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Timsāḥ

(202 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, Lake, one of the series of swamps and lagoons in the Eastern Nile Delta region of Egypt (now administratively in the muḥāfaẓa of Ismāʿīliyya) through which the Suez Canal passes on its way from Port Saʿīd south to Suez. The Canal enters the Lake at the 80th kilometre. On the northern shore lies the town of Ismāʿīliyya [ q.v.]. The Lake is about 6 sq. miles in area, although before the construction of the Canal it was brackish and reedy. Now it is very picturesque, with its bright blue waters and the background of desert hills. The name means “Crocodil…

Ḥāwī

(197 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, snake-charmer or itinerant mountebank, from ḥayya , snake. The plural is ḥuwā (so Lane) or more generally ḥāwiyyūn . In Egypt certain members of the Gipsy tribes (see nūrī ) act in this capacity. The fellāḥīn often have recourse to them, particularly when afflicted with various forms of skin-disease ( karfa ) or eczema ( ḳūba ). The general procedure of these quacks is to recite some rigmarole over a glass containing olive-oil and the white of an egg, and then to spit into it. The slimy mixture is thereafter applied as an ointm…

Abars̲h̲ahr

(224 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, the more ancient name of Nīs̲h̲āpur [ q.v.], was the capital of one of the four quarters of the province of Ḵh̲urāsān. Its name in Persian, according to the Muslim geographers, is said to mean "Cloud-city", but Marquart’s etymology ( Ērānšahr , 74), the "district of the ᾿Απαρνοι" (comparing Armenian Apar ašχart) is more reliable. It was sometimes given the honorific title of Īrān-S̲h̲ahr "City of Īrān". Its mint-signature on Sassanian coins is Apr, Aprš or Apršs , forms which continue to appear on the dirhams of Arab-Sassanian type struck by the Mu…

Nūrī

(1,569 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, a common name in the Near East for a member of certain Gipsy tribes. A more correct vocalisation would perhaps be Nawarī (so Hava, Steingass, etc.), with plural Nawar . Minorsky [see lūlī , [see at V, 817a] gives Nawara . By displacement of accent we also find the plural form as Nawār (e.g. in Jaussen, Coutumes des Arabes , 90, and British Admiralty, Handbook , Syria , London 1919, 196, Arabia , London 1916, 92, 94). In Persia, the current name for Gipsy is Lōrī , Lūrī or Lūlī [ q.v.]. It is not unlikely that by a natural phonetic transformation the form nūrī derives from lūrī ,…

Wādī Ḥalfa

(439 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
or simply Ḥalfa, a modern town in the Anglo-Egyptian Sūdān, 21° 55′ N. 31° 19′ E., on the right bank of the Nile, c. 770 miles south of Cairo and 5 miles north of the Second Cataract, is the chief town of the province or mudīrīya of that name. It includes the village of Tawfīḳīya, a new suburb with fine bazaars, and its inhabitants, inclusive of the Nubian villagers of Dabarōsa, number almost 3,000. Besides the Muslim places of worship there are the churches of the Copts, Greeks and English. The Government offices and hospital, and the off…

S̲h̲endī

(362 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, S̲h̲indī, 18° 1′ N. 33° 59′ E., a town on the right bank of the Nile, about 104 miles north of Ḵh̲arṭūm, on the old caravan-route between Egypt and Sennaar. It also gives its name to a district in the Berber Province. Nowadays it is an important station on the Wādī-Ḥalfa-Ḵh̲arṭūm Railway, with many locomotive and leather and iron works. Although still a thriving city, in the olden times it was one of the outstanding marts in the whole of the Eastern Sudan with over 50,000 inhabitants. In the course of history it has suffered at the hands of ruthless invaders and merciless marauders. The ¶ result h…

Ḳubbat al-Ṣak̲h̲ra

(3,273 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, often erroneously designated the Mosque of ʿOmar. In the first place, it is not a mosque but a shrine or oratory erected above the sacred rock ( ṣak̲h̲ra) and similar to the other domed edifices scattered over the ḥarām area; in the second place, it was not built by ʿOmar but by the fifth Umaiyad Caliph, ʿAbd al-Malik b. Marwān. Jew, Christian and Muslim alike revere the sacred rock which they regard as the omphales of the world. It is even said to be 18 miles nearer heaven than any other spot. Muslims set it next to the Kaʿba in order of sanctity. Although there is no…

Sitt al-Mulk

(711 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
or Saiyidat al-Mulk, “Lady of the Empire”, the Princess Royal, sister of al-Ḥākim bi-ʾAmri-’llāh, vith Fāṭimid Caliph. Historians also refer to her as Sitt al-Mulūk and Sitt al-Naṣr. She was a very clever woman and an exceedingly capable ruler as was seen during the short period of her regency. Slanderous tongues have attacked her honour and even imputed to her the assassination of her brother the Caliph. According to the popular account, al-Ḥākim was in the habit, during his journeys throughout his kingdom, …

Sanad̲j̲āt

(666 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
weights of a balance (in full sanad̲j̲āt al-mīzān); also applied to balances, steelyards; also the weights of a clock; singular: sand̲j̲a. The forms with ṣād also occur ( ṣanad̲j̲āt and ṣand̲j̲a) but the former is the more chaste (see Lane, s. v.). There are two recognised plural ¶ forms: sanad̲j̲āt and sinad̲j̲ (in modern Egyptian Arabic sinag, plural of singa). The word is Persian in origin, being connected with sang, meaning both stone and weight, since in ancient times weights were non-metallic (cf. the Hebrew of Deuteronomy xxv. 13). According to Muslim trad…

Ḥāwi

(189 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, snake-charmer or itinerant mountebank, from ḥaiya, snake. The plural is ḥuwā (so Lane) or more generally ḥāwīyūn. In Egypt certain members of the Gypsy tribes [cf. nūrī] act in this capacity. The fellāḥīn often have recourse to them, particularly when afflicted with various forms of skin-disease ( karfa) or eczema ( ḳūba). The general procedure of these quacks is to recite some rigmarole over a glass containing olive-oil and the white of an egg, and then to spit into it. The slimy mixture is thereafter applied as an ointment. Certain members of…

Timsāḥ

(179 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
(Lake), one of the series of swamps and lagoons in the Eastern Delta through which the Suez Canal passes on its way from Port Saʿīd south to Suez. The Canal enters the Lake at the 80th kilometre. On the northern shore lies the town of Ismāʿīlīya [q. v.], an exclusively French residential quarter. The Lake is about 6 sq. miles in area, although before the construction of the Canal it was brackish and reedy. Now it is very picturesque with its bright blue waters and the background of desert hills. The name means Crocodile Lake [cf.…

Zaḳāzīḳ

(301 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, an unimpressive, but busy commercial town in the Egyptian Delta, in the administrative division ( mudīrīya) of S̲h̲arḳīya. Along with Damanhūr it is one of the towns which do not constitute fiscal units for purposes of land tax. The town, an important railway centre, has an extensive trade in grain and cotton. There are oil refineries and a large market for dates, oranges and onions. It is 46 miles from Cairo, and is connected with it by rail. Its inhabitants in the time of Boinet Bey numbered 35,715 but in 1…

Nūrī

(1,546 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, a common name in the Near East for a member of certain Gipsy tribes. A more correct vocalization would perhaps be Nawarī (so Hava, Steingass, etc.), with plural Nawar. Minorsky [above, iii. 38] gives Nawara. By displacement of accent we also find the plural form as Nawār (e. g. in Jaussen, Coutumes des Arabes, p. 90, and British Admiralty’s Handbooks, Syria [1919], p. 196, Arabia [1916], p. 92, 94). In Persia the current name for Gipsy is Lōrī, Lūrī, or Lūlī [q. v.]. It is not unlikely that by a natural phonetic transformation the form nūrī derives from lūrī, which, it has been suggested, o…

Ṭanṭā

(359 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, an important town in the Egyptian Delta between the Rosetta and Damietta branches of the Nile, capital of the G̲h̲arbīya province, and a busy railway junction, of unprepossessing appearance, about 75 miles from Alexandria. Its Coptic name of has assumed in Arabic the forms Tandiṭā, Ṭantā and Ṭanṭā. Formerly it was an episcopal city. Nowadays the place is famous for the tomb and mosque of the most celebrated of the Muslim saints in Egypt, Aḥmad al-Badawī [q. v.]. Throughout the year no fewer than three Mawālid or birthdays of this Saint are made the occasion of great fairs to wh…

Suez

(786 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, an Egyptian frontier sea-port town situated at the head of the Gulf of Suez on an arid, sandy plain with the dark ʿAtāḳa Mountains in the West. On account of its physical surroundings it has earned for itself the descriptive sobriquet of “The Stony” al-Ḥad̲j̲ar (see Description de l’Égypte, État Moderne, i. 185). It is 80 miles S.E. of Cairo and 2 miles N. of Port Ibrāhīm, the harbour at the South entrance of the Suez Canal. 29° 58′ 59″ N., 32° 35′ E. Population c. 20,000. Its position on the Canal (opened in 1869) has changed it from a vill…

Sulaimān

(2,002 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
b. Dāwūd, the biblical King Solomon, is an outstanding personality in Muḥammadan legends. There were, as the Arab histories recount, four great world-rulers, two of whom were infidels, Nimrod and Nebuchadnezzar; and two of whom were believers, Alexander the Great and Solomon. Of these the last was the most resplendent figure. Special emphasis was placed on his wonderful powers of magic and divination. The most puzzling riddles and the most abstruse subjects were within his ken. Perspicacity and d…

Saḳḳāra

(820 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, an Egyptian village, 15 miles S. W. of Cairo, Lat. 29° 75′, Long. 31° 13′, situated near the left bank of the Nile halfway between Ḏj̲īze and Dahs̲h̲ūr. It measured 790 feddān (according to Ibn al-Ḏj̲īʿān, al-Tuḥfa al-sanīya, p. 144; see also de Sacy, Relation de l’Égypte, p. 675) and its valuation (according to Ibn Duḳmāḳ, Kitāb al-Intiṣār, Būlāḳ 1309, iv. 133) was 10,000 dīnārs. Pococke in his travels found it a rather poor village at the foot of the hills, with a mosque and a few clusters of date-palms. The name in Arabic means “falcon’s nest”; bu…

Ṭalāʾiʿ

(606 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
b. Rūzzīk al-Mālik al-Ṣāliḥ, Fāṭimid wazīr (495—556 = 1101—1161). The events immediately attendant on the treacherous murder of the 12th Fāṭimid caliph al-Ẓāfir (1154) called him forth, at the request of the ladies of the royal household, from his governorship at Us̲h̲mūnain to play the rôle of strong man essential in the circumstances. Success crowned his march on Cairo with his followers from Upper Egypt. Then, following the deposition of ʿAbbās, he was appointed wazīr to the child caliph al-Fāʾiz in 549 (1154) with the title of al-Ṣāliḥ bi ’llāh. His traitorous predecessor in off…

Kilwa

(744 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, a name associated with a variety of places and islands on the east coast of Africa, but chiefly applicable nowadays, ¶ generally, to a district in Tanganyika Territory, and, particularly, to two sea-ports: a. Kilwa Kivinje, 133 miles south of Dār al-Salām (in 8° 45′), on the mainland on the north side of Kilwa Bay, a sea-port with fine gardens and many European houses, the start of the caravan route to Lake Nyasa, with a population of about 5,000, mostly Swahilis; and b. Kilwa Kisiwani, 150 miles south of Dār al-Salām (in 8° 58′), and about 200 south of Zanzibar [q. v.]. The…

Sarīʿ

(175 words)

Author(s): Walker, J.
, the “swift metre”, so named because of its swiftness of scansion and swiftness of appeal to taste (Freytag, Darstellung der arabischen Vers-kunst, p. 137), is the ninth in the prosody of the Arabs. It is the first of the six metres of the fourth circle, which is called “the intricate” ( dāʾirat al-mus̲h̲tabih) on account of its metrical intricacy (Palmer, Arabic Grammar, London 1874, p. 346 sag.). The paradigm is: mustafʿilun, mustaf-ʿilun, mafʿūlātu (bis), which is rarely, if ever, found. According to the native system, the Ṣarīʿ is of four kinds and has seven varieties (De Sacy, Traité d…
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