The Era of the Mamluk Sultan Al-Mu’ayyad Shaykh

This seminar will discuss the era of the Circassian Mamluk Sultan al-Mu’ayyad Shaykh, who ruled over Egypt and Bilad al-Sham in the early 15th century. The seminar will begin by investigating the political scene during the reign of his master Sultan Barquq and the latter's son Farag, who succeeded him to the throne, an unorthodox practice for the Mamluk period. After Farag was deposed, Mu'ayyad Shaykh and his companions appointed the Caliph as Sultan for the first time in Mamluk history. However that reign was shortlived and at its close, Mu'ayyad Shaykh managed to seize the reins of power. During his reign he built a magnificent religious and funerary complex behind Bab Zuwayla, the south gate of Cairo. The seminar will discuss this building in the context of the earlier and later Mamluk architecture of Cairo.