Now, here's a post about Hitti's contribution that actually includes interesting selections from an unpublished Hitti memoir.
|Philip K. Hitti at Princeton|
|Philip K. Hitti at Princeton|
|David Lloyd George|
|The 1917 Overture (Punch cartoon)|
|With Algeria's Bouteflika|
|Hariri (left) and ‘Aoun|
|16th Century Maltese War Galley|
|Don Juan (John) of Austria|
Before I discuss the battle itself let me note two historical asides:Dim drums throbbing, in the hills half heard,Where only on a nameless throne a crownless prince has stirred,Where, risen from a doubtful seat and half attainted stall,The last knight of Europe takes weapons from the wall,The last and lingering troubadour to whom the bird has sung,That once went singing southward when all the world was young,In that enormous silence, tiny and unafraid,Comes up along a winding road the noise of the Crusade.Strong gongs groaning as the guns boom far,Don John of Austria is going to the war . . .
Iraq's Transport Minister Kazem Finjan has claimed that ancient Sumerians in Iraq invented space travel.He specifically cited Kramer's History Begins at Sumer, a familiar popular introduction. Apparently the copy on my shelf is a different edition from the Minister's, since it doesn't mention airports or space travel, and uses the standard dating in which Sumer rose around 3000 years BC, or 5,000 years ago, not 7000. (Did he confuse 5000 Before the Present with 5000 BC?) True, he mentions the Sumerians as pioneers in astronomy, but with no mention of Pluto (which used to be the ninth planet, not the twelfth, until it was demoted). And it was discovered in 1930 by Clyde Tombaugh, long before NASA existed. I think the Minister may have confused Kramer with something he saw on Ancient Aliens.
Finjan made the outlandish claim during a press conference in the southern Iraqi province of Dhi Qar.
In a speech, he said that the ancient civilisation had built the world's first airport in the area around 5,000 BC.
Finjan went on to claim that the airport had served as a hub for space exploration, and that the Sumerians discovered Pluto falsely claiming it to be the solar system's "twelfth planet" and discovered by NASA.
In front of a beleaguered audience Finjan sought to back up his claims asking sceptics to study the works of Sumerian experts such as Russian professor Samuel Kramer.
|1994 Nobel Peace Prize|
|Sharifian Troops in Ta'if after the Surrender|
|Ta'if in 1917 (H. St.John B. Philby)|
|Ali Galip Pasinler|
I found him in the large hall at Shubra Palace, the only general among seventy-five junior officers.
He seemed pleased to see me, and after several moments he said, “This is a great catastrophe . . . we were brothers and now we are enemies” I felt bolder in his presence now that our positions were reversed, but said as gently as I could, “The master has become the master again and is freed from slavery and the yoke of him whom he enlightened.”
His face became as white as a sheet, but he recovered himself and said, “I know that the Arab nation would separate from us one day, but I never thought that it would happen so quickly.” “You are right, “ I replied, “for speed was in our interest. If you had retained the absolute authority of the Caliphate, we would never have risen against you, but your party became despotic and dictated not only to your people but to the Sultan as well . . . However, recriminations now will do no good. Please come in to dinner. I hope you will enjoy that I have prepared for you after the rigors of the siege”
|Ruins of Sharif Hussein's Palace in Ta'if after the siege (Philby)|
Set you down this;
And say besides, that in Aleppo once,
Where a malignant and a turban'd Turk
Beat a Venetian and traduc'd the state,
I took by the throat the circumcised dog,
And smote him thus.
Othello, Act 5, Scene 2 (just before stabbing himself)
First witch: A sailor’s wife had chestnuts in her lap,
And munched, and munched, and munched. “Give me,”quoth I.“Aroint thee, witch!” the rump-fed runnion cries.Her husband’s to Aleppo gone, master o' th' Tiger;But in a sieve I’ll thither sail,And like a rat without a tail,I’ll do, I’ll do, and I’ll do.
Macbeth, Act 1, Scene 3Though politically eclipsed by Damascus, Aleppo was a major center under the French Mandate, and in independent Syria. Its most famous European hotel, the Armenian-owned Hotel Baron, boasted a clientele of almost every famous figure in 19th and 20th century Middle Eastern history, including various kings and Presidents from de Gaulle to Nasser, and had a framed unpaid bar bill of T.E. Lawrence's on display. Sadly, though it stayed open through several years of the civil war, I understand the Baron stopped taking guests in 2014, by which time it was almost on the front lines. I never stayed there, but I did once have a drink at the bar. Unlike Lawrence, I paid my tab.