World War I

A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War - download pdf or read online

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By Leila Tarazi Fawaz

ISBN-10: 0674735498

ISBN-13: 9780674735491

The nice conflict reworked the center East, bringing to an finish 400 years of Ottoman rule in Arab lands whereas giving upward push to the center East as we all know it at the present time. A century later, the reviews of normal women and men in the course of these calamitous years have pale from reminiscence. A Land of Aching Hearts traverses ethnic, type, and nationwide borders to recuperate the private tales of the civilians and infantrymen who persevered this cataclysmic event.

between those that suffered have been the folks of better Syria―comprising smooth Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine―as good because the humans of Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. past the transferring fortunes of the battlefield, the zone used to be devastated via a British and French naval blockade made worse by means of Ottoman struggle measures. Famine, sickness, inflation, and an inflow of refugees have been daily realities. however the neighborhood populations weren't passive sufferers. Fawaz chronicles the initiative and resilience of civilian émigrés, marketers, draft-dodgers, squaddies, villagers, and townsmen decided to outlive the conflict as top they can. the correct mix of ingenuity and practicality frequently intended the adaptation among existence and death.

The war’s aftermath proved sour for lots of survivors. Nationalist aspirations have been quashed as Britain and France divided the center East alongside synthetic borders that also reason resentment. The distress of the nice warfare, and a profound feel of big sacrifices made in useless, might colour people’s perspectives of politics and the West for the century to come.

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12 This ancient city, situated in the western Nile Delta on the Mediterranean coast, equaled the greatness of its conquering founder. As the central hub of nineteenth-century southern Mediterranean trade with Europe, it burst with entrepreneurs, activity, and importance. Second only to Cairo in the Arab world, Alexandria was essential to the all-important cotton trade. In the 1840s, Alexandria was quintessentially Egyptian. Local Christians and Jews, comprising fully one quarter of the population, mingled with local Muslims in the beehive of shops that inhabited the ancient bazaar.

For while merchants and financiers directed trade from metropolitan hubs, that commerce directly determined the scope and scale of cultivation in the interior. Between 1860 and 1914, the allure of profit steadily encroached on nomadism. In Egypt, the insatiable European demand for raw cotton led businessmen to double the amount of land apportioned to cotton cultivation. In Syria and Mesopotamia, similar market forces incentivized the mass production of grain, olives, oil, and sesame seeds; in Mount Lebanon, the commodity of choice was raw silk.

13 By the time its stock exchange was opened in 1883, Alexandria resembled more a European than an Egyptian or Ottoman city. A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST 15 By 1907 Alexandria’s population was estimated at over 400,000, with large communities of Greeks, Italians, English, and French, in descending order of size; Greek Orthodox and Jews freely attended their religious services and performed their rituals. Even Coptic Christians, descendants of the dominant pre-Islamic Egyptian Christians but by then reduced to only 2 percent of the population, thrived in Alexandria’s urbane cosmopolitanism.

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A Land of Aching Hearts: The Middle East in the Great War by Leila Tarazi Fawaz


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