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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Baring, Evelyn
Iraq ยป Baghdad

33.315241, 44.3660671

Thurs Ap 8. [8 April 1909] Went out at 7 with a kavass called Amin.
We went first to the Khan Orthman, of the 13th c, a fine vaulted place
with pointed girding arches coming down onto decorated brackets.
Then to the Gumruk where there is a beautiful 13th c inscrip. Then to
the Meidan where I saw my servants. They came to show me the
famous gun that ran away to the war and is now chained. In the
barracks near by I believe there is a bit of the old palace of the khalifs
but they wd not let me in without an order. So back to the Serai to the
shrine of Sheikh 'Abd ul Kadir. I walked past the house of the Nekib
and his servants invited me in. I found him in the courtyard and he
took me upstairs where we talked for 11/2 hours. The shrine is visited
by Moslem pilgrims from all parts of the world. They have to be
lodged and fed in the Tekkiyyeh. The Nekib gave me a short sketch
of the history of the world to show that all European life and civilization
sprang from Asia. We then passed to modern politics. He said {one
of the great difficulties} it wd be impossible to send a foreign Mufattish
into the provinces. He declared that the Sheikhs of Muhammerah and
Kweit [Al Kuwayt (Kuwait)] had come to excellent terms both wishing to
throw off their respective yokes, Persia and Turkey and for that
reason they backed all disturbances. Muhammerah was backing the
Beni Lam now - they were closely connected with him. (Mr Parry
subsequently said he did not think this was true. Muhammerah was
practically independent - needed no one's help. Moreover he was
not on the best of terms with the Beni Lam with whom he was
constantly having difficulties). He said that the unpopularity of English
rule in India dated from the Denshwai[?] incident. That the whole
Mohammadan world had been outraged and had turned against
Cromer. We had won India by peaceful means, said he, by
commerce and agreement; that showed how highly civilized we were.
But the Denshwai incident was the contradiction of this record. Lord
Cromer has given bitter offence by his chapter on the future of Islam.
His views are entirely incorrect. He was very cautious about the new
Govt merely saying that it wd take the people a long time to learn. He
asked us to come see him at his house near the Residency in the
afternoon and sent me round the Tekkiyyeh with a servant. He spoke
highly in favour of Sir W.W. [Willcocks] but said that we shd have to
see that his proposals and schemes were carried out, otherwise they
wd not be. Then to see Mr F. Parry at Lynch's office. Then to call on
Mrs Hall and so in to lunch. Slept after lunch and at 4.15 went with Mrs
R. [Ramsay] to see a rose garden near by and then on to the Nekib's
new house where Col. R. presently joined us. Afterwards she and I
drove out to the Bab et Talism. Very striking splendid gate with a
curious decoration of snakes, a Buddha figure sitting between them
and holding their tongues. Below, at the spring of the arch are lions
like Seljuk lions. One sees the whole line of the walls which Midhat
Pasha destroyed intending to build boulevards. Mr Richarz came to
dinner; Capt Bowden and Capt Fiennes came in after and we played

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