Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Like most coutries, Syria has an extraordinary history. One rather minor figure was the legendary Lawrence of Arabia, who, as an undergraduate, visited there on an archeological dig and later did a solo walking tour of some 1600 ks to the crusader castles.  Did he see the ruins of the outstanding Roman city?
Lawrence's return to Damascus was far more dramatic in later years of WW1.

Indulging in orientalism, the epic film, Lawrence of Arabia, came to light and is a golden oldie, with wonderful images  streaming with natural light and the pace unhurried. The film is not dumb, somehow realistic with screenplay by Bolt and is an all English production. It has no role for women. 

The original Arab Revolt or Awakening was there in 1916 when the Ottoman Empire (Turks) was a target. Turkey sided with Germany so the English protected various interests, Suez and oil for a start. Somehow French, Indian, Australian and other forces were very involved on those battlefields of the Middle East.
At the time, Lawrence was in the English military and was seriously intergrated into the Arab tribal forces which undertook battles from the south up to Damascus, in Syria  (as far as the film narrative is concerned).