Ibn Battouta was a Muslim explorer who was born on February 24th, 1304 in Tangier and passed away around 1377. He greatly contributed to the development of geographical, historical and ethnographical knowledge of Muslim societies in his day and age.
A tireless traveler, who boasted an exceptional memory and sense of observation for over 28 years, he traveled the Muslim world discovering its most distant borders. He crossed Libya, went up the Nile Valley, crossed Syria, Palestine, stayed in Mecca, and visited Yemen, Oman, Iraq, Persia and Anatolia. He went to Mogadishu, Monbasa and Kilwa on the East African coast. He reached the Maldives islands in the Indian Ocean, Ceylon and Sumatra. In India, he became the historian and columnist of the Delhi Sultanate. He traveled all over China and spent more than 2 years in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Ibn Batouta became famous while he was still alive. Several centuries after his death, international explorers paid tribute to him by naming a crater on the moon after him, precisely in “the sea of fertility”. His hometown, Tangier, honored him by giving his name to the region’s airport.