Author: Rachel Mairs
Title: From Khartoum to Jerusalem The Dragoman Solomon Negima and his Clients (1885-1933)
Print Length: 280
Language: English, Francais, Italiano, Espanol, Deutsch
Format: PDF, ePub, mobi, azw, kf8, txt, ibook, Kindle
In 2014, a collection of papers was found on eBay: a scrapbook, inside which was written ‘Testimonial Book of Dragoman Solomon N. Negima’. The letters pasted into the testimonial book bear recommendations of Negima’s services as dragoman – a combination of tourist guide and interpreter – in the Holy Land, from travellers of different nationalities, social classes, religions, genders and races.Using these reference letters, and the first-hand published and unpublished accounts of the travellers themselves, this book tells the stories of several such tourists, including the intrepid Victorian female traveller, Ellen E. Miller, and an African-American minister, Rev. Charles T. Walker, who had been born into slavery. Between the lines of others’ letters, Solomon Negima’s remarkable life story also emerges: from a German mission school in Jerusalem, to the British army in the Sudan, to a successful career as a dragoman in Palestine and Syria, and finally to comfortable retirement with his son, Aziz, and daughter, Olinda, at a Mormon mission in Jerusalem.The discovery of this unique scrapbook allows us an insight into the lives of individuals whose histories would otherwise be lost to us, and a new perspective on the history of travel in the Middle East.