Saladin (1138 –1193) is a prominent figure in Arab, and Muslim culture, better known in the Western world, under his personal leadership, his forces defeated the Crusaders at the Battle of Hattin.
His forces entered Jerusalem on October 2, 1187, after a siege, a ransom was to be paid for each Frank in the city whether man or woman. Saladin allowed many to leave without having the required amount for ransom for others.
Saladin chose to pursue Jerusalem first because of the importance of the city to Islam, Saladin released Guy of Lusignan and returned him to his wife, Queen Sibylla of Jerusalem.
René Grousset said: It is equally true that his generosity, his piety, devoid of fanaticism, that flower of liberality and courtesy which had been the model of our old chroniclers, won him no less popularity in Frankish Syria than in the lands of Islam.
Saladin's relationship with Richard was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements. Richard proposed that his sister, Joan of England, Queen of Sicily, should marry Saladin's brother and that Jerusalem could be their wedding gift, though Saladin and Richard didn’t met face to face and communication was either written or by messenger.
I can't help reading any work on Saladin, Medieval Christian literature portrayed the struggles between Saladin and Richard I during the Third Crusade as a chivalrous duel between two brave, noble gentlemen, many books are still being written about Saladin such as The Saladin Name in History, The Rare and Excellent History of Saladin, World History Biographies: Saladin: The Warrior Who Defended His People, Saladin: The Sultan and His Times, 1138-1193, Lionheart: Richard 1, Saladin, Saladin: All-Powerful Sultan and the Uniter of Islam, Saladin: Sultan of Egypt And Syria and the Era of the Third Crusade and The Life of Saladin.
Diane Stanley. Diane Stanley is an American children's author and illustrator. She was born in Abilene, Texas in 1943. She earned her bachelor's degree from Trinity University and her M.A. in medical illustration from Johns Hopkins University College of Medicine. She has worked as a medical illustrator, a graphic designer for Dell Publishing, and an art director for G.P. Putnam's Sons, winning three design awards from the New York Book Show.
Stanley is the author and/or illustrator of fifty books for children, noted especially for her series of twelve picture book biographies. Shaka, King of the Zulus was named a New York Times Best Illustrated Book and Leonardo da Vinci received the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction from the National Council for Teachers of English. Ten of her books have been honored as Notable Books by the American Library Association and she has twice received both the Boston Globe/Hornbook Award and the Society of Children's Book Writers' Golden Kite Award. She was the recipient of the Washington Post/Children's Book Guild Award for the body of her work.
Stanley is the author of Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam, we don’t only expect the Arabic edition of the book will be launched in Dubai during the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature next year but it will have been honored and receive Arabic Award for child.
Saladin known in the West as a noble heathen, to know why Saladin continues to capture the imagination and interest of people in the 21st century, it is necessary to make this dialog with Diane Stanley.
Q: Saladin is perhaps the one and only Muslim ruler who emerges with any clarity in standard tales and histories of the Crusades, no doubt in Islamic history there are a lot of the extraordinary characters such as Omar bin Khatab, Khalid bin walid, sultan Nur al-Din, a fair leader, could you explain why you chose Saladin among them?
Stanley: I was not specifically looking for an Islamic figure to write about, any more than I was looking for an African king when I wrote about Shaka. I knew about Saladin, and he seemed to be an admirable and sympathetic character. I also liked the fact that in writing about him, I could also teach my readers a little about Islam, the Crusades, and Richard the Lionheart, in himself a very interesting and misunderstood character.
Q: Saladin is known in the West as a "noble heathen," why do Saladin continue to capture the imagination and interest of people in the 21st century?
Stanley: I don't really know why some historical figures are more well-known than others. Certainly Saladin lived at a very exciting moment in history, and like Queen Elizabeth I of England (whom I've also written about), his character was such that even his enemies admired him.
Q: Saladin would often spare his captured enemies or give them a chance to pay a price to avoid being sold as slaves. King Richard, on the other hand, was prone to slaughtering three thousand Muslim men when he captured them.
Stanley: This isn't a question, so I assume you want me to comment on it. In my book, I make this very point quite clearly.
Today, Richard is known to children mostly from the Robin Hood story as the "good" king who's away fighting in the crusades while his brother John rules badly in his name. Actually, both of them were dreadful. Setting Richard's story straight was an important part of the book. He was a great warrior but not a very nice man.
Q: Do you agree with me that there are people out there who can't imagine a man like Saladin being far more generous and compassionate than a man like Richard, could you elaborate on that statement?
Stanley: Well, I'd say that most people who hold strong prejudices of that kind are ignorant and don't know much, if anything, about either one of them.
Q: Many people have seen the excellent PBS documentary, "Holy Warriors", about Saladin and Richard the Lion heart in the Third Crusade, what did you want to add in Saladin: Noble Prince of Islam?
Stanley: I haven't seen it, sorry.
Q: I read many books on Saladin, and found him a fascinating and admirable character, and an excellent antidote to the hatred of Islam which is presently being fomented, Could you elaborate on that statement?
Stanley: It's one of the reasons I wrote the book.
Q: Your book is respectful to the people of the Islam faith and I think you are clearly a great admirer of Saladin, why?
Stanley: The information we have about Saladin is actually pretty scarce, but from what I was able to find he seemed to be one of those "stand-out" characters from history who had much to admire. Since Americans, myself included, don't know a great deal about the Middle East and its history, I thought writing about Saladin would be an opportunity to inform them about a region, a major religion, a period in history, and a character they could admire all at the same time.
Q: Islamic art and medieval stained glass Portraits of Saladin at home, sitting in front of gorgeously tiled walls with his family, on the whole, the great and generous Muslim leader is portrayed as being far nobler than any competitor how do you see Islamic art?
Stanley: I admire it very much. I tried to do my illustrations in that style.
Q: Drawing was the most natural thing in the world for you, after attending art school and getting a master's degree, you worked as a medical illustrator, how did you discover children's picture books?
Stanley: After I became a mother, I spent a lot of time reading to my children. The more I looked at those books —admiring the pictures, enjoying the text, and loving the closeness I felt in sharing them with my daughters— the more I thought I'd like to be involved with that. And so I changed my career from medical illustration and became first an illustrator and then also a writer.
Q: No doubt mum has a great effect on you what about you husband, Peter Vennema?
Stanley: My mother taught me to love books and writing. My husband has been involved in my books for a very long time. He helped me with research on the biographies, and in the case of Shaka and Saladin, he suggested the subjects. He traveled with me on research trips, and now that I'm writing middle-grade novels, he listens to me natter about plot-points and reads every manuscript before it goes to the editor. He is very supportive and proud of what I do.
Abdur-Rahman: Thank you a lot.
Saladin recaptured JerusalemJerusalem was recaptured by Saladin on 2 October 1187, and the Haram was reconsecrated as a Muslim sanctuary. The cross on top of the Dome of the Rock was replaced by a golden crescent, and a wooden screen was placed around the rock below. Saladin's nephew al-Malik al-Mu'azzam Isa carried out other restorations within the Haram and added the porch to the Aqsa mosque.
Please write: COMMENT in this box to verify that you are human