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

By Leila Tarazi Fawaz

The nice struggle reworked the center East, bringing to an finish 400 years of Ottoman rule in Arab lands whereas giving upward thrust to the center East as we all know it at the present time. A century later, the stories of normal women and men in the course of these calamitous years have light from reminiscence. A Land of Aching Hearts traverses ethnic, category, and nationwide borders to get well the non-public tales of the civilians and infantrymen who persisted this cataclysmic event.

between those that suffered have been the folks of higher Syria―comprising sleek Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine―as good because the humans of Turkey, Iraq, and Egypt. past the transferring fortunes of the battlefield, the area was once devastated through a British and French naval blockade made worse by means of Ottoman battle measures. Famine, ailment, 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 usually intended the adaptation among lifestyles 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 man made borders that also reason resentment. The distress of the nice warfare, and a profound feel of massive sacrifices made in useless, may colour people’s perspectives of politics and the West for the century to come.

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This Ottoman commitment to expanded public education never diminished, even during the trauma of war. 30 The increase in literacy both enabled and benefited from the rise of mass publication. In the eighteenth century, Turkish and Arabic books were rare, A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST 19 and printed materials were largely irrelevant,31 but with the spread of literacy in administrative centers such as Beirut and Cairo, the reading public yearned for printed materials. 32 In Cairo, Beirut, and Istanbul, publishing houses strained to print enough newspapers, serialized novels, and textbooks.

22 A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST 17 The unnerving pace of change led some to repudiate reform and instead retrench in a familiar circle of family and friends. Some businessmen reactivated traditional networks, trading on interpersonal trust rather than on perceived excess. Others, such as some esteemed notables of old money, were able to straddle traditional culture and modern economics. In this way, many respected families grew wealthy while preserving their domestic traditions. Buffeted by the winds of change, this balance was often difficult to sustain, but many did so successfully.

The taboo of mental illness slowly lifted as missionaries reached out to the mentally challenged, until then consigned to an underworld of shame and neglect. In the 1890s a Swiss couple established an asylum in the village of Asfuriyya near Beirut, growing from a modest fourteen patients in 1900 to over one hundred within the decade. The mere existence of such an institution—and the willingness of families to commit their loved ones to it—lifted a veil of shame after centuries of neglect. 24 On a much larger scale, the nineteenth century constituted a turning point in education.

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