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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
GB/2/12/1/19
Creator
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper
Language
English
Location
Coordinates

33.5138073, 36.2765279

Sunday 22. [22 Janurary 1911] Called on the Vali, Ghalib Bey, with
Selim Tabet - a well meaning anxious little man who wants to educate
his daughters in Europe and bring them back as teachers to Turkish
girls. Then to a curiosity dealer, Nejib, and then to Sami Pasha. He
talks admirable German and was most friendly. Lunched with Selim
and a Lebanese Druze, Nasib Tarabai [Arabic characters] from Sofar
[Arabic]. Very cold and snowing a little. Went to call on the Deveys.
At 4 Dr Abdul Kadir Shah Bendar came to see me. He was educated
at Beyrout [Beyrouth (Beirut)] - very enlightened. He is pro English
and we talked of that a little. He thinks sentiment will come round to
us, says it has with many instructed people. Since the Constitution he
has been allowed to see the face and chest of his female Moslem
patients and in this way made acquaintance with his fiancÈe. He calls
the Const. Kanun el Asasi and says most people don't distinguish it
from the Muktabas, the daily paper here. The deputies here very
ignorant all but one. But some of the most bigoted Moslems are now
sending their sons to foreign schools. He is very Arab and says the
feeling runs strong in favour of devolution. The chief cause of
dissatisfaction is the teaching of Turkish in the primary schools. This
is necessitated by the officials not talking Arabic. He has left the
Committee because it is so Turkish and he says most of the Arab
members intend to resign. One of the deputies has recently died.
The Damascenes wish for a man who is a real Arab Damascene
from one of their big families, Salonica [Thessaloniki (Salonki)]
proposes a Turk who is a member of the local committee. The
discontent came to a head over the jealousy of the Vali Ismail for
Sami P. All the local committees in Syria are run by Turks. The one
here at the first was Arab then reorganised by Salonica. Ismail was
very anti English. Mr J.E. Hananer[?] called. Then I went to Basan's
[Arabic] about my journey. Dined with the Navilles, Capt Murphy and
Mr Hillelson. Hananer says the Jews have today forbidden their
children to come to his school. This is quite new. Bitter cold and
snowing.

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