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Diary entry by Gertrude Bell

Reference code
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Extent and medium
1 entry, paper

33.5138073, 36.2765279

Monday 23. [23 January 1911] A little snow but sun. Went with Selim
Beg to call on 'Atta Beg Killani [Arabic characters]. He is a
descendant of 'Adul Kadir and pilgrims used to come in thousands to
visit his father who was Vali. We met there Muhammad Pasha 'Azam
[Arabic]. Then to call on the editor of the Muktabas and the other
paper, 'Asa ej Jedid, both have had articles about me. So to lunch
and shop in the bazaars and home to write. Sami Pasha and Selim
Beg came to call and with them Vahle Mutran Pasha, the brother of
the man who made the pro Arab demonstrations from Paris 2 years
ago. Capt Murphy dined after which we went to Basam's where we
found a large company including the Sheikh of Kebeisa [Kubaysah].
We settled for the camels for £35 to Hit. An old Mufti near me very
friendly. He went to sleep during the proceedings. Went to the club
and played bridge. Met there Gustav von Hofw‰chter, cavalry
instructor. He told me the Druze campaign very recklessly managed.
500 new saddles bought and all allowed to go to ruin. Horses not to
be had though the English officers from Egypt buy plenty - (it is now
forbidden). Sami a salon soldier, ought not to have left Dera' [Dar'a],
but longs to be back in C'ple [Istanbul (Constantinople)]. Next day he
lunched and explained to me the campaign. 3 divisions ie 18000
men, 1/2 div on the railway line, 11/2 with Sami went up to Sweida [As
Suwayda'], 1 round by Bosrah [Busr'a ash Sham]. At Kefr the S.
division met about 2000 Druzes and fought them - he thinks the
Turkish loss altogether 200 or 300. The Druzes driven back met the N
11/2 division and fought near Sweida. Then they turned W and cut
the line of communication with Deraa. Whereupon Sami telegraphed
for the ....... lot and they eventually came down through the Leja [Al
Laja], the Sheikhs of the Leja all coming in, and restored
communications. Then the Druzes gave way. He is very indignant
because his 2 ...... companies were called for, kept in camp at Dera'
and sent back in a dreadful state. He says fearful cruelties
perpetrated on women and children. Captain Murphy says the Abp
told him the Druzes cd easily buy new arms from the Gulf. At Kerak
[Karak] no tents for the soldiers, no arrangements for watering the
horses which has to go down to the bir outside where the road is so
narrow that only one horse can pass. 8 horses watering a day! In the
same way here they built the cavalry stables with doors so narrow that
only one horse cd pass out at a time.

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