The Mamluks were members of a warrior caste that ruled Egypt from about 1250 to 1517. Islamic rulers created the caste by collecting non-Muslim slave boys, grooming them as cavalry soldiers, and converting them to Islam during training. The Mamluks initially served the Ayyubid sultans but grew powerful enough to challenge them and claim the sultanate. Though the Ottomans crushed the Mamluks and took Cairo in 1517, the word "mamluk" lives on in various cultures today. What meanings does it have?
Back in the day
When Philippine political leader Ferdinand Marcos and his wife Imelda were driven into exile following the assassination of opposition leader Benigno Aquino, they left behind evidence of a lavish lifestyle that pointed to possible corruption and embezzlement. The former first lady's shoe collection, which numbered in the thousands, became a symbol of the Marcos's excesses. Despite her alleged misdeeds, Imelda returned to home after Ferdinand's death and ran for president with what result?
Born on a day like today
Born into a Zoroastrian family of Persian descent, Meher Baba underwent a spiritual awakening at 19 and in time concluded that he was the avatar—the incarnation of God in human form—of his age. He formulated a belief system that identified the goal of life as realizing the oneness of God, from whom the universe emanates. In an effort to bring others to that realization through love, he worked extensively with the poor and the physically and mentally ill. For how many years did he remain silent?