Saladin was born (1138-1193) to a Kurdish family in Tikrit (now part of northern Iraq). Saladin grew up in Mosul and later Damascus. He was educated in maths, law, sciences and in particular studied the Qu’ran the Holy Book of Islam. As a youngster, he had a sincere interest in religious matters but was increasingly involved in military affairs – he was tutored in warfare and politics by the emir of Damascus, Nur ad-Din. Saladin was a Kurdish leader of Muslim forces during the period of the Crusades. He is widely revered as the ideal of a Warrior-King – fierce in battle and generous to his enemies. He united the Muslim territories and succeeded in driving out the crusaders from the Holy city of Jerusalem.