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Travels in Syria and the Holy Land

by John Burckhardt

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The name of Rafa is still preserved near a well in the desert, at six hours march to the southward of Gaza, where among many remains of of ancient buildings, two erect granite columns are supposed by the natives to mark the division between Africa and Asia.

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I had intended to sleep at Om Ezzeitoun, but I found the Druses very ill-disposed towards me. It was generally reported that I had discovered a treasure in 1810 at Shohba, near this place, and it was supposed that I had now returned to carry off what I had then left behind. I had to combat against this story at almost every place, but I was nowhere so rudely received as at this village, where I escaped ill treatment only by assuming a very imposing air, and threatening with many oaths, that if I lost a single hair of my beard, the Pasha would levy an avania of many purses on the village. I had with me an old passport from Soleiman Pasha, who, though no longer governor of Damascus, had been charged pro tempore with the government till the arrival of the new Pasha, who was expected from Constantinople.



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