asp (snake) to bite her after her lover Mark Antony also committed suicide in her arms because his army had been defeated by Octavian/Augustus (he changed his name).

Then Rome annexed Egypt. Christianity was brought by St Mark, and Egyptian Christianity is called the ‘Coptic Church’. Then the Persians invaded, then the Muslims conquered it (led by a disciple of Mohammed, born in Mecca city)

[to be continued…]

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