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Do not expect this book to be a piece of literary art; it is factual. I do not pretend to neither be a book nor story writer. Moreover, I have not tried writing before. This is my autobiography.
Now, at the good old ripe age of 84, I decided to write about growing up in Alexandria, Egypt, at the time a multinational and religious society, living in France, and eventually moving to the United States. However, I also spent time in India and Greece before returning to the States. This is my life story, as best I can remember.
To better understand life in Egypt, one must know a little about its historical, political, and religious conditions. Let me start with my name: Michel Antoine Mamlouk. My last name: Mamlouk, or Mamluke, or Mameluk, are all translations from Turkish/Arabic to French. The name means “possession” or “to own.” At its origin, around the 11th century, the Mamlouks were young slaves bought and owned by the Ayubids, the rulers of Egypt, Syria, the Arab peninsula or sub continent, beginning around 1150 A.D.
The Ayubids bought young slaves from Horsemen’s Tribes living in the Circassia, Eastern Europe and Russian Steps. The Mamlouks recruited from Eastern Europe were Christians, but the Ayubids converted them to Islam. Those from the Circassia were Moslems. Furthermore, the Ayubids educated and trained all slaves as cavalry soldiers, and those Mamlouks that proved themselves in battle were given land. Commencing as slaves and cavalry soldiers, the Mamlouks became wealthy land owners and/or military governors.