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Ahu Durquba of Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah by Gambargin Ahu Durquba of Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah by Gambargin
A (error) Concept Drawing for the Arabic (actually, it's Turko/Tatar) Women Warrior in the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited, which is roughly based on the Middle ages covering 800 AD to 1400 AD. Sultanat Misr Al-Sarraviyah (The name is technically wrong, Arabic letters does not have V) is a made up name for the Sarravid Empire, which translates roughly of Egyptian Sultanate of Sarravids, a name that represents the Arabs/Middle Eastern Faction in the historically wrong sketch series.

Lets just say, this is my valentine's gift to someone special that i wanted to share with you guys (actually, not really a gift but something that will lead there i guess =P). Since I did this in a hurry in so little time, based on the original sketch of Ahu Durquba FFW Stock Challenge - Ahu Durquba of Dayr Al-Zawr by Gambargin, the overall composition may not be that great :(.

Nevertheless, I hope that you guys will enjoy this piece, and i might see you again on valentine or maybe later at the end of month :)


Now, where was i? Oh yes, the historical explanation! Bear with me, it will be a long one! :D

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As you may have seen so far in my recent works, i have been portraying more European culture than any other, and i believe the eastern culture should deserve their mention as well. When talking about the east, we think of the Arabs, an oriental people with exotic culture and wealth, whose customs may seemed to be strange to the eyes of the Europeans which more often exaggerated in many fantasy settings. We now associate them with Islam, Oil, Ongoing war, along with other derogatory terms which we all know but would be impolite to mention it here (You can't lie to yourself, not even me =P).

But who were the Arabs actually?  Specifically, who were these Bedouins Arabs that inhabited the Arabian peninsula since ancient times? Well, simply to put, back then, the Bedouins were just tribal dessert nomads who are more occupied in raiding their neighbors with strange customs and of little importance to others. Just look at it, We have the powerful Ancient Egyptian and the Mesopotamian fighting each other, but they left the Arabs alone. The Persian came in and they left the Arabs alone. Then we have the greeks, who laid conquest under Alexander, but paid little attention to the Arabs. The Roman came, and they too, did the same like their Greek predecessor, leaving them alone.

However, everything changed in the early 7th century when a man by the name of Muhammad (PBUH), a humble man, brought the teaching of Islam during his time till his death. This abrahamic religion brought numerous social, political and economical changes to the many of its followers, ultimately uniting many of the tribes into a single entity driven by this new religious fervor. When the first caliphate was set up by the companions of the prophet (SAW), the Arabs began expanding their territories, defeating the forces of Byzantines, Africa and the Persians who were regarded as some of the most powerful state in the known world. By the time everyone realized, it was already too late, the Arabs had gone from Nobody to a continental empire. In just 200 years after Islam was first preached, the Islamic Arabs have ruled land stretching as far as Cordoba in Spain, to the Far east of Indus and Persia. 

It is without doubt, that we owed much of what we have now from the western civilization, was due to the tireless work done by the Persian, Arabs, Jewish and Christian scholars that lived under the height of the Islamic civilization. These scholars took a lot of interest in learning and assimilating the knowledge of the civilizations the Arabs had in contact with. Many of the surviving classical works were preserved by these scholars, which would have otherwise been lost in the age where in majority of Europe, books meant less than the iron & Steel to the majority of the people. Not only that, knowledge was booming, and cities like Damascus, Baghdad and Cordoba became important learning centers were scientific studies in natural sciences, astronomy, medicines, engineering, were constantly developed and exchanged. This was largely to effort of the ruling dynasties in various region, such as the Ummayads, the Abassids, and the Fatimids, who embraced the notion of multiculturalism, religious tolerance, and heavily encourage the development of art, science, philosophy, trades and architecture. Even, some scholars have joked that by the time of the first crusade, most European knights were illiterate, while Arabs on the other hand, were expected to know how to read and write (Every Muslim must learn Arabic to be able to read the Holy Book Quran) , composed poetry/music, while at the same time proficient in the art of war.

Of course, the european whose achievements could be compared to the Arabs on their height would be the Byzantines. think of it, they still preserved the glory that was once Imperial Rome. In the 10th centuty, Constantinople was larger than any major european cities combined at that time.

So much so can be said about the achievements that the Arabs did, but eventually they too succumbed to the corruption as the time passes. Rivalries and ambitious rulers would create independent realms within the Islamic world, and by the the Turks invaded the Arabian peninsula, the Golden era had passed already, leaving the successor states feuding for power over the land that was once united by their forefathers. With the event of Crusades and the Mongol Invasion, the Arabs eventually transformed themselves into the image of its invaders; zealous, ruthless and warlike. What was once a society that produced more books and literature than any other known world combines, became no more. The whole glory and idea that made them great in the first place, would later be carried on by their successors, the Turks, who then created an empire that would try to outdo it's Islamic predecessors, naming themselves as the Ottoman Empire.

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As for the lady in the picture, she is Ahu Durquba, A Turko/Tatar women dressed in a very very anachronistic middle eastern armor. She wears chainmail shirt on top of her kaftan, with the addition of stylized mirror plate. Her headdress is a stylized Tatar headresss, with decorations and ornaments to add a bit of femininity to her.  Back then, this type of armor would only be reserved to the richest of the people, mostly noble, as the equivalent price of such expensive war gears and attires is equivalent to...lets just say...a modest price of 2 - 3 bedroom house these days. So, it's safe to assume that not only she is rich and powerful, she can make her enemies meet their maker quite easily. =P


Initially I wanted to use the title Caliphate of Sarravid to represent the Arabic Empire, however, given that Caliphate is more commonly associated to the successor rule after the death of prophet Muhammad (SAW), i chose the title of Sultanate instead.
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May come in conflict with these other women warriors:

The Turks Beylerbegum Ilkay of Orhanli Beylerbeylik by Gambargin, The Mongols Gonji Batuyisu Mangedei - Mongol Warrior Concept by Gambargin, The Byzantines Basilissa Sotirisa Angelina of Basileia Rhiomanion by Gambargin, and the Persians Shahdokht Roshanara of Bahramiyan Eranshahr (Arm.) by Gambargin



A Part of the Historically Wrong Sketch Series: Medieval Revisited - You can find more on the various faction on the map here:

HWS Medieval Revisited - Faction Map v.1.1 (Updt.) by Gambargin
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:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner 2 days ago
There has been some recent debate about the contrast between the european and the arabic empires. For one by looking at the archaelogical record, we now think that the dark ages was not as dark as it was once supposed, and the post-roman decline of europe may have been due to the economic warfare of the arabs( which was a form of warfare superior to that of the europeans.) During this time period- water was crucial, it was 25 times cheaper to transport something by water than it was by land. The europeans during this time called the mediterranean- "the islamic lake" due to the muslim dominance over the sea. As the muslims had control over the sea, the economy of europe was crippled.
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:iconshinzhon:
Shinzhon Featured By Owner Jul 2, 2014
I gave up drawing on paper for a while but I think I'll just take my old sketch block back right after finishing watching your gallery, the details are so awesome. Her eyes does remind me a little of Eva Green :)
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:icongiesen:
giesen Featured By Owner Jun 25, 2014  Professional General Artist
Got sent here from Twitter. Love love LOVE the atypical representations of warrior women. So awesome. 
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:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
Do you know what's interesting? the Quaran does not actually mention either mecca or medina, and it describes the area where Muhummad was living in as a place of palm trees and grapes-which is found in the Levant( Israel, Palestine, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, etc) but nowhere in Saudi Arabia. The arabs of Saudi Arabia did not have access to learn about monotheistic faiths or for that matter-really any information at all-but in the Levant you had access to both the learnings of Christians& Jews-of which Islam has heavy religious accomodation towards( in other words- Muhummad knew his stuff). Early mosques pointed towards somewhere in Iraq( whereas all mosques now point towards Mecca- as well you know), and the Quaran wasn't written until two centuries after muhummad had died. This makes you wonder.... 

    *excuse my grammar, I don't have any spell check on this lap-top so I'm writing blindly here.
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
That's interesting, I wonder where you got the information from :).

The Quran, though I have not dwell on it in detail, does not mention the origins of Muhammad at all, although it did mentioned him 4 times, which describes him as the apostle of God. I would like to know which verses you are referring to?  On the other hand, historians, both from the traditional Muslim source and Western Scholars pointed out his Origins from the city of Mecca, belonging to the tribe of Banu Hashim in the year 570, before he migrated to Medina.

As for the arabs exposure to monotheism, or other knowledge, that was actually pretty common. There were jews already living in Arabia, not exclusive only to the levant region, and the Arabs had plenty of trading with their neighbors, like the egyptians, fellow christian from both the Romans, Arabs, as well as the ethiopians (though the christianity faith in the region at that time was diverse, like miaphysism and nestorian).. If you are referring to the tribal nomadic bedouins, well, they were pretty much on their own, as compared to the arabs who lived in trading cities like Mecca or Madina.

I am no expert in this subject so can't really comment on the other topic.
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:iconwraithsith:
wraithsith Featured By Owner Jun 16, 2014
I once had two links that worked 6 months ago- but now unfortunately are both unusable. The source was a  british guy trying to find things out about islam- without using any holy books- which forced him to use other avenues- some of which gave a radically different picture than that presented in the quaran,torah,bible,etc. And yes I was referring to the Beduins. 
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:iconkiuslady:
KiusLady Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Again, totally digging all the crazy detail you put into these pieces :)
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:iconzireael07:
Zireael07 Featured By Owner Feb 21, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is amazing!
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:iconmy-sword-is-bigger:
My-Sword-is-Bigger Featured By Owner Feb 11, 2014  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome yet again! And I'd just like to remark how you did every shield differently :)
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:icongambargin:
Gambargin Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2014
Ahahaha! Thanks for that :)!

Man, your avatar is epic. I can't stop smiling every time i see it :D
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