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Year of the Locust

Year of the Locust: A Soldier's Diary and the Erasure of Palestine's Ottoman Past

Salim Tamari
Copyright Date: 2011
Edition: 1
Pages: 214
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  • Book Info
    Year of the Locust
    Book Description:

    Year of the Locustcaptures in page-turning detail the end of the Ottoman world and a pivotal moment in Palestinian history. In the diaries of Ihsan Hasan al-Turjman (1893-1917), the first ordinary recruit to describe World War I from the Arab side, we follow the misadventures of an Ottoman soldier stationed in Jerusalem. There he occupied himself by dreaming about his future and using family connections to avoid being sent to the Suez. His diaries draw a unique picture of daily life in the besieged city, bringing into sharp focus its communitarian alleys and obliterated neighborhoods, the ongoing political debates, and, most vividly, the voices from its streets-soldiers, peddlers, prostitutes, and vagabonds. Salim Tamari's indispensable introduction places the diary in its local, regional, and imperial contexts while deftly revising conventional wisdom on the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire.

    eISBN: 978-0-520-94878-5
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. List of Figures
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. The Erasure of Ottoman Palestine
    (pp. 3-88)

    Soldiers’ diaries, particularly those from World War I, have been a constant reminder of the horrors of war. A large stock of such memoirs have reached us from the ranks of the Allied forces, particularly from British, French, American, and Anzac soldiers, as well as from Austrian and German soldiers fighting for the Central powers.¹ Much less material has been available from the Ottoman side, particularly from the Syrian provinces. This book analyzes the Great War from the perspective of three ordinary soldiers who fought on the Ottoman side, as expressed in the newly found diary of Private Ihsan Turjman...

  6. The Diary of Ihsan Turjman
    (pp. 91-160)

    Two years ago I began to keep a daily diary. But I soon neglected the routine and wrote only occasionally and then quit writing altogether. This evening I went to visit Khalil Effendi Sakakini, in the company of Hasan Khalidi and Omar Salih Barghouti.² Khalil Effendi read to us from his diary. It so excited me that I decided to restart my own memoirs. Our conversation revolved around this miserable war and how long it is likely to continue, as well as the fate of this [Ottoman] state. We more or less agreed that the days of the state are...

  7. NOTES
    (pp. 161-186)
  8. INDEX
    (pp. 187-201)
  9. Back Matter
    (pp. 202-202)