Thursday, January 10, 2008

Beware of Syrians bearing gifts

A belated Happy New Year to everyone and my apologies for the long absence (not that I harbour any delusions of grandure on the blogosphere).

I have missed so much of the region's news and good writings on my favourite Syrian and non-Syrian blogs in the last five months.

Having neglected my own blog over that period, it is interesting to see that only one insult, two commercial adverts and one genuine "where are you?" message have been left in the comments section for my return. That really sums it up. Blogging is all about registering a presence in cyberspace, self indulgence and massaging each other's egos. And why not?

I am still recharging my batteries and not in a fighting mood, so I will not hurl insults at the Syrian regime or curse the Americans, Zionists, Fundamentalist Christians and Islamofascists. Not yet anyway. Right now I just hope 2008 will bring sanity to our region.

I am in fact in a generous mood. So, as a New Year's present to all my Palestinian and Israeli friends I have posted an extremely rare (in fact the only known) film of Jerusalem in 1917, never seen by the public until last year.

Would you like to see what Jerusalem was like in the aftermath of the 1st World War? British troops entering the City and people and animals going about their business? Evidence of how, until 1917, Jewish, Muslim and Christian families had lived together in complete harmony?

Would you like to see Lord Balfour in person promising a chunk of Palestine to the first wave of Jewish immigrants?

....I thought you would!

Here you are, download this absolutely amazing historical archive/documentary clip with a choice of two formats:

Full resolution high quality PC version: File size 224 megabytes, 15 minutes in duration, AVI(DivX) format. Unzip the file then use a fairly recent version of Microsoft Media Player to view.

Lower resolution version , for iPod, PDA or mobile phone: File size 83 megabytes, 15 minutes in duration. Format MP4. Unzip the file then copy it to your portable device.

New link to video here:

Watch the clip and say thank you, Philip I, for letting me see history in the making.

Having watched with your own eyes what actually happened in Palestine in 1917, perhaps some of you will stop pretending that it didn't happen or believing your political leaders' and grandmother's fairy tales about what happened.

God bless your soul Albert Kahn!


Golaniya said...

Welcome back, you've been sincerely missed.

Yazan said...

You have been missed Philip, and what a grandeur comeback. Your old videos are wonderful. I am jealous, and intrigued to know where did you land on such treasures.

Philip I said...


Thank you both for your warm welcome. It makes it all the more worthwhile to return to this little patch.

Yazan, I simply recorded a TV documentary on the life of Albert Kahn (see link at the bottom of the post) when I discovered that he'd commissioned numerous film and photographic expeditions to many parts of the world, including the Middle East, in the 1920s and 1930s. I had a feeling the documentary would be interesting because he used an early form of colour photography. You can imagine how pleased I was to have captured it and definitely wanted to share it with others.

Only a small part of his wonderful archive has been made public.

I now have to organise a visit to his museum near Paris to see the archive for myself.

Anonymous said...

I really am pleased to have you back. What a good start to the New Year. Every day I have clicked on your blog, hoping there would be a new message and tonight - there it was.


عشتار said...

Welcome back Philip and happy new year!
thanks for posting that clip ,it was indeed "a moment of destiny" which changed all our lives...

Philip I said...

I am grateful for your comment and honestly do not see what I have done to deserve this much-appreciated loyalty, but thank you anyway and I am sorry for all the wasted visits in the last 5 months.

I have missed your poetry and the energy that radiates from your blog. Thank you and best wishes for 2008.

Abu Kareem said...

Philip I,

Welcome back!

Philip I said...

Abu kareem

Thank you and good to hear from you. Just visited your blog. You've been quite active with many good posts in the last few months. The Arabic search engine is a great find!

Best regards

Fares said...

Philip welcome back man! we missed you...thanks for leaving a comment...your comments are always on the spot!

Lirun said...

buon giorno

The Syrian Brit said...

Welcome back, your Imperial Majesty..
Your absence has been noted, and your well-written, highly informative posts have been dearly missed..
For some reason, I have always had problems accessing the videos you post or the links you put.. I must have another go when I have some free time on my hand..
In the meantime, welcome back!..

Philip I said...


I am sorry you had trouble downloading the files. This time around I am using a different server and it should be straightforward. As soon as you click on the link you should get a pop up box asking you where you would like to save the file.

Thank you for your kind comment on my rather arrogant style of writing. As you know last year I was one of the many regular visitors to your blog. It always felt like stopping off at an oasis of wit, sincerety and decency. Hope to find more time to enjoy it this year. Best regards.

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