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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Syria » Aleppo

36.2021047, 37.1342603

Sarre, Friedrich

Sat. Feb. 6. [6 February 1909] A beautiful Spring day. Mme Koch
came at 9.30 and we drove out by the beautiful Mamluk walls with the
Lions (Euting[?] thinks them all Seljuk but Sarre Mamluk) past the
Moslem cemetary [sic] and to Wazir Khan where there is a splendid
door. Koch has his office here. Then to Khairubek Khan, much ruined.
In the interior a number of stone disks with a cap, 2 leaves springing
from the stem. On the cap hieroglyphics which the Mamluks brought
from Egypt - Euting still thinks them all Seljuk. Then by a charming
street fountain, one of the oldest buildings in Aleppo [Halab], to the
bank. Then to the Antioch gate. Near it is a ruined minaret with a
wonderful cornice decorated with Fatimid rinceaux. On the gate are
the Mamluk caps. On a mosque near by, Jami' Elkikan, the Hittite
stone. Mr Christie says there is another which serves somewhere as
a doorstep. Went to the French consulate, Mr Roqueferier. He had
some good intaglios and a small Palmyrene figure. There is a
Palmyrene version of the Good Shepherd for sale in Aleppo. M.
Roquefort had an interesting tombstone of 2 granddaughters of Salah
ed din, dated I think 640 AH. Further there is a headless Hittite eagle
in basalt. In a street near the bank some fine Cufic inscriptions. So
back, meeting Fattuh busy buying a horse on the way, and to lunch
with Mme Koch. Then walked out to the citadel and lost my way in the
bazaars coming home. Monseigneur Dimitrios Cadi, Archeveque
Grec-Catholique, came at 3.30 and stayed till 5. His cousin is Abp in
Damascus [Dimashq (Esh Shams, Damas)] of which city he is a
native. Life is easier since the Const. He can get letters and papers;
there wd be no difficulty in building a new church for which before a
Firman was necessary. (In the town Mme K. said I cd not under the old
conditions have photographed the fountain). His congregation
comes to him for everything - justice, relief, illness, guards[?]. They
cannot be induced to provide for the future. They work just enough to
provide for the needs of the moment. They waste a fearful amount of
his time in long interviews, bringing out their business only at the end
as it wd be rude to embark on it at once. Then if someone else
comes in they won't speak and the business is never done. He
hopes under the present rÈgime to be able to part with some of his
Wakf lands and buy others, more advantageous house property, in
their stead - hitherto it has been impossible to sell Wakf land. Then to
Mr Christie and to the Kochs. Took out £T150 Turkish and gave
Fattuh 24£T. Myself £T1.

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