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The Fatimid Caliphate was a rival Shiite caliphate to the Abbasids, and flourished in North Africa from the 10th century until the 12th.

They began in what is now Tunisia and conquered Egypt in 972, thereafter becoming an important power in the middle east, reaching a zenith in the early 11th century.

The most notable Fatimid caliph is Al-Hakim, who was (and still is) worshipped as a god by the Druze sect of Syria and Lebanon.

The Fatimid state was an early example of a meritocracy - whilst officially Shiite, Sunnis, Christians and Jews were all able to ascend to high office.