We’ve gotten a lot more followers, especially on Twitter, over the weekend (my thanks to Chapo Trap House for letting me promote the project in my most recent appearance). If you still don’t know who Ibn Battuta is, start with this post. This is a great time for people to pick up the story, because Ibn Battuta’s arrival in Egypt is really when his narrative begins, but if you want to go back and start from the beginning there’s not too much that you need to cover to catch up. Anyway here’s the quick summary for new arrivals on how you can follow along.
I’ve got a little journeying of my own to do over the next couple of weeks, so we’ll pause here, with Ibn Battuta leaving Morocco and heading east into the rest of North Africa, and pick up there early next month. Thanks for reading!
I have to confess that I started this project without really having a solid plan for it in my head. I got the idea, and then the anniversary of Ibn Battuta’s departure from Tangier was coming up and I knew I wanted to start that day, so I just kind of started while I was still working out the details. But a picture is starting to form in my head and I’m ready to share it with you.
On June 14, 1325 (give or take), a 21 year old Morocccan man of the Lawata Berber tribe named Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrahim al-Lawati Ibn Battuta set out from Tangier on what promised to be a 16 month journey to Mecca to make the Hajj.
Ibn Battuta wouldn’t see home again until 1349, after a journey that took him all the way to China. He then left again on a five year trek that took him north to al-Andalus and south to Mali. Please join me in recounting his remarkable travels. (more…)