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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

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

36.3489278, 43.157736

Monday May 3. [3 May 1909] Mr Wigram and Capt Dickson went
away. I went out before breakfast to Mar Ahudani where I took off my
casts. Then to Maskuntar[?] which has been recently entirely rebuilt -
a large bare church with 4 piers on either side. Then to Mar Girgis, old
and interesting, standing in a big cemetary [sic] court. Door in the S
wall with good straight arch with pendants. A small niche and slab to
St George inside. Syriac inscrip over the door - I cd get no one to
give me a date from it but I expect it's the usual 200 years old or so.
Then to Mar Tuma, a most interesting church. The atrium quite
charming - no narthex. The doors all interesting. The church has
been pulled about a good deal. There are now 5 or 6 aisles, the
southern 3 being dated about 70 years ago. The church was divided
at one time - and may be still for ought I know - between the
Chaldaean and Syrian Catholics. All these churches are apparently
of Jacobite origin and I should think all later than 14th century. Over
one of the doors in Mar Tuma is a bit of Lulu frieze. So home to
breakfast and gossip with Mr Young. Wrote before and after lunch.
Suleiman Beg came to call. Went out with Mr Young to see Malcolm
Effendi. It is necessary to note that the anti Govt. movement is not only
against the Constitution. It has been a regular fixed policy of the
governing clique to harass the authorities. 5 years ago there was an
affair when Mustafa Beg (Izzet's brother) was Wali. It rose out of some
Chaldaeans of I think Alkosh [Qosh, Al] hating the Catholic tyranny so
much that they turned Moslem. The Xians made a fuss and the matter
was taken up by the notables who roused the populace and the Wali
had to give way and let them alone. Then under Zekki {Pasha} Bey
there was a row over the Govt. order to register women and again the
Vali climbed down. Then again a small row when Mr Young took his
present house. The Jacobites tried to enclose a bit more land - it did
as a matter of fact belong to them and the notables stirred up the
people. It is always very cleverly done. They meet together in the
evening, settle everything and put the matter into the hands of hired
braves[?] - Abu'l Kasim is a well known agent, he is now in prison.
Then the notables all go out to their villages and the riot happens in
their absence. The Vali is perhaps running rather a risk by
overcrowding the prisons. The difficulty is to get the malefactors
condemned. No one will give evidence against them for fear of the
notables and one very big man said to Mr Y. "I shd not venture to
come forward with evidence lest the Govt shd prove not strong
enough to protect me from their vengeance." What is needed is that
the Vali shd for a time be given special powers under the Idara
Urfiyyeh. This enables him to exile people practically without trial. Dr
and Mrs Griffeth came to stay. We had a very pleasant dinner

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