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Mausoleum of Shagaret El-Dorr Mausoleum of Shagaret El-Dorr
Photo by Raymon Kondos © 2009 Your Egypt

Few meters away from Ibn Tulun mosque lies this interesting mausoleumWhat does it mean? of Shagaret El-Dorr (finished in 1250), the only woman who ever ruled Egypt alone in Islamic periods.

Shagaret El-Dorr (Tree of pearls) was married to the King Al-Saleh Ayyub. Al-Saleh Ayyub died at the time crusaders were attacking Egypt. Aimed at increasing the morale of the soldiers, she concealed the news and pretended the king is alive.

She then summoned the king's son who was happened to be abroad. When he returned he proved to be incompetent so she had him killed and ruled Egypt alone declaring herself a Sultana. Under pressures from the Abbasid CaliphateWhat does it mean? in Baghdad, she later chose Aybak, a senior Mamluk leader, as a husband. When she heard he planned new marriage she had him killed.

Aybak's wrathful Mamluks finally turned her over to Aybak's other wife who -together with her slave women- beat her with wooded clogs to death in 1257. Her body was hung on the citadel's walls as food for dogs. Eventually her remains were collected and put in the mausoleum that she built for herself.

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