Hazoori bagh (Royal Garden Arches) at Lahore fort, Lahore, Pakistan
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Hazuri Bagh From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Hazuri Bagh with the Baradari at its center Hazuri Bagh (Urdu: حضوری باغ) is a garden in Lahore, Pakistan, bounded by the Lahore Fort (east side), Badshahi Mosque (west side), the Samadhi of Ranjit Singh (north side) and the Roshnai Gate (south side). In the center stands the Hazuri Bagh Baradari, built by Ranjit Singh. The Hazuri Bagh is a small enclosure between the Alamgiri Gate of the Lahore Fort and eastern gate of the Badshahi Mosque. This garden was built by Maharajah Ranjit Singh in 1813 to celebrate the capture of the famous Koh-i-Noor Diamond from Shah Shujah of Afghanistan. The Serai Alamgiri formerly stood here. The garden was planned and built under the supervision of Faqir Azizuddin in the traditional Mughal style layout. After its completion, it is said, Maharajah Ranjit Singh, at the suggestion of Jamadar Khushhal Singh, ordered that marble be removed from various mausoleums of Lahore to construct a baradari (pavilion) here. This task was given to Khalifa Nooruddin. Elegant carved marble pillars support the baradari’s delicate cusped arches. The central area, where Ranjit Singh held court, has a mirrored ceiling. Both the garden and the baradari, originally a 45-foot, three-storey square with a basement approached by fifteen steps, suffered extensive damage during the fratricidal Sikh wars and was only reclaimed and laid out according to the original plan during the British period. On 19 July 1932, the uppermost story collapsed and was never reconstructed.
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Modern civilization began right here in the Tigris-Euphrates river valley. Also known as the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia, this is the place where, six thousand years ago, agriculture, writing and mathematics were brought into widespread use.
The term "Middle East" comes from the British navy, which used it to describe the countries on the trade route from Europe to India and China. Everything from Afghanistan to Morocco may possibly be classified as "middle eastern", depending on whom you ask -- and when.
Only a partial list of past Empires in the middle eastern territory includes Sumeria, Babylonia, Persia, the Ottoman Empire and the Roman Empire!
When northern Europe was still lurking about in slimy cold stone castles playing chess, the Middle East was enjoying the flowers of poetry, luxurious craftsmanship, music and literature. In fact, the Renaissance in Europe was partly inspired by stories brought back from the middle east by travelers along the trade route.
Strategic location, religious history and the world's largest supply of crude oil have kept the Middle East at the center of world activity for centuries. The saga continues.
Text by Steve Smith.