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Persian Pictures

by Sir-e-denison Ross

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About the Author
Gertrude Bell Scholar, historian, linguist, archaelogist, photogrpher, secret service agent and traveller, Gerturde Bell (1868-1926) was a hugely significant figure. Her early travels were made in Europe and Persia; she made two round-the-world trips (1897-8 and 1902-3), while her climbing exploits in the Alps from 1899-1904 earned her renown as a mountaineer. Like other British "orientalists" of the early 20th century, she explored the Ottoman Empire during and after World War I and was hugely instrumental in the post-war reconfiguration of the Arab states in the Middle East. As Political Officer, and then as Oriental Secretary to the Hight Commissioner in Baghdad, she was a prime mover in creating the new state of Iraq and establishing a constitutional monarchy there with a parliament, civil service and legal system. As Honorary Director of Antiquities in Iraq, she established the Iraq Museum in Baghadad. Liora Lukitz has for several years been a research fellow at the Centre for Middle East Studies at Harvard University. Her book A Quest in the Middle East: Gertrude Bell and the Making of Modern Iraq is forthcoming from I B Tauris in 2005.



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