Facts About The Cairo Citadel


The Cairo Citadel is situated on Mokattam Hill in Cairo, Egypt. Initially it was worked as an illustrious home and furthermore as military sleeping shelter by the ruler Saladin. He concluded that Cairo should have been ready to shield itself from any danger. When it was finished in 1182, Saladin was not, at this point the leader of Egypt. At the point when it was finished, Al Malek El Kamel was the leader of Egypt and he was the main ruler to live in it. During the 1860s, Egypt's ruler Khedive Ismail moved out of the Citadel of Cairo into his own new palace. From that point on the Citadel of Cairo was not, at this point utilized as the seat of government.

The Citadel of Cairo was the home for the rulers of Egypt for 700 years.

The Cairo Citadel was originally built in 1176. That means it’s medieval because the medieval period ran from the 5th to the 15th century.

The Citadel is a medieval Islamic fortification. It was built during the Ayyubid Dynasty.

Since 1976, it has been protected as part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Historic Cairo. UNESCO is a special department of the United Nations, which promotes world peace and cultural respect by protecting places of historical importance.

The Citadel was built on hill to make it easy to see attackers and to make it more difficult for them to attack.

The Cairo Citadel is a religious place for Muslims, the people who belong to the Islamic faith. 

Construction of the Citadel began in 1176-1183 and it was completed in 1184.

It contains mosques, which are places of worship – like churches are for Christians. 

The Citadel was supposed to be the centerpiece of a wall that was to be built to protect Cairo and Fustat from the Crusaders.

In fact, there are three mosques inside: Alabaster Mosque; Al-Nasir Muhammad Mosque; and the Mosque of Sulayman Pasha. Cairo was once the centre of the Islamic world, meaning it was the most important city for Muslims everywhere.

Saladin was the ruler of Egypt when construction of the Citadel began but when it was finished he was no longer king. The first king to live in the Citadel was Al Malek El Kamel.

The Citadel was made strong so that it could be used to defend the city against invaders.

The wall that Saladin had begun to build to protect Cairo and Fustat was still under construction after he died. It was still being built in 1238, many years after his death.

It was fortified between 1176 and 1183 to protect it from the Crusaders. 

The Citadel was enlarged in the 13th to 14th century.

The Citadel’s main defences were its location on top of a hill, stone towers and the great wall around it.

The Cairo Citadel is considered to be one the most elegant of the fortresses that were built during the middle ages.

During World War II, the British army were based there, and today, Egyptian soldiers still use it.

Saladin also had a well for water built inside the Citadel. It is called the Well of Joseph and still can be seen today.

The Citadel actually joined the ancient city of Cairo with a nearby city called Ayyubid to protect both places from the Crusaders.

It was approximately 280 feet deep. When the well could not supply enough water for all the people and humans living there, they brought water from the Nile to keep an adequate supply.

The Citadel is sometimes referred to as Muhammad Ali Citadel. 

Cairo was invaded by the French in 1798. The Citadel was important in helping to protect the city but Napoleon Bonaparte's army eventually took control.

Today, visitors to Cairo Citadel can explore the three museums inside. 

The Cairo Citadel is also called the 'Mohamed Ali Citadel'. The reason for this is because the Mosque of Mohamed Ali is there. The Mosque was built in memory of Muhammad's oldest son Tusun Pasha who died in 1816.

The Bijou Palace was originally built by Muhammad Ali Pasha. Inside is his official audience hall, the place where he would greet his guests. It contains his throne and a huge chandelier. 

There are three mosques at the Citadel of Cairo: Mosque of Al-Nasir Muhammad, Mosque of Suleiman Pasha and the Mosque of Mohamed Ali.

In the Carriage Museum, you can see a collection of amazing royal carriages. There is also the Egyptian Military Museum, which has only been inside the Citadel since 1949.

The Citadel of Cairo is considered to be one of the ‘greatest monuments of medieval warfare'.

It has been said that the Cairo Citadel has the best views in the city. From the terraces inside, you can see superb Cairo views. On a clear day, you can even see the Pyramids of Giza in the distance.

From the 19th century on, the Cairo Citadel underwent six major reconstruction projects.

Despite the fortifications, in 1798 the Citadel was controlled by the French. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies invaded Egypt and Syria to protect their ability to trade in the region. This led to the discovery of the famous Rosetta Stone and the birth of egyptology (the study of Ancient Egypt).

Of all the non- pharaoh-related monuments in Egypt, the Cairo Citadel is one of the most popular.

Despite the fortifications, in 1798 the Citadel was controlled by the French. Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte’s armies invaded Egypt and Syria to protect their ability to trade in the region. This led to the discovery of the famous Rosetta Stone and the birth of egyptology (the study of Ancient Egypt).

Today the Cairo Citadel is a historic site. Its mosques and museums are historically preserved for future generations to be able to enjoy.

Facts About Mardi Gras


Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, alludes to functions of the Carnival festivity, starting on or after the Christian galas of the Epiphany and coming full circle on the day preceding Ash Wednesday, which is known as Shrove Tuesday.

The first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans was held in 1838.

Mardi Gras began as an extravagant celebration for Christians in Europe. It reached North America in the early 18th century.

The Mistick Krewe of Comus is credited with making New Orleans the most popular Mardi Gras destination in the United States when they introduced floats to the parade in 1857. Comus is the Greek God of Revelry.

Many countries celebrate Mardi Gras as the last day of the Carnival season.

Around 1.4 million people visit New Orleans during carnival season.

Other names for Mardi Gras include Martes de Carnaval (in Mexico), Karneval (Germany), J'Ouvert (Trinidad), Fastan (Sweden), and Martedi Grasso (Italy).

Carnival season in New Orleans officially kicks off every year on Twelfth Night (which marks the Epiphany) when a group called the Phunny Phorty Phellows rides down St. Charles in a streetcar throwing out the first beads.

A French Cajun phrase for Mardi Gras is ‘Laissez les bons temps rouler', which means ‘Let the good times roll'.

Krewe of Rex, founded in 1872, is responsible for originating several Mardi Gras traditions including the official colors and giving out Spanish gold coins.

Some countries celebrate Mardi Gras as ‘Pancake Day', and indulge in eating pancakes. Ireland, Australia, England, Canada and New Zealand celebrate Pancake Day.

There are over 70 parades held throughout the New Orleans metropolitan area during carnival season.

Purple, gold and green and the official colors of Mardi Gras. Purple is meant to signify justice, gold is meant to signify power and green signifies faith.

"Laissez les bon temps rouler" means "let the good times roll" in Cajun French, which seems appropriate.

The first Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans took place in 1837.

New Orleans, Baton Rouge, the Louisiana Northshore doggies get their own parades.

The first floats in the parades in New Orleans Mardi Gras appeared in 1857.

Purple, gold, and green are the official Mardi Gras colors. 

The clubs that hold parades or balls at Mardi Gras are called Krewes.

The color purple represents justice.

In 1872 the tradition of naming kings and queens began when the Russian grand duke visited New Orleans Mardi Gras and a royal reception was held for him. The grand duke's royal colors were purple, gold and green, which became Mardi Gras' official colors.

The gold color symbolizes power.

Millions of colored beaded necklaces are thrown from floats at Mardi Gras.

Green is used to represent faith.

When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans in August 2005 it was believed that Mardi Gras would be cancelled the following year. It was decided that Mardi Gras would go on.

The Krewe of Rex also selected the theme song "If Ever I Cease to Love," which has since been adopted as the anthem for Mardi Gras.

The French Quarter in New Orleans was mostly undamaged in Hurricane Katrina.

It's believed that the bead-throwing tradition started in the 1880s when a man dressed as Santa became popular with the crowd for tossing them.

Masquerades and feasts are a big part of Mardi Gras. The ancient Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia also featured feasts and masquerades.

The beads used to be made of glass but are now primarily made of plastic.

The first American city to hold a parade for Mardi Gras was Mobile, Alabama.

The city estimates around 25 million pounds of beads get thrown into the streets each year.

One of the biggest Mardi Gras celebrations in the U.S. is held in Galveston, Texas.

After clogged storm drains that caused excess flooding, the city cleared the drains of 45 million tons of beads!

In 1875 Louisiana named Mardi Gras a state holiday. Today is also a state holiday in Alabama and Florida.

Parade attendees request the trinkets by yelling the phrase "Throw me something mister!"

Rio de Janeiro hosts one of the world's largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world.

Although beads are the most common, many of the krewes offer up various trinkets to the crowd as they make their way down the street.

It is illegal to ride a Mardi Gras float in New Orleans if you're not wearing a mask. This law came into effect to allow people to associate with anyone they wanted to, without social barriers.

One of the most coveted trinkets to catch is a golden coconut thrown during the Zulu parade.

Facts About Oryx


Oryx is a large antelope. It reaches 5 to 7 feet in length; 18 to 35 inches in height at the shoulder and weight between 220 to 450 pounds, depending on the species.

Originally, various oryx species were found in all of Africa's arid regions.

Oryx is easily recognized by horse-like neck with mane, white head covered with black triangular patches and long V-shaped horns that can be straight or swept back. Females have thinner horns than males. Horns are usually 2 to 3 feet long.

Well adapted to the conditions of their hot, arid habitats, oryx can live as long as 20 years.

Oryx is territorial animal which uses its horns to establish dominance in the herd. Dominant male uses its dung to mark the territory.

The social system of the oryx is unusual in that nonterritorial males live in mixed groups with females, or with females and their young.

Oryx lives in herds whose size depends on the available food. When the food is abundantly present (after the rainy season), oryx can be found in herds composed of couple of hundreds of animals. During dry season, when the food is scarce, oryx lives in small herds composed of less than 30 animals.

Males that dominate are territorial to a degree, marking their areas with dung deposits.

Oryx is an herbivore which prefers eating grass and thorny shrubs. They eat during the morning and in the late afternoon, when the temperature is lower.

Groups are composed of 10 to 40 males and females of all ages and both sexes; herds of up to 200 are common in some East African habitats.

Oryx can survive long period without water (even couple of weeks). Also, certain plants, such as wild melon, underground roots and tuber, can provide enough moisture.

Oryx typically feed in early morning and late afternoon and sometimes on moonlit nights.

Oryx has unique mechanism which helps it survive in the arid and desert conditions where the temperatures are high most of the time. Unlike other mammals, oryx can rise its body temperature to prevent perspiration and loss of body-water during the day. It also uses specific network of capillaries in the nose to cool down the blood that is traveling to the brain. Cooling of the blood prevents over-heating of the brain.

Their diets consists mainly of coarse grasses and browse from thorny shrubs.

Oryx has excellent sense of smell. It can detect rainfall 50 miles away. Once the rainfall is detected, whole herd is on the move.

In desert areas oryx consume thick leaved plants, wild melons, as well as roots and tubers they dig out of the ground.

Just like other antelopes, oryx uses its speed to avoid predators. It can reach the speed of 37 miles per hour.

They may drink if water is available but can survive days or even weeks without it.

When faced with direct threats, animals in the herd stand sideways to appear larger. If that does not scare the predators - oryx will use its long horns for self-defense.

A female leaves the herd to give birth and hides the calf for 2 or 3 weeks, visiting a few times a day to nurse it.

Typical predators of the oryx are lions, wild dogs and hyenas.

Like other antelope species, oryx primarily depend on flight to escape from predators such as lions, wild dogs and hyenas.

Oryx mates throughout the whole year. As soon as pregnancy ends, female can mate again.

The oryx is a good example of an antelope that has successfully adapted to the harsh conditions of dispersed food, intense heat and little or no water.

Pregnancy lasts 8 and the half months. Calf can run as soon as it is born, but it stays hidden in the grass for the first couple of weeks of its life, until characteristic body coloration appears.

The female comes into heat soon after giving birth. The more frequent estrus cycles enable females to produce calves at 9-month intervals.

Young oryx feeds on milk between 6 and 9 months. Oryx reaches sexual maturity at the age of two years. At that time, young males usually leave their herd and join some other.

Herd composition in the wild constantly changes according to need.

Oryx lives 20 years both in the captivity and in the wild (if the environmental conditions are good).

Groups are composed of 10 to 40 males and females of all ages and both sexes; herds of up to 200 are common in some East African habitats.

Facts About Quartz


Quartz is a mineral found in the Earth's outside layer. There are a wide range of quartz, some of which are viewed as gemstones. Quartz is utilized in an assortment of ways from making cut sculptures to making electronic parts. It is a gem with three-sided crystals.

Quartz is the second most common mineral in Earth's continental crust.

Quartz has many different names which are dependent upon their color.

Its crystal structure is a framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra.

Large quartz is mined in Brazil.

Each shares an oxygen atom oxygen with another tetrahedron, so the overall chemical formula is SiO2 or silica.

Quartz weighing 90,000 lbs. has been mined in Brazil.

Quartz is a component used to make quartz clocks.

One of the first uses of quartz, in the form of flint, was the production of sharp objects such as knife blades, scrapers, and projectile points such as the arrowheads.

Sand often has a lot of small quartz bits.

There are many uses for quartz because it can conduct electricity under pressure.

Quartz has a mineral hardness of 8.

Quartz is commonly used in spiritual practices.

The word "quartz" comes from the German word "quarz".

Some people believe quartz has magical powers and has the ability to promote growth in a garden or to attract certain energies into the home.

'Fused quartz' is glass made of silica in non-crystalline form.

Quartz is made up of silicon and oxygen.

The properties of fused quartz are superior to those of other types of glass due to its purity.

Quartz is used to make the internal parts of watches.

It has electrical properties and heat resistance that make it valuable in electronic products.

Quartz is so abundant that almost every rock contains at least a small amount of it.

Refractory bricks are often made of quartz sand because of its high heat resistance.

Because quartz is clear, it is often used in the production of glass.

Quartz sand has a high resistance to being crushed.

Because it contains pure silicon, quartz is used to make many computer components.

Quartz sands are used for traction in the railroad and mining industries.

People in Ireland and other countries used quartz to make stone tools in prehistoric times.

One of the most amazing properties of quartz is the ability of its crystals to vibrate at a precise frequencies.

Quartz is often used in the fashion industry especially in jewelry making.

Today, billions of quartz crystals are used to make oscillators for watches, clocks, radios, televisions, electronic games, computers, cell phones, electronic meters, and GPS equipment.

Although variations of quartz come in many colors, pure quartz is clear.

"Silica stone" is an industrial term for materials such as quartzite, novaculite, and other microcrystalline quartz rocks.

Facts About Amaranth


Amaranthus is a cosmopolitan genus of annual or short-lived perennial plants collectively known as amaranths. Some amaranth species are cultivated as leaf vegetables, pseudocereals, and ornamental plants. Most of the Amaranthus species are summer annual weeds and are commonly referred to as pigweeds.

Amaranth has erect, bushy stem that can reach few inches to 10 feet in height, depending on the species.

Amaranth is an annual, large and bushy plant usually about 90-130 cm high.

Amaranth produces broad leaves that can be light or dark green, reddish, covered with purple veins or variegated.

Amaranth has oblong-lanceolate pointed green leaves normally arranged alternately in 2-4 inches long.

Amaranth produces purple, red or golden flowers shaped like miniature grain-like buds.

The plant yields flowers at summer or autumn (August and October) which is pink or white in color. 

Amaranth blooms during the summer and autumn. It belongs to a group of self-pollinating plants.

The seeds are yellow, white, red, brown, pink, or black in a spherical or flattened lenticular shape.

Clusters of densely packed flowers of amaranth transform into large, heavy seed heads. Single plant can produce 60.000 seeds per year. Despite many morphological and nutritional similarities with other cereals, amaranth is not a true grain (that's why it is known as "pseudo-cereal").

The Amaranth plant prefers the warm climate and thrives in well-drained soils. As the plant is annual, it has got the lifespan of one year.

Amaranth propagates via seed.

The younger greens and small varieties of Amaranth are consumed as salad and older greens are used as a substitute for spinach.

Name "amaranth" is derived from a Greek word "amarantos" which means "everlasting" or "one that does not wither". Name refers to the flower buds of amaranth that retain vivid coloration even after drying.

Amaranth is added as an ingredient in pasta, bread, instant drinks, baby’s food, etc.

Amaranth is an excellent source of proteins, dietary fibers, vitamin E, iron, calcium, magnesium and omega-3 fatty acids.

It could be added to soups or stews and also taken as a cereal for breakfast. 

Amaranth has better nutritional value than wheat and rice and unlike them, it is also an excellent source of L-lysine, essential amino acid that facilitates absorption of calcium and synthesis of collagen, elastin, hormones and antibodies in the human body.

Popped Amaranth is added to bread, tofu or meat.

Amaranth can be ground in flour and used for the preparation of bread or as thickener for soups, sauces and stews. Seeds can be prepared and consumed like rice, as ingredient of granola bars or popped like popcorns.

Amaranth flour could be mixed with wheat flour to make bread or other foods. 

Leaves of amaranth are also edible and very popular in Asia. They can be consumed stir-fried or as an ingredient of soups.

The seed of the Amaranth could be cooked or roasted like germ vegetables.

Popped seeds of amaranth mixed with honey or sugar (usually shaped like a skull) are traditionally consumed during Mexican "Day of the Dead" festival.

Amaranth is rich in antioxidants, , proteins, vitamins and minerals which make it the healthy food by preventing  the chronic diseases, enhancing immune system, stimulating repair and growth, lowering inflammation and blood pressure, lessening varicose veins, and promoting the strength of bones and others.

Seeds of amaranth are gluten-free and they can be safely consumed by people diagnosed with celiac disease.

It could be consumed either as a leaf vegetable, grain flour or a cereal grain.

Amaranth lowers blood cholesterol level and reduces the risk of cardiovascular disorders, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The leaves of Amaranth possess various minerals such as calcium. Amaranth enhances the strength of bones and also prevents osteoporosis. 

Amaranth completes its life cycle after one or few years, depending on the species.

Amaranth is high in fiber content which assists in the digestion and promotes the minerals uptake.

Facts About Fluorine

In 1906, Ferdinand Frederic Henri Moisson was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work isolating fluorine in 1886.

Fluorine is the most chemically reactive element. It reacts, often very vigorously, with all of the other elements except oxygen, helium, neon and krypton.

It is difficult to store fluorine as it is corrosive to most metals.

Fluorine is the most electronegative element. This means that in molecules fluorine attracts electrons more powerfully than any other element can.

Fluorine is the lightest of the halogens and has only one stable isotope, F-19.

Hydrofluoric acid, HF, dissolves glass. Its fluoride ions have a high affinity for calcium and can cause death by interfering with the body’s blood calcium metabolism when absorbed through the skin.

It is the most electronegative element on Earth.

Fluorine is a pale yellow, diatomic, highly corrosive, flammable gas, with a pungent odor. 

Fluorine is the thirteenth most abundant element in the Earth's crust.

It reacts violently with water to produce oxygen and the extremely corrosive hydrofluoric acid.

The crust contains between 600 and 700 parts per million of fluorine.

Fluorochemicals, including many high-temperature plastics such as Teflon, are also made using fluorine.

It is usually only found in compounds due to its high level of reactivity.

Compounds of fluorine, including sodium fluoride, are used in toothpaste and in drinking water to prevent dental cavities.

Its most important mineral is fluorite, used as early as 1530 in smelting processes.

Hydrofluoric acid can dissolve glass and is used to etch the glass in light bulbs and in other products.

Its name comes from the source mineral, fluorite.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) were used in as refrigerants in air conditioning units and freezers but they have now been banned because they contribute to ozone depletion.

The dangerous nature of producing elemental fluorine keeps it in its more viable form, hydrofluoric acid, which is a $16 billion per year industry.

Fluorine has 11 isotopes whose half-lives are known, with mass numbers 15 to 25.

Fluorine is gaseous at room temperature, and its pale yellow color can only be viewed when looking down at it through a test tube; from the side, it is colorless.

Naturally occurring fluorine consists of its one stable isotope, 19F.

It condenses to a bright yellow liquid at -188 °C (-307 °F).

In 1809, French scientist Andre-Marie Ampere proposed that fluoric acid was a compound of hydrogen with a new element. 

Reactions with elemental fluorine can be very explosive without warning.

Henri Moissan, who first isolated fluorine, also produced the world’s first artificial diamonds by applying huge pressures to charcoal.

Fluorine is rare in the universe, at only 400 parts per billion.

The element name fluorine ultimately came from the ‘fluor’ in fluorspar.

Any fluorine created in stars quickly breaks down through nuclear fusion with hydrogen to produce helium and oxygen or with helium to make neon and hydrogen.

The phenomenon of fluorescence was given its name because it was first observed in fluorite.

Fluorite mining produces approximately 4.5 million tons of the mineral per year which can be used for commercial fluorine purposes.

The chemical element fluorine is classed as a halogen and a nonmetal.

One form of fluorine used commercially is fluroide, which is applied as a treatment for dental health and added to water supplies in many places to increase tooth strength.

Fluorine was discovered in 1813 by Humphrey Davy.

Fluorocarbons are produced as industrial coolants and propellants.

In 1530, German mineralogist Georgius Agricola described the use of the mineral fluorspar in metal refining. Fluorspar (which we now know is mainly calcium fluoride) was very useful because it combined with the unwanted parts of metal ores, allowing the pure metal to flow and be collected.

Fluoropolymers, whose most widely known brand name is Teflon, are produced in nearly 180,000 metric tons annually.

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