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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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Gertrude Bell
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1 entry, paper

Sunday May 2. [2 May 1909] Went before breakfast to see the school
of the Alliance Israelite. All the children very nice and clean but I do
not approve of Sidi's cutting off their locks, taking off their fezes and
making them wear trousers. They are all learning French, Arabic and
Hebrew. Part of the education seems absurdly European. I can see
no use in a picture on the wall entitled Chez la couturiere and
representing the scene. One very small boy was asked what he
knew and replied "I know Elohim." "Say it" said Sidi. "Elohim Allah
etc" he began, Hebrew words with the Arabic translation. So home
late to breakfast. Mr Young told the story of Sheikh Sayyid. He was in
much repute at Suleimaniyeh [Sulaymaniyah, As], too much, and was
sent for to C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)]. He arrived to find a son of
the Sultan's very ill, prayed over him and the child recovered. He was
given a splendid chaplet of pearls and returned with an immensely
enhanced reputation. But his sons misbehaved and it became
necessary to transport them all to Mosul [Mawsil, Al]. They arrived a
magnificent party, arms, silk clothes etc. The chaplet of pearls was
lost on the day of the riots and has not been recovered. Read Ritter.
We all lunched with Mr Drubba when we met M. Henriet. At tea Mr
Young had an immense reception to which came the Syrian Catholic
bp and all the Moslems in the world. They stayed till near 7 after
which Mr Wigram and I sat on the roof and talked till dinner. Telegram
from home.

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