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Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354 - Essay Example

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Geographical discoveries and new trade routes to distant places initiated a different genre within the context of literature, namely travel narrative. One can see that the development of trade and commerce between European nations and the Middle East/ Asia deeply influenced the growth and development of travel narratives…
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Ibn Battuta: Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354
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The discussion section is divided into two: Ibn Battuta’s Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354 as a travel narrative which enriches and complicates one’s perception of cultural encounter in the fourteenth century, and some of the principal difficulties involved in using Ibn Battuta’s work as a historical source. A. Ibn Battuta’s Travels in Asia and Africa, 1325-1354 as a travel narrative which enriches and complicates one’s perception of cultural encounter in the fourteenth century Ibn Battuta’s endeavor starts from Tangiers to the heart of the Islamic world, i.e., Mecca and Medina. One can see that Battuta’s aim was to travel through the Islamic world as a pilgrim who is interested in pilgrim places. Battuta stated that “Swayed by an overmastering impulse within me, and a long-cherished desire to visit those glorious sanctuaries, I resolved to quit all my friends and tear myself away from my home” (43). During Battuta’s time, pilgrimage was considered as an important way to experience the world. One can easily identify that 14 century Africa and Asia were connected by trade and commerce. So, the pilgrims used to accompany the merchants and it helped them to be safe from robbers. Besides, the travelers used camels to travel to distant places. In this modern world, travelling distant places with the help of animals is unimaginable. Besides, the pilgrims used to receive alms from the emperors and kings. For instance, the Governor at Constantine helped Battuta by giving him some money to continue his expedition. Besides, the work is helpful to have deeper understanding on the religious celebrations in the 14th century Middle East Asia. Battuta’s account on the different towns and cities in the Middle East Asia and Africa is helpful to understand the cross-cultural encounter among these towns and cities. At the same time, Battuta’s portrayal of his marriage with a lady in Tunis and the related issues proves that short term marital relationships were common. Battuta’s description of Alexandria as a fortified area with a port proves the importance of military preparedness and trade relations with distant places. Battuta made clear that “It is a beautiful city, well-built and fortified with four gates and a magnificent port” (46). Within this context, trade relation with distant places leads to cross-cultural communication. One can easily identify that Battuta’s description of Damietta (an ancient city on the banks of River Nile) is helpful to have deeper understanding on the lifestyle of the people in this area. Besides, Damietta was famous for the export of fish to other areas of the Middle East Asia. Battuta’s portrayal of Cairo in Egypt reveals the cultural background of the people in this area. According to Battuta, there were a number of mosques, hospitals, and other buildings in Cairo. On the other side, Battuta’s description of Gaza, Jerusalem, Sur, Akka and Lebanon enriches one’s understanding on the cultural context of the 14th century. Besides, Battuta’s visit to Mecca and Medina does not hinder his expedition to Asia. His journey to India unveils the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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