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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to his family


Cairo

24.9.16

It is 6.30, and nearly dark, so I'll write to you. There is no post tonight, which makes things more leisured. Not much of interest this week. The affairs of the Sherif are looking better, with the fall of Taif. He has captured there all the civil and military officials of the Mecca province, for they all used to spend the summer there, on the hill-tops in the gardens. If I leave G.H.Q. Egypt, which I have hinted several times lately, it will be to join the Arab Bureau, which is doing all the work of the Sherif's revolt, and in addition is trying to note down and turn to account all the popular movements in the Near East, from the Arab Question downwards. You will find evidence of this in articles in the Press running down the Turks, which have become quite the thing lately. You know the Turks always feared and disliked the Arabs, and the Arabs returned it - that's the main thing. The trail is complicated almost indefinitely though by religious and local politics, and tribal feuds, and ourselves and our allies: so that in all it is a fascinating study, and we hope to produce a good deal by way of it. I enclose a few 1 piastre stamps, at last. In the middle is Mekka el Mukerrama (Mecca the Blessed, a regular phrase, without which Mecca is not mentioned) on top is Hejaz post, and underneath 1 piastre. Date 1334 which is the Sherif's revolt. The half-piastre looks Chinese, and the quarter-piastre Egyptian. This is pure Arabic, and I like it rather. I also send a Turkish postcard. Arnie will remember the picture stamps the Turks got from England? Well they have finished them now, and have fallen back on this old thing, surcharged with the new date. It is rather amusing. That is all I think. It's getting cold now, though as cold means only about 80° in the shade at noon and 60° at night. I do not suppose you would make much grumble at it on that score. By the way, the Turks and Arabs use a different calendar: this is 1334 in Mecca, and will be 1335 next month. In Constantinople 1916 is 1332.

T.E.L.

Source: HL 329-30
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 2 January 2006


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