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A little bit of History.

Contributed by Alex Kattan on 03.04.2007:

A little bit of history :

General Allenby, T. E. Lawrence, and Giries Hanna Kattan

In the early part of 20 th century, after the British took control of Palestine from the Ottoman Empire, General Allenby visited Bethlehem regularly.

He got to know Giries Hanna Kattan, and offered him the Governorship of the Greater Bethlehem area.

Discussions ensued between General Allenby and Giries Hanna Kattan, and Mr. Giries Kattan was appointed Governor of the Greater Bethlehem area.

T. E. Lawrence, of Lawrence of Arabia fame, participated In some of these discussions between General Allenby and Giries Hanna Kattan, After the appointment of Mr. Kattan as Governor, Mr Lawrence visited the Kattan residence whenever he was visiting Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

When Mr. Balfour, the British Foreign Minister, at the time, wrote his now infamous letter of 1917, to Lord Rothschield, creating the seeds of the discontent in Palestine and the region, which persists until to-day, and published a week later in the Times of London, the news became widespread.

Upon learning of the Balfour letter, Mr. Giries Kattan informed General Allenby that he was resigning the Governorship. Mr. Lawrence was sent to Mr Kattan to convince him to reconsider. Mr Kattan refused and stood by his resignation.

Mr. Lawrence who also was taken by surprise by the Balfour letter, and other inconsistencies in the British policies eventually left for Britain where he died in a motorcycle accident.

I thought this little bit of information would be of interest to some of your readers.


Alex Kattan

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