The Ayyubid or Ayyoubid dynasty was a Muslim dynasty of Kurdish origins which ruled Egypt, Syria, Yemen (except for the Northern Mountains), Diyar Bakr, Mecca, Hejaz and northern Iraq in the 12th and 13th centuries. The Ayyubids are also known as Ayoubites, Ayyoubites, Ayoubides or Ayyoubides.
The Ayyubid dynasty was begun by Saladin (Salah ah-Din). Saladin and his uncle Shirkuh conquered Egypt for the Zengid King Nur ad-Din of Damascus in 1169. The dynasty's name comes from Saladin's father and Shirkuh's brother, Najm ad-Din Ayyub.