Cairo – In light of the suffering of Egyptians from high prices and their fear of the negative effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam on the Nile River, the creators of the series “House of Force” surprised viewers by talking about what was known as “Al-Mustansiriya Difficulty” which occurred in Egypt during the days of Fatimid rule, and took the lives of thousands of Egyptians because of the drying up of the Nile and what followed by a 7-year famine.
In the first episode of the series, which airs in the current Ramadan, the teacher, Mukhtar, owner of a popular café, spoke about Al-Mustansiriya’s concern and the horrors experienced by Cairo residents at that time, to that extent. that they dug graves, ate dogs, and ate each other’s meat, he said.
Teacher Mukhtar referred to one of the houses of the Fatimids of Cairo and said that this house was known as the House of Trouble, which is the most famous house of the days of hardship Al-Mustansiriya, as he took anyone who passed by. with a hook and no one entered it, except that bones came out of it in a bag.
The series featured dramatic scenes of parts of what was happening on the streets of Egypt during the famine, such as the kidnapping of people with hooks, the eating of dead meat, and other shocking scenes.
Did the Egyptians really eat each other’s flesh during al-Mustansir’s rule by God? Or are these exaggerations and myths inconsistent with the nature of the situation in which Egypt lived in that period, and were the facts of Al-Mustansiriya’s concern recorded during Al-Mustansiriya’s rule by God, or did they date back hundreds of years?
The first demonstration of women because of “suffering”
Among the most famous to have written about the hardships of Al-Mustansiriya is the historian Ahmed bin Ali Al-Maqrizi, known as “Taqi Al-Din Al-Maqrizi”, who was born in Cairo in 1364 and lived there for nearly 80 years. .
Among those mentioned by al-Maqrizi in his book on that difficult period: “People ate corpses and dead people and stood in the streets and killed those who caught them, the eggs were sold from chicken eggs for ten carats and the transmission reached that water. was for a dinar, and a house was sold for 900 dinars for 90 dinars, with which he bought flour, High prices and plague spread, roads were cut off by land and sea, land was desolate, plows and descendants were destroyed. , and bread was snatched from the heads of the bakers.
According to the same historian, “People ate cats and dogs as much as the mule of the Caliph’s minister who went to investigate an incident that ate him, and the Caliph himself remained hungry to the point that he sold the marble over the graves. of his fathers and the daughter of one of the scholars of his time gave him alms, and the women came out hungry and demonstrated and led that demonstration to a widow, Prince Ja’far bin Hisham, because of her buying a tip for a thousand dinars. .
The American Time magazine quoted al-Maqrizi as detailing that demonstration, describing it as the first women’s demonstration in the history of Egypt.
Despite the passage of about 300 years between the time of Al-Mustansiriya’s disaster and the writing of his book by Al-Maqrizi, most history books reported the narrations of this historian as indisputable facts. Also, these stories are transmitted by the Egyptians when they are exposed to economic risks, especially in relation to the waters of the Nile River, which is the main lifeline.
Excess of Al-Maqriz
History and archeology researcher Imad Hamdi acknowledges Al-Mustansiriya’s display of concern, but he sees – in his conversation with Al-Jazeera Net – that there are frequent exaggerations about the details of that famous famine.
Hamdi added that what is known as Al-Mustansiriya intensity occurred due to the removal of Nile waters and lasted for 7 years, but to say that the Egyptians ate the corpse and made hooks and fished some of them from the roads is illogical. exaggerations, and we do not know where Al-Maqrizi came from these narrations, although from that period it is separated from what almost 4 centuries ago.
The scholar considered that one of the things that shows that the narration of al-Maqriz is full of historical inaccuracies and exaggerations, is that Badr-ad-Din al-Jamali, who was the vizier of al-Mustansir from God, when he brought him from The Levant to put an end to the unrest experienced by Egypt due to famine and due to the conflict between the people of al-Mustansir, was able to restore things. .
He went on to say that if the Egyptians had eaten the caliph’s mule as they ate each other, as al-Maqrizi says, they would have eaten the forces of Badr al-Jamali and the caliph himself, of whom al-Maqrizi speaks. the one who no longer owns anything and sold everything he owned.aesthetic and to spend for his forces.
He criticized the exposure of the “House of Force” series for doing so without historical scrutiny and complained about the days when Egypt was producing major historical works, as it had commissions of major history professors to review those works, he said.
Contradiction and intimidation
On the other hand, Muhammad Hamza Al-Haddad, former dean of the Faculty of Archeology and Professor of Islamic Architecture and Arts at Cairo University, describes Al-Maqrizi’s novel, about Al-Mustansiriya’s difficulties, as dominated by exaggeration and exaggeration.
In a press release, Al-Haddad said the unrest actually occurred due to the low level of the Nile River, but the exaggeration and exaggeration occurred due to reliance on folk tales other than the history of that period centuries later, not the days of saj.
Al-Haddad added: The concern was overcome strongly and quickly through the efforts of Al-Jamali, who was able to control matters, establish security and build large walls with magnificent gates, he said.
The academic asked himself, “Is it reasonable for a country whose people eat each other and enjoy eating donkeys and cats, so that they can get up like the reborn one?”. Al-Maqrizi was known for exaggeration, as he wrote every novel that was told to him.
He stressed that the remnants of the Al-Mustansir era, whether before or after the hardships, are very impressive, such as textiles, antiques and gold coins, adding: “It is difficult for a man to have reached the situation and in his country to “The rumors circulating about Al-Mustansir’s concern to produce this gigantic civilized product may be hard to come by, but not to the point where people eat each other or eat animals.”
Away from the fall of the Nile and his role in the concern, poet and political science professor Tamim Al-Barghouti spoke of the political reasons that eventually led to the emergence of the concern and said that most historians do not attribute it to Al. -Mustansiriyah’s concern over the fall of the Nile, but most attribute it to the reason for the guerrilla war that took place between the aspiring princes for the ministry, led by Prince Al-Hassan bin Al-Hussein Al-Hamdani, who entered into a conflict with Caliph Al-Mustansir.
In an episode of his program “With Tamim”, Al-Barghouthi said: the Bedouins were recruited and besieged Cairo, cutting off supplies and food coming from the Delta and Upper Egypt.
Al-Barghouti continues: “To increase the price of the people, Al-Mustansir was forced to take Dhul-Mejdini as minister, and as soon as the people received a sigh of relief after the lifting of the siege from Cairo, Dhul-Mejdini was killed by his comrades. the strange thing in this matter – as Barghouti sees it – is the silence of the Egyptians about what happened to them and that Al-Mustansir ended his rule and no one overthrew him.