Diary in photos, vol. II, 1936-1937
Photographs show John D. Whiting's trips around the Middle East region in 1936 and 1937. Whiting, a member of the American Colony in Jerusalem, worked as a tour guide, businessman, writer and photographer. Photographs include locations in Palestine (present day Israel, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip), Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey. People depicted include John D. Whiting, his son Edmund (Wilson) Whiting, the Lind family (members of the American Colony), Bedouin Sheik Majid, Sheik Mutgal el Fiez, and travelers and visitors to the region. Also shown are an Arab strike in Jerusalem, the Nebi Musa festival, Syrian floods in 1937, and views of Jerusalem.
Album page image number 1-20 (p. 5-24): Photographs from Part I, January to May 1936 including: trip to Syria and Lebanon including a woman road builder in Hauran, Saladin's Tomb, Damascus; and Baalbek; the Lind children, wine press at Beit Jibrin, a Gaza beach, Tell Dweir (Deweir) excavations, the road to Beit Ixa (Beit Exa), Irises, Nebi Musa festival (Jerusalem), the visit to Jerusalem of the "Ethiopian king," an Arab strike on May 14th, and trip to Syria including village of Breije and Damascus houses destroyed in Druze rebellion.
Album page image number 21-40 (p. 25-44): Photographs from Part I, June to December 1936 including: trip with Bertha Vester to Beirut, searching people after a bombing (Jerusalem), Edmund (Wilson) Whiting making a model of a man's head, British troops parading, children at book stand in Tel-Aviv, making a new road in Old Jaffa, Armistice Day celebrations including Jewish Legionnaires, Anna Spafford Baby Home, and jetty, stevedores, Bialik school, and stores in Tel-Aviv.
Album page image number 41-57 (p. 46-62): Photographs from Part II, January to April? 1937 including: Wadi Kelt, ain el-Dirweh (Philip's Fountain), Belfort Castle (Lebanon), Hebron street, beaches at Beirut and Tel-Aviv, Jewish settlers planting corn, Jewish people in Jerusalem near the Western Wall, Armenian Convent (Jerusalem), visit with "Sheikh Mutgal el Fiez" in Transjordan, and trip to Transjordan with four "Anglo-Catholic sisters" (Jerash, Kasr Kharani, and Kasr Amra.)
Album page image number 58-74 (p. 63-80): Photographs from Part II, from April to July 1937: trip to Syria including Kasr el Hair, Palmyra, Krak des Chevaliers, bathhouse in Hama, Aleppo, St. Simeon, Selucas, piper at Daphne (Antioch,Turkey), mosque at Jableh, and ruins at Margab and Tartus; the Lind family leaving for the United States, a Gypsy (Romani) blacksmith at Bethel, and packing a stone from Solomon's quarries for the United States.
Album page image number 75-96 (p. 81-101): Photographs from Part II, July to November 1937: trip to Mar Saba, Edmund (Wilson) Whiting's trip to Transjordan including a visit with Sheikh Majid and Sheik Salim Abu el Ghanam, frescoes at Kasr Amra (Qusayr ʻAmrah), trip to Syria with Eric Mendelsohn (architect of Hadassah Hospital, Jerusalem) and Dr. Haim Yassky (Director of Hadassah Medical Organization), Mendelsohn on top of hospital in Haifa, Ej Jorah village, Jenin, Benyamina, and Syrian floods including relief efforts and refugees at Dmeir and Mouaddamiyeh.
Album page image number 97-117 (p. 102-122): Photographs from Part II, December 1937: shepherds and sheep at Beit Sahur, Pontius Pilate's aqueduct near Bethlehem, Hebron, Arab girls at Dirweh; trip to Syria including ruins at Shiloh, Bedouin woman at Huleh, Aleppo citadel, girl baking in a tannur oven, St. Simeon, Armenian women digging peanuts, Ladakiyeh, British cannon at Merkab, the Cedars of Lebanon, Roman bridge, fishermen at Sidon (Lebanon), and Mosque of Jazzar in Akka (Acre).
American Colony, a non-denominational utopian Christian community was founded by a small group of American expatriates in Ottoman Palestine in 1881. The collection is a gift to the Library of Congress from the board of directors of the American Colony of Jerusalem, Ltd., which is made up of American, British, and Swedish descendants of the early colonists. The materials in the collection were initially retained by Bertha Vester in connection with her writing of the memoir Our Jerusalem (1950), and later by her daughter-in-law Valentine Vester and others at the American Colony Hotel. The collection focuses on the personal and business life of the colony from the waning years of the Ottoman Empire, through World War I and the British Mandate, and into the formation of the state of Israel. The bulk of the materials dates from 1870 to 1968 and relates to the leadership of the colony by members of the Spafford, Vester, and Whiting families.
Between 1931 and 1936 the Jewish population of Palestine more than doubled from 175,000 to 370,000 people, from 17% to 27% of the total population. It caused a significant deterioration in relations between Palestinian Arabs and Jews. Jewish immigration peaked in 1935: between 1933 and 1936 more than 164,000 Jewish immigrants arrived in Palestine. The dissent in Palestine was triggered also by the discovery in October 1935 at the port of Jaffa of a large arms shipment destined for the Haganah, sparking Arab fears of a Jewish military takeover of Palestine. The Arab uprising began in 1936 and continued throughout 1938. Arab rebels were engaged in a campaign of vandalizing trees planted by Jewish farmers and destroying British-constructed rail lines. In July 1938, the British garrison was strengthened from Egypt, and in September it was further reinforced from England. In October the Old City of Jerusalem, which had become a rebel stronghold, was reoccupied by the troops. The main form of collective punishment employed by the British forces was the destruction of property. The biggest single act of destruction occurred in Jaffa on 16 June 1936, when large gelignite charges were used to cut long pathways through the old city, destroying 220–240 buildings and rendering up to 6,000 Arabs homeless. By the end of 1938, a semblance of order had been restored in the towns, but terrorism continued until the outbreak of the Second World War. According to official British figures, the army and police killed more than 2,000 Arabs in combat, 108 were hanged, and 961 died because of what they described as "gang and terrorist activities". In an analysis of the British statistics, Walid Khalidi estimates 19,792 casualties for the Arabs, with 5,032 dead: 3,832 killed by the British and 1,200 dead because of "terrorism", and 14,760 wounded. Over ten percent of the adult male Palestinian Arab population between 20 and 60 was killed, wounded, imprisoned or exiled. Estimates of the number of Palestinian Jews killed range from 91 to several hundred.