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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
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Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Syria ยป Aleppo

36.2021047, 37.1342603

Mon 27. [27 March 1905] We rode to a little mud village about 1/2 an
hour off and upon our road and here we saw a very perfect mosaic
pavement on the floor of a house. Only geometric patterns but
excellently preserved. They say they find many. These villages are
all settled Arabs and all the villages of one tribe go together in a
blood feud. My guide was a Jew of a Jew tribe called the Beni
Sha'aban. So on to Aleppo [Halab] a windy cloudy day not very
agreeable. We entered by an open drain and my first impression of
the town was a smelly one. The surroundings of the town are
absolutely bare and treeless. The town lies in a saucer of which the
Kala'a is the cup. It stands up splendidly and one sees the minaret on
it for miles away. Went to the Consulate and got my letters from the
Barnhams - it was by then 12.30, we had started at 7.30. Went to the
Hotel Belle Vue[?]. After lunch to Zollinger's to see about money. Mr
Nicola Homsi came to see me at 4 - I had a letter to him from Selim
Fabit. He belongs to a very numerous Xian family some of whom are
settled in Marseille, Paris and London. We drove together to the
Derwish Tekiya where the son of the head Derwish showed us the
dancing room. They are a branch house of Konia [Konya [Iconium)].
Then to the big Madrasseh which is a fine place with over 100
scholars. So to the Consulate. Mr Shellun, the dragoman came in
and was introduced to me. At dinner there was a Pasha, name of
Sururi with whom I stammered in French, Persian and Turkish. He is
vice governor or something of the sort. Wrote letters.

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