Muhammad Darwish, born in 1934 from al-Khader; and Mahmoud Saleh, born in 1919 from al-Khader; discussing the Ottoman period and World War I


Muhammad Darwish, born in 1934 from al-Khader; and Mahmoud Saleh, born in 1919 from al-Khader; discussing the Ottoman period and World War I
Muhammad Darwish (born 1934 from al-Khader) and Mahmoud Saleh (born 1919 from al-Khader) interviewed by Talha Darwish (son of interviewee) on 2 April 2000. Muhammad Darwish discusses the following: his knowledge of the Ottoman period and World War I came from his father; military conscription involved taking Arabs to the army by force; people used to run away from conscription; his uncle married a woman from the Ta‘amra Bedouin tribes to avoid conscription (her surname was Mahameed), but when the war worsened he had pay 50 gold lira; different types of guns; men were taken to Iraq and Yemen during the war; marriage in those days was easy and not so expensivel; wedding customs including the use of a special camel, slaughtering a sheep for the engagement; people used to gather in their courtyards to tell stories; education consisted only of reading the Quran in the mosque and basic reading and writing; discusses dissemination of news – little information during the Ottoman period but during the British Mandate radios became more common; emigration from al-Khader to the Americas – required special papers to travel; when the British arrived in Palestine they gave people biscuits; men used to marry off their daughters to pay their debts or take a piece of land; local castle/fort where the Ottoman governor used to live; when Ottomans were defeated in the war they left boxes full of gold; building of the famous gate at the entrance to al-Khader in the Ottoman period; Russian pilgrims used to walk through the village on their way to Hebron. Mahmoud Saleh discusses the following: the Ottomans took people by force and made them walk or ride on camels to move from one place to another; his father was conscripted along with his friend; people started marrying foreign women to avoid conscription; when people got married the groom had to buy the clothes and the wedding dress, they killed goats and sheep, and the bride rode on a camel; when someone died they used to scream; every house had its own courtyard to meet, chat and serve coffee – foreigners used to take tours around all the courtyards; people used to help each other in their lives; education was conducted in the home and the teacher took wheat and food as payment; in the Ottoman period women used to harvest the fields; people emigrated overseas; people used to trade their daughters for a piece of land; medicines were made from herbs. Original audio recording: 4 cassette tapes. Transcript: word for word. In the original collection at Bethlehem University these cassette tapes were categorised as File 9 of Box 12. This fileset exists as part of the Ottoman Empire and the World War I collection within the Bethlehem University Oral History Project of the Planet Bethlehem Archive.
Palestinian Diaspora
Ottoman Empire and World War I collection
World War I in Bethlehem
Bethlehem oral history
Ottoman Empire in Bethlehem
Bethlehem University
British Mandate in Palestine
CC BY 4.0
Talha Darwish
Adnan Musallam
Niveen Hazboun
Laila Ayyad
Yacoub Alatrash
Digital reproduction of cassette tape and handwritten transcript
Bethlehem University
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31.6948285/ 35.1619902
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Bethlehem University
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