National Geographic : 1964 Dec
Enjoying a wartime respite, the author's mother (in black) and General Allenby (center) pose for a photographer (in light suit) at a party on July 4, 1918. Syria and Palestine relief work ers, Red Cross girls (left), and other friends have just returned to the American Colony after attending the official opening of American Red Cross headquarters in Jerusalem. Lawrence of Arabia, British scholar and soldier, wore Arab dress like a prince of the desert. A controversial and intriguing figure, T. E . Lawrence was a driving force behind the Arab Revolt in the desert against the Turks in World War I. Though at first Mrs. Vester thought him crude, she later found him charming and entertaining. The capture of Damascus on October 1, 1918, brought victory for the Arabs. The author noted at the bottom of this picture that Lawrence entered Damascus with Faisal. Actually, he preceded Faisal ibn Hussein, later King of Iraq, by two days. gentleman on my left. Later, Lawrence made his way to me and flashed a disarming grin. "We're quits," he said. I met Lawrence many times after that, and found him a fascinating companion. We all recognized his brilliance, but none dreamed that his career would absorb scholars, biogra phers, and playwrights for years to come. British Replace Turks as Rulers In the years after World War I, we ex changed Turkish rule for a British mandate. Palestine west of the Jordan was ruled direct ly by the Mandatory Government. Trans jordan, the east-bank land of the Bedouin, was ruled indirectly through Emir Abdullah, brother of Faisal of Iraq and grandfather of Jordan's present King Hussein. Even after the occupation, with the British 840 operating their own hospitals, the need for voluntary welfare work remained, to relieve suffering in the territories that had been oc cupied by the Turks. I was now released from my other duties to lend a hand. Industrial schools were started to give the people training and a means of earning a live lihood. Our old house, from which we had moved some years before, became a school of handicrafts and dressmaking for girls. Very soon, however, peace was marred by disputes between the Arabs and the Zionist movement, which had been given strong im petus by the Balfour Declaration of 1917. The declaration expressed Britain's support of a national home for the Jews in Palestine. The Arabs felt themselves endangered by the im migration of Jews from the west. By 1920 anti-Zionist demonstrations were violent.