Usama ibn Munqidh was a key Muslim political figure. Due to this status, he had contact with the Crusaders on military and diplomatic levels. Indeed, he had an adventurous life that enabled him to socialize widely. His close tie with the Crusaders is demonstrated in the way he describes them in his texts. I can relate to Usama’s experience of meeting new people since I had to move from my hometown to a different city to continue pursuing my education. Whereas I did not first like the new environment due to the cultural experience, I later came to appreciate the people on a deeper level.
The most striking feature about Usama’s presentation of the Crusaders is the vagueness of his attitude towards them. Initially, it appears that he is hostile towards them. He describes them as the enemy and seemed glad that they had encountered a hard time when trying to venture into the region dominated by Muslims. Further, he asked Allah to place a curse upon the Crusaders. As such, it appears that Usama is very hostile towards them. Nonetheless, this harshness contradicts the claims of friendship with the Crusaders that Usama suggests after he begins to interact with them in his diplomatic mission. For instance, he states that he has a mutual bond of friendship with the Franks. Such a statement implies that Usama’s hostile nature is not completely genuine. Additionally, he demonstrates an aptitude to appreciate the outstanding characteristics of the Crusaders in a non-judgmental manner. Usama, for example, describes Badrdhwa as a valiant man. He goes further to refer to one the Crusaders as honorable in his description of the Knight he terms as his brother.
Whereas Usama initially seems to be hostile towards the Crusaders after encountering them in the battlefield, he later came to appreciate them on a deeper level. His descriptions suggest that he developed a deep bond with them. It appears that his ties with the Crusaders enabled him to widen his knowledge on humanity.