By John Roy Carlson
CAIRO TO DAMASCUS via JOHN ROY CARLSON. PREFACE: it kind of feels to me there are methods, normally conversing, to pre pare a booklet, make a journey, or, for that subject, to stay a existence. One may work at it dilettante type, as a vacationer nibbling at ex perience, titillating the sentiments but emotionally starved, stimulating oneself with ambition but perpetually tortured by means of frustration. situations and temperament, notwithstanding, could conspire jointly in order that, with the liberty of a nomad, you'll break out the straightjacket of daily boredom, hurdle fences of area and time, and devour lifestyles at its resources. Prop erly directed, such a mundane lifestyles can provide wing to one's mind's eye, readability to one's pondering, power to one's convic tions, or even convey one closer to the straightforward, everlasting truths of God and spirit This publication, i believe, belongs within the moment type the cate gory of the primitive. I left my nation particularly as uninformed, i'm afraid, as are so much american citizens with admire to different peoples and different shorelines. yet all over the place I went I sought to the touch truth continually in truth, and consistently firstly hand. far and wide I clung with reference to the smells, the wildlife of local life. In that spirit i've got written of the Arabs between whom I lived. i discovered a lot solid and lots more and plenty evil evil received via a feudal order that, in rny opinion, continues to be the Arab's maximum enemy and his maximum barrier to emergence from the darkish a while. i'm thankful for Arab hospitality and the kindness i used to be proven, yet a reporter, like a doctor, mustn't ever stay unaware of the ills plaguing his topic. without wish to characteristic to myself or my writings any viii Preface exaggerated significance, it's my fervent desire that the numerous Armenians residing within the Arab center East won't endure by the hands of lovers simply because an American of Armenian descent occurred to write down this ebook. To them i will merely say that i've got instructed the tale in truth, as I observed it. And to my Arab buddies who requested basically that I inform the truth/' i will say in all sense of right and wrong that i've got advised the reality. enable me guarantee them that I converse during this ebook as an American, and in simple terms in someone capability, with out ties to or club in any Armenian-American physique retailer the church into which i used to be born. Any retribution opposed to the Armenians a minority island in a Moslem sea will be an unwarranted and mindless cruelty. i've got written this ebook with the desire that it'll convey either Arabs and Jews into more true concentration for the reader; that it'll support display what they're and what they aren't, what should be ex pected of them and what's very unlikely. I pray that those historic Semitic peoples will reconcile their variations, that Palestine refugees who, ordinarily, left their houses simply because Arab leaders instructed them to take action anticipating a quick warfare and a brief victory should be resettled. the single substitute to peace is catastrophe for Arab, Jew, and Christian, for none may perhaps wish to prosper by myself. jointly they might finally construct a wealthy and democratic heart East. to stay aside, at dagger's aspect, capacity in basic terms that Communism and anarchy might be the final word victors.
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Extra resources for Cairo to Damascus
I wouldn't go now," Shawa Bey remarked. "I'd go a little later. " We discussed some of the persons I'd met so far. "I've known Captain Canning for a long time," he said. "He has helped the Arab cause. Another good friend of the Arabs is Miss Frances Newton. " 5 Habib Ibrahim Katibah, whose activities are discussed in Chapter II. London: The Odyssey Begins 33 I asked about the Mufti. "He's in good health. He's in Cairo now. He goes back and forth between Cairo and Damascus. " Shawa Bey paused.
He was a keen-faced young man. " the Arab demonstrated. What seemed to be an ordinary whip suddenly became a vicious, four-sided, ten-inch dagger tapering to a fine point. "This knife for Yahood. " I took no chances. "No, I hate Jews. " "Ah," he grinned triumphantly. " "No. I have one bigger, a Turkish knife. " Sly money-changers sidled up to me. A beggar in tatters and the face of a mummy stretched out a palsied hand in the name of Allah. Cabmen drove with one hand on the wheel, the other on the horn, shouting at jaywalkers.
A moment later a heavy hand plummeted down on my shoulder, and another grabbed my camera, nearly ripping the shoulder strap. He pulled me over to a trafEc officer and the two jabbered excitedly. A surly crowd Cairo: The King's Jungle 49 gathered. It was decided that my fate should be sealed in the Karakol Abdin Kism—the Abdin District Police Station. Flanked by the two policemen, and followed by a crowd yelling "Yahoodi"—Jew—we walked on. " someone yelled in perfect English. Those in front rushed up, tried to jab me with their sticks, and threatened me with their whips.