The Crusades: An Arab Perspective is a four-part documentary series telling the dramatic story of the Crusades seen through Arab eyes, from the seizing of Jerusalem under Pope Urban II in 1099, to its recapture by Salah ad-Din (also known as Saladin), Richard the Lionheart’s efforts to regain the city, and the end of the holy wars in 1291. In part one, we explore the history of the First Crusade and the conquest of Jerusalem.
The Crusades are the epitome of “holy war”. Yet the roots of this 200-year conflict lay not just in religion, but also in the economic condition of medieval Europe.
“Around the time of the Crusades, Europe experienced several droughts which made people lose faith in everything,” says Antoine Domit, history professor at the Lebanese University.
A struggle between church and state was taking place in Europe: Who would rule over the people of Europe, the pope or the king?