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

By Leila Tarazi Fawaz

The nice battle remodeled 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 reports of standard 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 continued this cataclysmic event.

between those that suffered have been the folk of larger 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 sector used to be devastated by means of a British and French naval blockade made worse through Ottoman warfare measures. Famine, disorder, 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 made up our minds to outlive the struggle as top they can. the right combination of ingenuity and practicality usually intended the variation 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 conflict, and a profound experience of massive sacrifices made in useless, could colour people’s perspectives of politics and the West for the century to come.

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65 These juxtapositions between the haves and the have-nots were most pronounced in cities that experienced the greatest population increases. Some peasants struggled to overcome the vicissitudes of global markets, as entire classes of craftspeople—men and women—were challenged by manufactured goods. 66 Others grew frustrated A CHANGING MIDDLE EAST 27 by working conditions in the industrializing economy. Beginning in the 1890s workers began collectively orga nizing with increasing frequency. 67 In Alexandria, the urban crisis affected workers who were both Ottomans (Egyptians but also Turks, Syrians, Armenians, local Jews, and others) and Europeans, as urban growth included several thousand Italians, Greeks, and others.

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. By the second half of the nineteenth century, however, waves of economic migrants dreaming of fame and fortune painted the city in the rich hues of diversity. Armenians were among the migrants to Egypt in the course of the nineteenth century, starting with traders and money changers from Izmir, Istanbul, and Aleppo, and followed by peasants and others.

In fact, the Young Turk umbrella sheltered 22 A L A N D O F A C H I N G H E A RT S many non-Turks, non-Muslims, and Arabs. Indeed, the leadership remained steadfastly committed to an ideologically multinational empire. In fact, Arabs sent their sons to schools in Istanbul, and shared similar outlooks with their Turkish counterparts in a world where privilege and connections put them on top of the social order. Some prospered as leading notables and interacted regularly and closely with their local government representatives.

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